Interactions With Other Medications
ArmourÂ® Thyroid medication may have adverse reactions with certain other medicines. If you and your doctor are considering r doctor is considering ArmourÂ® to treat your hypothyroidism, let them know about any prescription or nonprescription drugs or supplements that you take regularly.
Anticoagulants are medicines that help prevent blood clots. Taking thyroid hormones may impact vitamin K-dependent clotting factors. If you start on ArmourÂ® Thyroid, you may want to talk to your doctor about reducing your anticoagulant dosage.
Insulin or oral hypoglycemics
Insulin is a protein hormone used to treat high blood glucose found in certain types of diabetes. Similarly, oral hypoglycemic drugs help treat type 2 diabetes. Starting thyroid hormone replacement therapy may require adjustments in insulin or oral hypoglycemic requirements.
Cholestyramine or colestipol
Cholestyramine and Colestipol are medications used to lower high cholesterol levels in the blood that may bind to T4 and T3 in the intestine, which may impair these hormones’ absorption. You should wait four to five hours between taking cholestyramine or colestipol and your thyroid hormone medication.
Estrogen or oral contraceptives
Estrogens may increase thyroxine-binding globulin , one of three transport proteins responsible for carrying the thyroid hormones in the bloodstream. Your doctor may need to adjust your thyroid dosage if you also take estrogens or estrogen-containing oral contraceptives.
Indications And Usage For Armour Thyroid
Armour® Thyroid tablets are indicated:
1. As replacement or supplemental therapy in patients with hypothyroidism of any etiology, except transient hypothyroidism during the recovery phase of subacute thyroiditis. This category includes cretinism, myxedema, and ordinary hypothyroidism in patients of any age , or state primary hypothyroidism resulting from functional deficiency, primary atrophy, partial or total absence of thyroid gland, or the effects of surgery, radiation, or drugs, with or without the presence of goiter and secondary , or tertiary hypothyroidism .
2. As pituitary TSH suppressants, in the treatment or prevention of various types of euthyroid goiters, including thyroid nodules, subacute or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis , multinodular goiter, and in the management of thyroid cancer.
Thyroid hormone preparations are generally contraindicated in patients with diagnosed but as yet uncorrected adrenal cortical insufficiency, untreated thyrotoxicosis, and apparent hypersensitivity to any of their active or extraneous constituents. There is no well-documented evidence from the literature, however, of true allergic or idiosyncratic reactions to thyroid hormone.
What Is Hypothyroidism And How Is It Treated
Armour Thyroid and Synthroid are medications used to treat hypothyroidism.
In this condition, the thyroid gland is underactive, meaning insufficient amounts of thyroid hormones are produced.
Three main hormones are measured to determine if the thyroid is functioning properly: thyroid stimulating hormone , Thyroxine and, in certain circumstances, triiodothyronine .
Its important to remember that the thyroid gland produces mainly T4, even though the active hormone is T3. An enzyme in the body converts T4 into T3 when needed.
Currently, there is no cure for hypothyroidism and, in most cases, medication will need to be taken for life.
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Armour Thyroid Dosage And Administration
The dosage of thyroid hormones is determined by the indication and must in every case be individualized according to patient response and laboratory findings.
Thyroid hormones are given orally. In acute, emergency conditions, injectable levothyroxine sodium may be given intravenously when oral administration is not feasible or desirable, as in the treatment of myxedema coma, or during total parenteral nutrition. Intramuscular administration is not advisable because of reported poor absorption.
What Is Armour Thyroid
The thyroid gland produces two hormones: thyroxine and triiodothyronine . In a healthy thyroid gland, the inactive T4 hormone is released into circulation and then converted by the body into the active T3 hormone. Your thyroid gland produces up to 15 times more T4 than T3, and cells throughout your body then converts T4 to T3 for use. Traditionally, the treatment for hypothyroidism is to replace T4 alone. However, some people have difficulty converting T4 to T3.
ArmourÂ® Thyroid is the most common T4/T3 combination treatment. It is a brand-name of natural desiccated thyroid. Natural desiccated thyroid is a natural preparation derived from the dried thyroid glands of pigs. ArmourÂ® Thyroid contains both T4 and T3. Pigs produce T4 to T3 at a 4:1 ratio, which is higher than the human proportion of 14:1. The hormones contained in this natural preparation are absorbed similarly to synthetic hormones.
Desiccated animal thyroid was the most common form of thyroid therapy before discovering the individual active thyroid hormones. This medication is not currently FDA-approved because there is no evidence that NDT has an advantage over synthetic T4. Some patients love ArmourÂ® Thyroid, while others feel better with an alternate option. As always, it’s essential to work with your doctor to find the right treatment for you.
Fillers in ArmourÂ® include cornstarch.
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Do Some People Feel Better On Armour Thyroid
Anecdotal reports claim Armour Thyroid leads to increased feelings of wellness and reduced symptoms as compared to Synthroid.
Studies suggest up to 15% of people with hypothyroidism dont see complete improvement on Synthroid .
In a double-blinded study of 70 participants, those taking Armour Thyroid lost nearly three pounds more than those taking Synthroid. Also, 49% of participants said they preferred Armour Thyroid based on improvements in symptoms and mental wellbeing .
However, this is only one study of many.
Its possible a small percentage of people feel better with Armour Thyroid because of the T3 component. This may have to do with genetics.
Some people with specific genetic mutations may not be able to either convert T4 into T3 or transport T3 in and out of cells from the blood. Blood tests do not always accurately reflect the levels of T3 inside tissues such as the brain and liver .
This means people may still experience the side effects of hypothyroidism, yet appear to have blood levels of T3, T4 and TSH within the normal ranges.
Summary: Some people claim to feel better when using Armour Thyroid, but there is limited evidence supporting this opinion. Its possible increased feelings of wellbeing could be attributed to low T3 levels.
Natural Alternatives To Levothyroxine
The natural alternative to levothyroxine is a natural desiccated thyroid extract from animal sources. Armour Thyroid contains a natural form of thyroid hormone that comes directly from the thyroid gland of pigs. Certain vitamins and supplements are natural options that may help manage hypothyroidism. A healthy lifestyle that includes the right diet can also help support the thyroid gland and healthy thyroid hormone levels.
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What Is Armour Thyroid Medication
The thyroid is a small gland at the base of your neck that produces hormones to regulate your body’s energy use. Hypothyroidism is the condition of your thyroid gland not being able to produce enough thyroid hormones. It is treatable in most people with thyroid hormone replacement medication and lifestyle modifications.
Read on to learn more about Armour, how it works, and how to get an Armour prescription online.
How To Talk To Your Healthcare Provider About Dte
If you’re being treated for hypothyroidism with levothyroxine alone and you still have symptoms of persistent hypothyroidism, talk to your healthcare provider about the possibility of trying DTE. Though it has been in use for more than 100 years, DTE is still somewhat controversial and it can be a challenge to find healthcare providers who will prescribe it. Most healthcare providers today were taught in medical school that levothyroxine is the only acceptable option for treating hypothyroidism.
Thyroid Disease Doctor Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next doctor’s appointment to help you ask the right questions.
Along with that, many healthcare providers aren’t aware that DTE is still available or that it can be used safely to treat some hypothyroid patients. Some believe that prescribing DTE is difficult. These ideas are unfortunately reinforced by negative opinions from levothyroxine sales representatives, unfounded rumors that DTE is going off the market, and other anecdotal information.
Let your healthcare provider know that you’ve done your homework on DTE and that recent studies have shown that it can be very beneficial for people who aren’t doing well on levothyroxine. Though, in 2012, the American Thyroid Association said that DTE should not be used to treat hypothyroidism, it conceded in its 2014 recommendations that some people respond well to DTE or a combination of synthetic T4/T3 therapy.
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How Is The Diagnosis Of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Made
The diagnosis of Hashimotos thyroiditis may be made when patients present with symptoms of hypothyroidism, often accompanied by a goiter on physical examination, and laboratory testing of hypothyroidism, which is an elevated thyroid stimulating hormone with or without a low thyroid hormone levels. TPO antibody, when measured, is usually elevated.
Occasionally, the disease may be diagnosed early, especially in people with a strong family history of thyroid disease. TPO antibody may be positive, but thyroid hormone levels may be normal or there may only be isolated mild elevation of serum TSH is seen. Symptoms of hypothyroidism may be absent.
Levothyroxine Alternatives: What Can I Take Instead Of Levothyroxine
Levothyroxine is a generic thyroid hormone medication used to treat an underactive thyroid . It is also approved for thyroid-stimulating hormone suppression, which aids in treating certain types of goiters and thyroid cancer. Levothyroxine can be used along with surgery and radioiodine therapy to manage thyrotropin-dependent thyroid cancer. While levothyroxine is a commonly prescribed thyroid hormone medication, some people prefer to use an alternative thyroid medication.
You may have an allergy to the ingredients in levothyroxine or you may find that levothyroxine is just not working for you. If you and your healthcare provider have decided levothyroxine is not right for you, you may be recommended a levothyroxine alternative, such as Armour Thyroid. You should not use an alternative medication without consulting your healthcare provider first.
Continue reading to learn more about levothyroxine alternatives, their possible side effects, and other important information.
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Armour Thyroid Vs Synthroid: How To Choose Which Is Best For You
The first line of treatment for hypothyroidism should be Synthroid .
This is due to the possible side effects and lack of evidence for the use of either Armour Thyroid or combination therapy. Essentially, T3 given in medication makes regulating blood T3 levels difficult. As a result, acute or chronic side effects may occur.
Synthroid produces more consistent hormone levels and fewer side effects. For the majority of people, Synthroid will correct thyroid hormone levels and symptoms will resolve.
A minority of people may not find symptom relief with Synthroid. In this case, experimental therapy with a combination of synthetic T4 and T3 may be warranted under the supervision of an endocrinologist.
While there are anecdotal reports of Armour Thyroid producing superior results, theres a lack of evidence to support this. It appears that using synthetic T3 is more reliable than using Armour Thyroid.
It should be noted that hypothyroidism associated with thyroid surgery, cancer or pregnancy may require a different treatment plan. The information in this article mainly refers to idiopathic or autoimmune causes of hypothyroid such as Hashimotos disease.
About Eleise Britt
Eleise is a university qualified Nutritionist from Melbourne, Australia.
After studying a Bachelor of Health Science , she later went on to follow her passion for nutrition science and completed a Master of Human Nutrition at Deakin University.
Learn more about her on the About page.
Joe Leech, Dietitian
What Can I Take In Place Of Levothyroxine
Levothyroxine sodium is a generic medication that contains a synthetic form of thyroxine , a natural thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland. The body converts T4 to triiodothyronine , the more active form of the thyroid hormone. Alternatives to levothyroxine include natural and synthetic forms of T4 or T3. Some levothyroxine alternatives contain both T4 and T3.
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Unresolved Root Causes Can Keep Us Symptomatic
One reason we may not have a 100 percent response to levothyroxine is because levothyroxine does not address the underlying root causes of the condition, which can contribute to other remaining symptoms. Ive written extensively about root causes in other articles, and the importance of not just taking medications but working on our overall health through lifestyle changes and root cause medicine, so to keep this article from being a whole nother book, Ill focus on the pharmacology related issues.
T4 To T3 Conversion Issues
An important reason why some individuals may not have a full therapeutic response to T4-only thyroid hormones , can be due to the persons ability to convert T4 to T3, so lets talk more about that.
This is because levothyroxine contains the less-active but longer-acting T4 hormone. The T4 molecule is considered a prohormone, as it is less physiologically active than T3 and needs to be converted to T3, the more active thyroid hormone, by our bodies. T3 is sometimes called our go hormone because it tells our body to boost metabolism, grow hair, and create more energy.
In 2014, Dr. Wilmar Wiersinga, a Dutch endocrinologist and top thyroid researcher, stated that: Impaired psychological well-being, depression or anxiety are observed in 5-10 percent of hypothyroid patients receiving levothyroxine, despite normal TSH levels. Such complaints might hypothetically be related to increased free T4 and decreased free T3 serum concentrations, which result in the abnormally low free T4/free T3 ratios observed in 30 percent of patients on levothyroxine. Evidence is mounting that levothyroxine monotherapy cannot assure a euthyroid state in all tissues simultaneously, and that normal serum TSH levels in patients receiving levothyroxine reflect pituitary euthyroidism alone. In other words, this study suggested that T4-only therapy might not be enough to address the symptoms of hypothyroid patients, especially those related to mental well-being.
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Armour Thyroid Vs Synthroid For Weight Loss
Many people with hypothyroidism have difficulties with weight loss.
Losing weight can often help bring thyroid hormone levels back to normal. This can be achieved with both Synthroid and Armour Thyroid.
As mentioned earlier, a study on 70 people saw greater weight loss in participants taking Armour Thyroid .
However, this was only one single study and these results have yet to be replicated.
Summary: Both Armour Thyroid and Synthroid promote weight loss, which can help bring hormone levels back to normal.
Before Taking This Medicine
Since thyroid hormone occurs naturally in the body, almost anyone can take desiccated thyroid. However, you may not be able to use this medication if you have a thyroid disorder called thyrotoxicosis, or an adrenal gland problem that is not controlled by treatment.
To make sure desiccated thyroid is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease, angina
any type of diabetes or
problems with your adrenal gland.
Desiccated thyroid is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby, but your dose needs may be different during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while taking this medicine.
Small amounts of desiccated thyroid can pass into breast milk, but this is not expected to harm a nursing baby. However, do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
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What Happens If Hashimotos Thyroiditis Is Not Treated
If Hashimotos thyroiditis is left untreated, you may develop more symptoms of the disease. These include the following:
In addition to these symptoms, you may also be at a higher risk of developing other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or psoriasis if Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is left untreated.
Thyroid Hormone Replacement Medications
Levothyroxine is a synthetic thyroid hormone used to treat hypothyroidism, the most common endocrine disease of the thyroid gland.
Levothyroxine is the most commonly prescribed medication for Hashimotos because it has the longest duration of action .
It can be given once a day or twice daily, depending on the doctors instructions.
Another medication used is desiccated thyroid, and it is given to people with no symptoms and is only mildly hypothyroid. The drug helps address low thyroid-stimulating hormone levels.
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Whats The Best Thyroid Medication
One of the most common questions I hear from Hashimotos and hypothyroid patients is, Which thyroid medication is best?
The truth is theres no one right answer because each patient is unique and responds differently to different medications.
The key is to find the medication, or combination of medications, that works best for you and then work with your doctor to make adjustments based on your lab results and progress.
So to help you determine which option is the best for you, lets look at the three main types of thyroid medications and weigh their pros and cons.
Symptoms Of Hashimotos Thyroiditis
The following are the most common symptoms of Hashimotos thyroiditis. However, each person may experience symptoms differently.
Symptoms may include:
Exposure to certain chemicals
Those who are regularly exposed to the following chemicals also have a higher risk of developing Hashimotos thyroiditis:
Exposure to radiation
You also have a higher risk of developing Hashimotos thyroiditis when exposed to radiation. This includes exposure to ionizing radiation in x-rays and gamma rays from medical procedures, accidents, or work-related exposures.
Exposure to non-ionizing radiation, such as electromagnetic fields from power lines, cell phones, and microwave ovens, can also be a risk factor.
Ingesting toxins from the environment or your food and water can also increase your risk of developing the condition. These toxins include the following:
Pesticides, including insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides
Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium
Phenol compounds found in the production of plastics, dyeing, and tanning industries
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