Thyroid nuked due to Cancer, was on T4-meds and later T4 plus Cytomel—but Armour proved far superior! VERY inspiring story!
I was dx’d with Papillary thyroid cancer in March 2000 which was just 4 mos after the birth of my first child. I had a partial thyroidectomy in March, and then when they discovered it was cancerous, I went back for at total in April 2000 followed by three rounds of RAI (100 mCi’s-5/00, 150 mCi’s-1/01, 250 mCi’s-5/05). I have NO THYROID left.
I was told that it would be easy. They would take my thyroid out, I would take a little pill for the rest of my life, and that would be it. Easy right? NOT!
I was on anywhere from .137 mcg to .225 mcg Synthroid over the last 6 years. I went back and forth between hypo and hyper. Up and down on the dosage amounts. It was so frustrating! I struggled with brain fog, weight gain (despite exercising 5-6 times per week), achy joints and muscle, loss of libido, anger/intolerance for noise and pure lack of motivation (amount other things – the list is long).
Around the time of menstruation I would get huge anxiety attacks before and the blues after for one week each. So 2 weeks out of my month were shot with hormone issues. It was horrible! My Endo said it was “female issues” and told me to talk to my OB/GYN. I did and he prescribed Zoloft, which I knew that wasn’t the answer either. So after taking one I stopped and kept searching. I wanted my old life back and it seemed like I would be sick forever.
I asked my Endocrinologists about Armour and each would say “It’s not for Thyroid Cancer Patients” ( I have had 1 ENT & 2 ENDO’s on this journey). When I would press for reasons I got the standard line–there are potency issues and it is not stable. Synthroid is “The Gold Standard” of hormone replacement.
My last Endo tried to scare me that Armour would not keep my TSH suppressed to .1 and then I would risk a return of cancer. This made me chuckle as I have had problems keeping my TSH suppressed on Synthroid. I would estimate that I have had approx 10-12 dosage adjustments on T4 only over the 6 years.
In December 2004 I began working with a Naturopath. We struggled to get my hormones balanced and were successful in some ways but not all. I got to a certain point and nothing would change no matter how much I exercised, changed my diet, or took nutritional supplements. I had my own blood tests run to check my FT3 & FT4 and it showed that I was hypo despite my TSH being “suppressed”.
It was at this point that he recommended that I seek out Armour. Thus began my journey to find a doctor that wouldn’t be against it – not easy by any means. I found a D.O. that practices Alternative Medicine who would prescribe it and saw him a month ago. I was on Armour for 1 1/2 weeks and felt wonderful. I started to feel my old self coming back. I began to enjoy my children and laugh with them. Something I hadn’t ever done – they are now 6 yrs and 3 1/2.
Then my worst fears happened–my ND recommended that I go back on Synthroid with Cytomel due to other health concerns relating to my cancer dx. So I went off Armour for 1 1/2 weeks and on the Synthetics. I FELT AWFUL!!! Within 3 days my body ached as did my joints. I could hardly go up and down the stairs in my house w/o extreme pain. I felt so bad that I stood in my kitchen (3 days after starting on it) and cried wondering how I could live like this. I continued to stay on it for 10 days and then one morning I had just completed my workout and realized I needed to go downstairs to the freezer. I started down the stairs and I got so dizzy that I fell 3/4 of the way down and got hurt pretty badly. I sat on the stairs and cried, asking God to show me what I should do. An incredible peace came over me and I just felt like I needed to go back on the Armour despite my ND’s concerns – which no one could validate scientifically and I was tired of “guessing” as that is what got me to this point! On that very day, I saw my ND and he checked my ears to discover they had filled up with fluid.
I have been on Armour for 1 week now for the second time. My brain fog is already clearing and I am starting to be a happier person. My joints ache a bit but not nearly as bad as they had on the synthetic combo. I saw my ND 3 days ago and one of my ears is clear again and the other is much better. I am pleased with my progress in just 1 week. I am looking forward to what is to come for the first time in 6 years.
So what do I think? ARMOUR all the way!!! “Oink, Oink”
I have been on Armour for 6 months now. I have reached my optimum dosage amout of 4 grains. My Free T4 is at the top of the range and my FT3 is slightly over. My TSH is suppressed to .01 which is perfect for Thyroid Cancer patients. So much for my Endo telling me that it was unreliable in dosage consistency and would not keep me suppressed. My Tg (cancer marker) is down 10 points since January all without radiation. I am feeling better than I have in years – probably since my early 20’s and I am now 40. My brain fog is almost completely gone, no more aching joints or muscles and I have lost 20 lbs without dieting! I credit my improvement to Armour, Iodine and the removal of my Amalgam Fillings & a Root Canal tooth. People who see me cannot believe how well I look and that it was just one year ago this past May that I underwent RAI for the 3rd time. I am glad I followed my gut instincts and found a Holistic Doctor that knew how to treat me. No more Cut / Poison / Burn for me!
To read Stephanie’s blog, go here.