optimal labs on desiccated thyroid?!

I was on Armour (5 grains or 300 mg), and I was not sure how to interpret my labs, so I asked to be switched to Erfa...but now, I am feeling more and more hyper, I am itching all over, and I just cannot seem to find the right dosage for me...on Armour, I felt OK, but did not think my labs were optimal. These are my labs on 5 grains of Armor, and I'd appreciate if anyone knowledgeable would comment on them:

FT4 1.1 (ref 0.7-1.5)

FT3 2.9 (ref 1.7-3.7)

TSH completely suppressed (<0.001), but I know you should not care about that when on NDT.

Both anti-TPO and anti-thyroglobulin were within range, for the first time in 15 years (I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's in 1999, and my anti-TPO levels were +6000; now they were <6 (ref <6; anti-thyroglobulin <4; ref <4).

On 5.5 grains of Erfa (+/- the equivalent of 5 grains of Armour), my labs were:

FT4 1.2 (0.7-1.5)

FT3 3.6 (1.7-3.7)

So, instinctively, I'd say my levels look better on Erfa...however, I have several hyper symptoms: losing a lot of hair, insomnia, excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat, terrible itching...most nights, I wake up drenched in sweat.

I'd really appreciate if anyone who has found an optimal dosage of NDT would tell me what symptoms to look out for, what levels to aim for, and how to tell if you are hyper, hypo, or optimally treated...

I am in Belgium, where only Erfa and Armour are currently available, so other brands would unfortunately not be an option at the moment.

6 Replies

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  • Anna. most people on NDT would go on symptoms not on optimising labs if they felt well. Your symptoms suggest overmedication although your labs are within range. Nevertheless, FT3 top of range may be too much for you. Cut your Erfa to 5 grains and see if symptoms improve. Take an antihistamine an hour before Erfa. If it stops the itching you may have an allergy to one of the Erfa fillers and may want to go back on Armour if that is the case.

  • Anna, 'optimal' means what's best for you. It has nothing to do with numbers on a piece of paper, and it's different for every single one of us. If you felt well on Armour, I cannot for the life of me understand why you asked to change? What were you expecting? Most of us here would give our right arm to feel well on anything.

    My advice would be to go back to Armour, if it suited you, and forget the blood tests. They are pretty bogus, anyway, with an arbitary range. And rarely reflect how the patient feels. They are more useful as guide for gauging how bad people are, not how well they are.

    Alternatively, lower the dose of Erga by 0.5 and see how that feels.

    Hugs, Grey

  • Hi Grey,

    You're right! The reason I switched to Erfa was that the pharmacy where I have been ordering NDT is no longer carrying Armour, just Erfa. However, I could always find another pharmacy to fill the prescription.

    I guess I have been trying to dose according to the advice on the STTM...that is, mid-range FT4 levels, and FT3 at the very top of the range...while basically ignoring my symptoms, and how I felt :-(

  • You know what, I'm not an unconditional fan of STTM. I know that's not a popular opinion, and they do give lots of helpful information, but... I don't believe in dictating that everyone should do the same thing, in the same way with the same results... We're all individuals, and any advice given anywhere can only be a guide, at best. You have to cherry-pick, not take it all as gospel. This bit fits me, this bit doesn't. But symptoms should always be your ultimate guide.

    Hugs, Grey

  • I have used armour for 16 years. I did try Erfa for a while but found it much stronger than armour, which I returned to.

  • JANJAN2, Do you mean that Erfa is stronger than Armour = causing hyper-T symptoms? Most post I have read claim that Erfa is so much better, as it is almost the same same as Armour pre-reformulation...meaning that Armour is much weaker since the reformulation in early 2009, while Erfa is just as, or even stronger, than original Armour...so, are you saying that Armour is actually better for you, and that Erfa caused hyper symptoms at the same dosage?! I am asking because I have never felt good consistently on Erfa; going from hypo to hyper and back again, never really stabilizing?!

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