Synthetic to natural thyroid - Dr's conversion???

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New Member

Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/17/2013 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   

I was hoping someone could clear a few items up for me.  Diagnosed Hashimotos in 2004.  Started out on 50mcg Levothyroxine and every so often got bumped up.  In April I was on 112mcgs and my TSH was 9.6.  Free T4 and Free T3 were normal, but on the very edge of the low end of the scale.  My regular doctor said that 9.6 wasn’t too far from normal and agreed to raise my dosage to 125mcgs.  I inquired about possibly switching to a natural thyroid product and he said he would not prescribe it.

After having him tell me that 9.6 wasn’t too far from normal (I felt like complete crap) I decided to find another doctor. 

The new doctor seemed really great and knowledgeable.  He prescribed me a compounded version of both synthetic T4 and T3 (I had never had straight T3).  The T4 would be 125mcgs and the T3 15mcgs.  For 30 days I never really felt much of a difference. 

Once I hit the 30 day mark it was time to get new labs done.  The new doctor gave me the results of my TSH, which had now gone up from 9.6 to 13.1 and I was obviously not feeling any better.  At that point I asked him if we could try Armour Thyroid.  He agreed and started to get my prescription ready. 

Here’s where I am really confused.  I was previously on 125mcgs of T4 and 15cmgs of T3 (prior to that 112mcgs of Levo).  My Armour Thyroid prescription was for 5 grains.  Start with 3 grains for 3 days, then 4 grains for 4 days and then stay at 5 grains.  I have been on this for almost a month and early on I felt really well, then it went down a bit….but I still felt better than I had in a long time.  I started noticing I was sweating almost uncontrollably when doing just minimal activity.  My concentration was getting worse and I already take 40 mgs of Vyvanse almost every day.  I’m losing a little weight (5 lbs), which is good…I probably needed to lose about 15 lbs anyway. 

I spoke with my doctor and I don’t think he understood what I was trying to say.  Is 5 grains what I should be on with a TSH of 13 and previous dosage of 112mcgs of Levothyroxine?????  The conversion I see online from levo to armour makes me think I’m overmedicated by quite a bit.  My doctor seems to be looking at the T4 concentration only and converting from that, and not taking the fact there is T3 into consideration. 

Anyone have any thoughts on this or able to lead me down the correct path of thinking?


Thanks in advance!



Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 758
   Posted 5/18/2013 3:41 AM (GMT -7)   
First thing, why did you ask your doctor to add T3? it should be added only if you know that T4 alone does not work for you.
30 days is not enough time, six weeks is the minimum, and it can take up to three months.
Do u know if you have hashimoto's disease ? with hashimoto, you will need to increase your dose every 6 weeks to three months, you will see that your TSH goes up after increasing your dose.

5 grains is a very high dose, the ratio of t3:t4 in the armour medication is different from that our body needs, armour is made from pork thyroid glands.


New Member

Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/18/2013 11:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I inquired about natural thyroid because I have a friend who also has hashimotos and said she did wonderful on it compared to synthroid. 
I was not aware that TSH went up after increase with hashimotos.  I can usually tell when I need an increase, as I become very bloated and for some reason its always been a precursor to raise in TSH as least from my experience thus far.
 - that's why I wrote, I felt 5 grains was way too high and that my doctor completely screwed up the conversion.
- I don't know about that ratio of what our body needs, but I do know prior to synthroid being available, natural was all people had and it seems to have done very well from my research. 
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