The side effects of Armour Thyroid can be a pain to deal with even if the drug offers relief from hypothyroidism. People are divided about specific effects. Some people complain of weight gain after starting therapy on the medicines. Some people do not experience serious side effects from taking an Armour Thyroid. But as the dosage increases, the risk of having side effects is likely to happen. Make yourself familiar with the notable side effects of Armour Thyroid on your body. Read the article below and find out more about Armour Thyroid!
Side Effects of Armour Thyroid: What You Should Know
In this article:
- What Is Armour Thyroid?
- Can Armour Thyroid Cause Weight Gain?
- Insights and Tips from Other Natural TSH Replacement Users
- What Are the Other Armour Thyroid Side Effects?
1. What Is Armour Thyroid?
2. Can Armour Thyroid Cause Weight Gain?
Inadequate Armour Thyroid dosage may cause weight gain. To understand how this happens, take a look at Anne’s case who uses this medication for her hypothyroidism.
For 30 years, Anne (not her real name), 46, suffered symptoms she did not need to suffer from. She suspected she had long needed the natural form of thyroid hormone to help her body. Her suspicion was confirmed after the relief she felt only a year after taking natural thyroid replacement supplements.
After wondering whether Armour was better than Synthroid, Anne ruled that she had only heard positive things about Armour. Her doctor prescribed 30 mg of the former to her in September of 2013, and she was excited to get started.
What should have been a perfect set-up was ruined by a weight gain of 12 pounds in a span of one year.
What Is Anne’s Daily Routine Like?
Anne likes to keep fit and exercises 5 to 7 days a week. She runs or walks two miles on the treadmill twice a day, lifts weights twice a week, and loves to take long walks with her neighbor on the weekends.
She also watches what she eats, making sure she sticks to 1200 to 1400 calories a day. Anne increased her protein intake to 75 grams a day by having meals made of lean chicken, fish, and vegetables. Anne is also careful not to eat after 6:30 p.m.
Her thyroid-stimulating hormone level or TSH was 2.2 in recent months and her Free Triiodothyronine or Free T3 and her Free Thyroxine or T4 were on the lower range of the scale. Anne’s endocrinologist felt that, physiologically, Anne is entering the age wherein that kind of weight gain is natural.
However, her OB-GYN thinks differently and believes she needs a stronger dose of Armour.
Confused and hoping to gain more information about side effects of Armour Thyroid, Anne reaches out. She fields a support group the following questions:
- Is weight gain possible on Armour?
- Should I change medications?
- What are your thoughts on Nature Thyroid?
Insights and Tips from Other Natural TSH Replacement Users
A. On Dosage
According to Robert (not his real name), a 30 mg dose, which is roughly equivalent to half a grain of a natural desiccated thyroid supplement, is a baby dose. He goes on to say that a healthy response from the pituitary gland without the use of medicine does not affect the regimen.
B. On Finding Her Dosage Limit
Robert further advised Anne to try doubling her dose to 60 mg and to make sure not to swallow the pill but melt it under her lip. They say she will know if she went past her limit because she will become hyper.
James stated that a normal thyroid makes around 90 micrograms of TC4 and other hormones per day, while half a grain of natural thyroid medicine contains 16 mcg or roughly 18% of what the gland produces.
C. Armour Thyroid vs Synthetic Thyroid in Terms of Weight Gain
Becky, another user (not her real name), narrated that she gained weight with Synthroid and was having a hard time keeping it off. She mentioned she is also of the same age as Anne and her stage in life may be a factor. She was also on Armour but at a higher dose of 60 mg.
James (not his real name) rebuked that counting doses do not work. He added that being overweight comes with hypothyroidism. He dropped Synthroid and his waistline went down two inches when he stopped taking natural TSH supplements.
What Anne Learned
Anne learned that she did not have anything to fear from her supplements. After her research, she decided it was correct to suspect her weight gain stemmed from hypothyroidism and not her use of Armour Thyroid supplements. This article from RestartMed also traces the roots of this issue to leptin resistance, incorrect dosages, and incorrect hormone portions.
3. What Are the Other Armour Thyroid Side Effects?
As your body adjusts to the medication, you may experience hair loss, but this is temporary. Many users of Armour Thyroid do not experience serious side effects. Still, when the dosage is high and increases your thyroid hormone levels more than necessary then, you might experience some serious side effects. These side effects include chest pain, allergic reactions, excessive sweating, unexplained weight loss, fainting, diarrhea, tremors, and nervousness. If you experience any of these, contact your doctor or healthcare provider immediately.
Here is Dr. Adam Lopeer, an endocrinologist, sharing his tips on how to deal with hypothyroidism:
We have learned in Anne’s case that a weight gain is not always associated with Armour Thyroid. There are multiple factors which might be affecting her hormone levels—factors completely separate from any possible side effects of Armour Thyroid. It is important that these legitimate causes can be identified by a physician. If you are suffering such condition, it is best you monitor your health and communicate with an endocrine specialist for advice.
Have you experienced weight gain or other side effects after taking Armour Thyroid? Share your thoughts about Armour Thyroid in the comments section below!
Up Next: Tips On Thyroid Treatment And Care
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on July 4, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.