Thyroxine + T3 versus dessicated thyroid (Armour, Nature-throid)

Discussion started by Maff 8 years ago

Since most people finding their way here will have failed to get well on thyroxine alone, I wonder which treatments have ultimately worked best for you. Was it a combination of thyroxine and T3 or the only real alternative - dessicated thyroid products such as Armour and Nature-throid?

As a long-term chronic fatigue syndrome sufferer with adrenal and thyroid issues I have tried everything to get well and explored thyroid replacement. I found no benefit either from thyroxine or using Armour at a gradually increasing dosage but the effects of T3 medication (Cytomel) were incredible - like my brain had been switched back on!

Would love to hear your experiences...

 

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RitaA
RitaA
I believe my autoimmune thyroid issues were triggered by Lyme disease.

After classic hypothyroid symptoms (on top of more classic neurological Lyme disease problems), I was finally diagnosed and prescribed Synthyroid, Eltroxin, and something else (T4 only). I was still not doing well, and my free T3 levels seemed to provide a clue. I did a bit of research and eventually found "Thyroid" by Erfa -- the Canadian equivalent to Armour. This certainly helped, but my autoimmune issues now make my TSH, free T3 and T4 results incomprehensible, so I'm finally being referred to an endocrinologist. I'm really hoping a reverse T3 test will be ordered, because it's just possible that I would do better on T3 alone. Since my TSH is so low, my FP is afraid of increasing my dosage of Thyroid to get my T3 into a high-normal range -- which is when I tend to feel better and my hair stops falling out.

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one struggling with this. Any information I can gather before my appointment with the endocrinologist on Aug. 22nd will be to my benefit (and probably the doctor's annoyance). I've heard that endocrinologists are not very flexible and rely too heavily on blood test results -- but I guess it's easier to believe numbers than patients. Sad, but true.
8 years ago
Gwen
Gwen
I am on armour thyroid 3 times a day (60mg) and T3 two times a day (15mcg). I have difficulty finding the energy to get through the day. The doctor doesn't want me to take more T3 because the T3 goes to the high end of the scale and TSH is pushed too low, according to her. Reverse T3 was very high when tested a year ago. Maybe it's time for more testing. I need to take adderall for brain fog.
8 years ago
Maff
Maff
Judy,

I forgot to say thanks for the great tip on chewing the Armour tablets before swallowing. I know a lot of people started to feel unwell again when Armour was reformulated. It must have had a new coating that asn't being broken down adequately in the digestive tract. I'm sure someone out there will have the full explanation...

Yes, I'm sure your blood tests while on T3 will have the doctors going crazy but you're feeling better so that's what counts. Good that you have been able to obtain the medication that has helped you feel well DESPITE your doctors' best efforts
8 years ago
judyjude
judyjude
Hi Maff, Unfortunately I don't get T3 prescribed by my GP. I purchase it myself from a Mexican pharmacy. Both my GP and endocrinologist know I am taking T3. I am hoping at some point it will be prescribed for me when they agree how my health has improved. Of course one problem is thyroid blood tests results while taking just T3 have the doctors in a state. TSH will be very low and so will T4 and I expect T3 to be at the top of the range.
8 years ago
Maff
Maff
Hi Judy,

Thanks for posting this. We've spoken a lot over the past few months but I've never heard your story in full so it is great to read about your journey here..especially as it has a happy ending with the T3 working well for you.

Dessicated thyroid also contains T3 but obviously in much lower amounts than you are taking now with the T3 medication so that is probably the making the difference.

That was a great explanation of reverse T3 (rT3) and thank you for providing the link. Readers can also find more on the EiR Thyroid Treatment page at www.ei-resource.org/illness-information/related-conditions/thyroid-treatments/ and I would also recommend Dr. Lam as a great source of information on thyroid and adrenal issues, his website is www.drlam.com/articles/… sure I've asked before Judy but do you have T3 prescribed by your GP/endo?
8 years ago
judyjude
judyjude
I took thyroxine for 15 years. In that time something changed as I did seem fairly well on it at first. I would say for the last 5 years of the 15 years on thyroxine I was quite ill. I would go back to the GP to explain how ill I was feeling, my dose was increased from 150mcg to 175mcg which just gave me an inner tremble but no relief from symptoms. I had an irregular heartbeat and I had a lot of tests to see how my heart was functioning. All the test came back OK, just I needed to be a bit more fit. Not easy when you are feeling very low in energy.

In the end after reading info on good website and forums I decided to try dessicated thyroid and I took Armour. I felt so well on it until Armour was reformulated and then I declined back into hypothyroid symptoms. It now seems quite a few people had problems with the new Armour but if you chew the tablet before swallowing it is absorbed OK.

I tried a few other dessicated thyroid tablets ( Greater Pharma Thiroyd and Erfa) but was still have hypo problems. I then read about Reverse T3 which is where the body converts Thyroxine into the wrong T3 (reverse T3) which then blocks the receptors and the correct T3 can't get into the cells to do its job. That may be a bit of a simple explanation but you can read more about it on website.
thyroid-rt3.com/… it seems that was my problem as I have now been taking only T3 medication for 8 months and I feel very well. Much more energy, not flagging in the afternoon and having to lie down and surprise surprise, my heart beat is now regular!

I would say it is a slow journey on T3 and in my experience I would start low and build up slowly. I have found I can only take 12.5mcg at a time and now take 5 x 12.5mcg throughout the day with the last dose as I go to bed.

I also found that I had low adrenal function and T3 can be quite hard on the adrenals so that needs to be address before taking T3.

I do wonder now how well I actually was when I first took Thyroxine. I had been so ill for 6 years before I was diagnosed that any improvement on the thyroxine would have appeared wonderful. If I had been prescribed dessicated thyroid from the start maybe I would have felt 100%.
8 years ago