Thyroid UK
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If I wanted to stop taking armour and just use T3 can I just do that, or do I have to decrease it gradually and then start with T3?

Hi all!

It was great to meet all those who were in Bristol today at the regional meeting. It was so informative listening to everybody's stories and I learnt such a lot. It was good too to listen to Paul Robinson and what he had to say about T4 and it's ineffectiveness in the body with T3 seeming to be the better treatment. It has made me think that I would rather try just T3 especially as he said that the fibromyalgia pain is related to the T3. Anybody got any thoughts??

11 Replies

How are you doing on Armour at present? If you still have fibromyalgia you may just need an increase in meds. (I am not medically qualified). Armour (as you most probably know) contains all the hormones we would naturally have if ours hadn't packed in, i.e. T4,T3 and some ,T2,T1 and Dr S says, maybe other things of which we are unaware. T3 is synthetic but works for many. I think it maybe more expensive? This is a link to Dr Lowe who was also Director of Fibromyalgia Research for your information


Hi Shaws!

I am on two grains of armour with a tsh of 0.01.I'm due blood tests next week and my GP has asked for free T4 and T3 but says he doesn't know if the lab will do them!!

The pain is very bad and when I do any walking my feet and legs hurt really badly. also my lower back, neck and arms ache constantly. I'm thinking of coming off armour completely and see how I am without anything. I'm just desperate! X


Please dont stop altogether, its not the best idea. It may be that armour doesn't suit you, but taking nothing at all is probably not the answer either, and could make you worse.

With a TSH of 0 there is every chance the labs will do the other tests anyway, but for future tests, if they write on the form that you take meds containing Liothyronine, there is more chance that they will test T3.

I think you should wait for your results before making any final decision.


I know exactly what you mean as I was like that from the 4th month on levo but eventually a change of meds did the trick.

Before the TSH was introduced people used to gradually increase until all symptoms went.

These are twp extracts from Dr Lowe answer to question dated November 21, 2003 who has said (and Dr S and Dr P) that nowadays we are given too small a dose:-


Hopefully the endocrinologist won’t keep your Armour dose too low. He most likely will, however, if he adjusts your dose according to your TSH and thyroid hormone levels while ignoring your clinical response to a particular dose. To get well, some patients must use Armour doses that are high enough to produce TSH and thyroid hormone levels that upset endocrinologists. But the lab values are meaningless in themselves, as long as a patient isn’t overstimulated and has gotten well from her hypothyroid symptoms. What's truly harmful is for a doctor to keep a hypothyroid patient’s dose too low strictly for the sake of predetermined lab values.


If a new dose of Armour contains too little T4 and T3 to benefit you, you’ll have to go through another evaluation period. And you’ll have to do this again and again until you find what I call your "therapeutic window"—a small dosage range that optimally benefits you without overstimulating you. That optimal dosage range is highly individual, but historically, the typical patient’s therapeutic window has been somewhere between 120 to 240 mg (2 to 4 grains). There’s no way to accurately predict what your therapeutic window is. Until you find it, you may not improve much from the Armour. But once you do, you’re likely to feel that the wait was well worth it.


Hi i actually have armour and T3 ( good endo) because armour on it`s own is not enough T3 for me. I used to have very low ( below range ) FT3 and now T4 a in low without meds. I have 2.5 grins armour and 20mcg T3. I take all at different times, split. T3 by 12 hours if possible.



No you don't have to decrease the armour,,,, the t4 in it will stay in your body for weeks. (About 12).... It is this unconverted t4, which, according to people like the late dr Lowe, causes the pain associated with fibromyalgia.

However, t3 doesn't last so long in the body, so you will need to dose throughout the day.

G x


Thank you all of you for your advice and insights. I am very new to all this change of medication as I was on levo 100mcg for twenty years with NO improvement, and actually getting worse.When the fibro kicked in 13 years ago I lost my job as a physiotherapist as i couldn't work at all and have not worked since. A GP then upped it by 25mg five years ago but said to only take the increased dose 5 days out of 7 because he didn't want to send me hyper! I realise now that he was fearful of doing anything but it made me think I couldn't increase it any more. Only over recent months and in yet another period of desperation did I find information on armour and this site. I am not under an endo but my current GP is willing to help as much as he can but doesn't know even as much as I've picked up through my own research and this site with all you guys! You are an absolute life line to me. Thank you X


Hi fierysue - it was good to meet you at the Bristol meeting on Friday - I hope you will come along again next time. Sorry I didn't have much opportuntiy to speak to you as we had such a good turn out :)

I think you could stop taking NDT one day and start the next day on T3. I can't remember exactly how much NDT you are taking but say it was 2 grains, then this contains 18mcg of T3 and 76mcg of T4. I think it would be safe to start on 20mcg of T3 as that is so close to the amount you are already taking. You would then need to gradually increase the T3 as the T4 in the NDT left your body (I am not medically qualified though of course - so would suggest you need to discuss this with your doctor).

Clare xx


Thanks Clarebear!

It was lovely meeting you too on friday. I found it all very interesting and very helpful. I hope to come again too!

I am due to have blood tests this week so will discuss the option of T3 only with him when I get my results. I am actually on 2 grains so I could start on 20mcg as you say. do I need to split the dose and take it apart from food. At moment I do a split dose of armour and leave 2 hrs either side of taking it before eating or drinking milk.

Brenda XX


Hi Brenda - I have read contradictory things about taking T3 with food - some people say it is OK and some not. To be on the safe side I would probably avoid food/drink (other than water) at the same time or, more importantly, do the same thing each time - that way if food does impair the absorbtion you will just end up needing a slightly higher dose.

Some people seem to manage without splitting T3 e.g. Dr Lowe and a few people on this site, but I think most find it better to split. Trial and error I think :D xx


Thanks Clarebear!

Do you have any thoughts on how long I should leave it before taking food and drink apart from water. Two hours before and after seems a long time but that is what I have been doing. XX


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