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How long does it take for thyroid meds to work?

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  • How long does it take for thyroid meds to work?

    I went off thyroid meds and I immediately gained weight, started sleeping in very late without meaning to, feeling very exhausted all the time. I started taking medication again but this time wanted to try out Armour thyroid. It has been about 3 weeks and am wondering how long it takes to kick in and restart my metabolism, as nothing has changed in my weight. I even started doing more exercise and eating even cleaner but nothing!

  • #2
    It takes 6 weeks to have its full effect. You're doctor should have instructed you to come back for blood work at 6 weeks, then your dose can be adjusted if need be. Be patient, adjusting thyroid meds is a delicate process - and it can take 6 months to a year to get it right.

    I started on Armour about year ago - I felt better after a couple months - but it did nothing for my weight.
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    • #3
      Thyroid meds take around 6 weeks to reach full affect. That does not mean you will see an improvement in metabolism or weight in that time. It can take a some time and meds may need to be adjusted before things improve. The body needs time to heal and, IMO, trying to lose weight during the healing process is an exercise in frustration. Increasing exercise during the healing process may add more stress than the body needs.

      When is your next blood test to see where your freeT4 and freeT3 are?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by VeggieLover View Post
        I went off thyroid meds and I immediately gained weight, started sleeping in very late without meaning to, feeling very exhausted all the time. I started taking medication again but this time wanted to try out Armour thyroid. It has been about 3 weeks and am wondering how long it takes to kick in and restart my metabolism, as nothing has changed in my weight. I even started doing more exercise and eating even cleaner but nothing!
        I started on Armour 9 months ago. I'm taking something different now though. I noticed a drastic difference within a week but my T3 was super low to begin with. My dose was raised at 3 weeks. Around the same time I started a strenuous lifting program. That was a huge mistake! My adrenals crashed and I've been working to correct the thyroid/adrenal problem ever since. I'm just now starting to make progress.

        With that being said, be careful with the exercise. My heavy lifting, running and sprinting have been traded for walking/jogging and shorter sessions of heavy weights (like 15 minutes) as that's all I can take.

        What dose of Armour are you on? I know it takes 6 weeks as the others have said but, IMO I think you should at least notice a little more energy. When do you go back to your doctor?

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        • #5
          I am going to do a blood test on tuesday for all of my levels. I am just frustrated because I have been on thyroid meds for 3 + years now, never had problems really with my weight and then the second I go off them for 4 weeks I gained 10 pounds in an instant. I just was hoping my body would quickly adapt back to the thyroid meds

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          • #6
            I do notice better energy and I am not sleeping in so late anymore and feeling so drained. I am on 4 grain, he started me off on 2 1/4 grain and I have worked my way up. Prior to going off meds, I was taking a compounded medication of t3 at 160 and t4 at 200 mcg. That was the dose that worked for me before. Seems that I am on a higher dose of armour but havent noticed any negative side effects, so after this blood work I am going to see if I need to increase the dose or not

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            • #7
              That's a lot of armour to be taking in the first 3 weeks! I had worked my way up to 4 grains of Naturethroid after 5 months and people acted like I was on a huge dose. You may have some kind of thyroid resistance. Have you had reverse T3 checked?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by VeggieLover View Post
                I do notice better energy and I am not sleeping in so late anymore and feeling so drained. I am on 4 grain, he started me off on 2 1/4 grain and I have worked my way up. Prior to going off meds, I was taking a compounded medication of t3 at 160 and t4 at 200 mcg. That was the dose that worked for me before. Seems that I am on a higher dose of armour but havent noticed any negative side effects, so after this blood work I am going to see if I need to increase the dose or not
                By "worked for me", what do you mean? What were your tests and results on that dose?

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                • #9
                  My reverse t3 is fine. I mean what worked for me, meant that both t4 an t3 were within range on my tests

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                  • #10
                    I know it seems really high, I seem to feel fine on it though!

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                    • #11
                      As long as you don't have hyper symptoms, I see no problem with your dose.

                      I hope it starts working better for you soon! I know how frustrating all this thyroid/hormonal stuff can be.

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                      • #12
                        Everyone in this thread should read this series on thyroid treatment by Chris Kresser.

                        Thyroid Disorders

                        Most people don't have success with thyroid medication because doctors have no idea what they're doing, and medicating the issue is akin to bailing out a ship's flooding hull with a pail to prevent it from sinking. The real way to fix it is to plug the hole - remove the cause of the "leak." After that, you may still require medication, but medicating without correcting the underlying cause does little.

                        Also worth mentioning is this AWESOME "Thyroid Scale":

                        Thyroid Scale Overview

                        As Kresser points out, the "normal" values for labs are ridiculous because they are based on a bell curve of the people getting treatment, meaning being "normal" is being ill. The "Thyroid Scale" uses more optimal values of healthy people, so plug in your numbers to see where you fall.
                        Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                        • #13
                          This is really interesting. I think my doctor is really good about finding my optimal dosing.

                          However I am a little concerned after reading the articles that my TSH is really low when the t3 and t4 are in normal range. Endocrinologists (bad ones) have just looked at my TSH and told me that i must be extremely Hyper. Not the case however when looking at ALL of the numbers.


                          Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
                          Everyone in this thread should read this series on thyroid treatment by Chris Kresser.

                          Thyroid Disorders

                          Most people don't have success with thyroid medication because doctors have no idea what they're doing, and medicating the issue is akin to bailing out a ship's flooding hull with a pail to prevent it from sinking. The real way to fix it is to plug the hole - remove the cause of the "leak." After that, you may still require medication, but medicating without correcting the underlying cause does little.

                          Also worth mentioning is this AWESOME "Thyroid Scale":

                          Thyroid Scale Overview

                          As Kresser points out, the "normal" values for labs are ridiculous because they are based on a bell curve of the people getting treatment, meaning being "normal" is being ill. The "Thyroid Scale" uses more optimal values of healthy people, so plug in your numbers to see where you fall.

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                          • #14
                            Ever since being treated with T3 containing thyroid meds my TSH is pretty much non existent. My doctor has said that's fine because my body can tell I have enough thyroid hormone. She also said it's good because I have a thyroid nodule and when TSH is suppressed the nodule will not be inflamed.

                            IMO, I think labs ranges are decent guides but it's best to go by symptoms along with the whole endocrine system. The last time my free T3 was tested it was 4.88, with lab ranges 2.77-5.27. On paper it's where it needs to be, in the top quarter of the range but my symptoms showed I was still hypo. That helped to show me I had other issues that needed fixing.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by brooke.S. View Post
                              Ever since being treated with T3 containing thyroid meds my TSH is pretty much non existent. My doctor has said that's fine because my body can tell I have enough thyroid hormone. She also said it's good because I have a thyroid nodule and when TSH is suppressed the nodule will not be inflamed.

                              IMO, I think labs ranges are decent guides but it's best to go by symptoms along with the whole endocrine system. The last time my free T3 was tested it was 4.88, with lab ranges 2.77-5.27. On paper it's where it needs to be, in the top quarter of the range but my symptoms showed I was still hypo. That helped to show me I had other issues that needed fixing.
                              I agree and IMO labs are only very significant in conjunction with history, signs, and symptoms. In addition I believe most low thyroid cases and thyroid hormone dysfunction itself is also merely a symptom of another primary underlying process. Is that underlying primary cause autoimmune disorder, gastrointestinal, or some other cause is something that needs to be tested for and addressed to truly become healthy. Anything aimed simply at producing or providing more thyroid hormone without addressing that primary cause is stuck in just treating the symptom and not likely to get best results.
                              Last edited by Neckhammer; 09-24-2013, 08:16 AM.

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