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Have symptoms of hypothyroidism. Why is it difficult to get prescribed Armour even though it is the best option?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 1561 Questions
I have been having symptoms of hyer and hypothyroidism for sometime now and my test results are showing the swings from on to the other. With my grateful thanks to the last Dr who answered my question I have now been placed on Beta blockers to stop the heart spasms and racing pulse symptoms I was having thankfully as it was not only uncomfortable but very scary at times.

So my query no is I have an appointment with a Endicronoligist (sp) next week and I have been reading a lot of information about how patients are places on a thyroxine here and that it is very difficult to get Amour thyroid prescribed even though everything I read points to this being the best option. Could anyone please explain what the protocol is for this and in you opinion is it more likely to be a financial decision than a clinical one to use a synthetic treatment. I know it can be prescribed but seemed to be refused at all cost!

Look forward to hearing your opinion on this matter before attending the hospital as at the moment I am willing to pay privately to get the right medication than to continue being confined to my bed 90% of the time.

Kind regards
Posted Wed, 5 Sep 2012 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Answered by Dr. Vidya KR 3 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

As you are suffering from thyroid problem along with fibromyalgia I like to comment on both of these.

1.     Thyroid problem:

Both hypo and hyperthyroidism symptoms presents in stress, infections, worsening thyroid pathology or in hormonal problems.

Management depends on the underlying pathology. If you are suffering more of hypothyroidism symptoms then you must take thyroxine tab which will relieve your hyperthyroidism symptoms by maintaining normal thyroid hormone level and preventing any feedback stimulation of TSH.

If suffering more of hyperthyroidism then should be evaluated for the cause and management follows with either medicines (pharmacotherapy) or surgery with thyroxine. Taking beta-blocker will reduce only symptoms of hyperthyroidism but not treat underlying disease.

So you must be evaluated for this and then discuss with your doctor in your next appointment (next week) for complete management.

2. Some symptoms of fibromyalgia overlap with hypothyroidism. Management of fibromyalgia depends on combination of regular diet, exercises, pharmacotherapy like TCA, pregabalin etc along with injection of steroids into the trigger points. But management depends of each individual’s signs and symptoms.

Hope I explained your query on pathology and management plan. If any questions kindly let me know, I will be glad to help.

If you are satisfied please close the query.

Wish you good health.

Dr Vidya KR
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have symptoms of hypothyroidism. Why is it difficult to get prescribed Armour even though it is the best option? 16 hours later

I feel I may have not properly phrased my question.

My question is about the drugs Thyroxine as appossed to dessicated natural thyroid.

Kind regards
Answered by Dr. Vidya KR 6 hours later

I am sorry; I was not able to address your query in my previous reply. Let me try today.

Both thyroxine and natural desiccated thyroid such as armour thyroid have been used in the treatment of hypothyroid. I shall try and provide some difference between these two.

1. Thyroxine is approved drug for hypothyroidism by the FDA. It is very well tolerated by most users and as such there are no significant side effects when given in the right dose. Side effects are noted in high doses which are easily rectified by changes in the dosage. The right dose needed by an individual depends on the T3, T4, TSH levels and the body weight.

2. In comparison, desiccated natural thyroid (DNT) is been reported to cause fatigue, weight gain, depression or other symptoms. Further some of the contents in the armour thyroid can cause other unwanted side effect. As DNT is an organic product chances you cannot take them if you are allergic to the source (pork) from which it is obtained. Besides this as a grain of DNT contains more of thyroxine, dose adjustments are a bit difficult in times of over dosage.

For the aforementioned reasons, thyroxine is more widely used than DNT.

Though the choice to start either of the regimens is entirely yours, I would prefer to choose thyroxine over DNT in all my patients.

Hope this answered your query. I am sure with the help of a competent endocrinologist available near your region you will be started on the right treatment. Follow the advice of your doctors religiously for better outcomes.

If you are satisfied with this reply, please close this discussion. I will be happy to discuss further if you have further doubts.

Wish you good health.


Dr Vidya KR
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have symptoms of hypothyroidism. Why is it difficult to get prescribed Armour even though it is the best option? 1 hour later
Thank you for your reply x

I can't agree to following the advice of my Dr religiously as for one thing although I don't query that they are highly qualified individuals we must remember that they are too human beings and with that can come errors as with all of us!

I am mainly concerned as every Dr u talk to has a different opinion with regard Thyroxine/NDT - as you say, you would reccomend thyroxine whereas one specialist in our area prescribes NDT to 'some' patients - I really feel I need to weigh up the pros as con's as you have highlighted and decided which specialist I see later this week.

I spend 24hrs a day with my symptoms whist my Dr is only seeing me for maybe 5 mins if I'm lucky. After 4 years of having self diagnosed my gall stones I admit that my faith has been battered somewhat when I was during this time continually told it was stress causing me to be doubled over each night - being pumped full of anti depressants etc only to be rush in to have a Gall stone the size of a golf ball removed and a gall bladder 80% imbedded in my liver - so I thank you for your advice but would still reccomend that people know their own bodies and when something is wrong - including the treatment they are being given.

Kind regards XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Vidya KR 2 hours later
Thank you XXXXXXX

I agree totally about what you said. I also recommend that people should know about their body, disease and treatment.

My suggestion is to keep your thyroid functions (TSH, T3, and T4) assessed yearly if not once in 6 months while on the treatment, just to make sure we do not over do the treatment. Like I said, over treatment and under treatment is what causes symptoms/side effects.

I wish you a very good health.

If no questions, please close this query.

Dr Vidya KR

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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