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Thyroid UK
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Thyroid Self Regulation / Armour Help


I have been diagnosed this year with hypothyroidism, after asking for a blood test as I felt that I was Vitamin D deficient.

I had initially been put on 50mg Levothyroxine which caused me to get loads of pain in my joints. I did report this to the GP who asked me to take 25mg instead as it may be that it was a lot of meds. I had tried that for a while, but the pain was still there.

I then had a blood test again which revealed that my liver ALP had gone up (a lot). The GP decided that the thyroid was still not low enough and that the liver issue was just a co-incidence, and as such, put me back on 50mg Levo.

I was still in pain so went to see another doctor in the surgery. She changed me from Levo to Liothyronine, 20mg. This did remove the pain but the thyroid did not get down a lot. The liver ALP was still getting higher all through this.

Since then, the Lio has been increased to 60mg which I had for a few days and immediately felt pain in my joints again.

My doctor doesn't seem to want to accept that the medicine can cause pain and an endocrinologist who I was referred to is also saying that the medicines do not cause that pain, even though many people have mentioned it on the Internet.

I am looking into getting NDT, as I am hoping that it will relieve the pain and then hopefully I can work out how to get the liver ALP sorted as well.

My questions are:

1. Are there any good trustworthy sources where I can buy the Armour from without a prescription as my GP will not allow it and will continue to force me onto these two and give me painkillers for the pain. I am worried that the joint pain may be due to the bone being weakened and it may be irreversible.

2. I am currently taking 60mg Liothyronine. What would be the equivalent / ideal dosage to take of Armour. How can I regulate it, should I just get a blood test regularly with my GP?

How have other people here gone about self medication when there is no GP support?

Thank you for reading this!

3 Replies


Firstly levothyroxine can and does most definitely cause joint pain in some patients, although this may be an indirect effect. Often if someone improves by stopping levothyroxine and taking liothyronine instead this is down to an issue with converting T4 to T3.

Secondly, what investigations are they doing if they are convinced it is nothing to do with the medication? Have they tested for other conditions which cause joint pain? If not, they should be.

Personally I believe self-medication is a last resort and while you have a GP willing to prescribe you liothyronine (most won't) it might be worth working with her to get to the bottom of this before trying to go it alone. If you do decide to self-medicate, it is a lot easier if you have a good relationship with your GP so she can monitor you. I currently self-medicate with liothyronine as my GP isn't allowed to prescribe it (even though he wants to) but he monitors me.

If you do decide to self-medicate with Armour make sure you are getting the appropriate tests done and please try to get your GP to monitor you. Do read up carefully on dosing with Armour as it is not without risks if you get it wrong (like any medication). One source of information is the book "Stop the Thyroid Madness". This has information on dosing.

Did you get the vitamin D test? Are you deficient? It could be contributing to your symptoms if you are. It is also a good idea to get serum iron, ferritin, folate and vitamin B12 tested as deficiencies in these can affect your response to thyroid medications. These really need to be in good shape before starting Armour or you will only have limited success, if any.

I'm sorry I couldn't answer your specific questions at the end of your post but hopefully I have been able to help in some way.

I hope you find the solution very soon!

Pink :)



Thank you very much for such a detailed reply. :)

I have only been put onto the 60mg last week so I will be speaking to my GP about the fact that the pain is back and see if they can assist me with getting to the bottom of it, and if possible, finding out why it is affecting my liver as well.

I was found to be deficient with Vitamin D and that has since been resolved; I will speak to the GP about the other tests as well that you have mentioned.

I do definitely want them on my side and if they really can't figure out why it is causing me pain, I will ask them about NDT as an alternative since they two they can offer are not working. If they cannot give it to me, I will see if they are willing to let me get it myself and just keep me monitored with them. I don't want to go down the path where they don't know that I am using a different medicine and I will definitely keep them informed if I do self-medicate.

I will check out that report!

Thanks again! :)

1 like

When starting NDT I would (and did) start on a low dose and build up over a few weeks. Will pm you a connection where you can buy NDT.


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