Low dose Armour doing more harm than good? - Thyroid UK

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Low dose Armour doing more harm than good?

aimeegolightly profile image

Hi there,

Apologies in advance for the length of this post!

I am having a lot of trouble figuring out what is going on.

I am currently on Armour Thyroid 60mg and have been for about 3 weeks after being on 30mg for about two months prior to that.

It is not helping me at all. I still have all the symptoms I had before, some are actually worse. Extreme exhaustion that is seriously disrupting my life as a mother to my toddler, freezing a lot of the time- hands and feet ALL the time, aching muscles and joints.

My T3 was the only thyroid hormone that was actually out of range. It had gone up ever so slightly at my last blood test but it was an evening test and I didn’t know not to take my meds that day. It was 3.9 from the previous 3.5 but now I wonder if this was actually an artificially boosted reading from the medication I had taken that day from things I have since read on here.

Most recent blood test also showed T4 of 12.9 compared to my pre-medication level of 13.3.

TSH also down from 2.33 to 1.9 although I understand this always goes down on medication.

So is the medication just too low and actually just replacing what my body was doing itself?

I’d appreciate any input so much.


5 Replies

Hi Ami

So is the medication just too low and actually just replacing what my body was doing itself?

Yes, that’s exactly the problem I’m afraid. You can’t supplement thyroid hormones. It doesn’t work like that - you can’t “top up” your own thyroid hormone production.

So you need to slowly (emphasis on slowly) raise your dose over the coming weeks and months until you reach a dose that suits you.

Most people need at least 2 grains (120-130mg) as a replacement dose. By way of example, I need 3 grains.

I grain NDT (60mcg) contains 38 mcg T4 and 9 mcg T3, and so of course 1/2 grain (30 mcg) gave you only 19 mcg T4 and 4.5 mcg T3. So in both cases, only piffling amounts. Too low a dose is a double whammy: insufficient to make up the deficit in thyroid hormones but enough to interfere with whatever thyroid function you have. Plus, 3 weeks is insufficient time for the increased T4 to have reached a balanced state. So feeling no improvement, or worse, at this stage on this dose, is almost to be expected. You are likely to need 2 or more grains to be optimally medicated.

Hi aimeegolightly. Your post was a little confusing and you don't include reference laboratory ranges, so its unclear what your FT3 and FT4 results mean. You are very under medicated if your TSH is still up at 1.9 and you are on meds. As MaisieGray and Jazzw explain, you are on a tiny dose of T4 and T3. When properly medicated, your TSH should be suppressed and be at 0.50 or well below that. At the same time, if properly medicated, your FT3 and FT4 will both be over half range, but will both be closer to 75% range. This is what you'll hear being called optimal range, where people experience the least amount of symptoms, or no symptoms at all. Without knowing your lab ranges, I cannot calculate what percentage your results are.


You are under medicated and considering your low ferritin levels as advised in another post, it could be your body isn’t tolerating the T3 in the NDT too well and you may find it hard to raise further.

If you post your full iron results to eliminate anemia, then other reasons for not being able to keep ferritin levels adequate to allow thyroid hormones to work could be investigated.

It is usual to have TSH and FT4 levels reduce when medicating T3. If you post thyroid hormone test results complete with ranges (numbers in brackets) members will have a clearer picture and be able to respond with their comments.

Supplementing Betaine HCL with Pepsin will replace missing stomach acid and may help with absorption issues. (do not supplement Betaine if you have stomach ulcers).

ps: I also medicate NDT and always take my meds 2 hours before testing as (for most) it is counterproductive to have FT3 go over-range.


Stomach Acid


did you find something that helped? maybe armour is not working for you

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