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Re: Noa, Ritch: Low Thyroid and lithium

Posted by Noa on January 16, 2003, at 16:03:10

In reply to Noa, Ritch: Low Thyroid and lithium, posted by BarbaraCat on January 16, 2003, at 15:14:12

Barb, to answer your questions--

No, I didn't try the Armour. I don't eat poultry, beef, pork, etc. so I would have a problem with the Armour. Cytomel and Synthroid were and are the only thyroid meds I've used. The thing I wonder about Armour is whether the amount of T3 vs. T4 is standardized, since it is made from dessicated pig thyroids, and is it easier to be precise with the synthetics? I don't know enough about Armour, though, so it is just a question.

I started with T3, actually, because it was originially my pdoc who suggested it to boost my ADs when I was not responding sufficiently to them. He did this on the basis of anecdotal reports that T3 can help boost AD effect, especially in people with subclinical hypothyroidism. So, he had me get my thyroid testing done and I was borderline (ie, subclinical) with a TSH of 4.5. The cytomel helped, wiht improvement within a week, but some time later, the effect dwindled, so he added the synthroid (after testing my thyroid levels again) based on new research that some people with subclinical hypothyroid should aim for TSH of around 2. I think then that my TSH stayed in the 2 to 3 range (which, now I know is too high for me). It was only after the lithium thing (when my TSH went back up to about 4) that I actually went to see an endo.

Which, btw, was because of the lithium thing in connection with the thyroid problem--I guess it was so clear to me that when the lithium made my thyroid more hypo, my depression worsened terribly (in addition to all the physical symptoms), so I became more curious about the thyroid factor in the depression, and went searching for info. I discovered Mary Shomon's web site ( and saw the ad for her book. After reading her book, I went to the about site, which she moderates. She has a link on the site (which is linked to, too) to a page where people give endo recommendations. That is where I found my endo, who is great. Have you ever had a doctor spend 90 minutes with you on an office visit? And listen to how you feel--using that as an important measure of the level of the problem, rather than relying solely on a single test? And only charge $75? And do follow ups, and do other tests to look into other possible causes to rule them out? And then write a 3 page letter to your primary care doctor, detailing his findings and recommendations?




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