T4 still dropping on Armour - normal?

Hi, i have posted elsewhere about my appts etc with Dr Skinner and the whole Thyroid issue. I am not diagnosed Hypothyroid, but have a diagnosis of M.E and have been very ill for many years.

I have been on Armour thyroid for a few months now - started at 1/4 grain, moved up to 1/2 then 1 daily in split dose. As soon as i went up to 1 grain i felt very good and had a few really good weeks. Then odd symtpoms started creeping back (chest pain, palpitations, nervousness, anxiety, fatigue) plus some new ones (feeling faint, very low resting pulse, nearly blacking out, intolerance of being upright for long, severe dizziness)

When i first started Armour my results where in range but lowish:

TSH: 2.69 (0.27 - 4.20)

Free T4: 12.8 (12 - 21)

After two months on Armour they were:

TSH: 2.29 (0.27 - 4.20)

Free T4: 12 (12 -21)

So this week i spoke with Dr S about feeling so ill again and my concerns re chest pain (although i have had this on and off for years and it may be coming from stomach, even though pain sometimes travels down arm and) and general feeling crap after a few great weeks. He said not to increase dose (am supposed to be titrating up to 2 grains or until i feel well) to stick at 1 grain and go see GP for reassurance etc.

Off my own back i decided to cut Armour to 1/2 grain and felt less anxious/restless etc although now feel in full on M.E crash and dizziness is still bad but improving. My health has plummetted to the level i was at two years ago - and i have worked so hard with pacing etc to get to the level i was at before starting Armour in early June.

GP did ECG - normal

blood pressure - 116/63 - normal

Thyroid bloods, which came back today:

TSH -1.46 (0.27 -4.20)

Free T4: 11.2

On my last visit in early August Dr S said it is normal when taking Armour (which includes T3) for T4 to drop. But mine is still dropping, i feel like crap and i dont understand the rationale behind what he is saying. I understand that i am supplying T3 directly to the cells, but Armour still has T4 in it as well as T3. plus surely my own bosy is still making some?

Can i just expect my T4 to keep dropping? is this normal?

I'm afraid i have no T3 blood tests - and GP will not do them (even if they will it's back on the merry go round of trying to get an appt to discuss with GP which is so hard as i have to find someone to take me and wait with me for hours - it all takes such a long time!)

Can't really afford T3 private test - and i guess i would still need to get to GP for blood draw anyway.

Thanks for reading,

Justy x

4 Replies

  • Hi As you suspect a Free T3 test is essential, it is not too expensive through Dr.S or on line,I use Blue Horizon,very well know and reliable,Have a finger prick test, main site. Quote TUK 10 for £10 discount. You may need more armour . With any thyroid treatment the usually way is to start low, gradually increase the dose on the results of blood tests and how you feel. You can keep seeming to go backwards. This is continued until bloods ( 3) and you feel fine. It may take about a year.

    Best wishes,


  • Thank you Jackie for your repy. So can i presume that it is normal for T4 to drop when on Armour? is it the T3 in Armour causing the drop, even though it also contains T4? Really wish i could understand all of this.

    After a week now at the lowered dose of 1/2 grain i am now going to try to go back up slowly by 1/4 grain at a time as before.

    Also good news that Blue Horizon do a finger prick test kit - will have a look at that - thank you!


  • I don't know if this link will help. We don't really need T4 as it is the inactive hormone, T3 being the active. Some people take T3 only:-


  • Thanks Shaws - all very helpful information.

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