I have been recently diagnosed with Hashimotos and have been on Armour Thyroid for 2 months now. I started with 30mg, then 60 and now I have 60 for 4 days (t-t-s-s) and 90 for 3 days (m-w-f). The increase starting today. He said because of the Hashimotos I have to go slow with my increases. When will I feel better?? My dr. says I should feel so much better, but I don't. I have days that are good then the bad days are bk. One of the blood test that determined my Hashimotos he said, showed a level of 634 and it was to be 35 or lower for normal. What kind of test would that have been? I have felt so bad for most of my adult life and been treated for depression for20 years (am 55 now) I am excited to think the second half of my life i might feel somewhat normal. Also my Hormones are all extremely low. He doesnt want to treat that till he gets the thyroid somewhat under control. does any of this sound normal?
I'm so sorry that you've gone through so much and are feeling so badly. I can certainly empathize with suffering for years without answers and being misdiagnosed with depression, which ironically is depressing in itself.
The good news is that it sounds like you have a good doctor who has you on the correct path. Unfortunately, it will take some time before you notice big changes. No one can say exactly how long it will take as it's very dependent on how your body responds. What I can tell you is that you'll feel like a new woman even before your levels reach the normal range. I think that ups and downs are definitely to be expected. Personally, my downs typically follow a period of increased activity or stress. Any kind of stress on your body is going to result in decreased thyroid function.
This raises the question as to whether your doctor is treating the autoimmune part of your disease in addition to the thyroid. Many people do just fine with just treating the thyroid hormone deficiencies but I benefited from controlling my immune system as well. My doctor started me on 200mg/day of Plaquenil and worked up to 600mg/day. It aided in keeping my body from attacking my thyroid thus reducing the amount of thyroid hormones that needed to be replaced. It sounds as though your disease is much more advanced than mine so you'd have to ask your doctor if it would benefit you or not. If your thyroid is already severely damaged then it may not benefit you at all.
Regarding the question as to the type of thyroid medicine: I personally prefer Synthroid. It is a more stable supplement in that it keeps your levels more constant. At this point it may be a little early to tell but if you continue to suffer from fluctuations after they get you back to a normal range then it may be worth giving Synthroid a try. If after a few weeks on Synthroid you are still experiencing fluctuations then you'll know it must be something else.
One of the huge frustrations for both patients and doctors is that so much of finding the proper treatment is just trial and error. There are so many factors that influence our chemistry that there's no definitive way to know how it will effect you until you give it a try. The most important thing is to keep an open line of communication with your doctor. If they blow you off then go to someone else. It took 3 tries but I finally found a doctor who listens and gives consideration to how I'm feeling. He always gives me options before trying something new and if I don't like it then we keep trying until we find what works for me. Don't be afraid to ask questions. He's working for you.
Finally, The 634 could be your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) though I don't think it is. Just for the sake of argument, If it is TSH, then higher the number, the harder your body is working to get your thyroid to wake up and do it's job. Since you said the 634 has something to do with Hashimoto's, the more likely answer is that it's the level of antibodies. If that's the case then your body was working really hard to kill your thyroid. Again, depending on the amount of damage, you may benefit from autoimmune drugs such as Plaquenil.
Just a final word of caution. It is often tempting for doctors to give autoimmune patients steriods to get them feeling better. It's best to avoid these as it triggers a vicious cycle that takes years to work out. A rheumatologist is a good choice for seeking treatment for the autoimmune part of your Hashimoto's. A doctor who is knowledgable in treating the thryoid (not just diabetes) is difficult to find and should work closely with the rheumatologist in your overall treatment.
I hope this helps. Please feel free to contact me at any time with questions or if you just need a little support. Best of luck!
- Armour Thyroid Information for Consumers
- Armour Thyroid Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Armour Thyroid (detailed)
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