Q. You once had an article about some people needing Armour Thyroid because Synthroid doesn't contain T3. I want to thank you for saving my sanity and life.

Since 1993, I have been on Synthroid and more recently, Levoxyl. I have been telling my doctor and nurses that this stuff doesn't work for me but no one listened. When I stopped the drug for several months I couldn’t tell the difference.

I found your article and gave it to my physician’s assistant. She was reluctant to prescribe Armour Thyroid but she did. In less than a week and half, I have more energy than I’ve had for 14 years. I no longer suffer tiredness like being almost dead.

I wish I had demanded Armour sooner. Why doesn't the medical establishment listen to the patient? Instead of letting me know about Armour Thyroid, I was given antidepressants.

A. You are not the only person who has been prescribed an antidepressant for symptoms of low thyroid. Correcting a thyroid imbalance often addresses symptoms such as depression, fatigue or mental slowness.

The use of Armour Thyroid is controversial. Some people do not appear to convert the hormone T4 (found in Synthroid and Levoxyl) into the active form, T3, efficiently. Armour desiccated thyroid contains both forms of the hormone, although endocrinologists dispute whether they are in the correct proportions.We discuss the pros and cons of this treatment in our Guide to Thyroid Hormones, along with symptoms of thyroid difficulties and guidelines for interpreting test results.

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  1. JH

    I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only one having issues with Synthroid! I have a new Nutritionist who told me about Armour and the minute I mentioned it to my doctor – she was offended that I would listen to my nutritionist over her. I told her that I felt like Synthroid was not helping me and I still had a lot of symptoms. She then told me that those symptoms were not related to my thyroid – but that it sounded like “depression”. She then told me all the negatives about Armour and even said that most insurances won’t even cover it.
    I finally got her to prescribe me the medicine (which my insurance covered) and now I’m into my first month of Armour. I have not had ANY headaches and I’m not freezing all the time (could also be due to the iodine supplement my nutritionist put me on :)!! I still feel a little fatigue but I’m still in my first month and may not have the correct dosage yet. I’m hopeful that this new medication will work – but still looking for a new doctor who will be open to more natural medicines.
    I did some research first and learned that if you take too high of a dose – it may cause heart problems (but so will synthroid). it may take a while to figure out what dosage is good for you.
    Good luck to you all! God Bless!!

  2. DA

    Your recent Q&A in the local paper mentioned the scarcity of Armour Thyroid. We have no problem getting it at a local compounding pharmacy and it is covered by Medicare.

  3. C.G.

    I Had surgery in 1973, a Thyroidectomy, at that time, straight from the hospital was put on natural thyroid med. not sure the brand.. Well 6 months later, the Dr. I was seeing informed me of a great new drug, and great new test.. synthroid and TSH test!
    So he un-did everything that was originally done. A night mare!…. I was on synthetic thyroid, T-4, only for 26 years, all that time believing I was supposed too feel that bad! Thinking that because I did not have a thyroid gland, it would be impossible for me to feel any better! I persevered, the pain, the puffy face, the depression, and ashen skin, trouble breathing, hair loss, etc.
    Then I started reading and doing my own research. I changed Drs., and found one that put me on Armour Thyroid wow! my body came back to life!! I am so grateful to all who support Natural Thyroid Products, and try to Inform others. Thank You!

  4. Maggie M.

    I read your article on Armour Thyroid and convinced my doctor to change from the synthroid I was taking to Armour. He was not too sure on the dosage change he needed to make and wrote the prescription for 0.15mg. I took one dosage and had a very bad attack. I could not breath and started having a panic attack. My husband ended up taking me to the ER. Has anyone else written about problems taking Armour Thyroid? We don’t know if the problem was with the dosage as I immediately stopped taking Armour and am now back on Synthroid.

  5. jennifer

    I asked my doctor if I could try an alternative to Synthroid like Armour Thyroid. I told her that I didn’t feel any different when I started on the Synthroid (and it’s been 3 years). She told me she prefers the synthetics because the natural form is not FDA approved.
    I am surprised it isn’t, because many people seem to do well on it. I feel that adding the T3 from the natural might help, but do not think my physician is going to even be willing to try it. Could I find more info on what thyroid drugs are FDA approved that may be in a natural form that contain T3?

  6. dr

    I have had thyroid disease since 1959. The doctor discovered I had a goiter. I took radioactive iodine when the doctor had to order it from Oakridge, TN, and he gave it to me from a lead glove to my bare hand! I was on Armour Thyroid until about 1999 when a new endocrinologist put me on Synthroid. After taking it for about 6 years, I asked my current endocrinologist for Armour Thyroid again. Energy level much better. Weight gain stopped. In fact, I lost several pounds. I take two Armour Thyroid per day about 7AM. When I get a blood test in the next couple of weeks, I expect to have the dosage prescribed to be increased. I feel I can’t live without the thyroid meds… Armour Thyroid just happens to work for me a lot better than the synthetics.

  7. Elle

    The reason I am writing is because it is my perception that I have been depressed most of my life, and I cannot take it much longer. In the past, during my adolescence and young adult life, I felt the depression and anxiety were managed via a very disciplined exercise schedule. Although, I recall being tired & slept much more than those around me (sisters, parents, live-in boyfriend). Now I find myself without a job, even though I earned my bachelors of science-Kinesiology from UIC, due to this craziness.
    I am in this dark, deep pit, and have been searching for over 15 years for help in getting out! I have attempted to self-medicate and have sought help from numerous healthcare providers (physicians, ER, psychiatrist, psychologist) to no avail. I have taken various anti-depressants, although they have not helped much. I am extremely tired & have lost most sense of hope. I cannot imagine going on much longer like this–since I do not have health insurance I have been researching online… again.
    I found your site & found that hypothyroidism could cause all the symptoms–low energy, cold, depression, fatigue, trouble focusing, weight gain and am wondering if this might not be my diagnosis.
    Is there a way to differentiate between depression that would require an antidepressant or depression that would be a symptom of low thyroid hormone?
    Also, many years ago I suggested it to my physician but she was quite reluctant to hear me out. What type of testing do I need to request to completely rule it out? I currently do not have health insurance, please keep in mind.
    I am extremely grateful in anticipation of any suggestions or information that may point me in the right direction as I see your input and website has helped ease many others’ pain.

  8. Kathleen Seay

    I was diagnosed with a Thyroid disorder in 2002. My doctor at the time prescribe Levoxyl. After nearly two years of really still feeling bad and continued, weight gain, hair loss and general bad mood I went looking for another doctor.
    I found a great doctor that listened to me about being put on Armour Thyroid. I am still trying to get my dosage right, but I experienced a significant change in everything in my life. I am three years with this same doctor and I seem to get better each time I have blood work. My only complaint is that he slow to act, but it is better than being stuck with a doctor that will not listen at all.
    I have had such significant success that I convinced my Father and Mother to seek treatment from the same doctor. My Father is doing better than ever thanks to Armour and some really good old time doctoring. I want to thank my doctor for really trying to get to the root of his patients issues.

  9. Sheila Henderson

    I am writing concerning the use of Armour Thyroid for the treament of hypothyroid.
    For years I used synthetic thyroid meds; different doctors prescribed different brands. I could barely tell I was taking anything. (Thyroid disease runs in my family, big time.)
    Then I went to a wonderfully “old-timey” elderly doctor; he READILY prescribed Armour thyroid. WHEW, what a difference! Then we moved; from 1977 until about three years ago I rode the roller coaster of using synthetic thyroid meds. I had a puffy face, puffy eye area, hoarseness, weightgain, thin hair, etc.
    After Receiving information from The Peoples’ Pharmacy about the pros and cons of using Armour natural thyroid, I went to my doctor’s office and begged, literally, begged my nurse practitioner to put me back on Armour. After a long while she agreed. THE ONLY problem was that she started me off with the LOWEST dose Armour comes in. (When I asked her WHY , since I was on Levothroid 0.1 mg and sometimes 0.112 mg, she just told me that she ALWAYS started out with the lowest doses. I went through months of blood testing TSH and T4 mostly, and after too long, I was finally put on 3 grains of Armour.)
    When my insurance plan made me switch doctors, I found another nurse practitioner that ALLOWED ME to stay on Armour. You should have heard her comments, though. She said that synthetics were better, etc.When I asked her why, she said that synthetics were consistent in dosage. THAT was her only reason. I begged her to let me stay on Armour so I could feel normal and keep my good mood. She agreed.
    Armour is great. From time to time I find that a month’s supply/BATCH varies. LAST month’s batch DID. The strength seemed a bit stronger for the dosage I am used to.
    My last blood test showed my T4 to be a little low, although my TSH was normal. Do NOT know why.
    I want to THANK Joe Graedon and The People’s Pharmacy for allowing people to post their comments. I have just re-discovered the website and am excited about its high quality info!

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