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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I've been a member here for quite some time, and over the last several months I have been discussing my interest / trepidation in switching from Synthroid to Armour. The Synthroid just isn't cutting it anymore. After lingering symptoms, endless dose changes, and new abnormal weight gain, I've decided to officially take the chance on Armour. I have been terrified of changing meds -- the fear comes from the possibility of anxiety and mood changes. I'm afraid of crashing, and what that could do to my career etc.

Anyway, the potential benefits now outweigh the risks, and my doctor has agreed to switch me. I'm currently on 150mcgs of Synthroid -- tomorrow, I will stop the Synthroid and start 120mgs of Armour. I asked my doctor about just switching like that, and he said that's the way to do it.

I've heard from others on this forum that many people start at a lower dose and slowly titrate up. I'm confused, because my doctor didn't agree with that process and said I'll be fine just switching to 120 directly. I plan to follow his advice. Thoughts?

I'll keep everyone updated on my progress. This forum has helped me immensely, and hopefully talking about my experience will help others.

Best,
Hypoman
 

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That seems like a high dose for starters. You are going from 0 T3 to 18 mcgs. and that could pack a punch. Not sure this is such a good idea but the fact is, I am not the doctor!

Let us know how you do!
 

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I switched from 125mcg of Synthroid straight to 90mg of Armour and it wasn't enough, I went hypo for a few months until I stabilized on 135mg of Armour. If you feel jittery the fist few days you could try splitting the dose and taking half in the morning and half at night.
 

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Thanks for the responses. Andros, you have been so helpful with you knowledge of Armour, and I take your opinion very seriously. I too am slightly nervous, but I have to listen to the doctor.

That's also great advice Jenny V. I just hope I don't get too anxious from the T3 addition. I'll report back in a week or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, first update: After speaking with my doctor, we compromised and started me at 90mgs Armour instead of 120. It's been only 3 days, but I have already noticed some negative effects unfortunately.

My aches and pains have returned somewhat, as have the headaches. No anxiety or fast heartbeat. Would I have felt hyper effects from the T3 by now? Because I'm not experiencing any hyper symptoms at all. So I guess that's the good news. These feel like hypo symptoms.

I'll give it the one/two weeks we agreed on before I increase to 120mgs. I'm guessing I'm just not on enough. I really hope Armour ends up working for me. To say that I'm desperate wouldn't be an exaggeration.
 

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Sounds like you're absorbing the T3 well, so that's good news. I would hang on for a week and then increase and see what happens. I hung on to 90mg for 6 weeks and it was tough, but I pushed through it. Nothing I hadn't dealt with before in 10 years of Hashi's, lol!
 

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Another quick update -- I've been pretty exhausted the last two days. No fast pulse. No anxiety. I'm not experiencing the burst of energy that others have explained when taking Armour. My water retention and puffiness is also returning, which is discouraging.

All in all, I feel I'm under-medicated. I should add that I'm a 6'7" 215 pound man. 2 grains probably won't be enough for me.

How long does it take to feel the effects of an Armour dose change? I know I'm being impatient, but I have less energy now than when I took Synthroid.
 

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For me, it took up to a week or longer when I was first increasing my doses of Armour. I think this was because my body was just sucking up the Armour and needing more each time. When I finally got closer to stabilizing, things just kind of evened out and my symptoms started easing up pretty quickly. What dose of Armour are you on now and how long have you been on it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What dose of Armour are you on now and how long have you been on it?
The doc had me go to the originally prescribed 120mgs on Sunday, so this will be the third day at that dose. I hope this is just a transition period. It's definitely been a pretty obvious downhill slide since I started. I want to give it some time though.

Do you chew your Armour, or just swallow it whole? I've read that some people chew it.
 

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I think you're definitely going to need several more increases due to your size; I'm on 135mg myself and I'm a female, 5'8" and 158 pounds (and going down, woo!) with no thyroid. How often does your doc have you doing dose increases? You don't want to go too fast and go hyper (which is another version of hell), but you definitely don't want to suffer for too long on an obviously low dose.

I don't chew my Armour or take it sublingually, although I know some people believe this helps it absorb faster. I couldn't stand the taste of it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How often does your doc have you doing dose increases?
Doc is holding me at 120mgs for two more weeks, then labs. We'll reassess at that point, and I imagine I'll need an increase. Yesterday and today have been slightly better, so I'm hoping this has been the right choice. Staying positive.

Thanks for your continued responses jenny v -- it's incredibly helpful and much appreciated.
 

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I was on 175mg Synthroid for a very long time and when I switched, started out at 90mg Armour. I was told by many, and agree that I should have started higher. It changed my life, literally. I was finally able to go to sleep and stay asleep for an hour at a time. My neon-sign, runaway train brain stopped. I developed an inner sense of well-being that I have never experienced before. My resting heart rate went from 80's to 60's and the horrible palps I had stopped dead in their tracks. That being said, I've had a hard time getting the dose to the right place, but I refuse to go back to synthetics! I am blessed to be able to work at home, so it's easier for me than it is for you.
 

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Doc is holding me at 120mgs for two more weeks, then labs. We'll reassess at that point, and I imagine I'll need an increase. Yesterday and today have been slightly better, so I'm hoping this has been the right choice. Staying positive.
Good deal! You won't be staying too low for too long, so hopefully you can hang on until the two week lab mark. It took me months before I noticed a difference so I think it's a good sign you're already noticing that you're feeling slightly better. For me, it wasn't an overnight fix but a gradual easing of my issues until one day I noticed that I felt pretty darn good for a change.

Do make sure you're testing your Vitamin D and ferritin levels at least every 6 months. Those can contribute immensely to fatigue if they're too low, as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you so much for your responses ssMarilyn and Jenny v.

Another quick update: I've been a weird mix of very tired, but slightly amped-up today and yesterday. I can't tell if it's hyper or hypo, or if it's just me adjusting to the new meds. It's been a little rough the last few days because I have nervous energy, but I'm so fatigued. Exercise is very difficult. I hope this will pass, because I'm having trouble functioning very well right now. Labs in two weeks still.
 

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I was taking my Armour in the morning a few hours before eating and then a couple hours after lunch. There's different opinions on how to take it and someone has to be wrong. I finally decided to take it the way Dr. Mercola says... first dosage 15-20 mins after breakfast and second dosage after lunch. I've done it this way all week and my extreme afternoon fatigue is GONE.. I have energy finally!! Months of overwhelming fatigue and it just might be because I wasn't taking the Armour correctly. How do you take yours?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I currently take all 120mgs in the morning one hour before food. I take four of the 30mg tablets. I have been chewing them as well. I only started 9 days ago, so I'm guessing my body is still getting used to the change from Synthroid -- but man am I exhausted today. If it stays like this until I get my next labs, it's going to be a very difficult two weeks. For the first time, I can't tell if I'm taking too much, or not enough. It's a very strange feeling.
 

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You need to split the dosage and if I were you, I would try it the way Dr. Mercola says is the right way to take it. He and some other thyroid doctors say that the T3 needs to bind to food in order to work. The T3 is your energy. He's one of the most famous MD's in the US. He's even been on Dr. Oz. I felt super again today, so it has to be because I started taking my med the way Mercola said to take it. 120 doesn't sound like enough for you.

I hope I can put a link to his article here - http://www.mercola.com/Article/hypothyroid/treatment.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the info and link ssMarilyn! I'm going to try splitting my dose today -- can't hurt! I'll also try taking it after food, although that's a tricky one in terms of timing.
 

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I started out with Synthroid immediately after my surgery but (I've said this so many times I feel embarrassed saying it again) I could not feel like myself, I felt like an empty shell of the person I'd been before surgery. My endocrinologist gave me a prescription for Armour and I think it helped - I say "think" because I quickly ended-up in the ER twice with massive anxiety attacks! To make matters infinitely worse, my primary care doctor (who I loathe but can't replace because of Medicare) insulted Armour to the point of absurdity. One of his many offensive comments was, "Considering that crap you take, it's no telling what's wrong with you!"

I had, at that time, an undiagnosed UTI, H. Pylori AND suspect I was merely over-medicated bigtime with the Armour. I wish, in retrospect, I had not let this rude doctor bully me into going back to Synthroid. Where I live, in Louisiana, doctors are not only not accepting any new Medicare patients but many are dropping Medicare patients who have been with them for years. We have Medicare/Blue Cross - if I leave the obnoxious doctor, the odds of finding a new primary care physician are zero!

We also have virtually no endocrinologists to treat the general public. I have to drive to another city to see the endocrinologist who has treated me for almost four years. Needless to say she is so busy that I don't think I could get an extra appointment if I were dying. Right now I'm having serious side effects to a new prescription for Tirosent but cannot see my doctor until mid-December.

I am (my endocrinologist's observation) unbelievably sensitive to all prescription drugs and you may be likewise. It's the most frustrating thing I have ever had to try to deal with in my entire life AND I'm one of the lucky ones, at least I have doctors - even if I have to wait six months at a time to see one! :sick0026:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you for sharing your story I DClaire. It helps to hear what others are going through.

I have to say, I'm pretty discouraged folks. I definitely felt better on Synthroid if the last week and a half is any indication of what Armour is like. I'm exhausted now, I've gained back my water weight, and I'm puffy again. I'm sweating quite a lot, and I have the brain fog that I haven't had in a long time. I have to take naps, which I didn't do on Synthroid. I also have a little nervous energy, so I can't tell if I'm on too much, or not enough. I'm so confused.

The only positive thing I've noticed is that the severe heartburn I was having on Synthroid (150mcgs) is gone. The heartburn was one of the reasons I wanted to switch. Now I'm wondering if the blue dye in the 150mcg pill was causing the problem. I feel so lost. I know it's only been a week and a half, but I'm having a really hard time just "waiting it out" -- I feel like I'm watching my health deteriorate before my eyes.

Did anyone else have this rough of a transition period? If so, how long did it last? I hate to say it, but I might request a change back to Synthroid -- at least I had energy to make it through the day. Thoughts?
 
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