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Thyroid UK
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Armour and Erfa...for the 1000th time

I have been in contact with some Armour users who take as much as 7.5 or 8 grains daily, and say they do great on it.

I cannot help but wonder if this could be explained by the reformulation of Armour a few years back (impaired absorption due to increased cellulose content, so they needed to take more to get the same effect)? A few years ago, before Armour was reformulated, I'd never hear of anyone taking more than 5 grains daily...

I have had spotty success with Armour (to put it mildly) since going on it in 2011. I have done great on some batches, and poorly on others. However, in the past year, that has been true for Erfa as well. Some batches are great, others not so great...some cause terrible itching (like an allergic reaction, almost), while others seem fine. It's all very confusing. I have read some posts saying that the 100 ct bottles seem better than the 500 ct bottles, while others say that the smaller pills (30 and 60 mg) are less problematic than the 125 mg pills...personally, I cannot see any pattern at all, just that some batches work better than others, for no apparent reason.

I am not sure what happened to Erfa (I only know what I read on STTM), but Armour was reformulated about six years ago, and most of the dextrose was replaced with cellulose. The question I ask myself is: everyone seems to agree cellulose impairs thyroid hormone absorption. The question is: would it then be enough to raise the daily dosage of Armour, to get the same effect that you used to, and to alleviate all hypo symptoms? Or does the addition of cellulose mean that, no matter how much you take, absorption will always be impaired?

I also wonder if cellulose is especially problematic when it comes to thyroid hormone medication? I am asking as it seems that cellulose is a very common filler in drugs and, if it led to impaired absorption of for instance blood pressure and heart medication, I am sure we would have heard about it, as that could have potentially fatal consequences...

5 Replies

This follows on nicely from my war and peace post on NDT... :D

I dunno whether it actually has anything to do with cellulose. It might, it might not. But as far as taking 7 or 8 grains goes, I have two theories - that the person taking them is a larger person and thus needs more (I don't know how well you know the people you're in contact with and whether you can confirm). The second is that the person who needs that much NDT has thyroid hormone resistance - that their bodies somehow can't sense the T3 being fed in at a cellular level, so need more.

As for some batches being more potent than others, I'm not sure about that either. I do know that being hypothyroid, I tend to automatically think that every ailment I suffer is somehow related to whether I'm on too much or too little thyroid hormone replacement - when it's probably a bug / virus of some kind sending things a little off.


Thanks! I have no idea how big these people are, as I have only met them online...


I agree, it's so easy to obsess about thyroid hormones, isn't it...?!


'Tis a puzzle, isn't it? I used the original Armour and had NO problems. When they reformulated, I moved to the original Erfa and had no problems. When they changed mfg facilities, I did poorly on the 'new' Erfa (dizzy, light-headed and feeling 'off' after a week or so) but am doing well on WP.

Some folks, in order to get around the absorption question with Armour, actually grind up their tabs into a fine powder and let it absorb in their mouth (sublingually). Others just let the tabs dissolve in their mouth. This avoids the tummy/intestines/liver route. And some spread their dosage thru out the day.

It can all be so subjective and complicated by low iron and/or adrenal exhaustion, conditions which can make stabilizing NDT dosages difficult. All one can do is to experiment with the different thyroid medications and combos (synthetic t4s/t3s) and ways to take them. It shouldn't be this difficult but with so many doctors fighting us at every turn, it is frustrating. And the medical establishment wonders why we often end up self-treating?


These people seem to have Thyroid Hormone Resistance and need that much to feel better. I'm sure their labs would look abnormally high, so they treat by symptom relief, like they used to do in the old days, before all these tests ruined life for us all.


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