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Thread: My first dose decrease since Armour treatment.

  
  1. #1
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    My first dose decrease since Armour treatment.

    First my regrets for being online infrequent this past week. I have been busy trying to aquire a food distributorship business and traveling to have meetings etc... I'm bushed but will be online more within a day or two. The extra stress and fatigue has my ME/CFS symptoms flaring so I'm in need of some extra rest.

    I had blood retesting done last week and for the first time, had to decrease my Armour from 3 grains down to 2.5. My TSH has run very low on proper dose for several years and my doctors know this, so in my case TSH doesn't correlate well with my FT3. The FT3 in my case is more important to restest for monitoring my Armour dose because T4 stays low-ish compared to T3 and is true of all patients on Armour.
    Here were my significant blood lab results, which not only reflected my need for dose-decrease but also showed 2 of my electrolyte levels to be off, my liver counts are elevated again (but lower than on my previous retest) and thyroid antibodies TPO & TG staying about the same.

    MY RESULTS:

    TSH: "0.018" range .45 to 4.5 (flagged low but has been lower in the past with FT3 at only midrange!)
    FT4: "1.35" range 0.61 to 1.76
    FT3: "7" range 2.3 to 4.2 (flagged high and the highest it has ever been)

    TPO Antibodies "162" range 0 to 34 (flagged high and up a little from last time- "120")
    TG Antibodies "264" range 0 to 40 (flagged high but have been as high as "537" in the past)

    AST/SGOT (liver) "64" range 0 to 40 (high but improved from last time - "108")
    ALT/SGPT (liver) "99" range 0 to 55 (high but improved from last time - "148")

    Phosphorous (electrolyte) "2.2" range 2.5 to 4.5 (has been as low as "2.0" in the past)
    Chloride "109" range 97 to 108 (has been as high as 110 in the past)

    I have non-alcoholic fatty liver that my previous Doc said was likely caused by combo of hypothyroidism and metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetic condition) but the liver results look better than previous.
    These same electrolytes have been off before and I know for a fact this can be a cause of symptoms like muscle fatigue, body fluid dis-regulation etc... and low vitamin D can be a factor in low phosphorous. so I'm supplementing with D now. While the results weren't off by much, it means something, so I'm going to retest electrolytes again next time.
    My Armour decrease is aggravating fatigue in me right now as well as the added stress from my unusual schedule of late. I plan to retest the FT3 in about two months to see if I'm back in good range by then.
    As I told Ric in a PM today, I really enjoy disccussion and learning about thyroid disease with you, my friends and fellow-patients but as for the disease itself and the co-morbid problems that can go with it, I thoroughly hate it and would like to take a hammer to it !
    I'll be popping in more within a day or two and thanks everyone for being "patient" with my online infrequency!
    (Avatar pic is of me & wife, 2008)

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    Re: My first dose decrease since Armour treatment.

    Hey Jim, good to see you again, but I wish we were all posting on a 'my health is excellent forum', and Thyroid disease was none existant

    My Blood test results are off the chart at the moment T3 12, TSH less than 0.01, and T4, 29/ My private doctor told me forget the blood test results as long as you dont go toxic, then continue to take your meds! Im on more meds than ever before and still gaining weight

    Are you feeling unwell on your current dose of meds or are you reducing to be more in range?

    Keep us updated

    Ric
    I'm not an expert. I'm here to share my Thyroid journey and tell you all my experience of Thyroid disease.
    If you want to chat, please dont hesitate to contact me, I will help where I can!!

    http://www.twitter.com/thyroidhelp

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    Re: My first dose decrease since Armour treatment.

    Hi Jim,

    I've to say that I am not entirely convinced that Armour is the "only" solution to hypothyroid patients. I know it works for a lot of people but those people must have suffered from hypothyroidism for a while without knowing it, hence their bodies may not be able to convert T4 to T3 properly.

    FT4 dropping when on Armour is not surprising as we are providing body with direct T3 in the form of Armour and we know that ratio in Armour for T3 to T4 is 4:1 compared to human thyroid producing 14:1.

    I had blood tests done last week as well and just look at the results

    FT4 - 26.8pmol/L (Ref: 9 - 26)
    FT3 - 5.3 pmol/L (Ref: 2.5 - 5.7)
    TSH - 0.07 (Ref: 0.3 - 4.2)

    Those results are based on me taking 250mcg of thyroxine. I had a feeling that I was slightly high but I didn't lower the dose just to see what may happen if I am on slightly higher dose. (I've reduced the dose to 22mcg now).

    Last time I spoke to my Endo who is quite open minded about Armour as well, according to him, when thyroid is removed and body is provided with extra thyroxine, body identifies this shortfall and tries to produce more T3 from T4 automatically. I agree we may be missing other important hormones like T1 and T2 but no one knows their actual behavior in the body.

    I am very much inclined towards giving Armour another go and mixing it up with my thyroxine (150mcg thyroxine and 1 Grain Armour) but I just don't want to carry two bottles of different medication around me all the time

    Electrolyte balance wouldnt be complete without Sodium and Potassium levels I would have thought so you better get those checked as well

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    Re: My first dose decrease since Armour treatment.

    Ric & SiD,

    First Ric, I've had periods of time feeling really well but will phase into symptoms when I go through extra stressors or am extra tired from added physical activity. This aspect was hard for me to cope with for a good while because I was used to working hard physically and mentally before thyroid disease without ill effects. In my case, having ME/CFS co-morbid to my throid disease, my HPA Axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) runs low-reserve as a whole or what med research calls "blunted". I had testing that confirmed this and is why I have spells of adrenal fatigue as well (severe chronic fatigue). My TSH runs very low even when my thyroid hormones are only mid-range or below. It's strange but when my thyroid hormones fluctuate either low or high, I have neurological type symptoms. I get headaches that I call feel in other parts of my body and when my head is aching I feel achy in my extremities and the headaches manifest strangely because I feel them in my sinuses as well but has nothing to do with sinusitis. Sometimes it's the arches of my feet that ache when I have these strange neuro-headaches. I've observed this long enough to see patterns in it and know that my thyroid hormone levels getting off can trigger the neuro symptoms. I had an MRI because of this and came back negative for MS (my fear relieved) or other neuro disorders. That doesn't mean I don't have a neuro type disorder but isn't brain-caused. I sometimes go for weeks feeling relatively normal (fatigue still there but less noticable) but will crash into symptoms from the things I first mentioned above. I also have intolerance to caffiene, alcohol and chocolate, which after indulgence in can also cause me to crash. Soooooo, what I do is keep my thyroid hormone therapy as optimized as possible to help with all of this and it certainly does help but my ME/CFS is something I have to do many things for, to keep symptoms at bay. For me, optimized thyroid hormone replacement is as essential as it is with other patients but the CFS is something I have to deal with seperately on some levels. I do better at it, at some times than others because I get slack with diet and not exercising to tolerance as I should. I do take adrenal supplements that help a great deal as well "Cortico B5 B6" and "Adreset", which have the components recommended by Dr. James Wilson in his book. Wow, I made a longer post than I intended but glad to take the opportunity to give better detail on my conditions.

    SiD,

    I did get sodium and potassium levels tested as well but were normal results so didn't post those.
    I'm with you on not necessarily believing Armour to be superior for all patients in all cases. I in fact wrote an article on the subject about two years ago>> http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art51229.asp .

    That's also always a good thing to keep in mind in regard to T4 to T3 conversion which can be an issue with some patients as well. I have some articles out there addressing that too. I don't feel I had a conversion problem but when I was on Synthroid (similar to levothyroxine) originally, I was undertreated and likely would have done fine on it if dosed correctly. I feel as you do that T4 stays low in Armour patients because once enough T3 is converted (less needs converted when T3 is in the med), the rest is converted in to RT3 (reverse).
    Anyway, I totally understand patients needing to try different scenarios in getting treated best possible because of my own experiences in needing to do so as you guys can also relate.
    This treatment struggle is a battle indeed but one we have to be diligent and proactive with. I hope your mix of armour and levo does the trick in getting you to that better place thumbup .
    (Avatar pic is of me & wife, 2008)

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    Re: My first dose decrease since Armour treatment.

    Also, in regard to levels getting too high, that's a gray issue in lots of circles as well. I feel high and even highest normal thyroid hormones, are beneficial in most cases but for a percent of patients, can make them on the hyper-side.
    In my case it's strange because I don't feel hyper when my level gets too high. I actually continue to gain weight and difficult to lose and don't feel hyper at all. It does fatigue me severely however and I've read on some sources including Mary Shomon's on overtreatment, that it isn't that unusual to feel the same type symptoms you have with undertreatment/hypothyroidism.
    Overtreatment becomes dangerous when it starts causing heart arrhythmias and/or starts to cause bone loss. I do keep my T3 within normal range but at times will get it to higher-normal.
    (Avatar pic is of me & wife, 2008)

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    Re: My first dose decrease since Armour treatment.

    Jim, thank you for 'making a slightly longer than you expected post' it did as you intended and shone a light on your condition, which is like looking into a cyber mirror for me!!!
    Its fantastic that you know your own body so well and you obviously know what your talking about!! (claps hands together)

    Sometimes I feel like I cant be bothered to get out of bed in the morning and sometimes going the toilet is delayed so much, I have no choice but to run so exercise is sometimes none existant other than going to the toilet, I will sit for hours thirsty and hungry just surfing the web on my laptop or flicking the channels with my thumb. I know I use food for energy ( I know everyone does) I mean excessivly. Although like I have said before, not Overly!

    A few years ago I had many neuro symptoms from excutiatingly painful tension headaches (so bad I thought I was going to die on the spot) To dizziness so bad I thought I may pass out. These were panic triggers for me, when i experienced these symptoms I would become so Anxious I would think I was about to die, leading to more tension/dizziness/Anxiety. Pain killers were always in my system, as I just could nt cope with the pain. Sincemy Thyroid has been well medicated these have become lesser, still getting mild dizziness from time to time and moderate headaches, but much more manageable than before.

    Its interesting what you say about possible over treatment, and experiencing similar symptoms to undertreatment, it seems we cannot win. Heart disease if we dont treat, heart disease if we do to much lol. Im worried I may be over medicating at the moment, I have a form for my blood to test for my Thyroid. Which will shine a light on how I'm doing!

    Cheers Jim, hope you feel better soon!! thumbup
    I'm not an expert. I'm here to share my Thyroid journey and tell you all my experience of Thyroid disease.
    If you want to chat, please dont hesitate to contact me, I will help where I can!!

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    Re: My first dose decrease since Armour treatment.

    Great Article Jim, exactly what I wanted to say. What is making me confuse now, T4 levels being high or low, wouldnt make a difference to a patient if T3 is being provided needed by the body?

    If that's the case, what is the importance and role of T4 apart from being converted to T3. People say that T4 and T3 are better towards the high end of the range but if T3 is towards the high range, why T4 is being so important?

    My questions are because of my test results which are showing very high T4, should be be worried?

    When I was hyper, my T3 was 9 and TSH was 0.05 or unmeasurable but T4 was within range, wonder what did that mean?

 

 

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