About Canada, 90% flawed medical research, and is Armour changing?

(Though this post was written in 2010, it’s been updated to the present day and time where needed. Enjoy!)


I recently attended a lecture at a restorative medicine conference (kinda snuck in), and had a wonderful chat with a surgical nurse from Canada who is on Armour and didn’t even know about Erfa–the Canadian version of desiccated thyroid simply called “Thyroid”. She was thrilled to find out about it, but it was shocking to me that she didn’t know about a VERY good desiccated thyroid product right on her turf!

But even more concerning to me was being reminded that Canada has a severe shortage of doctors. Because that means it can be even harder for Canadians than Americans to find a good doctor when it comes to better thyroid treatment. It’s hard enough here: how it must be in Canada is chilling. And even if you do find one–because there are some there–the wait has to be long.

UPDATE: Erfa started to cause problems for patients, which I first reported about twice in 2014, and the most informative post is here. Even into 2016, some patients continued to have problems, but they were lessened.


Yes, according to meta-researcher and influential scientist Dr. John Ioannidi, and which was outlined in the recent issue of The Atlantic by David H. Freedman. Freedman states: Much of what medical researchers conclude in their studies is misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong.

AND DO THYROID PATIENTS EVER KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE!! How many studies are there that imply that T4-only medications work ever-so-brilliantly, yet our experience with T4-only has profoundly debunked that “research outcome”.

Patients have noted that much of what is achieved in research is to obtain money for those sponsoring the research, i.e via the sales of the product studied, like T4. Even Freedman states:

This array suggested a bigger, underlying dysfunction, and Ioannidis thought he knew what it was. “The studies were biased,” he says. “Sometimes they were overtly biased. Sometimes it was difficult to see the bias, but it was there.” Researchers headed into their studies wanting certain results–and, lo and behold, they were getting them. We think of the scientific process as being objective, rigorous, and even ruthless in separating out what is true from what we merely wish to be true, but in fact it’s easy to manipulate results, even unintentionally or unconsciously. “At every step in the process, there is room to distort results, a way to make a stronger claim or to select what is going to be concluded,” says Ioannidis. “There is an intellectual conflict of interest that pressures researchers to find whatever it is that is most likely to get them funded.”

Hooray for Ioannidi! Thyroid patients have royally suffered for over 60 years partly due to poor research outcomes favoring T4-only treatment, and we appreciate individuals like this man for exposing the truth! To read the entire brilliant article, go here.


Rumors often start on the patient groups, and I usually just note them, and do nothing. But one rumor which continues is that Armour tablets by Forest Labs seem to be back to the old formulation. One gal emailed me and said her bottle seemed to contain both the newly reformulated Armour (harder, unable to do sublingually) and the older version (softer, can be done sublingually. What’s that about?? It’s odd.

UPDATE: In 2014, Forest Labs was bought out by Activas, and in 2015, thyroid patients once again reported a return of symptoms and a change in the pills. Armour also tripled in price. Not everyone was experiencing the return of hypothyroid symptoms (perhaps they were still using the Forest made Armour), but enough were they many started to change to other brands. That continued into 2016. Even the tripling of price was enough for patients to say “NO MORE!” Read about it here. .

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65 Responses to “About Canada, 90% flawed medical research, and is Armour changing?”

  1. peggy99

    Also in Winnipeg, also tired of looking for a doctor willing to treat root cause rather than bandage symptoms with drugs. Also have auto-immune issues an hypothyroidism.

    I’m at the end of my rope. Any help is appreciated.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Peg. Sorry you are at the end of the rope. 🙁 You know, sometimes the root cause is simply genetics. So there really is nothing wrong with the treatment of thyroid hormones if one is hypothyroid with Hashi’s or other forms of thyroid disease. If you have Hashi’s, there are so many things that can be done in addition to thyroid hormones like T3 or Natural desiccated thyroid, ranging from changing what is eaten, to supplements like Selenium to lower anti-TPO, to the use of iodine (yes, iodine has helped many Hashi’s patients if they understand the companion nutrients and how to use iodine), to the use of LDN for stubborn antibodies: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/ldn Here are questions that can help related to your digestion: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/10-questions-gut-health

  2. Elisa

    One of the foremost authorities on thyroid disease in the States is Dr. David Brownstein in Michigan. He has a website and has authored several books. Unfortunately, I am in So. California so I have never consulted him. However, his web site is http://www.drbrownstein.com and I’ve found his books very informative. His office is located at Center for Holistic Medicine 5821 W. Maple Rd. Suite 192 West Bloomfield, Michigan 48322
    Phone 248 8511600 He is big on iodine and after using Lugol’s Iodine Drops for a year, my energy has increased considerably, my eyebrows have mostly come back and I have lost noticeable weight.

  3. Norman C.

    has anyone heard of a Dr Fred Hui in Toronto who is an Integrative MD?

    • Lotus

      Yes. Have you seen him yet? He doesn’t listen much like typical doctors I find. I almost died cuz of it. Very expensive. He bills OHIP and client. Ridiculous. Though, he means well and some clients do benefit greatly with the cortef.

  4. Kelly

    I have been hypothyroid my entire life. I have read most of my fellow Canadian messages here and I feel for you and I know your frustration. My physician told me that labs only allow for TSH, and even the results that come back are way too general, only to allow those suffering to feel helpless and depressed. Every doctor is willing to prescribe anti-depressents, but not cytomel or natural thyroid (cough cough, synthroid pharmaceutical kick-backs). It’s a disgusting way to treat those of us who know the pain and frustration of hypothyroid. Everybody knows when their bodies are not functioning. My question is what gives some doctors and ministries to dictate to us how serious the condition is, and what we are allowed to take to improve our health. This needs to change.

  5. Nick Tarasiuk

    I need a source for Armour Thyroid in the Kelowna BC area. Please help!

  6. Heather N (Winnipeg, MB)

    I’ve been diagnosed hypo for the last 8 yrs. Changed GP’s several times as no one would send me to an endo. Finally told my GP I was going to find my own specialist in the States…miraculously got into the endo the next day. Turned out it wasn’t worth the wait. Despite having a TSH of .012 he prescribed me MORE levothyroxine. I became very, very sick.
    Long story short, I did see a specialist in the States. Autoimmune Hasimoto’s diagnosis. Put on Armour & Tirosint. Now I don’t know how to get these meds in Canada without having to drive to the States to get them from a border pharmacy. Which I’m willing to do if it’s the best option. Can anyone provide some advice? Is Erfa thyroid the same drug as Armour and will a GP prescribe it? When I call the pharmacies they tell me they can get “Thyroid” but not Tirosint. Is compounding better?
    I have missed so much of the lives of my little girls…I just want to be well.

    • Kim

      please email me and tell me what specialist in the U.S you saw. I cannot find a doctor here that isn`t retarded when it comes to thyroid issues. Desperate here….feel like I too will have to make a trip to the states. Name of the doctor and clinic, state that he diagnosed you. I live in Oakbank Mb.

      • Bombas

        Please contact me as well with the name of the specialist in the U.S. you saw. I am in Winnipeg and tired of looking for doctors. wpgbombinhas@yahoo.com

        • Kim

          Did you ever get an answer from Heather M who went to the states for a thyroid doctor? I did not. Still suffering here. Wondering if you have made the trip to the states and have found a doctor to diagnose you. If so, I would like the name of the doctor, clinic. Our lab values here are completely different than in the States. email serenitylodge2015@gmail.com

  7. Linda H

    I have been on Synthroid for 4 years now and feel my health is failing because of that. I switched doctors in 2012 and I recently discussed with my doctor of trying desiccated thyroid, she agreed to prescribe me Efra – Dr. K Jamal Glenwood Clinic Edmonton.
    I would recommend checking out a doctor’s ratings first, website called ratemds.com

  8. Michelle

    I have recently heard of a Naturopath/MD in Edmonton, AB Dr. Thehart. He is supposed to be great with Hypothyroidism. I haven’t been into see him yet as he is quite pricey. But, I have only heard great things about him..

    • Jo

      Have you seenDr Theheart yet?

      • Charlie

        I just called their office, they want a min of 995$ to do 3 initial appointments!! There is no way I can afford that especially with no type of guarantees. Has any one in Edmonton or surrounding area found an affordable dr that works with testing T3/T4?

  9. Andrea MW

    Does anyone know of an MD or Naturopath who will prescribe Armour in Toronto? I recently went across the border to get it from a doctor in NY but obviously that is not a sustainable plan 🙂

    • Lotus

      Dr. Khan and Dr. Ali will perscribe dessicated. They are at Markham Health Plex in GTA. Markham specifically. 416-859-9901. There is a naturopath that will too. Dr. Blaidentailor at Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic in Toronto: 416-498-9763.

  10. Iris

    Does anybody know of a doctor in Edmonton, Alberta who will prescribe Armour, cytomel or Erfa? I am desperate.

    • ro

      this is old, but I got Armour from a doc in calgary, AB True Balance. Hopefully it helps.

  11. Andrea MW

    I have been on synthroid for 4 years and for all of that time have had my ups and downs. I take B, D, C vit plus iron and protein powders. It is crazy yet still I cannot get a good nights sleep, get easily depressed, have PMS. I see a naturopath and do acupuncture but I still wonder if it is the synthroid. I am in Toronto and cannot find a doctor to prescribe Armour so that I can try the difference. I am so sick of feeling sick. Why doesn’t anyone believe us?!

  12. B_Calgary

    I am also desperately looking for a doctor in Calgary who prescribes Erfa and takes new patients.

    (From Janie: Canadian STTM Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/107086182788046/)

  13. oplap

    Who knows of a doctor in Calgary that prescribes dessicated thyroid? Help please!

  14. Sherry Gillis

    I have been buying Thyroid/Erfa from Crossborder Pharmacy in Canada for the past two years. I found the website for the pharmacy on the STTM website, read the directions for having a prescription sent to them, then contacted my doctor’s office. Crossborder Pharmacy has the doctor fax a prescription to their office. They fill an Armour prescription with Thyroid. I’ve purchased large quantities from them three times now – 400-500 pills at a time. They have been very easy to work with and accomodating to me and the wishes of my doctor. I just thought I would mention this because so many people have wondered on this thread how to get a prescription for Thyroid or Erfa. You don’t need to get a prescription changed – just use your prescription for Armour.

  15. Graham Abbott

    So much info, and I am a true believer now that my girlfriend is not cured. Without a big long story, she believes me too, but I have more free time for this. Like everyone, she got diagnosed, took the usual drug, went to a “normal” range, but still has multiple symptoms like fatigue, joint pain, and most important is the inability to lose weight. Everyone here says, I found a doctor who……, but I live in Calgary and I need names. Who will see her? Also, where can I buy this stuff offshore, what company? If I do, will it clear customs? If I do, how much does she take without finding the proper doctor who would know how much she needs? Specific names of doctors in Calgary to get a referral would really help.

  16. Melissa

    I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease last June after years of suffering with numerous symptoms such as depression and extreme fatigue. It is so difficult to find a good doctor! I’m finally seeing a specialist but he put me on Synthroid after my GP had me on 1/2 grain of Erfa. Doctors call Erfa inferior and say it’s hard to regulate. The specialist is doing tests for free T4 and free T3 and TSH unlike my regular GP. I was told by the GP if I wanted those values, I’d have to pay to get it done. My depression lifted even on a low dose of Erfa but once on 125 mcG of Synthroid, my mood crashed. I suffer with excruciating pain in the joints and muscles and feel fatigued after 3 hours of taking Synthroid. I had some Erfa left over from before and for 3 days I dosed myself with an equivalent of 111 mcG of Synthroid and started feeling better. But after returning to Synthroid, the pain started again. Does anyone know of a doctor in Edmonton that would prescribe Erfa??? Doctors need to listen to their patients and not prescribe antidepressants, etc as fast as they can. I find that alternative health care providers very beneficial and they listen to you.

  17. Jane

    I live in Atlantic Canada and have just until recently and after self-diagnosing/prescribing for the past 2 years had a terrible time finding a doctor that would take me serious.

    Just two years ago while suffering many, many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism/adrenal fatigue including “idiopathic edema” to the point of congestive heart failure, borderline diabetes, very low body temps (93.6) to the point of verging on myxedema, very chilled and overdressed in the heat of the summer in the blazing sun, teeth chattering, etc, etc, and tsh tests coming back as normal within the “outdated” range of 4.2-5.25… and believing I was dying with absolutely no one to turn to… as my former Dr just simply said it was all a “weight” issue, and the endo she sent me too laughed at the “temperature” concerns I had and told me I was depressed and needed to stop being so hypocondriac, get off my bum, get out doors and exercise!… I orderd t3/hc online from out of country and slowly regained my health… after about 15 months I switched to Thyroid-s, also ordered from out of country (Thailand) and have slowly brought it up to at present 2 grains.

    I have never felt better! I’ve lost 50 lbs, my eyebrows are coming back, my temps are normal, my cholesterol is great, my tsh is good… and my new Dr, to whom I’ve shared my story with, has written me a legit prescription for erfa thyroid!! It is so great to finally have a Dr who I can think of as a health partner! The big problem here in Atlantic Canada is that in our labs, if your tsh is “normal” they will not continue with the bloodworks order and not do the Ft3 or Ft4… even IF the Dr. orders them. Crazy huh?

    Now just this past Christmas in a whirlwind, I was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer (tumours), which have been surgically removed this month, and thank God all is well. I believe this cancer crept in while my system was at it’s lowest and no one was taking my hypo serious, allowing my immune system to break down. My present Dr. has just ordered me autoimmune for Hashi’s and Vitamin D bloodworks… I’ve read that most hypo folk have low D. I’ve also heard/read that if we can get our levels up to 80 then cancer is less likely to take root in our bodies…. that’s now my goal – to raise my D levels!

  18. judy Porter

    How can old Armour make a come back?
    It’s my understanding Erfa or Thyroid is the old Armour. Sold the rights to Canada but not the name.

  19. Katie Matsumoto

    Thank YOU to everyone who has commented on this site!
    You are all on the front lines and I am just beginning
    the treck. I hope to avoid some pitfalls because you
    have shared your stories and heartaches about thyroid treatments.

    I’m listening to everyone here and realizing I’ll have to
    take total control of my health or I’l be sunk.

    Thanks for all your courage and help. I certainly need it!
    God bless all of you!

  20. dlm

    The Canadian Medical Association has a new website asking for public comments re Canadian responsibility for health and use of health care, Are we getting good value, and should we Broaden the scope of things covered. You can reply to any topic or add your own topic. (There was a huge report done by Roy Romanow a few years ago on the subject that’s gathering dust.) I sent a personal email to the president of the CMA outlining my constantly declining health while using a lot of medical services and being unable to find a physician to treat my thyroid and other hormonal deficiencies. No response yet.

  21. Jessica Williams

    I don’t trust Armour anymore. I don’t trust our governments to care about our health. The new Food Safety Bill is a nightmare. GM foods are the coming thing, and radiated food is a requirement of Codex. With all of this and more, no wonder I don’t trust most doctors or Armour or our “leaders”. TRISHA (letter above, a registered nurse) has it right all the way. BRAVA! Our doctors, like our leaders, are fools. If this was predominantly a male disease, it would be cured… a distant memory.
    We are dealing not just with ignorance and arrogance but with entrenched sexism. Even now, with heart disease as the number one killer of women, doctors consider it a “male-only” disease.
    If Erfa and Armour are unavailable soon (because of Codex Alimentarius and the Food Safety Bill) find a compounding pharmacy while they still exist. Ask your GP to write a script for dessicated thyroid USP in capsule form. Stay AWAY from the endocrinologists. They are a joke even within the ranks of their peers. Most of them are on Synthroid, and are fat and bald (and that’s just the women…)

    Hopefully, because of web sites like this one, and a slow but steady awakening in parts of the medical establishment, the FDA may have to back off, as it has with certain other “natural” products. Like estrogen. And vitamin C.
    We can hope.

  22. Robina

    Oh my…having read your comments, I do believe we are in a fight for our health and well-being. Fifteen plus yrs I have been struggling with this “thyroid issue” rx’d levothyroxine only. Just beginning to see the big picture. Stopthethryoidmadness.com has offered so much additional info, I’m thrilled I somehow stumbled across it’s link.
    Last summer (Aug ’10) I asked my Alberta family doctor to switch me to Natural Thyroid. after so many yrs. of poor response from T4 and/or synthroid. Surprizingly, she readily agreed after my HIGH TSH results. It took about 3-4 wks. for results, but I am thrilled. Finally, I am not the “chilly” one in the room. The adrenal component is jaw dropping to say the least. I am at work bringing those back to health. I agree with Connie on the heart palpations…I’ve been sent for stress test and everything come back “normal” “No further appt. necessary…” was the response. Ha!! More work in that area. Thanks for reading my comment. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy New Year!

  23. dlm

    The medical director at Erfa is very helpful. I asked if he could recommend a doctor in B.C. He could not but said he could recommend doctors prescribing desiccated in any other province. B.C. is afraid to treat low thyroid on a ‘normal’ TSH and wants to use only synthetic hormones. Erfa is willing to supply information on safety, usefulness, etc. I finally found one opted-out (user pay) physician who will prescribe what I need.

  24. Connie

    I am so thankful for this website and to have read all of your comments. Atleast I know for sure now that I am not crazy. I was having symtoms that I now know were related to thyroid problems. In January of 2010, I was told that my thyroid was out of wack and given 25mg of Levothyroxine. I got heart palpitations, gittery, and stopped taking it. I tried a internet health food natural iodine pill. I didn’t feel good on that either, so I stopped. In July, I was in the hospital for heart symptoms but they said my heart was fine. They said my thyroid was fine too. Then over the last few months my heart has been going crazy. Suddenly, very high blood pressure, very rapid pulse, and ready to pass out. I drove myself to the hospital two times, praying that I wouldn’t pass out along the way. One time they said I was “anxious” and gave me something to relax. I was by far not acting “anxious”. I could hardly function. The second time, (different hospital) they said I was having a panic attack. It’s horrible how these people look at you like you’re nuts. Then I went back to my internist and she took blood work. I had told her how I was treated at the hospitals and that I knew their diagnosis was absolutely not correct. I know my body, mind, and how I think. She took blood work for my thyroid and told me that it was 28 and should have been 3-4. She said that is what the problem really was. I have since tried Levothyroxine and Synthroid, and have had serious chest pain, heart palpatations, sudden very high blood pressure and very rapid heart rate, and sometimes labored breathing. After reading all of your comments, I refuse to take these dangerous drugs anymore. I am going to try to talk my internist into writing a prescripiton for the Erfa Thyroid from Canada. It can not be any worse then what I have been taking and hopefully, it will make a positive difference. Thanks for all of the information on the blogs.

  25. Andy

    I just got my Erfa 2 weeks ago and after being underdosed by 1/2 on Sythroid for a year (my Doctor apparently doesn’t know about conversion charts) because of the Armour fiasco, I am starting to feel semi normal again!(still messing with the dose) I am not happy to hear about the delays in getting the stuff grrrrrr. Mine came in about a week and a half. I asked about supply and demand for the stuff and was assured they had plenty. That was the end of October.

  26. karen

    thanks tricia i so agree. i wish i’d never listened to all those doctors who told me to take synthroid and i listened to them against my better judgement.the fda is not to be trusted at all . its only about $.look at the food saftey bill . its only there to protect agribusiness not our health or farmers .

  27. Trisha

    Hey everyone re: the “Old” Armour coming back! DON’T count on it! I am a registered nurse, but more importantly, one who has been studying holistic health for now over 35 years! It is ALL about the bottom line – and yes, politics!

    I firmly believe that the FDA got their hands in the mix with regard to Armour re-formulation! THINK ABOUT IT, it WAS the GOLD STANDARD for some 60 years! It was the
    BEST! UNrivaled and unmatched I truly do believe!

    No doubt, to induce this reformulation, they had to change and revise perhaps most everything save their actual equipment. Do you REALLY think they are going to go back and undo what they’ve done! And for what reason? NO! It would be time consuming, and needlessly expensive? And with NO PAYOFF!

    Further, I am telling you they have NO regard for the patient whatsoever! If they had an ounce of customer and consumer awareness, let alone courtesy, they would never have acted in the dark the way they did! They left the patient, the pharmacies, the physicians and everyone completely uninformed save one blurp of a generic statement on their website which truly indicated NOTHING!

    You guys have got to understand the MILLION$ of DOLLAR$ in the medical industry. That’s NOT even addressing Cancer and the Big Money Maker IT IS!

    NO! Take you own health, your own body, and your own individual needs into YOUR OWN HANDS and do whatever it is you need to do! Otherwise, you might as well just lay down and die! I am not saying this to be melodramatic. Rather, if you KNEW what I KNOW after YEARS of study, and what goes on behind closed doors, the spokes in the wheel – you would understand.

    And one other thing: educate yourself, and ALWAYS follow your Intuition. I don’t care WHO the doctor IS! Find a physician who is up on desiccated thyroid and KNOWS THE TRUTH, and who will work with you – or else if they won’t – DON’T WASTE YOUR VALUABLE TIME AND ENERGY – just walk away! FIND ANOTHER DOCTOR! Too many of you are beating your heads against the wall, and nearly kneeling to these doctors. Know your stuff so that you ARE informed, can speak with authority, can readily sift through the facts and fiction, and demand the right to be well! You have got to know how these physicians are trained, too! It’s all part of the westernized medical system that bows down to, and feeds the pharmaceutical industry! They learn what they are taught – not necessarily what is right, true, or what works! It YOUR LIFE and the only one you’ve got!
    I know I’m on a tirade here, but too many women, myself included, have LOST YEARS to
    a disease which in many cases is easily treated! It’s disgraceful! FOLLOW YOU INTUITION! You now your body BETTER THAN ANY DOCTOR EVER WILL!

  28. Eydie

    It’s not a surprise that the nurse didn’t know Erfa’s Thyroid was available in Canada – the doctor’s don’t seem to know it either! I was seeing a naturopath who started me on dessicated thyroid. But after the Canadian government cut off his supply of the supplement, he was the one that told me about Erfa’s product.

    After seeing one horrible doctor who tried to tell me a sixth of what I had been taking should have been enough (she told me that I was delusional if I thought Thyroid was a “magic pill” that would cure all my symptoms), I took my chances at a walk-in clinic, where I had to tell every single doctor I saw about Thyroid. But you know what? After seeing my test results, they’re all more than happy with the results. Just have to keep pushing until you get what works, I guess. 😀

  29. Starrie

    I really hope the old Armour formulation comes back. I did the best on it. I am taking ERFA now, and it’s not working that well for me. I am going to the doc soon to get some tests and see where I stand. I think I need to adjust my dose. It would be much less of a hassle to get the old Armour back though, because then my insurance would cover it and it would be much, much easier to get. It’s kind of a hassle to order it from Canada.

    (From Janie: Erfa is just as good as the old Armour. So if it’s not working well, you are either not on enough, or have other issues. https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/things-we-have-learned )

  30. Dee

    I accompanied my sister to her osteopath last week (10/25/10) and mentioned that I was interested in becoming a new patient, as I am hypo and my allopathic doc won’t prescribe anything but levothyroxin. I told him I was interested in either NatureThroid or Canada’s Erfa (I am in the U.S.). I said I wasn’t interested in Armour since it’s formula had been changed. He said that he was reluctant to prescribe dessicated thyroid anymore because of all the problems with Armour. He said that Armour HAD, indeed, changed back to the old formula just recently, but considering all the back and forth changes with the formula, plus the problems with supply, he couldn’t in good heart recommend it. He said he was also concerned about potential reformulation and supply shortages with NatureThroid (and he had never heard of Erfa). He suggested I stay on the levo and supplement it with cytomel via my regular doc. He also suggested I start on Iodoral for iodine to help my thyroid and uterine fibroids.

    I will not be deterred and am going to try to find someone to write me a script for natural thyroid and fax it to Erfa. Now I just have to find that ‘someone’ (an extremely difficult task in backwoods Maine). This is just nuts!

  31. Liz

    update: I called and got a prescription for the “new” “old” Armour. I verified with the pharmacy that the pills had recently been stocked from Forest, so these are as new as it gets. Here’s what I noticed: the pills did not have a shiny coating on them. When I put one in a cup of vinegar, it started to flake quickly. After about 20 minutes, I was left with a bunch of clumpy white flakes. my thought is that the cellulose is still there, formula still the same, but the coating is better, which could help with absorption.

  32. Michelle

    I’m in Canada (Toronto) and while I know all about the pathetic doctor shortage here, I’ve essentially given up worrying about it because even when you get into a doctor, they don’t listen anyway! All they want to do is prescribe Synthroid – I’ve gone through 2 endos and neither would even consider natural thyroid. It is scary how out of date and close-minded they are. I don’t even bother now as the only person who will consider the treatment I want is my naturopath.

    Right now I buy my thyroid meds through my ND – she somehow has an MD “sign off” on selling it, but I understand quite soon all the naturopaths in Ontario will have prescribing powers. Yay! The only problem is to get my levels right I have to take a tiny bit of Synthroid… so still have to see my endo every year….ugh.

    Gigi, where do you buy yours and do you need a prescription? I thought you had to have a prescription to buy it online?

    • Jessica

      Michelle, do you mind giving me the names of the doctors you see for your thyroid care? I am also in Toronto and have yet to find a doc that will care about my symptoms post TT and thyroid cancer.

  33. JoAnn

    I also just refilled from Universal, and they said it will ship from New Zealand…I thought that was strange…BUT,as long as it works I really don’t care where it comes from!! 🙂

  34. RiaTheDeer

    I read the whole article. Nothing new to me! I long suspected that! Age old thing of getting a product out there as opposed to the patient in the first place….tsk tsk tsk.

    I especially liked how the doctor explained that it is quicker to send for lab tests than spend some time with the patient asking questions. Isn’t that a Homer Simpson D’Oh!!! moment? (said tongue in cheek, of course!)

    You will often find that either pharmacies or companies will continue to use up older stock untill the technical “Do not distribute past this date” has arrived. I find that with many medications I take here. Often the packaging is the older style and the tablet colour might be different.

  35. Kelly Radu

    I moved to Canada a year ago and had to find a doctor. I ended up with a doctor that didn’t know much about thyroid issues, but was willing to give me what I asked for. When I arrived, I was taking Levothyroxine and feeling pretty awful. The doctor did the tests and when I brought your book to the appt, she pretty much did what I asked. She scoffed though when I mentioned adrenal issues. On the other hand, Naturopaths are common here, so I go to one as well. (Unfortunately, naturopaths are not covered by the health system here.)
    I am fortunate that it is working out as well as it is. The naturopath is dealing with the adrenal issues and I am on Erfa Thyroid 90 mg from the regular doctor. I am much, much better than I was a year ago and have managed to drop 15 lbs. I feel blessed.

  36. Susan Hall

    I just recently switched from the reformulated Armour Thyroid to Naturethroid which I was able to fill at Dollar Pharmacy in Santa Rosa, CA.

    Symptoms were most notably ‘brain fog’, insomnia, weight gain in spite of walking/running up to five miles a day and a short fuse. I figured I’d better do something before I got fired for ‘insubordination’ at work.

    It’s been about 48 hours and I feel like a new person. I’m taking 180 mg dose. I had thyroid removed in 2004 as a result of thyroid cancer.

  37. Abbey

    I’ve lived in Canada for 3 years and am shocked by the lack of attention doctors give. I’m 26 and have complained to my doctors (mostly walk-in but also an endocrinologist) about my fatigue, pain, swelling, weight gain (70lbs in 7 months!), constipation, etc., and all I got prescribed were antidepressants. I have all the symptoms except my numbers are “in the normal range” (range is .2-6!). Finally I saw a naturopath that actually listens to me, but I still have to buy my thyroid pills through International Antiaging Systems. I started my NaturThroid in July and I’m astonished at how good I feel. Before I was on NatureThyroid, every day something was wrong – i was in so much pain, so tired, had a yeast infection once a month, gained 2lbs a week, etc. I was dying before but now I’m actually living and every day I see little bits of improvement (i.e. not falling asleep at work!) and I’m even losing weight (slowly, but still losing). I just wish I had an “official” diagnosis so I could get my thyroid paid for and maybe even go on Erfa Thyroid . . .

    • jasmine

      Hi abbey I also bought Erfa. Is t your medication working for you?

    • Lisa

      Abbey, could you share the website for International Aging Systems that you used? A Google search had a ton of possible hits and I’m unsure. Thx!

    • Bonnie

      come to Michigan, if you think Canada is bad for doctors. I have spent more money and doctor visits, with poor results. They don’t want to give complete thyroid test, saying it’s not needed. Been to specialist and very poor at listening it’s all about what they want not what you need. Armour 3mos scrip 90 dollars I got it for 52 still an awful price.

      • Elisa

        Bonnie, its no better in California. Doctors know NOTHING about treating thyroid conditions. Armor is the only thing that ever worked for me. I take 45 ml daily but I still have to supplement it with Lugol’s Solution (nascent iodine) in order to have any energy. It works!! Price of Armour has gone up to $172 for a 3 month Rx IF one can find it!! I’m looking for a better price. The insurance companies DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR ARMOUR!! They want everyone on cheap Synthroid!!!

  38. Jennie

    I will definitely be taking notice when I get my refill on Armour! Thanks for the information, it is so helpful to have all this right at my fingertips, otherwise I would probably not look for it as I find it too hard to have that much on my plate and complete anything! You are a life saver!

    Thanks again,

  39. Cara

    It’s funny Janie that you mention this now. I’m living in Alberta, and I just went to see a doctor yesterday. I am on the hunt for a good GP because I want to get off Synthroid and try “Thyroid” (the Erfa product). Well same old story, this guy basically knew nothing. I asked him about different types of lab work that is available..and he only told he does TSH, and that supposedly Capital Health won’t even allow Free T3 and Free T4 to be done.

    I don’t believe him. But basically, if the TSH is coming back normal and you still have hypothyroid symptoms it’s beyond his comprehension and he sends you off to the Endo. Same old story. I have another appt with a different doc in two weeks. He was recommended by Erfa. So we’ll see what happens. But thanks so much for talking about our doctor shortage here. It’s really bad. I really hope we can start pumping out some new, better informed doctors. People around here don’t know, and don’t seem to care. It worries me. Thanks again Janie. Your book has changed my life.

  40. susieb

    Janie, my mom recently called Universal to refill her Efra and was told they were running low b/c “it hadn’t arrived from New Zealand yet”. I thought it was manf in Canada?

    (From Janie: they have a manufacturing facility there.)

  41. Gigi

    Hey, I buy “Armour Thyroid” in Canada and the company that makes it is called Erfa-the pharmacy I buy from calls it “Thyroid (Armour)”. For all purposes they call it “Armour” because it is a dessicated kind-not drug. When I’ve gone on different Canadian pharmacies they all list it differently but they never sell 2 kinds of it – just Erfa. But its the same thing Canadian Armour Thyroid=Erfa Thyroid. I know because I’ve asked the pharmacy and because I know that if they sold the “Armour” from the states I’d be a hot-scratch that-cold mess. Its just semantics.

    It is different than American Armour in its composition if I’m correct-I know definitely the filler of it is different than American Armour. And why in God’s name Erfa doesn’t sell it here is crazy because it works and they have years of proving its efficacy.

  42. Tanya (@netchick)

    I’ve been dealing with the MD shortage for years in Canada… I finally found a decent ND in downtown Vancouver, just in time to move to Calgary, where I’ve been to one doc who wasn’t even aware of “Thyroid” despite me trying to explain it to her. Her answer? Do more testing and keep me on Synthroid and see where it goes. *sigh*

    The main obstacle here is to find ANY doctor, and then HOPE you find an open-minded one in the process. There were a total of 3 docs in all of Calgary taking new patients when I checked. *3*.

  43. Janet

    Wow! I can only HOPE the rumor about Armour going back to the old formulation is true! I’d LOVE to be able to take it again! 🙂 (I’m on compounded thyroid/acidophilus right now.)

  44. Liz

    Re: Armour changing back. I just called Forest and they said they didn’t change the formula again – we’re still getting the 2009 formula… so they say. Now here’s the curious part – the pharmacist said “I have been made aware of another company who is coming out with a similar product to our old formula, but I do not have the details”. What company?!

  45. Rebecca

    Janie, thanks for drawing attention to the doctor shortage situation in Canada. Many Canadians do not have a general practitioner, and the wait time for specialists can be very long. I was fortunate to be able to get a GP who is relatively young and open minded, and finally got a hypothyroid diagnosis because she agreed to test for the things I requested. She didn’t pursue them with me – I pursued them with her. But she was open to patient interaction like that, so that’s a step in the right direction. She also agreed to send me to a specialist, and again she let me point her in the right direction when I requested Dr. Thompson at UBC Hospital. He is excellent and will prescribe according to symptoms, not just test results. I didn’t do well on Armour or Synthroid, and am now on straight Cytomel. Still too soon to tell, but at least I have some energy again and I have an advocate to get me on the right track after what is likely over 20 years being hypo without treatment 🙁 Lab results vary from province to province, and in BC where I live, the range is one of the worst for finding sub-clinical hypo. My Free T3 was finally flagged but even then my doctor was not interested in treating me because it was just .1 below the low end of the range. We all know that the low end of the range is no place to be happy. Anyway, long story short – be your own advocate and push through. Dr. David Thompson at UBC is an excellent endo, and his wait time was not bad – only 6 weeks.

  46. Greensboro Web Design

    That’s interesting about the new/old formulation. I had to increase my dose to 8, yes EIGHT, grains of armour a day along with 25 mcg of t3 after the reformulation and recently I have off and on felt jittery like I was hyper even though I had been at 8 grains for quite a while. Now, I am wondering if I am taking too much. I look forward to hearing more about this.


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