She started on Armour in 1965! Was switched to Synthroid in 1993 and did horrible. Went back to Armour, and now realizes the importance of being your own best advocate at age 73!!
I am a long time user/advocate of Armour desiccated Thyroid–since 1965–and, I am very grateful to a very dedicated doctor who diagnosed me “clinically” (in the San Diego area) before I really had any problems or symptoms of hypothyroidism, except for a non-existant memory. It was also a few years before the now accepted “TSH” lab test — and the synthetic products — like Synthroid.
His diagnosis was by way of touching ankles and glands, as well as asking questions about “how do you feel”, “are you tired”, “hair loss”, “puffiness under the eyes” or “naps in the afternoon?” By the time he had increased my daily dose, over a few months, to 3 grains, I was pregnant, and I had been trying to achieve that for the previous seven years!
I had given birth to a daughter during a previous marriage and the year before, in 1964, adopted a son, because another doctor claimed, “you and your husband will not be able to have children of your own!”
At this time we had no idea that the Armour was our benefactor. So, not knowing, I said, “Okay, that’s great,” then surprise-surprise: I had a girl 1 1/2 years later!
For many years, my only doctor visits were for the purpose of refilling my Armour thyroid prescription. Of course, this became more and more difficult since “Synthroid pill peddlers” were indoctrinating doctors. (My old doctor was no more.) For the most part I did fairly well, however I was never told the correct procedure for taking my medications. I took it all at breakfast, along with multi-vitamins and calcium. So when a new doctor changed me to “Synthroid” (about 1993) – like a dummy, I went along with it.
This episode with Synthroid lasted about two years and in that time, I gained about thirty pounds!! TIME TO CHANGE DOCTORS AGAIN! The new doctor was nice enough to prescribe Armour again, but only one grain. (1997) He stated flatly “your labs are normal!” I was still gaining weight. In the mean time we moved to Salt Lake City and the weight was still going up, by another five pounds. By that time I was the quintessential “couch-potato.”
Nothing was interesting, or fun. Then we were introduced to computers, thanks to our miracle son, who was by then 32 years old. He introduced me to the Internet and I was off and running in research. I could not believe how much I had not been told by doctors that supposedly are primarily interested in your good health! So I decided to (on my own) increase my dose by ½ grain, to 1 ½ grain in 1999 and miracles happened. I lost that bad 35 pounds. Still was not feeling really good though – lethargy – dry skin – lack of interest in activities, etc., but let it go and didn’t do anything about it.
By the end of 2005 I decided to “give-it-a-go-again” and began taking a ½ grain at bedtime and that was some improvement, however my temperature was still at 97.4 and lethargy was still dogging me. By this time we discovered that the Fluoridation of our drinking water was a factor in negating the effectiveness of thyroid, but to what extent was/is unknown. We installed a 5-stage, reverse-osmosis filtration system to remove that Fluoride (Hydrofluosilicic acid poison,) and that was a GREAT BIG HELP!
Other info learned on the Internet was to restrict eating Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peaches and pears and separate Iron and Calcium supplements by four hours if I swallow Armour instead of doing it sublingually.
Then, I found this site “Stop the Thyroid Madness,” and was energized to become even more of an advocate of my own health! I am now taking the 90 mg Armor at in the AM, 30 mg in the afternoon and 30 mg at bedtime. (2 ½ grain.) I am going to increase the afternoon dose to 60 mg for a total of 3 grains, in the next two weeks. My temperature is up and down – still about 97.4
The point I want to make is, you are your own best diagnostician. Don’t be afraid to tweak your dose for a while – then see how you feel.
To prove my point, I diagnosed my husband as being hypothyroid about two years ago. He was shivering in a warm room when everyone else was comfortable, and had a basal temperature of about 96.8 or so. He suffered from anemia, (a nine year history), brain fog, slight depression, dry skin, no outer eyebrow, (lifelong) and hair loss. All the usual stuff.
At the VA Hospital they won’t even discuss thyroid except the TSH test. “If needed,” it would be Synthroid. We paid for an evaluation with a local doctor, a D. O. who believes in Armour treatment. Even at the start, using 1 ½ grains (along with 5 mg/day of Prednisone, as suggested by Broda Barnes, MD), he soon was rid of his several year history of asthma that had been treated with only inhalers. Now at age 74 ½, taking 3 grains Armour, his temperature is 97.5 (on the rise?) his life is much “rosier!”
Wouldn’t you know? That miracle baby boy I had in 1966 is joining the ranks with us. He had an A.M. temperature of 97. And had the irritability problem (crotchety/bitchy) and problems with cold and poor sleep – the beginning stuff. Mom did her thing and he is now taking 2 grains of Armour and feeling like a new person after a couple of months! He is our “buddy again,” single and lives with us between long-haul trucking trips, and is also our computer-tutor. Believe me, no one wants to live in a house with three hypo-thyroid, bitchy people!
I told him that as he ages, he will probably need to at least, go up to that magic plateau of 3 grains that so many people have found that works! Medication for this disease has a tendency to need “tweaking” as the years go by. At age 73, looking back, as best I can, I can recognize a near-total lack of memory! I cannot remember any of my childhood, teen years, my first wedding ceremony or the birth or my first child! This is a hypothyroid symptom that no one seems to be able to address. It is difficult to try to recall what went on, and when!