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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » thyroid and Lyme

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Author Topic: thyroid and Lyme
wenan
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Back in the spring (before I found the Lyme) I had a thyroid storm - I went from Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - Hypothyroid to hyperthyroid.

This was within days of a very slight increase in my thyroid med. My feeling is that the lyme had started to attack the thyroid - and the endocrine system in general.

My levels slowly came back to a normal thyroid level up until today. I got a call from my doc saying I was hypothyroid again and she wanted me on Synthroid. I am really bothered by this.

I have not been on antibiotics as I cannot tolerate them. I have been going slowly with herbs and supplements and this morning I had the best two hours I have had in more than 8 months. I really am doing a lot better but I am concerned about treating any of the thyroid stuff without having the Lyme under control more consistently.

It has seemed to me that the Lyme messes with my endocrine system and as a result my emotions can get wacky. If I keep treating the symptoms of the endocrine stuff with meds it just seems like I will be forever chasing my tail. Any experiences would be helpful.

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Beverly
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Hi wenan,

I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. The lyme attacked my thyroid gland and I ended up with a lump in my throat that was from scar tissue. The only thing that took it away was thyriod meds.

My thyroid is dead today, I will be on thyriod meds the rest of my life. I don't know if this will happen to you if you catch the lyme in time?

I'm glad you are doing well on herbs though. I am just a lyme patient and not a doctor, so I can only share my experiences. Hopefully you will sort this all out with your doctor.

I hope you feel better soon. [group hug]

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Lisianthus
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Hi Wenan,


Yes lyme does attack the thyroid gland. But once it does theres nothing you can do to change it.


You have to treat the thyroid disease. You need the hormoone in your body in order for everything to work properly. You can die without it!!


I have had Hashimoto's Thyroiditis since I was 15 years old, and have been on meds since then for it. Mine has gone up and down over the years, and the only thing that has helped is when I changed to Armour Thyroid, it is a natural thyroid hormone taken from a pig. It has T3 and T4. Synthroid only has T3.


You might want to ask your doc about this. But I cannot stress enough how much your body NEEDS this hormome in order to function! You have to take it!

Lisi

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notkrazybrian
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Iam one of the unlucky males to have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and I have also had it around the age of 15 maybe alittle younger. Lyme can throw off your whole endocrine system so make sure your having every hormone checked! Lisianthus I have been thinking about changed to Armour instead of Synthyroid have you noticed any difference in the change? Did your LD of pcp recommend or offer it to you because I know my Endo will not go for it.
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bettyg
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i've had chronic lyme 37 yrs; 34 yrs. misdiagnosed.

underactive thyroiad 20 years. been on synthroid since. MUST GET THYROID UNDER CONTROL NOW! do not wait.

last year was told i too hve hasimoto going back a few years; unknown to me! [confused]

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CaliforniaLyme
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After about a year of being sick I began to have massive facial swelling below and above my eyes. My then Rheumie said the Post Lyme (ha) was attacking my thyroid!!! It was horrible.

When I went on orals and IV Rocephin this did not change. It was gone within a couple weeks of Mepron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was Babs.

!!!

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All truth goes through 3 stages: first it is ridiculed: then it is violently opposed: finally it is accepted as self evident. - Schopenhauer

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Beverly
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Armour Thyroid didn't do anything for me, my thyroid hormones crashed while taking it, but maybe it will work for you as it did for Lisi.
I hope you find something that helps.

Good luck.

Hugs Lisi..and all.... [group hug]

[ 21. February 2007, 06:18 PM: Message edited by: Beverly ]

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iceskater
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Lyme has attacked my thyroid also. I am on Lexovyl now. Didn't have thyroid problems until I was diagnosed with lyme. Keep treating it, now!!
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nan
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Armour Thyroid has been a boon for me! Fixed my hypothyroidism and made me feel sooo much better.
No worrying about adjusting or balancing t3 and t4 when you take it.

I think you will feel improved once you get the thyroid under control. I highly recommend the Armour and that is what my LLMD prescribed for me.

http://www.armourthyroid.com/

Good luck!

--------------------
nan

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Boomerang
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Thanks so much for the link about armour thyroid med.

LLMD just did thyroid tests on my hubby...tests all came back okay. However, the LLMD sent a prescription for Armour Thyroid. I'm not sure why he would say it might help my hubby, if tests came back okay?

WIll check out the link.

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Sammi
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Hi Boomerang. Did the doctor test your husband's antibodies? If possible, get copies of his results.

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is a type of auto-immune hypothyroidism which is indicated by positive antibodies. It is possible to have other test results in the normal range. Normal does not always mean optimal, especially if symptoms are present.

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dmc
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thank goodness for all of you. Found out hypothyroid a few months ago. LLMD (since I saw him first after the test) put me on levothyroxin.

6 weeks later had to lower dose, six weeks from that and needed to higher back to orginal dose.

I will ask my PCP (see him next) about the Amour thyroid. Thank you all.

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wenan
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thanks for all your help and feedback. I found someone who really will work slowly and carefully with me. We are also looking at cortef for the adrenal stuff.
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Boomerang
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So has the armour thyroid helped some, even if the thyroid tests came back okay?

Thanks.

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Boomerang
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Would appreciate any input.

Thanks!

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6t5frlane
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I have had a couple of Thyroid tests and Hyper is a possible. My TSH is always on the lower side of Normal and I always have TSI antibodies . A normal person has none or on the lab scale 5 or less. I was at 92. The lab says under 125 is OK. Why the range if your not suppose to have any TSI ???
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wenan
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boomerang, I am just starting on the armour today. My T4 was off but my endocrinologist says that she is from this point on only going to look at the FREE T3 levels and my symptoms. She said she finds the T4 to be inaccurate in accessing the full picture.

Most docs don't seem to do Free T3. I need to start taping my appts. as I don't remember what is said very well- my apologies. She is starting me on 15g of armour for 2 weeks and I will go up to 30 if I am doing okay and again after 2 weeks up to 60g.

She told me that I may in fact have some palpitations but for some people it levels out. I am going to give it a shot.

She is also working on considering some DHEA or testosterone but will see what happens with the Armour. I have grown accustomed to doing all of this VERY slowly due to previous reactions.

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dguy
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From what I can glean from various sources, infections like Lyme somehow inhibit our normal T4 to T3 conversion. Hence many of us need T3 supplementation, such as via Armour or Cytomel.
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kelmo
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This is very timely. We just got back from the LLMD who felt my daughter's neck (she was complaining of swelling and pain in her tonsils and neck). He said her thyroid is swollen.

We are going to get tested for it, but he is also going to do a blood smear and test for babesia (our doc is the one who had his blood cell pics published in PHA). So far, she has only shown pos for bartonella, but he is suspecting babs is showing it's head.

I hate to see her go on thyroid medication. Are there a lot of people on it?

Kelly

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Boomerang
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I dunno if a lot are on it or not. I'm nervous for my hubby to start it, but I also trust the LLMD we are seeing. So I am torn about what to do.
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Sammi
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Kelly, when your daughter has bloodwork done for thyroid testing I suggest you ask that they include tests for the Free T3, Free T4 (besides the T3, T4) and thyroid antibodies. These are not usually done but are necessary for a comprehensive view.

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is a type of hypothyroidism. It is evident if the antibodies are elevated. It is important to have the antibodies tested because it is possible to have other levels in the normal range but have positive antibodies.

If her thyroid levels are off, she should take meds. Thyroid function affects many systems of the body. Some people, including myself, who have Lyme also have a thyroid disorder.

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kelmo
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I agree. If she needs it, she needs it. And, someday, as the bacterial load decreases, she can wean off.

Kelly

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aiden424
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The same thing happened to me. I'm on Synthroid.

Kathy


I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. The lyme attacked my thyroid gland and I ended up with a lump in my throat that was from scar tissue. The only thing that took it away was thyriod meds.

My thyroid is dead today, I will be on thyriod meds the rest of my life.

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You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

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tic chick
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Now I know why I had nodules in my throid and it turned into cancer so I had to had the thyroid removed.

It must have been the Lyme attacking my Thyroid & my Immune System failed.

I will be on Synthroid for the rest of my life. My Endo says you cannot live without it. She also says that Synthroid or T4 coverts to T3 and is not neccessary.

Tic

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Daily world-wide prayers welcome for the Lyme Community - every day at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time and 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time all faiths welcome!

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Sammi
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Hi tic chick. T4 does convert to T3 but some people do not covert as well as others. Some people do well on Armour (a combo T3/T4 med), some do well on Synthroid or something similiar (a T4 only med), and some do well on Synthroid combined with a T3 med such as Cytomel.

My suggestion for anyone with a thyroid disorder is to learn as much as you can and keep watch on your lab ranges. Thyroid disorders can cause many symptoms.

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Sammi
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Hi tic chick. T4 does convert to T3 but some people do not covert as well as others. Some people do well on Armour (a combo T3/T4 med), some do well on Synthroid or something similiar (a T4 only med), and some do well on Synthroid combined with a T3 med such as Cytomel.

My suggestion for anyone with a thyroid disorder is to learn as much as you can and keep watch on your lab ranges, especially the Free T3 and Free T4. Thyroid disorders can cause many symptoms.

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nan
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Just wanted to tell you that my thyroid tests were fine, but my hair was falling out and it hurt to swallow,I had horrid dry skin...also it felt like I had a lump in my throat. The usual thyroid testing showed no thyroid problem. My fatigue at the time was overwhelming!

Sammi is right on the testing....the T3 and T4 are necessary for the whole picture.

I was started on 15 mg. and went up to 30 mg. of Armour. Within a month I had more energy and felt sooo much better! I had frequent thyroid tests (monthly I think). I am now taking 45 mg. and have been for a year.

Take it in the morning first thing or it might keep you from falling asleep easily. I had absolutely no unfavorable reactions!

Best of luck!

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Boomerang
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This is all so amazing to read. I'm still wondering whether Richard should start he Armour, but can't get a good feel for what is the best thing.


I'm just so afraid to tell him to take yet another pill, when I'm not sure if it will really help him.

Arrgh.

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Sammi
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Boomerang, if you want to post Richard's results, maybe we can give you feedback.
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Michelle M
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My thyroid took a dive with lyme, went very hypothyroid (despite never having a thyroid problem before). Been on Synthroid ever since.

Boomie, I would have hubby start the Armour. Don't worry -- it's most likely going to make him feel TONS better. You can't say that about very many typical lyme meds!!

Often labs use outdated ranges when research demonstrates that people feel best with a TSH between 1 and 2. A trial of Armour sounds like a really good idea and as long as his doctor's monitoring him, there isn't too much of a downside.

Good luck!

Michelle

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Boomerang
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Really Michelle? I'm just nervous about more meds. The Armour is considered safe? I'm just confused why he should take it, if his test results were okay.

Test results are:

Thyroxine (T4) Free Direct,
T4, Free (Direct) result 1.10
TSH 2.595

Any advice on this would be much appreciated .

Thanks!

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wenan
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Boomerang, I would suggest getting the Free T3 - see what that shows too. That might show more than what you have.
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Cathy DeVoe
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Hi Everyone,
My LLMD says she sees more reactions to the armour hormone than to the vegetarian kind we get from a compounding pharmacy. she says alot of time the Lyme will not let you treat the thyroid so she is able to have less reactions with this. Just FYI....this is the only experience I have had and haven't tried the armour.

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Cathy DeVoe
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Hi Everyone,
My LLMD says she sees more reactions to the armour hormone than to the vegetarian kind we get from a compounding pharmacy. she says alot of time the Lyme will not let you treat the thyroid so she is able to have less reactions with this. Just FYI....this is the only experience I have had and haven't tried the armour.

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Cathy DeVoe
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Hi Everyone,
My LLMD says she sees more reactions to the armour hormone than to the vegetarian kind we get from a compounding pharmacy. she says alot of time the Lyme will not let you treat the thyroid so she is able to have less reactions with this. Just FYI....this is the only experience I have had and haven't tried the armour.

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KMP
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Wenan,

Haven't been on this forum in awhile, but saw your post tonight and would like to say that I have been on Armour Thyroid for about 5 months and it has helped.

One thing my LLMD told me is that most (can't remember the %) lyme patients have low or moderately low hormones across the board. I believe it is because the Bb use cholesterol, which is what all hormones are made from.

My LLMD also has me on DHEA which is a precursor for many hormones - normally it is produced in various organs of our body from cholesterol. So if not enough cholesterol is available to make hormones in my body, hormones can be made from the DHEA I am taking.

You should be able to search on this forum for that info...I just don't have the time right now. Marnie is a good person to ask also.

--------------------
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Karla

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Boomerang
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Well, there is not a Free T3 showing in the copy of test results I have, so I guess he didn't test for that. Darn it anyway.

Doc advised that TSH and free T4 tests would need to be monitored. If hubby's tests were okay, what would monitoring show? To watch for levels going too high or ?? I must be dense, I guess.

Michelle, would the armour help any with hubby's brain fog??

I am looking at the prescription LLMD sent for hubby. These are the instructions:

Armour Thyroid 15 mg (100 tablets)

Start with one pill in the AM and in two weeks add one pill in PM. Every two weeks the dose may be increased by 15 mg pill if needed up to seven pills bid.

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Sammi
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Hi Boomerang. Can you post the lab ranges along with the results you have (they can vary by lab)?

It is important to have the Free T3 tested as well as the Free T4. While the TSH is in the normal range, it still can be considered high.

If the Free T4 range is something similar to .8-1.8 and his is 1.0 it could be higher. Ideally with treatment, the TSH should go down and the Free T levels should go up.

From what I understand, people who are symptomatic often feel best when the Free T levels get around the upper 1/3 of the range. The TSH can get suppressed during treatment, so it is more useful to go by the Free T levels and the patient's symptoms.

It is necessary to start off with a low dose and build up gradually which is how this has been prescribed. Too much thyroid hormone to fast can be dangerous.

It sounds like the Armour is likely warranted and that your hubby could benefit from treatment. It can take time however to get the levels optimally adjusted.

Good luck!

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Boomerang
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Okay...here is what I have from test results.

his T-4 was 1.10.

the Lab ranges are .61-1.76

TSH - his was 2.595

Lab range .350-5.500

Tested by Labcorp.


Can you make any sense of this?

Thank you so much. I appreciate any input.

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hiker53
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His thyroid numbers are normal, but my LLMD says that often the tests are normal, but you still need the thyroid medication. I don't understand that, though.

If you take Armour Thyroid, avoid magnesium and calcium for 4 hours(according to my prescription directions). If possible it is best to split the amount and take it 2x a day as it wears off quickly. I find that hard since you have to take it an hour before eating and I have to work around the magnesium. Hiker

--------------------
Hiker53

"God is light. In Him there is no
darkness." 1John 1:5

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Boomerang
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Thanks hiker. That's what I can't figure out either. If his tests are normal, why is it being prescribed?

So, do you take it? Has it helped you? I just don't get it. Sorry folks.

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Sammi
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Hi Boomerang. I suggest having his thyroid antibodies tested and the Free T3 level.

From what I understand, the new TSH range has the high normal below 2.5. Regardless, some people with his TSH would have symptoms and feel bad.

You can have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and have normal test results. This is a type of auto-immune hypothyroidism. It would be evident if his thyroid antibodies are elevated.

I knew for years that something was wrong with my thyroid. I was told my tests were normal and there was nothing wrong. Finally, when a doctor ran the antibody tests, they were very elevated. My TSH had always been in the normal range so I was told there was no problem. Although I am still adjusting my dose, getting treated for this has helped a lot.

Recently my fatigue increased dramatically. I did not feel it was Lyme related, so I had my thyroid levels checked. My Free T4 was .8 with a range of .8 - 1.8 It has never been this low, even before I started treatment. So even though it is in the normal range, it is not optimal for me. Does this make sense?

Many symptoms of Lyme and hypothyroidism can overlap. Learn as much as you can about this. Knowledge is power. A couple of good books are "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Hypothyroidism: A Simple Plan for Extraordinary Results" by Ken Blanchard, MD and "Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know" by Mary J. Shomon.

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Boomerang
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Bumping up.........

Michelle? Would it help neuro symptoms?

Thanks!

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Boomerang
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Thanks Sammi for the info about the books. I actually have Hashi's....but I don't have Lyme.

Hubby is the Lyme guy.

I'm still wondering if the Armour would help hubby's Neuro problems? I know from personal experience, being off synthroid for tests and stuff over the years, it can really mess with your system.

The thing I'm worrying about is, if hubby's thyroid tests were okay, and he takes the armour....will that increase his heart rate, up his blood pressure, etc?

That's what I'm worrying about. Don't want to do the wrong thing.

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Boomerang
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Bumping for info.......

Thanks!

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lundeliz
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Does everyone take Armour thyroid on an empty
stomach? My instructions from the pharmacy
doesn't mention that, so I never have.

When I took Levothyroxin it did say take on
an empty stomach. Does anyone know for sure?
My numbers are always normal now.

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savebabe
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Glutathione really helped my endocrine system. Have your llmd order some from a compounding pharmacy.
Feel better.

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Sammi
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Hi Boomerang. I would have his Free T3 and antibodies tested. If the Free T3 is low or in the low range of normal or if he has antibodies, he likely can benefit from treatment. I would have feel crummy with the TSH and Free T4 he has.

Yes, thyroid function affects everything. The only reason he should have a fast heart rate, anxiety, etc. is if he was over-medicated.

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Sammi
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Hi lundeliz. I think you are supposed to wait at least one hour before eating and several hours before having iron etc. You may want to call the manufacturer.

I take my Armour sublingually (dissolve under the tongue) as soon as I wake up. This allows it to go straight in so you do not have to worry about interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about taking it this way.

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lundeliz
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Thanks Sammi,
I'll definitely talk to the pharmacist
about how to take the Armour. I'll
mention taking it sublingually like you
do, and I think I'll try taking it as
soon as I wake up too.

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