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EndocrineWeb Community Advice

Armour Thyroid vs Synthroid

From: rbmorgan - 8 years 7 weeks ago

I am currently a user of synthroid. My sister, who is a health nut, keeps insisting that I get my doctor to prescribe armour thyroid, because its natural, I don't see how dried pig thyroids are natural, but I aksed my doctor about it and he would not so much as talk to me about it. Anybody out there on Armour thyroid?? Does it work better??? ect. any feedback.

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Diagnosed with hashimoto's disease at 41 and was given synthroid for two years. Constant roller coaster of emotions, weight, and not sure how to feel daily. Asked my endo if I could try Armour and it has been two weeks of feeling great! Thank God for the relief. I finally feel like I am out of the fog and can be myself again. No more exhaustion at 3:00 pm, I can think clearly, and can work a full day without feeling like I am sick or aggravated with everyone and everything. I am hopeful it will continue work !

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I just joined this web site! I've been using Armour Thyroid since 2006, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's. My endocrinologist at the time wanted to put me on Synthroid, but I insisted on the Armour. There was a time when it was indeed banned from the US. I tried Levothyroxine for a very short time, and I had physical symptoms of a thyroid disorder, which I had not had at all with the Armour. So I got the pills from Canada, from a company which I'd found on the Internet. Finally, it was reinstated in the US. I am a "complimentary medicine" fan. My primary care physician is a D.O., I see a homeopathic N.P. every 8 weeks; and consult with a nutritionist who does kinesiology to balance the supplements I take, including the thyroid. We balanced out the Armour thyroid at 45 mg, but because it comes in 15 mg and 30 mg tablets, I have prescriptions for each of those. (It does come in higher doses.) I've been at 45 for several years. Now I have to figure out why the cost doubled about a year ago....

Helene

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Re Armour thyroid -v- Synthroid

No medication other than Armour will meet your needs if you have serious hypothyroidism. Don't cheat yourself. Get the best.

If you have hypothyroidism you want the best medicine for it because it affects so many other systems in the endocrine system, hormone uptakes, mental alertness, weight gain, and depression.

Armour with T3 and T4 is the only medicine that will keep you on your feet, stop dry skin, hair loss, cloudy mind, and lower extremity edema.

I've had hypothyroidism my whole life and finally my glands atrophied so now I have no thyroid glands at all. I can only take Armour and I've tried them all. They did not help my exhaustion or mental fogginess etc.

A while ago the government took Armour Thyroid out of the insurance companies roister of drugs they will pay for. I assume it's because it's natural and the others are made in laboratories and you know how the government likes to support big pharma instead of us.

So get Armour and come back to life. Have you been to aboutthyroid.com? Excellent information and support.

Best of luck to you. The right medicine will change your life. Askthetherapist

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I take 100 mg of synthroid and 10 mg of cytomel- no weight loss but feel OK. Switched to armour at suggestion of endo (and reading about it on sites) after no weight loss after like 3 months, even though levels were fine. All I can say- everyone is different: ALL my symptoms returned full force- I had joint pain from hell, i was depressed and exhausted and felt ill. sicker than ever. It screwed me up for months! After 3 weeks, I went right back to synthroid. I have good and bad days, but everyone is different. I still have yet to lose a pound, but I am too afraid to mess with my levels again after that disaster. I am staying the course.

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I took Armour Thyroid for many years, from childhood, and was later switched to Synthroid, when it was developed. Over the years, I switched back and forth, but always felt better on Armour Thyroid. In recent times, I have had to fight with my MDs and stand my ground to take Armour, but I feel it is definitely better for me---I maintain a normal weight (gained on Synthroid), and normal energy (lethargic on Synthroid), normal body temperature (I get way too hot on Synthroid). My thyroid lab tests may look normal on Synthroid, but my health is adversely affected, in the above ways). On Armour Thyroid I feel much better and can focus on the normal activities of life---as opposed to how crummy I feel every day. The down side is that Armour is more expensive than Synthroid and for some reason, insurance won't cover it. However, I think it is worth the out of pocket cost for me to feel well. My vote is for Armour, 100%.

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I have just begun taking armour as well as hydrocortisone which is a replacement for cortisol from the adrenal glands. I have read through the comments and seen some who are on thyroid meds, but still having issues with energy and anxiety. I would definitely recommend having your cortisol checked if it has not been. The adrenals could be off or not working at all. I have finally been diagnosed after 14 years of searching for answers. My diagnosis mainly was finally finding a good doctor as well as the adrenal problem finally started pushing me into hypothyroidism which created more symptoms. It is always worth a testing.

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I was prescribed Synthroid 50mcg just two weeks ago after my T3, T4 came back high. I suffered with all the symptoms of Hypothyroidism but my MD could not prscribe anything until the results came back abnormal. Here in the US can't treat symptoms i.e. Insomnia, anxiety, depression, horrible fatigue, weight gain over 20Lbs, brittle and breaking hair and more. I felt miserable. Now I feel much better but my cousin recommend I research Armour. All the posts I've found say it's hard to purchase and plenty of resistance from doctors and well as cost. Most information I read is over two years old. Anyone have more recent information on Synthroid vs Armour results and availability?

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After 2 years of fighting with different Dr.'s I have finally gotten my Dr. To prescribe Armour Thyroid. I was diagnosed with Hashi 10 years ago and have only taken Levothyroxine, over 10 years I have gained over a hundered pounds, feel foggy, major fatigue (especially around 3pm) major hair loss ect. I have now been on Armour for a few weeks and what a difference I feel. My mind is sharp again, no fatigue; actually quit the opposite I'm full of energy. Can't wait to see the full benefits.

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I am curious, for those of you who posted years ago, is it still going well with armour? I had thyroid surgery a little over 7 years ago. Tried levothyroxine for about 5 years with no positive effects. Did not attribute some of my other symptoms many of you mention to the levothyroxine. Got a script for Armour a month ago, but have been praying and reluctant to start, because I have had so many negative reactions to scripts. I really need to find something to give me me back. Have six kids at home and try to be active in their lives on addition to home educating and coaching soccer, but I barely have enough energy for that. Between the thyroid issues and fibro, I am feeling less and less of a person. My home is extremely cluttered, because I have no energy to care for it. Sitting here reading has given me motivation to start today. Any updates to those who have changed would be helpful. Thank you.

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I WAS on Armour for several years. It was the only time since my thyroidectomy that I was ever stable and felt pretty okay. Unfortunately, my endocrinologist left his practice and finding another doctor who will prescribe Armour has proven to be very difficult. My new endo (although she said she was okay with Armour when I made my first appointment) immediately (even before test results) put me back on Synthroid, a drug I was NEVER stable on. Now, I imagine, I'll be back on the roller coaster ride of side effects and constantly having my dosage changed. If anyone in the Dallas area knows of a pro-Armour endo, please let me know.

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I was on synthroid as of two days ago; I literally felt as if I was slowly dying, chronic fatigue, muscle pain all over, digestive issues, chronic headaches, severe seating w foul smell, I felt worse on synthroid, my Dr prescribed Armour, and I am only on my second day and it is the first day without a headache, muscle pain is mild, however still have neck pain, but had previous to taking synthroid, since I have a neck and hand injury, however the pain was more intense since on synthroid. However, I just thought I'd share my current situation bc many of the symptoms I had were labeled as side effects of synthroid so if you are not feeling well on synthroid switch you will feel a difference, I am just hoping it is not temporary and that Armour is the answer to resolving my symptoms

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I take 100 mcg Synthroid, want to change to Armour, what dose?? My daughter got it for me, because my insurance won't pay for. Please help

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I've been on Armour Thyroid many years and tried on Levothyrixone and Synthtoid at the incidence of two endocrinologist because they were certain my TSH had to be in normal range. My PCP finally became convinced that due to my euthyroid state (thyroidectomy in 1971) the TSH does not appear accurate. Two times sent to 2 different endocrinologists, two times put on synthetic thyroid, two times my cholesterol went up to over 300, tryglycerides over 700, blood pressure 200/120, slept 14 hours every day, skin so rough and dry it hurt to touch it, and gained 20 lbs in 6 weeks. The last endocrinol
listened as I reviewed my symptoms and said"Well it can't be your thyroid your TSH is normal." she ignored the borderline T3 and T4. My PCP finally agreed that for "some reason" the TSH was not a good test for me nor Levothyrixone. Things returned to almost normal and then normal when I later eliminated wheat from my diet.

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I realize that this is a very old thread but...

After being tossed around from 1 drug to another for 1 1/4 years now because of extreme side effect, I have been doing some research and asking my doctors a ton of questions. Most of these have to do with the effects these drugs have had on me and the only answers I get are usually "it's all in your head". Funny when I can take photos of my feet swollen horribly large (and extremely painful to walk or stand) to show the doctors and they then say they have no answers. Or show them papers from 4 trips to the ER due to arithmia (which I have never had before) or other heart rate issues (I cannot recall the terms). I experienced most of the side efects listed as "call your doctor if you get any of the following" and the doctor looks at me like he has never heard of any side effects before...BUT, the pharmacist tells me to call my doctor immediately...

It appears (at least from what doctors have told me) that the medical community is of the understanding that the natural thyroid replacements like Armour etc cannot have a constant dosage in the pills. They have told me that these natural pills have had many recalls from the FDA. I also read that the companies that produce these pills now have the ability to have very consistent dosages per pill.

I did a little google, instead of posting exactly what I found I would encourage others to google it for themselves. My searches showed that SYNTHROID was one of the most recalled drugs for years ongoing (more than 2) due to doseage issues. Synthroid is also (or was) in the top 5 of pharmaceuticals sold for many many years (millions of users in the US). This makes me believe that SYNTHROID 's manufacturer is a big pharma company and has a very good sales force (I worked with sales for many years and know how they work).
Doctors also tell me that SYNTHROID is exactly the same as what my body produced before they removed my thyroid. I am no chemist, but the chemical diagrams I see when I google this stuff IS NOT identical. Also, no patent would be given for something that occurs naturally in nature (or so I am told). Add to that, the thyroid produces A lot more things than just the T4 or T3 that your doctor will prescribe a synthetic version of for you.

If the synthetic drugs work for you, great, continue to take them. I know many people that have been on them for years with no side effects or other problems. If they do not, have fun trying to get a doctor to prescribe something for you that will actually let you have a normal life again.

I have been told that naturopathic doctors can prescribe the natural thyroid hormones, but where I live you have to pay to see these doctors and I spent a few hundred on one without getting any prescription, so I am not the best authority to promote these "doctors". I have read on many sites how ever that they can work wonders for issues like mine so I may give another ND a try.

Oh, the best yet, the Endocrinologist I have been seeing for 3 months now just tried to tell me that the only options I have in Canada are Cytomel, Eltroxin and Synthroid. I guess he forgot about the other ones that the last Endo perscribed me...

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I was on Levothyroxine/synthroid for 10 years with no real side affects (still felt tired had no energy and had no desire to do anything because I was so tired) . Because of insurance problems I went off my medication for about 4 months I put on lots of weight. I found a new doctor and got back on the Levothyroxine .112 I am still tired and don't feel like doing anything but since I went back on the medication my hair is falling out. I lose so much hair when I take a shower that I am almost scared to wash my hair. Has anyone else experienced this? I wonder if I switch to Armour if it will help.

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I was on Synthroid for 15 years when 100mcg had me lethargic and dealing with chronic fatigue. Went to 100/112 switch everyday. Same problem. Did my research and found caring doctors willing to listen. I went on Armour 1 year ago 60, then 90 and felt okay. I will say that I was sleepy in the afternoons and hungry all the time with constipation. But, I did feel more normal on it. I didn't like the night sweats and insomnia it brings but I was willing to stay on it because the chronic fatigue went away. I'm a professional, mom, and I love to run and exercise. I felt happy that I was on the right track until I ended up in the ER with a severe allergic reaction after taking my armour one morning. I got off and went back to synthroid this time at 112 (10 weeks ago). What a mistake! My full hair has about 1/2 thinned out and I'm forgetting things and slurring my speech. I did some labs and go see my Endo this week. Since I do have better sleep and bowel movements with Synthroid, I'm going to talk to my doc about an Armour/Synthroid combo. We tried it briefly with 50 Synthroid and 60 Armour but it was too strong. I am going to see if we can try it again, but with 25 Synthroid just to get that little boost of T4. I will keep you posted.
Deb from Texas

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Armour is good. It will make you feel good. You'll just have to be on it a few months to find your right levels. Make sure they check your free T3, reverse T3 and antibodies. I find I need more T4 than Armour provides, so I'm going to try and add a tad to my Armour. Best wishes on your healing.
Deb

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It was good to read all these positive and encouraging comments about the benefits of Armour. I was put on Levo and after 6 months felt terrible (even though blood results were fine). I have read about the benefits of Armour (or NDT) and came off the Levo. My GP won't prescribe it for me because it is not a 'regulated' drug, although it was used for 100 years before synthroid was invented. I am yet to buy the Armour by consulting a private doctor who, I hope, can give me a private prescription.

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It seems to me that everyone is debating EITHER/OR opinions about Synthyroid and Armor. For those of you who have taken both, my suggestion is simple: take both everyday. My endocrinologist is one of the best in the nation. She first put me on Synthyroid, and I thought I was doing fine. What the best part was is that over a few years of being undiagnosed, I ballooned from 125-205! I melted off 50 lbs within a year doing absolutely nothing, except take Synthyroid.

After a routine lab, she said the Synthyroid was not converting the T4 to T3. (I think that's what she said. It definitely had something to do w/ T3 and conversion) She said to solve that problem, we cut the Synthyroid in 1/2 and then add on Armor. The Armor would cover the T3. What a lot of drs. do that are not endocrinologists is just test if you do or do not have hypo or hyperthyroidism, not the subcategories. I cannot tell you how important it is to see an endocrinologist if you are on either med and still have problems. There's a lot of syncing, adjusting, and labs to be sure you are stable. My thyroid tests kept coming back negative for a thyroid problem bc my PCP was just running the basic thyroid test. I had developed Type 1 diabetes as a healthy 40 yr old, so I immediately had them also test the thyroid, and of course all the sub tests she ran came back poitive. No two people are a like. So you can't decide which med you want by reading other's opinions. Your body is going to react differently. And like I said, with me, it ended up that I needed BOTH of these meds to stabilize my hypothyroidism. Good Luck!

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Thank you KellyRisse, that is a very useful point and has helped me a lot. I decided to order the Armour from USA where I can buy without a prescription, but I will certainly try taking both at same time and monitor the bloods through my GP. (Previously I thought it should be either/or). Jan

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Putz we maybe but we also know exactly how we feel. If you body went from productive, active and livable to fogged, slugglish and unable to function over years of using a drug why keep taking the poison if you have a chance to change how you feel and get a livable existence again. Your little sarcasism is not appreciated by people that have suffered for years under Synthroid just because we at least want to try something that may improve our conditioned. Nothing beats failure but a try.

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I don't normally reply to these sites but felt the need. I'm a scientist, so have a lot of resources available to figure out the chemistry of drugs. I've had to use this knowledge because I too have lost half my thyroid. I was put on levothyroxine, and felt sooo sooo bad. Then went on Armour, felt great for about a week but then noticed I was overheating with temp nearly heading to 100C ear temp.

I wanted to know why L-thyroxine wasn't working for me and I looked at the chemistry. Our body thyroxine has a -COOH group and levothyroxine has a -COONa, whilst the H and Na group appear not to be such a big issue, the H makes the drug and acid, low pH and the Na makes it a base, higher pH. Converting enzymes in the body are not stupid they like their substrate to be right, and pH is a major factor. For those pharma persons who would try to say that the two can interconvert, they should know that it's not so straightforward. This is mainly for scientists: In biology we use a less complex chemical as biological buffers, acetic acid (-COOH) and sodium acetate (-COONa), one is an acid and the other is a base. We use for example the -COOH to bring down the pH of the -COONa in solution, and visa versa. So potentially one of the reasons why the converting enzymes can't do their job is the substrate isn't right. Some of us have differences in our deiogenases. The Levothyroxine (NaT4) will register the body to drop the TSH, but it's not being converted to T3, not by all.

For me neither Armour nor levothyroxine were good. Armour was better but I developed a breathing hunger and the temperature issue. But I had a eureka moment

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I would like to say that when I was on the 'Levo' I ended up really depressed and felt like the drug was 'pulling me down'. It felt artificial. I got so low that I decided that if I stopped taking it, it wouldn't matter if I went into a 'thyroid-coma'. So I just stopped taking it and felt much better. Of course the TSH(?) result has gone up now so am trying to find a supplier for Armour on the net

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I'm glad I found this community! I am going to start Armour tomorrow. I hope I have a great response like so many of you. I have Hashimotos. I started with Hypothyroidism in my thirtys and have been on Synthroid or Levothyroxine since. I didn't think I had distinct symptoms but now that I read all the messages here, I wonder. I'm 57 now. Through the years I have been put on Cymbalta (depression/anxiety) and still take; collagenous colitis (another auto immune disorder) Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis; of course menopause which of late, I blame all symptoms on...weight gain, mood, low libido, tired all the time...Now I wonder if some of these symptoms are due to the thyroid. I just started seeing a "hormone Dr." She's a trained Ob/Gyn but specializes in hormones in women. She's great to work with and she is suggesting the Armour! I hope to report back with good results. Thanks for the book suggestions too.

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