Q. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. I was taking Synthroid for an underactive thyroid, but I just didn't feel well. I found a doctor who prescribed Armour Thyroid instead and now I feel great!

A. An underactive thyroid can result in debilitating fatigue until the problem is corrected. Inadequate levels of thyroid hormone can also cause a curious collection of other symptoms, including common ones like weakness and constipation and odd ones like carpal tunnel syndrome, clumsiness or depression.

For most people, the proper dose of Synthroid can correct the deficit and eliminate symptoms. But some people do better with Armour Thyroid, an extract of pig thyroid. Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid and Unithroid all contain levothyroxine or T4. But thyroid glands actually make T3 as well as T4, and Armour contains both.

You can learn more about this issue as well as interpreting thyroid tests and symptoms of thyroid problems in our Guide to Thyroid Hormones. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped (58 cents), self-addressed envelope: Graedons' People's Pharmacy, No. T-4, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It can also be downloaded for $2 from the Website: www.peoplespharmacy.com.

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  1. EMP
    Reply

    Ask your Dr. about Liothyronine (cytomel). It is still available, as I take it every day.

  2. SEB
    Reply

    I took Armour and Cytomel together for years then my Dr. said that Cytomel is no longer available. Currently he has me on Lyvoxyl and I am so tired and foggy. The Dr. says that my TSH is ok? I am not ok anymore. Before the change in my meds I felt wonderful and had lots of energy. HELP.

  3. pat smalley
    Reply

    In 2003 I had surgery to remove my thyroid due to cancer. I have been on Synthroid and Levoxyl. The main complain is the constant fatigue. My fifteen minute power naps have turned into hours of napping without feeling any better. I once walked 6 miles a day, now it is an effort to go to the mailbox. I eat healthy, I hope this article will turn my life around.
    Thank you,
    Pat

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