Armour Thyroid vs. Levothyroxine-Which is best?

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Hi Dr. Moffat, I’ve been enjoying your Facebook postings and I hope everything is going well for you. I’m hoping you’ll be willing to answer a question for me. I switched to Armour Thyroid in April and tried to adjust the level myself based on symptoms. Well, I finally got my temp up to being around 98.6 regularly in the afternoons, so I had my MD test me. She only tested for TSH and T4. The T4 was under the normal range (normal range 4.5-12.5) and my TSH was 66.82! (normal range 0.5 – 5.5) Overall except for anxiety and dry skin and continuing fatigue (although not so bad as before), I’m feeling better, so I’m mystified at the results. My question is: Which of levothyroxine or Armour is better for me as an individual? I think there are people who are “religious” on the topic and it’s hard to get beyond that to figure out what’s best for oneself. If you can give me a definite answer on this, I’d appreciate it. I hope the question’s not oversimplified. Thank you, A.G. in Sunny CA

Dear A.G.: Wow that is quite a bit out of the normal range! I’m muscle testing that levothyroxine is the best thing for your body though. And you’re testing you need 30 mcg/day (taken at 7am is what I’m getting—some of the latest recommendations on taking thyroid meds are to split them up and take them twice daily but your body doesn’t like that.)

I don’t really have an opinion on one product over the other. I believe one should take whatever works for them and then stick with that same brand (even though the dosage may change over the years). It should work with the other supplements, homeopathics and medications you’re currently taking. I have numerous clients taking one or the other and they find THE product which works for them. I hope this answer helps you.

I think you should have your doctor explore why you are so far out of the normal range, but you didn’t share how much you were taking and I don’t really have enough to go on. What other things have shifted since our last consult? Other thyroid tests are in order here I suspect. You may also want to take a stabilized dose of the Levothyroxine for 3 months and then go in for another blood test to see if you’re in the correct range. It’s kind of stressful on the body to shift back and forth from dose to dose on your own and it takes several weeks for the body to come to equilibrium with thyroid meds. We’re dealing with a hormone situation here so adding and taking away too quickly really doesn’t work optimally for the body. Consistency of the proper medicine is the key. Hope all is well. See ya on Facebook. Denice

Hi Dr. Moffat, thank you for your answer. I was starting to suspect that the Armour wasn’t right for me, especially since levothyroxine seems to work fine for my mother and sister. Best regards, A. G.
Dear A. G.: Excellent deduction my dear Watson. Most often the efficiency or side effects of a drug are exhibited similarly within members of the same family. Let me know how it goes for you. Denice