I need some advice on my labs!

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Some background: came off Levo in 2012 and went on Armour, then onto Naturethroid in Aug of 2017. 

08-25-17 TSH 0.27 Low (40-4.50)

T4 Free 0.8 (0.8-1.8) T3 Total 145 (76-181).

10-14-17 TSH 1.40, T4 0.6 Low , T3 162

12-06-18 TSH 1.16, T4 0.7 Low, T3 121

1-27-18 TSH 0.42, T4 .07 Low, T3 163.  Each time my dose was adjusted. Why does my T4 not go up? I feel like crap. Bad enough I have Fibromyalgia and this just makes it worse. I had to beg for my dr to do the whole panel of hormones. I’m thinking on going back to Armour. Still had problems,

But not as bad. Help!

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  • Posted

    Hi Christine, what you’re experiencing is typical and can be expected given the components of the meds.

    Your T4 doesn’t go up because NDT are from pigs (porcine), which have much higher ratio of T3:T4 than humans. So to get your T4 in the center of the range, your T3 will be very high. 

    The accepted belief is that T3 levels are the determinant for controlling the pituitary’s output of TSH. So with NDTs, you would expect to get lower TSH levels “faster”. However, it was my experience that both NDT and levothyroxin caused my TSH to go very low.

    If you go with the levothyroxin, it’s synthetic and causes other problems, but it contains only T4, so then you’re low on T3. So you have the opposite problems as with NDT, but with more side effects. T4 only is preferred between the two by doctors because it’s believed that (high) T4 is less likely to cause heart problems than (high) T3. However, from the many posts here, it’s a tossup as to which has worse side effects on the heart.

    The T3:T4 ratios are  very important and when they vary from naturally occurring ratios, you have problems, anxiety and other side effects. 

    So there’s basically no way any of this stuff (prescription medication) works. If you take a low dose, you don’t swing your natural ratios as much. However, if you REALLY need meds due to advanced disease, the higher dose results in worse imbalances. I think the folks on low doses could probably get by without it, the folks on high doses are destined for severe side effects. 

    Some people have gotten relief from these meds. I found the NDTs to be very helpful but the dose kept going wonky. The Levo had horrible side effects and didn’t work at any dose. 

    Both Armour and Naturethroud contain additives- cornstarch, lactose, dyes, etc. which can worsen immune system problems.

    One of the known side effects of Levo is fibromialgya. 

    You could try ThyroGold, as it’s from cows and has better (T3:T4) ratios, and is natural. I’ve gotten some relief from essential amino acid complex. Both of these are non prescription solutions.

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    • Posted

      I want to thank you for taking your time to write such a detailed explanation! I believe your statement on the Levo, as I felt better being hypo them taking those pills! Yet I kept taking them because my Endo said I had to. When I asked to switch to Armour, he wouldn’t so I found an Endo who would. Only to find out about the lab panels that should be tested when your thyroid is Hypo. I do have Hashimoto’s and it amazes me how these Endo specialty Drs don’t even do their Job! I was on Armour for 5 years and he only tested my T4’s twice. One was 1.0, but TSH Very low - Hyper and another when T4 was low and TSH High - Hypo. The rest, TSH was good. I know I was still symptomatic on Armour, especially Low Basal Temperature, but felt much better then I do now. When I started taking NatureThroid, I had to do it in small amounts, because it was that strong, but I had no pain for a week!!! I thought this was my answer, only to try and get that same result again and never succeed. 

      I am sensitive to additives, etc, so I understand your comments on that comment. I guess I will have to take the one with the lesser side effects. Armour. I did a little research on the Thyro-Gold and I’m not liking what I’m reading and my Dr will never go for that one. May I ask what Do Essential Amino Acid Complex do for you?

      I am really stuck between a rock and a hard place, like a lot of people on this forum. Thx again

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    • Posted

      Amino acids (tyrosine) is the precursor for thyroxin. Your body has a string of reactions whereby iodine attaches to tyrosine, resulting in thyroxin. 

      I use an essential amino acid complex. Plus extra phenylalanine. The reason is that, if you’re low on one amino acid, you’re likely low on all of them. There are a group of amino acids your body cannot produce, so I supplement those. Your body uses these essential amino acids to produce addition amino acids. Amino acids are used theoughout your body for everything from DNA to enzymes that drive the reactions to produce thyroxin to the actual base chemicals that become thyroxin. 

      From a biological perspective, tyrosine is an amino acid your body makes from phenylalanine. Rather than supplement tyrosine, we supplement phenylalanine, since if you’re low on tyrosine, you’re probably low on phenylalanine as well as all the other amino acids derived from phenylalanine.

      It isn’t a perfect solution, but way better than the meds.

      I figure on the meds, the reason they work for a brief time is there’s actually a slim time point when you actually have the correct ratios of T3:T4, as the meds adjust. Then you surpass that perfect zone, as the levels become higher whilst the meds accrue in your system.

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