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megan

Synthroid side effects?

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duck
What exactly is Armour? A pill? I wonder how my dr will react when I ask him about it. lol

 

What foxl said...

 

There are basically four "thyroid hormones": T4 (which is what Synthroid, Levothyroxine and the like are), T3 (which is what "Cytomel" is), T2 and T1. Medical science will tell you your body can make all the T3, T2 and T1 it needs by converting T4 into each of these. I guess my question is, if this is true, why does a healthy Thyroid produce T3, T2 and T1 in addition to T4?

 

Synthroid seems to work *just fine* for some, but for years now I have not been "right". A while ago I suspected it was my diabetes, but my hypothyroid has been around longer and has been much, much more devilish to treat. My labwork is NEVER right. My old docs made me feel like I was the idiot in the equation, that I was doing something wrong. But the more I read about thyroid issues, the more I realize NO ONE has a firm grasp on this problem, mostly because Medical Science seems to think the answer is "take Synthroid and you'll be fine".

 

Anyway, Armour is a dessicated thyroid product from pigs (I think) thyroids...I believe they are the same company as Armour Meats. The claim is since they process the natural thyroid, they also capture all four Thyroid hormones and other factors...Unlike Synthroid which is synthesized T4 only. Cytomel is synthesized T3, and Thyrolar is synthesized T4+T3. Some patients do well on one or the other...But I have never felt right on Synthroid or Levothyroxine, and I intend to discuss this with my endo again when I see him next month.

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nancyadams
Long ago, seemingly in another life, I used to work in a lab where I prepped thyroids!

 

What?? You prepped thyroids? What were you prepping them for? Did the workplace smell bad? I can only imagine.

 

Nancy

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duck
It's from pigs, not cows. :laugh: Yes, it's a pill. From what I've read in the Stop the Thyroid Madness book, it came out in the late 1800's and all thyroid patients were put on it and they all did well. I think I remember my own grandmother on it.

 

In the 1960's, I think, she says that all patients were switched to Synthroid and later all the other brands, and it lost favor. But by the turn of this century, thyroid patients were rediscovering it again, because they felt a lot better on it. I'm definitely one who did, though not until a year ago.

 

As far as your doctor, I had to go through four doctors before I found one who would let me use it. One said it wasn't made. Another said it was inconsistent. Two said Synthroid was better. They were all wrong!! Doctors aren't taught much about it. There's a page on the Stop the Thyroid Madness site that tells you how to find a doctor who will let you get on it. I really recommend the site.

 

Nancy

 

I don't know if that is 100% true...I recall reading one of the reasons why Synthroid was hailed as such a breakthrough was for those patients who reacted badly to porcine products...plus, it would be difficult to take Armour if you practice Kosher practices. ;)

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foxl
What?? You prepped thyroids? What were you prepping them for? Did the workplace smell bad? I can only imagine.

 

Nancy

 

Only a mild odor. Our lab took period "field trips" to the slaughterhouse to obtain them, and froze them in batches. I did not attend the field trips.

 

I handled far worse things than that in my day ...

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Patient254

I've always thought Synthroid was complete rubbish. It's probably no better, but I take Levoxyl and I've done better on it than I ever did on Synthroid. I've thought for years that thyroid is much more complex than what they think - 'oh just take X dose every day for the rest of your life and you're CURED!'

 

I still have many thyroid symptoms even though my numbers are "within specs"

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foxl

Yeah pigs ... small wonder on the kosher aspect, then! That was why I figured on cows in fact.

 

Nancy have you ever read the NEJM article, on use of T3?

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nancyadams
I don't know if that is 100% true...I recall reading one of the reasons why Synthroid was hailed as such a breakthrough was for those patients who reacted badly to porcine products...plus, it would be difficult to take Armour if you practice Kosher practices. ;)

 

Good point about those who practice Kosher. But the history, that is even quoted in one of those pharmaceutical manuals, is that a bad batch of pig thyroid came into the country in the late 1950's or early 60's (can't remember what the sttm book says on that), and the pharmaceutical that made Synthroid took advantage of the hoax and convinced the doctors that it was the next more modern way to treat hypothyroid. There's an old doctor in Canada named Derry who said he remembers the switch, and he remembers that his patients weren't doing as good anymore. I was impressed by that. I remember reading about it right before I made the switch.

 

Nancy

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nancyadams
Nancy have you ever read the NEJM article, on use of T3?

 

hmmm I think I remember reading something about an article that said that adding T3 to T4 had better results? I'm always suspicious of studies because of the pharmaceutical money behind the study, tho. But I will tell you that I was very very impressed when I read about others who got on Armour. And I'm just as impressed on what it did for me. Like I mentioned, I'm now off Wellbrutin and my cholesterol is lower. I feel warmer than I used to (husband complains about it at nighttime. ha) and I am now able to run around the high school track. Couldn't do that when I was on Synthroid. Oh and Armour sure controls my hashi's better. At first, it made it worse, but I rose faster to overcome that and then seemed to hit a sweet spot with it.

 

Nancy

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foxl
What foxl said...

 

There are basically four "thyroid hormones": T4 (which is what Synthroid, Levothyroxine and the like are), T3 (which is what "Cytomel" is), T2 and T1. Medical science will tell you your body can make all the T3, T2 and T1 it needs by converting T4 into each of these. I guess my question is, if this is true, why does a healthy Thyroid produce T3, T2 and T1 in addition to T4?

 

 

Anyway, Armour is a dessicated thyroid product from pigs (I think) thyroids...I believe they are the same company as Armour Meats. The claim is since they process the natural thyroid, they also capture all four Thyroid hormones and other factors...Unlike Synthroid which is synthesized T4 only. Cytomel is synthesized T3, and Thyrolar is synthesized T4+T3. Some patients do well on one or the other...But I have never felt right on Synthroid or Levothyroxine, and I intend to discuss this with my endo again when I see him next month.

 

 

Of course they are the same co. and they are making a killing :D (I just liked the pun -- I am sure it is cheap!) selling what otherwise would be thrown away. Thyroids cannot be used as food.

 

Duck, there is also RT3 ... where one of the iodines is attached differently; it has an impact on function too. But as I recall it does not enter cells ... or something. Long time ago. Anyhow as far as what is produced, in my day, T1 and T2 and RT3 were considered casual by-products of the production process. Kinda like appendixes and tonsils used to be considered. And wisdom teeth. ;)

 

I have not stayed current on that stuff, so it could be the research has now demonstrated that they DO each have unique functions.

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duck
I've always thought Synthroid was complete rubbish. It's probably no better, but I take Levoxyl and I've done better on it than I ever did on Synthroid. I've thought for years that thyroid is much more complex than what they think - 'oh just take X dose every day for the rest of your life and you're CURED!'

 

I still have many thyroid symptoms even though my numbers are "within specs"

 

You might want to look into one of the dessicated thyroid alternatives...if you can convince a doctor to prescribe one. Most docs are brainwashed by Big Pharma that Synthroid is all you need, and any other symptoms are because you obviously need some more meds for some other affliction you are suffering from.

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nancyadams
I still have many thyroid symptoms even though my numbers are "within specs"

 

You're writing my book there. I had depression, weight gain, and cholesterol of 230 eventually. I felt a lot colder than others. My family doctor kept telling me that Synthroid was the best treatment out there. Bull. I also tried Levoxyl and I think unithroid but got similar results.

 

Nancy

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duck
Of course they are the same co. and they are making a killing :D (I just liked the pun -- I am sure it is cheap!) selling what otherwise would be thrown away. Thyroids cannot be used as food.

 

Duck, there is also RT3 ... where one of the iodines is attached differently; it has an impact on function too. But as I recall it does not enter cells ... or something. Long time ago. Anyhow as far as what is produced, in my day, T1 and T2 and RT3 were considered casual by-products of the production process. Kinda like appendixes and tonsils used to be considered. And wisdom teeth. ;)

 

I have not stayed current on that stuff, so it could be the research has now demonstrated that they DO each have unique functions.

 

I know we are supposed to worship at the ALL KNOWING ALTAR OF MEDICAL SCIENCE. But as diabetics we see firsthand how little Medical Science really knows, and me personally as a hypothyroid sufferer, I FEEL how little Medical Science knows about thyroid function. There is something missing in what they are pushing on "us", but don't try and question them, they are all-knowing and we are imbeciles who should just listen.

 

"...they are making a killing..." :D I laughed.

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nancyadams
You might want to look into one of the dessicated thyroid alternatives...if you can convince a doctor to prescribe one. Most docs are brainwashed by Big Pharma that Synthroid is all you need, and any other symptoms are because you obviously need some more meds for some other affliction you are suffering from.

 

Duck is so right about brainwashing. Doctors are suckers. There's a lot on the web now about statins as well and how bad they are. But doctors dispense them like candy.

 

Here's a page about the different desiccated pills: Armour vs. Other Brands | Stop The Thyroid Madness

 

Nancy

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Jan B
You're writing my book there. I had depression, weight gain, and cholesterol of 230 eventually. I felt a lot colder than others. My family doctor kept telling me that Synthroid was the best treatment out there. Bull. I also tried Levoxyl and I think unithroid but got similar results.

 

Nancy

 

Nancy, I'm glad you came along. I'll be looking much closer now into my own thyroid treatment. I've been on Synthroid for probably 15 years now. Weight and cholesterol, not a problem, but the depression and increasing blood pressure ARE concerns of mine. I'm on what many would consider a high dosage of Zoloft, but the low level depression remains. I have a good relationship with my doctor - he listens and shares and loves that I also learn and challenge him. I will talk about Armour and listen to what he says.

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RobinP
My TSH was all over the map because I have hashimotos. I'd twist his arm into testing your free T3. :cool: From the Stop the Thyroid Madness site, I sure learned how important it is. It also has a page that helps you interpret your lab results. I think it's called "lab values" or something like that. The bad thing about being on synthroid is that we can never really get the most important thyroid hormone (free T3) high enough to remove all our symptoms. And like doctors did with me, they will then cover up your continuing symptoms with antidepressants. I was on Wellbrutin. They almost put me on a statin. But when I switched to armour, my cholesterol fell to a nice 175. :D And I got off the antidepressant. :D Ok, getting off my soapbox now.

 

Nancy

 

That's what I'm afraid he'll do with me. Put me on anti depressants. I've had a rough past couple of days with the depression. Still not feeling great today. It's weird. I'm not depressed all the time and as fast as it hits me, it'll lift and be gone. Could be my other hormones too.

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zoelula

Hi

I'm new to this board so I'm not sure how to direct my rely specifically to foxl. I notice you said you were hypothyroid for many years before you were diagnosed as diabetic. This is my case as well, though I was hyperthyroid, had my thyroid destroyed by radiation and now take replacement meds.

 

Many people seem to have the reverse situation: diabetes leading to thyroid disease. Since yours was like mine I'm wondering if you had any trouble stabilizing your diabetes due to your thyroid? I am having a heck of a time with that so I wondered if you (or anyone) have any insight on diabetes management regimens that compensate for thyroid.

 

I may post this as a separate question as well.

Thanks.

Zoe

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duck

Zoe, I was diagnosed with hypthyroid in 1987 at the age of 14 (I was probably hypo for a couple years prior, but undiagnosed), and then diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1990...It sort of pisses me off a bit because after being diagnosed with Type 1, my dad told me "The doctors warned us* this could happen"...*"Us" being him and my mom--but not ME. What the *bleep*?

 

Anyway, I think thyroid management is harder and less understood than diabetes management. And trust me, I don't think the world understands diabetes management!

 

To that end, what thyroid meds are you on? How much? When do you take them?

 

I would advise the same thing I advise for everyone: take your meds at the same time EVERY day, and the exact same way. If you take it with milk, ALWAYS take it with milk. If you take it with water, ALWAYS take it with water. If you want to take the meds upon waking, always do that. Before bed? Always do that.

 

Personally, I took my Levothyroxine first thing as soon as I woke up, with water, before my shower. That gave me at least half an hour's worth of non-interference for the the Levo to be absorbed. Levo and all T4 drugs don't like competition from other nutrients. And yes, it affected my blood sugars by making them go up. I've had doctors tell me to my face that isn't true, but come on, I'm on CGMS now. I know. I considered trying to take my meds later in the afternoon, but that would be too hectic for me and I know I would forget. So I just dealt with it by bolusing for my Levo, if you can believe that.

 

Now I'm back on Armour (since monday) so I am back at square one figuring this stuff out. But try and get into a regimen with your thyroid med(s) and it should help make some sense of what you need to do moving forward.

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zoelula

Thanks for your reply, Duck. I take Synthroid 100 mcg. Actually it isn't my thyroid I'm struggling with. That got out pushed out of whack by the diabetes (after being stable for 13 years) but now is fine. It's my diabetes. My blood sugar was under control with oral meds for only a year and a half when my numbers started climbing and I realized I was becoming insulin deficient. Now we are having a **** of a time getting my numbers down without making me hypoglycemic. (I am on Lantus and my doctor added Apidra short acting to handle my post prandial peaks and I had a bad hypoglycemic reaction.) Now we are trying the Lantus at bedtime and adding Glucobay.

 

I suspect it is because of my thyroid situation that I am having so much trouble getting my numbers stable.

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brendersue

Hi Doug, noticed your signature comment on Smiths-Med. I had a Cozmo and it was OK, even if it was ugly and looked like a kids toy phone! LOL. I changed over to an Animas 2020 and found it much MUCH easier to read (sight gets blurry when bg is high - when you most need to SEE your screen!) and I just found it was more infinitely tweakable and since I needed such TEENY TINY doses, it was ideal for me! It's been 9 months since kissing insulin goodbye and I still hesitate to try on pants in the store because of the hassle of pump tubing... LOL. Anyway, look into Animas if it interests you (and if that's what you were referring to)

BTW, I've been taking Levothyroxine for about 12 years. Also was cold and out of energy all the time. When I had my transplant, I was no longer cold, no longer tired and my Synth was changed from 112 mcg to 100 mcg.

Aside from occasional hypos due to hormonal cycles, I feel like a new person. too cool.

I also dabbled in some "all natural" stuff one time and really mucked up everything. My doc never said a word, but I knew what he was thinking. I just don't take anything my docs don't approve of and/or fully understand. He also will not prescribe meds until they have been on the market for at least 7 years - which I appreciate.

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foxl
Hi

I'm new to this board so I'm not sure how to direct my rely specifically to foxl. I notice you said you were hypothyroid for many years before you were diagnosed as diabetic. This is my case as well, though I was hyperthyroid, had my thyroid destroyed by radiation and now take replacement meds.

 

Many people seem to have the reverse situation: diabetes leading to thyroid disease. Since yours was like mine I'm wondering if you had any trouble stabilizing your diabetes due to your thyroid? I am having a heck of a time with that so I wondered if you (or anyone) have any insight on diabetes management regimens that compensate for thyroid.

 

I may post this as a separate question as well.

Thanks.

Zoe

 

Zoe, I would love to say I AM stable, but I consider my BS to be a work in progress, still! The thing that got to me about it was, my TSH shot up at the same time as my BS ... what does that tell you? Yet, no GAD testing??? Just does not seem right.

 

Thingi s, right now if there is a 10% chance of a woman having throid DZ, and a 10% chance of D (roughly) -- what are the odds of having both. I think the combination is still more frequent that expected, but not sure quite how significant it is ... my doc just says, "It's ALL related."

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zoelula

From what I understand, Linda, the chances of having one if you have the other are much greater. (I don't have the exact numbers).

 

I had been stable on 137 mcg of Synthroid for 13 years when I was diagnosed with diabetes. My TSH then went to .087. I had my synthroid reduced to 100 mcg and am now fine. One of the reasons I posted on this topic initially was because I wondered if my thyroid was the reason I was having so much trouble stabilizing on insulin. But everything I read said that if you are hyper or hypo it would make diabetes difficult to manage. So I figured I was neither now and so that wasn't the problem. That's what got me started thinking of type.

 

As for stability, hey, you got your A1C down from 12% to 6.5 in 2 months...that is awesome!

Zoe

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foxl

More like 3 months, really ... and I am working HARD at it.

 

It may be perceptual that I am not regulated, b/c I work around non-compliant type-2's who NEVER test, never work out, and eat whatever they feel like.

 

So, perhaps it is that that is what my perception of living with Type 2 was, before dx.

 

Interesting that your TSH went DOWN at dx, and mine went way UP! I guess that is the "storm" nature of hashimoto's?

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zoelula

All this "down" and "up" can be a bit confusing with TSH. I became very hyperthyroid and it sounds like you became very hypothyroid? Perhaps there is some logic in that we returned to our original tendencies? (I have nothing to back that up, just a thought). I don't have hashimoto's. I have (or had) grave's disease.

 

As far as perceptions, maybe you need to give yourself credit for all the good work you are doing and the success you are having? I was feeling that my insulin treatment was not working at all and then someone asked me about my numbers right before I started insulin in February. I pulled out my logbook and was astonished at how much higher they were and how much better now. Not sure I get much credit for that other than having the sense to go on insulin which I should have done months before!

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foxl
All this "down" and "up" can be a bit confusing with TSH. I became very hyperthyroid and it sounds like you became very hypothyroid? Perhaps there is some logic in that we returned to our original tendencies? (I have nothing to back that up, just a thought). I don't have hashimoto's. I have (or had) grave's disease.

 

As far as perceptions, maybe you need to give yourself credit for all the good work you are doing and the success you are having? I was feeling that my insulin treatment was not working at all and then someone asked me about my numbers right before I started insulin in February. I pulled out my logbook and was astonished at how much higher they were and how much better now. Not sure I get much credit for that other than having the sense to go on insulin which I should have done months before!

 

Well, I do keep my old notebooks! For just that reason. I reflect on my numbers. I need some graph paper so I can present number to MD that way ... I had an online acct but lsot my password and now it recognizes my email and rejects me and no way to change password. :-P AMATEURS.

 

Ah, Grave's and Hashimoto's = different antibodies. Apparently then we BOTH had increased autoimmune reactions at diagnosis. Makes perfectly good sense viewed in that light, eh?

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zoelula

 

Ah, Grave's and Hashimoto's = different antibodies. Apparently then we BOTH had increased autoimmune reactions at diagnosis. Makes perfectly good sense viewed in that light, eh?

 

Yep! Do you think we could get an honorary medical degree for all this thinking? Especially some of the people on here that have been figuring it all out for 20-30 years!

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