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Armour Thyroid - Can I chew it or take sublingually?

Hello,
I have been taking Armour for quite some time and have always had stomach issues such as gastritis and GERD,  I've had GERD for years and am on a PPI. But the last two years, I have struggled with it more than ever,  but haven't made the connection to it possibly being related to Armour until now.  I take Armour for Hashimoto's. I am trying to think if there is a way to take it without it causing so much heartburn.  I did some reading on taking it sublingually, but I am not sure how to do this without swallowing at least some of it.  I also was thinking that perhaps chewing it would help.  It just seems that after taking it, I start to burn and it goes all day. I was on levothyroxine for awhile and don't remember having this, but it was a long time ago.  Also, the weight gain I've had has been tough.  I've cut way down on calories and exercise regularly, but still have more fat around the middle than I've had in my life. Anyway, I'm more concerned about the heartburn as I can feel my esophagus is ulcerated and stomach is inflamed. Thanks for any help.  
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Avatar universal
I would bet that your heartburn is more related to inadequate levels of Free T4 and Free T3, instead of being the Armour med itself.  The reason I say this is that heartburn/GERD is a common symptom of hypothyroidism.  Also, back when I was hypothyroid I was having terrible heartburn so I tried an increase in my Armour thyroid dose and noticed improvement very quickly.  In 3 days the heartburn was gone and I was so enthusiastic that I reduced by daily dose of Prilosec from 2 tablets to one.  I even tried going without any Prilosec and it seemed to work okay, but the doctor did not want me to do that because of having Barrett's Esophagus.

The weight gain can also be related to still being hypothyroid, so how about posting your thyroid related test results and reference ranges  (along with Vitamin D, and ferritin results, if tested) and let us assess your status.  
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Thank you.  My TSH is 2.070,  T4 is .99, T3 is 3.1, D3 is 51,9. My calcium was tested awhile back and it was normal.  My ferritin has not been tested recently, but my stores are usually low.  I was able to get them to a whopping 16 and this next text coming up, they are testing my ferritin to see.  I was on 60mcg Armour and my TSH went low to .2 something and I didn't feel good so we went back to 45mg dose. My doctor would rather see me on the 60mcg as they want TSH and I believe T4 higher.  These numbers are from February.    If I could rid myself of this acid reflux or help it, I'd so grateful.  I've been suffering terribly with it. Thanks so much.  
Sorry, I didn't read it well before sending.  Doctor would like to see lower TSH and I believer higher T4.
Avatar universal
Test results and associated reference ranges vary from one lab to another, so it is important to always compare test results from reference ranges from the same lab.  Please post the ranges for the Free T4 and Free T3 results.

How much iron have you been supplementing with daily?

When taking thyroid med, TSH is basically a useless test.  When taking adequate thyroid med, TSH is frequently suppressed the bottom of the range, or below.  So there is no need to be concerned about low TSH and reduce meds.  Our members say that relief from hypo symptoms typically requires Free T4 at the middle of the range, and Free T3 in the upper half of the range, as needed to relieve symptoms.  So your doctor is directionally correct.  
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T3 range is 2.0-4.4, .
T4 range is .82-1.77
I take 25mg of iron bisglycinate every other day.  I found every day to be too much.
Thank you for looking at this for me.  Maybe I should try 60mcg again?  I just felt too awake and I knew it when I saw the TSH so low.  But if it really is insignificant, perhaps I should try again?
Avatar universal
Your Free T4 result at .99 was much too low.  It should be about 1.30.  Your Free T3 is below the middle of the range.  Usually it needs to be in the upper third of the range,  about 3.6, or higher if needed to relieve symptoms.  So yes, you should talk to the doctor about an increase.  

Also, be aware that when taking thyroid med containing T3 it is best to split the dose into half and take in morning and early afternoon.  Also don't take your med until after the blood draw for tests in order to avoid false high results.  

I am sure that the 25 mg of iron every other day is way short of what you need.  My ferritin was 40 and I had to take 50 mg of iron to raise it to 80.  I expect that you will need a lot more iron.  If it bothers your digestive system, try taking some Vitamin C with it.
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I have read about splitting the dose and will talk to my doctor about that.  They will call me back tomorrow.  I'm pretty sure I did not take my thyroid med with the draw that had the low TSH.  I always have to remember that.  With the iron, if I take it daily, my hemoglobin or iron in the blood is very, very high.  I'm not sure if that is OK or not, but one time a doctor said it was way too high.  If I take it every other day, I maintain a good dose of daily iron, but my body for some reason is not storing it well.  Unfortunately, Vitamin C does a number on my reflux.  I always develop major heartburn after a few days of having it.  Thank you again.  I will refer back to this if I do raise the dose, and see how my T3 and T4 levels compare of what you said they should be.  
Avatar universal
I really don't understand how you could have high hemoglobin or serum iron when taking small doses of iron daily.  Something doesn't add up.  Ferritin is somewhat a precursor to serum iron levels.  If your ferritin is low, then you need iron.  
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I don't understand it either.  I may just try taking it again daily and see what the blood work looks like next time.  This shouldn't hurt I hope, if serum iron does end up at least short term?  I remember my PCP saying it is if my body isn't storing the iron from the blood fast enough.
Avatar universal
It is not at all uncommon for someone on natural dessicated thyroid such as Armour to have TSH suppressed. It is also not uncommon to have FT3 high but the FT4 to be very low.  My wife is in this boat.  Fortunately the new Dr was able to take my wife's request and keep her armour dose and add in 25 mcg of T4.

As for GERD.  My wife too had this issue and can get another anecdotal testimoy that once my wife started getting sufficient or maybe at least higher dosage of Thyroid medication and her GERD went away.

So I agree with gimel.  You need an increase in your Armour.  I also agree it is best to take the Armour in split dose.

Insuffiecinet Ferritin also messes up the metabolizm of Thyroid. So getting the Ferritin number up to ideally 70 may help you as well.

Just wondering if you suffered from migraines.  Only reason I ask is that my wife did. And when she took care of the GERD with high doses of GERD medication her migraines went away.  However when she was able to get sufficeint Thyroid, she was able to completely quit the GERD medication.  So it appears they were ALL linked to low thyroid levels!

The medical indistry today is happy as a clam to sell you pill after pill of multiple medications to "treat" you for the multiple symptoms. Rather than work to properly dose you for Thyroid and eliminiate the need for the multiple other medications because solving the Thyroid insufficiency "cures" the other symptoms.
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It would be a dream to get off Nexium.  I do have a small hernia, but nothing to cause the amount of heartburn I get.  My esophagus is always inflamed as confirmed by endoscopy.  I'm going to speak to my doctor tomorrow about going up in dose as well as the option to take more T4. Thank you for sharing your wife's experience as I see hope for me to possibly be heartburn free after years of suffering with this.
I know this post is old, but I wanted to give an update.  Since this post, i had lost some weight, and my numbers came into the range that you all have talked about here.  My acid reflux has improved so much and I want to thank all of you for the expertise and help you've taken the time to tell me in this post.  
Avatar universal
So glad to hear that you are doing well.  Would you mind posting your test results for Free T4 and Free T3 (including reference ranges), Vitamin D, B12 and ferritin, if you have all those.  It is always interesting to see what levels worked for members.
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