WHY is Armour Thyriod medication better for FM ?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by razorqueen, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. razorqueen

    razorqueen Member

    I was recently diagnosed with hypothyriodism, and placed on a synthetic thyriod pill, low doseage, 0.05mg. I've been reading and have heard that the armour natural thyriod is better for FM people. Why? I would like to ask my dr to switch me to the armour if it is truly better. I've only been on my new med for 2 days, but I have been feeling REALLY crappy!
  2. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member

    I took Armour for years until they changed the fillers and then had allergic reactions. I tried several different synthetic versions and felt awful until I used a brand called Thyrolar (made by the same company and recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil and other doctors who practice complementary medicine).

    Armour contains all the natural thyroid hormones including T4, T3, T2 and T1. The active form is T3 which is converted for use by bumping of one of the iodine molecules on T4. However it does seem to cause more of a susceptibility to antibody formation because many people are allergic to pork.

    Thyrolar is the only synthetic thyroid I know of which contains both T3 and T4 in the same product...many people take something like Synthroid which is T4 only along with Cytomel which is T3 only. I've tried compounded thyroid and felt awful with it, too.

    I've used Thyrolar for about 10 years now. If I stop taking it my muscles are cramping within 24 hours and if I go much longer I start developing congestive heart failure. Taking a synthetic T4 only was as if I was taking nothing. I did okay on Armour (about 15 years) until I had the allergy to the fillers.

  3. razorqueen

    razorqueen Member

  4. Fudge43

    Fudge43 New Member

    I don't have a lot of experience with switching thyroid medication .. I did do the T3/T4 once, when I saw an endocrinologist .. but it just didn't make any difference .. right now I'm on Synthroid 0.112 .. ( and I'm hoping to come down a little from that may be ... because taking this is supposed to weaken the bones etc .. but what are you supposed to do when your thyroid goes on vacation after self destruct mode ? It can be really discouraging .. I will say one thing .. the endocrinologist I just saw a couple of months ago made the point of NOT eating whole grain food/fiber when taking the thyroid meds .. it blocks the affectiveness .. so look out for that !
  5. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member

    I eat lots of whole grain and fiber, but I do take my thyroid early in the morning and wait at least an hour before eating. I think there's too much benefit from the fiber to give it up but it is important to give the thyroid time to absorb.

    Here's a blurb from Mary Shimon's thyroid site:

    Always check the prescription against what you receive. Don't allow generic substitutions.

    Most doctors feel that taking thyroid hormone on an empty stomach allows for maximum absorption.

    Many practitioners advise that you allow at least one hour before eating, because it allows for maximum absorption.

    Be consistent about a high-fiber diet. If you start or stop eating high-fiber, get your thyroid rechecked, because it may change your absorption.

    Many experts recommend you take vitamins or supplements with iron at least two to three hours apart from thyroid hormone. Iron can interfere with thyroid hormone absorption if taken too close together.

    Be careful about taking calcium and calcium-fortified orange juice at the same time as thyroid hormone. Allow at least 2-3 hours apart, so absorption is not affected.
    Don't take antacids within two hours of thyroid hormone. Allow at least 2-3 hours apart, so absorption is not affected.

    Watch for interactions with antidepressants & thyroid hormone. Zoloft, Paxil and Prozac can make thyroid meds more or less effective. Talk to your doctor.

    Don't stop taking thyroid hormone when you're pregnant or breastfeeding. It's necessary for you and your baby's health. Talk to your doctor about adjusting to the right dosage.

    [This Message was Edited on 09/14/2005]
  6. razorqueen

    razorqueen Member

    that alot of people with FM and hypothyriodism can't get their bodies to get the T4 to convert to the T3. I am not exactly sure what I was tested for, as I have gotten all the results back, and the Dr. just phoned me, so when I get to see the actual results I will know if they tested for the free t3 and free t4. I think he said if the t4 comes back normal they don't test for the t3 or something like that.
    I'm just thinking that the armour thyroid meds would be better. I don't know tho. So much to learn,,,,
    I do know that I have felt really crappy since I started taking it, but that could just be coincidence. Lots of fibrofog, headache, and just feeling out of it.
  7. FM-in-IL

    FM-in-IL New Member

    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 6 years ago and was put on synthroid. I had the usual bloodtests every 6 to 8 weeks and my doctor kept raising the dosage of the synthroid each time. I was working full time and after about the first 3 months I hit rock bottom where I simply couldn't even get myself dressed or bathed. My husband was wonderful and helped me through those really bad days. I had to take the full 3 months of my family medical leave off from work. With the good Lord's help I mananged to go back to work, but was so extremely worn out I would come home and go right to bed. I slept most of the weekends just so I could manange to go back to work on Mondays. My job preformance was not up to what it had been before either, and I knew it without being told by my boss. I tried to read as much as I could about hypothyrodism to educate myself (this was before I had my home computer and the internet too). I read about using the combination of the T4 drugs like the synthroid that I was on along with a straight T3 drug. About one month before I would be able to qualify for another family madical leave, it happened again. I was so worn out I could barely get myself out of bed. This time I asked my doctor about using the combination of the 2 drugs and he agreed to let me try adding a straight T3 drug along with the synthroid. After about 3 to 4 months I started to feel just a little bit better. Needless to say I still take the synthroid (.125MG) along with a half of a tablet of cytomel which equals about (12.5MCG) each morning about 2 hours before I put anything else in my stomach. The lowest dose of the cytomel that you can buy is (25MCG) therefore I have to cut these tiny pills in half. Then I also take the other half of the cytomel pill or another (12.5MCG) about an hour or more before I eat my evening meal. I have found that the full (25MCG) of the cytomel in the morning is too much and it creates an irregular heatbeat for me but by dividing it up into 2 doses per day it gives me just the right boost of energy at the times when my body needs it. Unfortunately, after about 2 years of still not feeling well I was then diagnosed with the fibromyalgia, and after being tested for everything else under the sun. I had to fight a bit but I was finally awarded Soc. Sec. Disability. It's a good thing because I still have some days when I can barely pull myself out of bed and get dressed while others are a little bit better than that. I or should I say we (my husband too), have certainly learned to live a completely different lifestyle in many ways.

    I am comfortable with taking the synthroid and cytomel combination drugs because I know that they don't interact with my other 8 prescriptions. I had read a bit about the natural drug Armour which has both the T4 and T3 components but I was glad that my doctor didn't even suggest I take it. They say because it is natural, each dosage could be different. In other words each pill could be different in that one pill might have more T3 in it than T4 or vise versa. Since it's the T3 that gives you the direct energy you might be getting too little of it or even too much of it in a daily dose. On the other hand the synthetic drugs like synthroid and cytomel are suppose to all be equally measured so you know exactly how much of each you are putting into your system each time you take them. I just know from personal experience, and after a trip to the emergency room, that at least I have to be careful with how much T3 I can take because it creates my heart to beat abnormally to the point that I think I might be having a heart attack. I also sort of self regulate taking my cytomel or the T3 drug. Sometimes if I feel that my heart is jumping around durring the daytime I will not take my half a pill of the cytomel in the late afternoon. My doctor says that it is ok if I do that because he says it probably happens on those days that my natural thyroid gland is producing the hormones the way it should and with me taking the extra supplements I am getting too much T3 in my system at one time. I have found over the years that you have to do what your body is telling you to do and not necessarily everything the doctors tell you to do. Adding the T3 drug made a big difference for me. I also found that the book "Living Well With Hypothyroidism" "What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need To Know" by Mary J.Shomon was the best book that I could have possibly bought. I can't begin to tell you how many times I have refered back to it over the past few years. She really goes into detail about the T4 and T3 drugs as well as many other topics. I was one of the lucky ones that had a doctor who welcomed my questions and suggestions and appreciated my gaining as much knowledge on hypothroidism as I did. Some doctors seem threathened by a patient's knowledge etc. Only you can tell how you feel so be your own best advocate when it comes to your health care. If your doctor doesn't welcome your knowledge and questions, then fire him or her and find one who does. After all we are sick enough without a doctor making us fell even sicker. It seems that hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia go hand in hand. So many of their symptoms are the same. Don't give up. I may not physically be the person I was 6 years ago, but with the help of some good doctors and some drugs I do feel that I have gotten at least my brain back. Most of the time I can think pretty clearly even if I don't have any energy to get up and go do anything else. My husband says at least he has part of his wife back with him again. Best of luck to you. Sorry I rambled on so long. Love, Brenda in IL

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