Labs and medication dosage question : Hey all. I... - Thyroid UK

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Labs and medication dosage question

Queenofwands1212 profile image

Hey all. I know you aren’t doctors, and I do have a thyroid dr, but she’s not my actual dr,( she costs thousands of dollars) BUT she has been nice enough to give me some medication recommendations as I had her on my podcast. I’ve had a night mare of a week with my other thyroid dr who basically told me all my symptoms are “in my head”. She told me that the weight gain isn’t real and that I should see a psychiatrist. I told her I would never see her again because she was invalidating all of my symptoms. My period sometimes doesn’t have a bleed but I have all PMS symptoms and PMDD. My labs are below.

I’m currently on 30mg of Armour - 15mg in am and 15mg afternoon which is what The good thyroid dr said to do, she increased me from 15mg a day to 30mg a day. (I JUST started the increase yesterday) I’m also taking 2.5 mg of T3 (cytomel) in afternoon but I am worried to take too much t3 as that can cause weight gain as well.

Below are my labs, I’m curious to what you think. I still am struggling with weight gain, hair loss & extreme hair thinning, insomnia, joint pain and swelling, inflammation, severe depression, hip and joint pain, acne… ALSO: I know it takes patience and time for the thyroid to get optimized but i just want to be able to lose the weight I gained and feel a little bit of relief. I’m trying my hardest to be patient.


Free T3 — 2.3

Free t4 - 1.1

TPO - 39

TSH — 1.7

Reverse T3 - 3.9

yes I have hashimotos and I’m wondering if the 39 could be why I feel so shitty and swollen/ inflamed/ weight gain.

Current meds

15mg Armour in AM

15 mg Armour in afternoon

2.5 mg cytomel (T3) in afternoon or every other day

I take a thyroid support supplement, vit d,

Vitex and don quai to bring my period

And a VATA supplement from banyan botanicals that helped me get my period back in the summer.

At night I take magnesium, cbd,; Berberine with meal to help regulate insulin.

65 Replies
SeasideSusie profile image


For any member to be able to help you, can you please add the reference ranges for your results. These vary from lab to lab so we need the ranges that came with your results. It's impossible to understand and interpret your results without them.

Also please tell us when you took your last dose of thyroid meds before the test. Last dose of NDT and T3 should be 8-12 hours before the test, splitting dose and adjusting time the day before if necessary.

Yes I am updating the image. Thank you

SlowDragon profile image

Day before blood test was last 1/2 or 1/3rd of daily dose Armour approx 8-12+hours before test

What time was 2.5mcg of T3

Essential to regularly retest vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12 too

What EXACTLY is this thyroid support supplement

I messed up and took my meds the day of the labs, which I shouldn’t have done. I’m going to get more labs soon. Thyroid supplement is from paloma health which is literally a company run by thyroid experts and doctors

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Queenofwands1212

Please add link showing ingredients

Most thyroid support supplements contain iodine not recommended for someone with Hashimoto’s

extreme hair thinning, insomnia, joint pain and swelling, inflammation,

Hairloss is frequently linked to low iron/ferritin

Joint pain low vitamin D

Important to regularly retest vitamin D twice year when supplementing

Testing ferritin, folate and B12 at least annually

Are you on absolutely strictly gluten free diet and/or dairy free diet

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to SlowDragon

I think it must be this:

Paloma Health general purpose thyroid supplement ingredient list

Yes that’s the one, it’s the only thyroid supplement they have.

I used to be anemic and I do have iron supplement that I’m going to take a few days a week. I was told that taking it everyday could be too much .Diet: I haven’t eaten gluten in years: I eat cleaner than anyone I know, which has pretty much given me an eating disorder because I’m so hyper aware of what I eat. No gluten, dairy, corn, soy, soybean, DONT eat sugar or even that much fruit.

Maybe I should up my vitamin d?

And I’m thinking about stopping taking the thyroid supplement and seeing how I feel

So there’s no iodine in the paloma health one… do you think I’m okay with taking this

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Queenofwands1212

this supplement looks ok

Awesome thank you

I can tell you that zinc and selenium are way too high of dose. I know for a fact that selenium overdose cause hair loss, not sure if high sync causes hair loss you might want to look into this two.

You think the paloma health is causing that!? I feel like that’s not crazy high of levels of selenium and zinc. One of the main side effects of Armour is hair loss…my hair loss has gotten worse right when I started the Armour.. what do you think? Because I still need to take the supplement since it has b vitamins and all the essential thyroid vitamins. It’s like I’m damned if I do damned if I dont

The daily allowance for selenium is 150 mcg and 10 mg? of zinc daily for women and both of those supplements are way too high.This is just me but if I were you I would stay away from the Paloma brand and find other sources for the vitamins you are looking for and maybe once you bring your ft3 to your optimal levels the hair loss will improve. Form me hair loss is an indication of low ft3.

Interesting. Do you think the increase of Armour will help with the free T3? Because right now I’m just taking the 15mg of Armour jn am and afternoon. So 30 mg total. But I do know I need to supplement with proper things because I don’t get it from my diet. I eat very orthorexic and not enough most days because I have no appetite

I think the armour will help. I know what do you mean about not getting what you need from food alone that is when supplementation comes handy.I eat food that matters such as:

Kefir for calcium, probiotics, k2 and some B vitamins.

Raw sauerkraut for the same as kefir

A cup of cooked lentils for folate(most days)

Vid3 3000 iu daily

90 mcg of k2/7

One Brazilian nut daily(for selenium)

And magnesium with the evening meal.

I am going to start a B complex since I don’t eat much red meat.

I also eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

I try my hardest to eat for nutritional value. I’m orthorexic at this point, I’m afraid of most foods as a result of reacting to so many foods. It’s so frustrating so I EAT TO LIVE. I don’t live to eat. Thank you for the info. I love it

I know how frustrating that is not being able to enjoy food . I am with you on the food reactions I just stop eating eggs also because every time I eat eggs I feel terrible like when I felt when I was eating gluten. So no eggs, no soy, no lactose and no gluten for me.And like you say EAT TO LIVE.

My motto was at one time I EAT SO I CAN RUN instead of I RAN SO I CAN EAT.

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to yesendi

The USA's Office of Dietary Supplements suggests much lower levels of selenium:

But total zinc in the region of 10 milligrams - which, obviously, includes any existing intake such as from diet.

yesendi profile image
yesendi in reply to helvella

They keep changing all the time that’s why I don’t listen to them😀.I don’t take those supplements but I do take a Brazilian nut daily for the selenium.

She told me that the weight gain isn’t real and that I should see a psychiatrist.

I would love to know how that works! Wish my weight-gain wasn't real. lol Perhaps if I imagine it's not there it will just go away!

Seriously, though, she sounds a right nutter. Glad you're not going to see her again.

So, when were these labs done? If you only increased yesterday, then I imagine you were taking only 15 mg NDT at the time, is that correct? Obviously, you're under-medicated on that dose. That would only be 4.5 mcg T3 and 34 mcg T4, not enough for anyone.

2.5 mg cytomel (T3) in afternoon or every other day

Sorry, but you just can't do that, take T3 every other day. It just won't 'work'. For T3 to do what it's supposed to do, you need to take the same dose every day. Although, it's such a tiny amount, it probably won't make much difference anyway. That just bring you up to a totaly dose of 7 mcg T3, which is the thyroid verion of peanuts.

You say you have Hashi's, but the antibodies in those results are negative. Have you had other antibody tests that were positive?

yes I have hashimotos and I’m wondering if the 39 could be why I feel so shitty and swollen/ inflamed/ weight gain.

Well, no, it couldn't. It's debatable whether or not antibodies cause symptoms. Inflammation, perhaps, but not weight-gain as in fat or water retention. And, those antibodies are well in-range, so hardly likely to be causing problems. Everyone has some antibodies.

I take a thyroid support supplement

Ah! Alarm bells ringing! Thyroid support supplements really are not recommended. They are basically just glorified multi-vits that are more likely to stimulate the thyroid than support it. And stimulating a sick gland is always a bad idea, you just hasten it's demise. And, if you do have Hashi's, and it contians iodine - as they usually do - then that could be making you feel ten times worse - apart from being under-medicated that is. So, I think the dustbin is the best place for those!

At night I take magnesium, cbd,; Berberine with meal to help regulate insulin.

Do you mean CBD oil? If so, that should be taken two hours away from everything. It binds easily to a lot of things, so best not to take any chances. :)

Okay maybe I will stop taking the thyroid supplement then, I was told a little bit of iodine was okay , I’m definitely not getting iodine in the way I eat but maybe I should just not have any?

You are getting iodine from your thyroid hormone replacement. 100 mcg T4 contains about 65 mcg iodine. And, now that your thyroid is not making its own hormones, you need less iodine, not more.

What's more, iodine does not 'support' thyroids. It is just one of the ingredients of thyroid hormone, that's all. It doesn't make your thyroid work better. On the other hand, it can initially stimulate the thyroid, which as I said before, is a bad idea. Then, if taken in excess, it actually reduces thyroid production of hormone, and used to be used to treat people with Grave's, before anti-thyroid drugs were invented.

That makes total sense. I’m going to stop taking the supplement with iodine in it that I was taking and just stick with the Armour, and vitamins NOT iodine. I feel like the iodine is causing me to feel like crap and the hair loss, heavy legs, weight gain. Thank you for all your help

Well, possibly not all those symptoms, but taking iodine did make me feel a lot worse.

Do you think I should just start with the increase of Armour and not take the 2.5 of T3? I’ve heard that T3 is a goldy locks situation As well. Too much can cause weight gain and problems and too little can cause the same symptoms. I don’t know what to do anymore :( I am continuing to gain weight especially in my legs. But I know the Armour at 15 is way too tiny of a dose. Maybe I should just start with the 30 mg of Armour a day and not do anything else?

Well, of course, too much of any hormone can cause problems - just like too little. But, you are a long way off taking too much. In the labs above, your FT3 is only 9.52% through the range! Should be more like 75% or over. And your FT4 is only 25% through, so you could probably do with a bit more T4, too. So, yes, I think it would be a good idea to increase the NDT and leave out the T3.

30 mcg is too small a dose, too. So, increase by 15 mcg for a couple of weeks and see how you feel.

Yeah, you’re right. My T3 and t4 are still in the lower quadrants and that’s probably why I’m feeling like shit. I’m on day 2 of the Armour increase. 15mg in am and 15mg In afternoon. Hoping to get some sort of relief and feel better soon.

That's most definitely why you're feeling bad, yes.

It blows my mind that the bi*%# doctor who medically gas lit me literally looked at my labs and said I was fine and just to continue taking the 15mg of Armour even tho I told her all my symptoms. It’s almost like mal practice, she wanted to be right, not actually help me. The fact that my levels are all still low under normal or in the lowest quadrant should be enough of a reason to increase medication.

Well, no, not the way they see it. If it's in-range then it has to be good. They know next to nothing about how hypothyroidism affects people and they do not understand how to interpret blood test results. These are things they just don't learn in med school. It's all wrong, of course, but that's the way it is.

But this woman proclaims herself to be a “thyroid and hormone expert”. That’s why it’s mind blowing. I wrote her the nastiest review on Google:)

Just because she says it doesn’t make it true …. Thyroid doctors pretty much throw you away like trash as soon as your levels are deemed “perfect” no matter how bad you feel.

Welcome to hell 😕

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Batty1

Absolutely true! Real thyroid experts are as rare as hen's teeth. And, she's just proved she isn't one of them! More like the Parson's Nose!

I have another question for you greygoose. Do you think I should be split dosing my Armour? Or should I just take the whole 30mg of Armour at once in the early morning? Could split dosing cause symptoms and weight gain?

Oh, that is a question that only you can answer. 30 mg Armour is such a small dose that splitting it might not be a good idea. But, when you get onto a higher dose, you'd have to experiment to see which suited you best: splitting it or taking it all at once.

Different people find they need different ways of taking it. The doctor I saw that prescribed me Armour said there was no need to split it - he took it himself. Personally, I didn't find it made any difference at all - it didn't suit me either way! Now, I'm on T3 only - 75 mcg - and I find it best to take it all at once.

Okay that makes sense. Thank you. Going to just take the 30mg at once in the am from now on

Also… have you suffered with the symptom of “heavy legs” ? This is the worst symptom for me, my legs get very swollen and puffy and joints very tight lots of inflammation. Could this be from low levels ? Or could this be from too much of something? On days when I have heavy legs I can’t even work out, my legs sometimes double the size… even my leggings leave marks and indentations on my legs. Any recommendations and advice ??

I wish I had! It's something I've suffered from since the age of 12, at least. Anyway, that's when I first noticed it. It often gets mentioned on here, but nobody really has a solution, I'm afraid.

It’s horrible:( I don’t know what to do anymore. Today is the worst symptoms day I’ve had in weeks. Completely swollen legs that feel like there’s cement stuck in them when I move them. Has anything helped you when you have days like this? Any herbs or supplements? I’m using the sauna for some releif which isn’t happening

No herbs or supplements, no. What does help somewhat - although far from being a solution - are salt baths and those machine that pass an electircal current through your feet - can't remember what they're called. Those things give temporary relief, make my legs feel a bit lighter. But, nothing gets rid of the swelling.

I know that when my ft3 is under 3.7/3.8 I feel terrible.

Well that’s probably why I feel like shit. Mine is like 2.3. It’s the Lowest possible number to be in “normal” but I don’t feel normal at all. Sleeping in so late, looking puffy and joint pain and stuckbess in my hips

Yes, once your ft3 gets to optimal levels you’re going to feel great, maybe not great but alot better. I remember after my TT my ft3 levels were 2.9 and I felt horrible, just horrible, no energy for anything, even talking drained what I had left. I asked my gp for some t3 and she graciously agree and all is much better since. So hang in there, there is hope for you!

Thank you for the hope. Yes, witj the increase of Armour my T3 should go up. I also do have cytomel but I don’t want to overdo it. I just want to see how I feel on the 30mg of Armour.

*** leftover cytomel but I don’t have a real rx ***

I think that is the right thing to do, wait for your test results and go from there.

I just started the increase of Armour a few days ago so I’m assuming I should wait a couple weeks for more labs.

I think the wait time for new labs after increased dose is about eight weeks?That is how I test after a change in dose but I guess it doesn’t have to be that way? Maybe someone more knowledgeable than me on that matter will chime in.

I’m on a more quick process right now. I don’t have 8 weeks in between increases. That’s what normal doctors or dumb endocrinologists reccomend but thyroid experts reccomend every 3 - 4 weeks . I’m tired of feeling like shit so I’m not willing to wait 2 months and just feel like shit everyday.

Well on that note I wish you the best of luck!It is tiring to be tired all the time.

Thank you, it definitely is

Benos123 profile image
Benos123 in reply to greygoose

Fair dues to to you!

When I first started reading your post I thought it was going to be a pre-amble to you changing your profile name to SNOW WHITE!!! (mirror mirror on the wall etc).

I didn't realise too much T3 makes you gain weight - I am on 15mcg :( could that be the cause of my weight gain?

I’m not a dr but I’ve heard thyroid experts talk about T3 overload and it dumps into your body, also a friend of mine is also lowering her T3 and she feels less swollen and puffy. It’s like a goldy locks thing… not too much not too little

Thanks a bunch Queenofwands1212

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to New2thyroid

I have been taking T3 only for several years and have never gained weight.

25mcg of T3 has the effect of 100mcg of levothyroxine, approx.

The following link may be nformative/helpful for you.

"The Relationship Between Thyroid Hormones, Metabolism, and Weight"

Interesting. I’m on 30 mg of Armour so I don’t know what the t4 - t3 ratio is. Do you ?

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to New2thyroid

Your dose of T3 isn't 'too high' as 25mcg of T3 equal to approx 100mcg of T4.

T3 is the 'active thyroid hormone' and it is needed in all of our T3 receptor cells and heart and brain have the most.

The following link might be helpful and cursor down to link into Dr Lowe's information. He died through an accident but was also a Researcher/scientist/doctor and an expert in the use of T3. He was also an Adviser to Thyroiduk.

But could my symptoms get a little wonky within the first few days of increasing Armour ?

I always have adverse reactions of some kind when I change a dose. Up or down. My body panics about it for a few days. Just give yourself a week to settle on the new dose. It’s very low. You almost certainly will need moor at some point.

Thank you. Going to try to just get through this week with ease

Dear Queen; I had much of the same symptoms you have, 5 years ago.And I have Hasimotos also. I tried Cytomel for a while but I evidently have enough C3 in my thyroid gland to convert, that I didn’t need it. It didn’t work. Now my thyroid is in the normal range and I take 15mg Armour thyroid once daily to maintain. My hair has grown back in and I feel pretty good for my age. I’m 82. So, no periods since I was 42 and had a hysterectomy. I would suggest to you that you see an OB/GYN. It sounds like you have more “ female “ problems than anything else. When your hormones are all”whacked out” everything you mentioned that is bothering you, might not be due to your thyroid gland.. in the Hasimotos book she says be sure to take selenium. That’s very helpful to your thyroid. Also. IMPORTANT! Take a womens vitamin Supplement . It will have a lot of things in it, your body is missing. I bought Garden of Life womens vitamins on Amazon last week. It was recommended by my doctor as my blood test was slightly abnormal on a lot of things including low iron, which is common when you have your period ( and I guess when you’re old)Good luck with everything. I pray you can loose the weight you want, it’s so frustrating when you eat right and still gain 😬

I hope you are feeling better. It's never easy.. what's your podcast?🌸

The vibe within

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