Am I over medicated??

I'm so confused!! I take 2grains of armour and two weeks ago I felt great and told my Endo so at our appt. However, typically, since then I've started to feel strange. I have this "trembling" feeling inside me, I have achey muscles, pains in my joints, my heart beats rapidly on exertion (walking upstairs etc), my fingers get pins and needles when I raise them above my heart, ie drying my hair, I'm getting stressed over Christmas things and I'm snapping at the husband :-( I'm also back to sighing again . I'm getting acid reflux again too. My period thus month was very heavy and I had a few large blood clots.

The endo wanted to reduce my medication because of my suppressed TSH but I told her I was scared to do this as I felt great when I saw her, now I'm wondering if she was correct with her suggestion as I now don't like the way I'm feeling.

If I hadn't had any tests, I would say I was under medicated but because my endo suggests reducing meds and TSH is suppressed, I'm now scared I am over medicated.

Whatever I am, I don't feel well and don't know which way to turn :-(.

My TSH is 0.02 (0.3 - 6.0)

FT4 10 (7.5 - 21.0)

FT3 4.6 (3.1 - 6.8)

Any help would be greatly appreciated x

22 Replies

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  • I don't know if this will be helpful:-

    stopthethyroidmadness.com/n...

  • Thank you Shaws, this could be very helpful. I am on iron tablets (ferrous Sulphate x3) and my iron levels are not "optimal"

    I'm not sure I understand this part of the link :

    Should I stay on T4-only while correcting my low iron/low cortisol?

    It’s not necessary. In fact, it’s not desirable. Patients tend to convert to too much RT3 while on T4-only. We learned instead to either be on a small amount of NDT (such as 1 1/2 grains or less) or T3-only in small amounts. You are looking for the amount that isn’t causing either pooling or high RT3 symptoms.

    Is this suggesting I lower my Armour whilst I wait for my iron levels to become optimal?

    These were my iron results as of end of Sept so doubt they have changed much

    Iron 14 (6 - 34)

    Ferritin 85 (13-150)

    I haven't tested cortisol and this may need to be my next step

    What would you do Shaws if you were me? Just carry on as I am, reduce the dose whilst working at my iron or raise my armour by 1/4 grain perhaps?

  • My own TSH when first beginning T4 was 0.01 and the Endo didn't bother.

    People who have had thyroid cancer take high doses to suppress their TSH but it doesn't harm them.

    Bearing in mind I am in no way medically qualified. The phrase you refer to is suggesting, if you are on T4, to switch to a lower dose of NDT but you are already on NDT.

    Sometimes it is very confusing as too much can give similar symptoms as too little. Also if you've had a stable period, and symptoms return, it can also mean you need an increase. So, it's a heads or tails decision.

    I notice you have only been taking Armour for 7 weeks, so I would think you could try an increase, even of 1/4 grain (1 gr is around 100mcg of levo so a 1/4 would be about 25mcg) for a couple of weeks and see if you improve. Dr. Toft of the BTA said in his article that some of us can only feel better when our TSH is suppressed.

    I assume you take iron etc 4 hours apart from your thyroid meds.

    Regards

  • Yes, I take iron well away from thyroid meds.

    I agree, it is very difficult to associate wether I need a little more, a little less and I guess in the end it comes down to experimenting and keeping a diary. I can only but try a small amount more and go by symptoms.

    My endo was ok when I disagreed with a decrease, I asked her why she felt I needed a decrease when I felt ok (at that time) and she said that a suppressed TSH "could" cause heart problems although she agreed that hypo symptoms can be damaging too. I think in the end, the decision of what I take will be made by me but she wanted to point out that a suppressed TSH could cause heart problems.

    My father had a heart attack a month ago and I guess talk of heart problems scared me a bit! I have been under ALOT of stress lately and I think the suggestion of an adrenal test may be beneficial.

    Thanks for your input, everyone's thoughts are always valued. None of us are medical people but we are all feeling this and it's valuable to hear what others think

  • I think you will find this link interesting.

    web.archive.org/web/2010103...

  • Your endo is an Endonob. Yes, of course your TSH is suppressed - it's a feedback loop reading of a pituitary hormone, a hormone designed to kick your thyroid into producing more T4. But as you're taking T3 as part of your Armour there's no need for that kick - hence a tiny number. Doesn't mean you're overmedicated - the opposite in fact, looking at those levels.

  • Hi Jazz

    I've been on Armour for 7 weeks now, felt great at 5/6 weeks but had felt unwell this last week. I thought it may have been a virus at first but I know it isn't now and something's not right with the thyroid. In my mind, I feel I need a slight increase but reading various info, listening to endo etc, I'm just completely confused and really don't know which way to go

  • Debs, The T3 in NDT suppresses TSH and often FT4 too. Your FT3 is low in range so I agree with JazzW that you are undermedicated not overmedicated. You can increase half a grain but hold that for 6 weeks before increasing further.

    tiredthyroid.com/tsh.html

    thyrophoenix.com/adjusting_...

  • Thanks Clutter, I'm going to try 1/2grain increase I think which I am going to have to source myself - any ideas where?? :-)

    Thank you very much for the links, I'm trying to digest the first one and get so far understanding but then I lose concentration. I'm waiting for the husband to wake from his nap so he can help! I love the Pheonix one and I'm enjoying reading it

  • You are a long way off over medicated. The free t3 is the one to watch.... So long as its not over range with suppressed tsh you should be ok.

    Internal shakes could be adrenals... Specially with the stress response. The ideal thing woud be to ae a saliva test.... About. £70 from Genova and see where you are with them, but I the meantime you could take plenty of vitamins b and c, both of which are needed by the adrenals.

    How long have you been on 2 grains? You might need another half a grain adding...... there certainly looks like there is room for it. However, the rule is, adrenals first, thyroid second.

    Of course it may to be any of these... I have sky high bp, feel really shakey and have a headache today. I am 100% sure I have caught the dreaded winter lurgy which is doing the rounds. :-(.

    Xx g

  • Hi G

    Sorry to hear you are unwell today. I did fear it could be a virus but I have been feeling off for a week now and I do recognise these symptoms as hypo symptoms but the trembling feeling is quite strong and I've not felt it like this before so maybe it's time for an adrenal test. I'll have a look at Genova, it's not something I'm familiar with.

    I hope you feel better soon x

  • Just tried to order a Genova test and it's asking for a practitioners code, are we not able to just order tests independently do you know?

  • We can order, you have to enter thyroiduk as your practitioner, And you do it by phone or email. Instructions here....http://www.thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testing/genova.html

    Xx. G

  • I also think you are probably under-medicated, but just wanted to check how long before your blood test did you take your Armour? Sorry if I missed this.

  • Hi Clare, I usually take my Armour on waking, 7.30am and didn't take it the morning of the test, the test was at 10.30. I've been reading your blog on Armour, thanks for posting, it's very interesting x

  • I always think that when we are under medicated or starting out and we get some new or increased dose that we do feel better because our body needed it but then what do we do because we feel better-we do more because we want our life back! So our 'better' feeling was when we didn't have a great quality of life but isn't enough for the 'extra' things we felt like doing so I always think we need to keep slowly increasing to keep pace with the life we want to have realistically if you see what I mean. For that reason I would always try increasing rather than decreasing and see what happens. As long as you don't rush things and keep having blood till you get there it shouldn't be a problem. If after your first blood test you find it too much then drop back to alternate days and take you fine tuning after the next test. You may find after having other things tested you need to supplement and after a while as these begin to show an improvement you may then need to decrease a little. Get used to listening to your body and may be keep a diary so you can remember how you felt when.

  • Thanks silverfox, this is great advice. I've increased my armour by 1/4 grain today. It's only a small amount but I agree with you, it's better to try a small increase first, I can also take it away if necessary and I completely agree that I need to listen to my body. That is where I am right now but because the medical profession scare me, I'm scared to treat myself. Such a wrong way to think because it was their ignorance and negligence that made me so I'll in the first place!

  • Re your arms and pins and needles, I had this last year, it was diagnosed as carpal tunnel. I've since realised I was taking vit b12 without increasing folate, folate was already low in range, is it worth asking for a folate test?

    Hope it helps

  • Hi I have had a folate test and it is quite low, it's in range and nobody said nothing about it but I noticed it was quite low so I have been taking a b12 & folate supplement. Do you still have carpel tunnel since you started taking supplements? Or have these eased those symptoms?

  • I would definitely check your adrenals - I felt great for a couple of months when I started NDT but then felt worse again, and still do - despite my thyroid panel being pretty spot on! I have low cortisol, so that's why I now feel like poop again. You can buy your adrenal test from smart nutrition, and you don't need any code.

  • Thanks sip, I will get these tested. What are you doing to try and sort hour cortisol levels?

  • Hi Debsy, I very much doubt if you are over-medicated with a FT3 only just over mid-range. It often happens when we are building up a dose that we feel great just after an increase, when your hormone-starved body is saying wow! all that hormone! fantastic!!! But then it gets to thinking hmmm, still not quite enough, need more... And you start to feel symptoms again. It just needs another increase in dose.

    When taking any form of T3, the TSH does become suppressed because the pituitary takes what it wants first and becomes satisfied with its level, so doesn't secrete the TSH. But that does not mean that the rest of your body has enough. Also, if you had your test at 10.30 that would automatically mean that your TSH was lower - don't know by how much, don't think much research has been done into that - but the TSH is highest first thing in the morning. So try and get tested as early as possible.

    Don't worry about a suppressed TSH. Doctors always try to scare us with tales of heart problems or osteoporosis, but I have never see any hard and fast proof that this is so. The TSH is not a good test to dose by - in fact it's useless because it doesn't reflect how the patient is feeling, not even correct thyroid status. It's just that doctors have been taught to use the TSH as a golden rule by med schools for reasons of their own!

    The pins and needles would suggest to me that you are low in B12. This would not be surprising because hypos have difficulty absorbing nutrients from food. You need your level to be at least 800, bottom of the range is no good. And if you decide to suppliment, take a B complex with your B12 because they all work together.

    Hugs, Grey

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