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Armor Thyroid And Weight Loss

Thyroid Medications And Weight Loss

5 Reasons Armour thyroid Isn’t Helping you with Weight Loss

It can be challenging to lose weight when you have hypothyroidism, and your thyroid medications may have something to do with it.

Getting the dose just right is critical, as is the timing of when you take it. In some cases, you may need to supplement with another medication.

For the sake of your overall health, as well as your weight-loss efforts, it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to get the most out of thyroid hormone therapy.

Virojt Changyencham / Getty Images

What Are The Side Effects Of Taking Armour Thyroid

The levels of hormones in the body can influence a wide variety of bodily activities, which can lead to potential imbalances. Hormones can affect mood, energy level, sleep, digestion, sexual function, and more. If youre experiencing any of the following symptoms and are unsure why, it may be because of an imbalance in your hormone levels.

If you are currently on Armour Thyroid, you should make an appointment with your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Failure of the appetite
  • Swelling of the limbs

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Read Also: Thyroid Cancer Spread To Lymph Nodes Survival Rate

Is There A Best Thyroid Medication

One question that thyroid patients often ask is this:

Am I on the best thyroid medication or which is the best thyroid medication?

They ask because oftentimes they arent feeling well on their current medication and they believe that switching medications may be the answer.

They also tend to hear stories about others who have done well on other medications so naturally, they are curious.

But is there really a best thyroid medication?

The short answer is no.

Instead of asking that question, its better to ask this question:

This is a much better question to ask and may actually help you on your journey to feel better.

The current standard of care is to use the medication Synthroid to treat all patients with low thyroid function.

The problem is that not all patients respond very well to this medication which creates a unique situation

One in which some patients have switched to taking other medications and report dramatic results.

So with this in mind lets talk about some of the other options that are available for thyroid medications such as Armour Thyroid and when you should consider switching to this medication.

Armour Thyroid Vs Levothyroxine & Synthroid


I mentioned that Armour thyroid is unique among thyroid medications so let me explain a little bit further here.

Armour thyroid is ranked among a class of thyroid medications known as Natural Desiccated thyroid medications.

These medications are created by desiccating up the thyroid glands of certain animals in this case, pigs.

Pharmaceutical companies then encapsulate the desiccated pig thyroid gland and standardize the hormones in each capsule and humans then take it.

I know it sounds weird but it works incredibly well for several reasons:

#1. It contains the ACTIVE and INACTIVE thyroid hormones Both T3 and T4

When your thyroid is functioning at 100% it naturally produces 2 thyroid hormones each and every day.

Normally you wouldnt think twice about this, but it matters when you take thyroid medication.


Because the conventional treatment for patients with hypothyroidism is to supplement with only the inactive thyroid hormone T4.

Physicians, such as endocrinologists, give patients T4 only thyroid medications because they assume that each patient will be able to perfectly convert the inactive thyroid hormone T4 into the active thyroid hormone T3.

This may work for many patients but it absolutely does not work for everyone!

In fact, it has been estimated that at least up to 15% of patients may have trouble tolerating T4-only medications and they manifest this trouble with low serum T3 levels despite a normal TSH.

This is just thyroid physiology 101 .

Recommended Reading: Why Are My Thyroid Levels High

Why Choose Armour Thyroid Over Other Thyroid Medications

As mentioned before, Armour Thyroid is a naturally derived prescription medication, which some patients find preferable over laboratory-created artificial hormone replacers.

Additionally, it is estimated that up to 15% of hypothyroid patients have difficulty tolerating thyroid replacement drugs that only deliver the T4 hormone, such as Synthroid or Cytomel .

These are generally patients whose bodies may not be capable of converting T4 into T3 at rates high enough to maintain a proper balance between the two hormones.

Armour Thyroid also tends to produce fewer side effects in patients. Unless you are experiencing an allergic reaction to Armour Thyroid , the most likely side effect would be a temporary hair loss that will self-correct over time.

Comparatively, synthetic hormone replacers like Synthroid can cause side effects such as fever/ sensitivity to heat, irritability, headaches, nausea, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, and changes in menstrual cycles.

Like any other thyroid replacement medication, Armour Thyroid is a prescription that needs to be carefully monitored by your doctor to ensure that you are receiving the correct dosage for your own unique needs.

That being said, Armour Thyroid is a great choice for patients who have been taking T4 replacement medications and are still experiencing hypothyroid symptoms like low T3 levels, weight gain, or menstrual/ infertility problems.

Is Armour Thyroid Better Because Its Natural

Many holistic blogs claim that desiccated thyroid extract is superior because its natural.

However, all of these products contain synthetic fillers to hold the pill together, meaning they are never 100% natural .

Because synthetic T4 and T3 are biologically identical to the natural hormones, they produce exactly the same actions within the body .

The only difference is that Armour Thyroid also contains calcitonin, T1 and T2, which may be biologically active .

However, there does not appear to be any evidence that they produce any significant effect in these amounts.

Summary: Synthetic thyroid hormones are biologically identical to animal hormones and will produce the same effects. No pills are 100% natural all contain synthetic fillers regardless.

Read Also: What Percentage Of Calcified Thyroid Nodules Are Cancerous

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When & How To Take Your Medicine

WP Thyroid Weight Loss: 55 pounds over 6 months with Before/After pictures

For best results, you will want to make sure that you are taking your medication correctly.

Failing to take your medication correctly can cause all sorts of issues and may reduce the total effectiveness of your dose of medication and, in some cases, can render it completely ineffective.

When you go pick up your medication you are usually given instructions by the pharmacist to ‘take your medication on an empty stomach first thing in the morning’.

This holds true for ALL thyroid medications including Armour thyroid.

And the reason is simple:

Taking your thyroid medication with food has been shown in studies to reduce its absorption .

This means that instead of entering into your blood it is exiting your body in your stool!

In addition, you also want to avoid taking your medication with coffee which can also reduce its absorption.

Other items that interfere with thyroid medication include all supplements but especially supplements which contain calcium and/or iron .

These two are notorious for binding to and inactivating thyroid hormone before it enters into your body.

I typically recommend that you wait at least 30 to 60 minutes after taking your thyroid medication before you use thyroid supplements, but you’ll want to extend that out to 3-4 hours if you are taking iron or calcium.

You don’t always have to take your medication first thing in the morning as studies have shown that even taking your medication at night is effective .

Also Check: Where To Get Your Thyroid Checked

How To Tell If Your Dose Is Too High

Another issue to watch out for is accidental overdosing of your medication.

Believe it or not, this can happen either accidentally or intentionally and is probably more common than people realize.

But it is something that you want to avoid because overdosing on your thyroid medication can lead to long-term consequences if you aren’t careful.

Some patients have been chronically underdosed with standard T4 medications for many years and, when they finally feel better on Armour thyroid, may think that they need more medication than they really do.

Persistent hypothyroidism can cause a range of issues including hormone imbalances that may not be corrected even when taking the appropriate dose of medication.

This can lead patients to take ever-increasing amounts of Armour thyroid in hopes of fixing these problems.

But the reality is that taking these high doses is not helpful and may be harmful.

You can read more about the dangers of taking too much medication in this post here.

So, how do you tell if your dose is too high?

You can use the combination of your lab tests and your symptoms.

If your dose is too high you will experience symptoms which include heart palpitations which do not decrease over time, flushing, headaches, sweating, weight loss, fatigue, and hair loss.

In addition, you will most likely find that your TSH is suppressed and your free T3 is high .

Thyroid Patients: Are You Overmedicated

by Patient Advocate

Are you hypothyroid and taking a thyroid hormone replacement drug like levothyroxine , liothyronine , or natural desiccated thyroid ? If so, there’s a strong likelihood that at some point you will become overmedicated. How do you end up getting overmedicated and what are the signs, symptoms, and treatment for overmedication? Let’s take a look.

Also Check: What Are Some Thyroid Medications

Armour Thyroid Helped Ease Depression:

Q. I have taken Armour Thyroid for 15 years. Prior to that, I struggled desperately with clinical depression. Besides that, I couldnt lose excess weight.

Two weeks after starting Armour, my depression lifted. I lost 30 pounds over a couple of months with no change in diet.

It was a struggle to get and stay on Armour over the years, as physicians resisted natural medicine. However, I do not want to go back to being so depressed. I view that as life threatening.

Do doctors take hypothyroidism seriously? I dont think so. When I was diagnosed, I received a phone call: get this Rx and take it for the rest of your life. The physicians office did not offer me any chance to discuss this chronic condition just pop a pill and go away.

A. Levothyroxine is the standard treatment for people whose thyroid glands do not produce enough hormone. In most cases, people convert this hormone to the active form pretty well. But we have been hearing for years from some readers who say they dont feel good on levothyroxine alone.

Now research corroborates their reports. Scientists presented findings from a randomized controlled trial at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society. In their research, 75 people took levothyroxine, combination therapy or desiccated thyroid extract for three months each. Nearly half of them preferred the natural thyroid gland extract. The study was very similar to one the scientists conducted earlier and produced very similar results .

What Is Overmedication

Armour Thyroid 180MG (3 Grain) Tablets

Overmedication means that you are suffering symptoms as a result of taking too much thyroid hormone replacement medication. This may be supported by blood tests that show your thyroid stimulating hormone level is suppressed, or in the low end of the reference range, i.e., below 0.5. Your free thyroxine and free triiodothyronine may also be elevated, or on the high end of the reference range. usually although when overmedicated, you may have symptoms like fatigue or weight gain that are more commonly associated with hypothyroidism.

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Finding The Right Dose

It’s important that you take the right amount of Synthroid or another thyroid hormone replacement drug. Some healthcare providers may prescribe only enough medication to get your thyroid-stimulating hormone level into the upper end of the reference range, close to the cutoff for hypothyroidism.

This may not be enough to resolve your symptoms or optimize your metabolism. Many thyroid patients and healthcare providers find that a TSH level below 2.0 is optimal for resolution of symptoms. This is also the optimal level for women of reproductive age. If your TSH is at the higher end of the reference range, talk to your healthcare provider about increasing your dosage of thyroid medication.

If you’re hypothyroid and need to lose weight, talk to your healthcare provider to make sure you’re on the right dose of the right drug and are taking it at the right time. With some fine-tuning of your treatment, your weight-loss efforts should begin to pay off.

What Is The Treatment For Overmedication

The treatment for overmedication is clear: Your healthcare practitioner will reduce your dosage of thyroid hormone replacement medication. You should also review and discuss any medications, vitamins, or supplements that may be affecting your thyroid, and determine whether to continue taking them.

After a dosage decrease, make sure that you are frequently tested until your overmedicated state is resolved and . Once stabilized, you can return to your regular schedule of monitoring your thyroid levels.

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Armour Thyroid & Weight Loss: How It May Occur

Armour Thyroid is a porcine-derived thyroid hormone replacement commonly administered as a treatment for hypothyroidism. In addition, it is regularly prescribed as an intervention for goiters , nodular thyroid disease, and thyroid cancer due to the fact that it is capable of reducing TSH concentrations. Unlike synthetically engineered thyroid hormones such as synthroid , Armour Thyroid is considered completely natural.

It is comprised of both T4 and T3 and is extracted directly from porcine thyroid glands as a result, it emits a noticeably pungent odor. Although Armour Thyroid has never been approved by the FDA, some patients prefer it over synthetic hormone replacement options for its favorable tolerability and side effect profile. That said, one noticeable side effect that can occur among those taking Armour Thyroid is weight loss.

In most cases, the weight loss experienced among Armour Thyroid users results from a reversal of untreated hypothyroidism. Correcting deficiencies of T4 and T3 , while simultaneously reducing TSH tends to increase basal metabolic rate . For this reason, many Armour Thyroid users may notice that they lose weight throughout their treatment.

How Should I Take It

Armour thyroid – 10 things you should know BEFORE using it

Armour Thyroid is typically taken orally once daily. The dosage requirements are usually individualized based on patient needs. Dosage is usually low at the beginning of treatment so that your body can become accustomed to it.

If youve accidentally missed a pill, do not take two pills at once. Just continue with your medication normally.

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Armour Thyroid Vs Other Brands Of Ndt

Armour thyroid falls into a class of drugs known as NDT.

NDT stands for natural desiccated thyroid and drugs in this class are all similar but differ in their inactive ingredients.

Armour thyroid is the original formulation of NDT but there are many other medications including WP thyroid, Nature-throid, NP thyroid, and more.

Each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Because of this, it’s important that you are at least aware of these other brands of medications.


Because it’s possible that while you may not necessarily tolerate one formulation of NDT it doesn’t mean you won’t tolerate them all.

I’ve seen many patients who don’t tolerate Armour thyroid but do tolerate Nature-throid and vice versa.

Don’t give up on NDT medications if you experience a small reaction during your transition to Armour or when you first start it.

Instead, take note of your symptoms, try to determine what is causing them, and make changes as appropriate.

You may find that your problems are dose-related, medication-specific, or related to your sensitivities.

All of these issues can be overcome with careful consideration.

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