Sunday, February 14, 2010

Armour Thyroid Is Harder to Find than a Needle in a Haystack

I have been hypothyroid most -- if not all -- of my life. I went to a lousy Austin endocrinologist who could do no better than shrug his shoulders at my three pages of symptoms that I brought to him for 5 years. I fired him and finally found a truly caring doctor who actually understands how the thyroid works. As I have gained my health and thus my life back, my anger at that harmful doctor is still present, though lessened somewhat by finally feeling healthy again. My good doctor has almost erased my wrath at the arrogant endocrinologist, but every now and then a news story crops up about thyroid medications (such as the one below) and my anger at the needless suffering of the millions of thyroid patients at the hands of their doctors and Big Pharma gets my mad going again.

I am now sure that I was first gluten intolerant and a lifetime of not knowing that whittled my thyroid gland down to nothing. Mr. Big Fancy Pants Endo -- who is paid thousands every year to give "lectures" by the makers of his favorite drugs, including Synthroid -- apparently has never heard of Celiac's or gluten intolerance and probably has never even heard of gluten itself. He certainly never suggested that I may have some serious food allergies that caused all of my health symptoms.

I was put on Armour Thyroid on March 8, 2007 by my new doctor. I have that date marked on my calendar every year and I celebrate it as that is the date I started to get my life back. I had been practically bedridden for most of 2005-2006, so when my brain fog started to lift and my energy levels came back, I was in love with Armour Thyroid as that is the drug that made health possible for me.

I was on Armour Thyroid until the summer of 2009, when for some incomprehensible reason, the makers of Armour changed the 100-year old formula that worked wonders for countless thyroid patients. I began to feel hypo again. I also felt nauseous from something the genius makers of Armour decided to add to the formula. The company ignored pleas from thyroid patient advocates and refused to answer why they changed the formula. So most of us switched to another form of thyroid called Nature-thyroid. You can guess what happened next -- that also became nearly impossible to find.

Synthetic thyroid brands such as Synthroid simply do not work for me and for thousands of other hypothyroid patients as well. We have to have thyroid that is not synthetic or we remain ill.

What would happen in the national media if a major maker of insulin suddenly changed their formula and diabetics everywhere began to feel ill from the new formula? What if the makers of the most popular statin drug started playing around with that formula and people felt ill from that change? Would there not be a national outcry?

It is incredibly sad to me that we have to become health detectives and figure out for ourselves why we feel like shit. It is even sadder that once we finally find a medicine that gives us hope for a healthy life again, that medicine is suddenly changed and no longer does what it should for thousands of sufferers.

But saddest of all, you have to find that special doctor who refuses to be told how to treat patients based on what an insurance company thinks is best and instead relies on his or her training AND he/she bothers to listens to the actual symptoms the patient presents. Every day I say a small prayer of thanks to the thyroid patient advocates whom I have never met in person but who I count as dear friends as they are the one who directed me to the doctor who cared enough to actually heal me. I have a pit in my stomach every time I meet someone new who has suffered at the hands of an unknowledgeable and lazy doctor who has permitted that patient's life to ebb away until there isn't much there anymore.

For more information about the importance of getting on the right thyroid medicine, please bookmark Stop the Thyroid Madness and make it your personal thyroid Bible. Also check out Thyroid patients panicked as medication disappears.

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  1. I just stumbled on to your blog about finding a wonderful doc in Austin that took your list of crazy symptoms seriously and helped you with your thyroid madness! Please help! I have been trying to find someone like that for my daughter who lives there. She needs it so badly and I'm trying to help her. I livein Oregon so I'm doing alot of internet search and phone calls. Can you please reccommend your physician to me?

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  3. I'm also in desperate need of a good thyroid doctor in Austin to treat Hashimotos. I feel like I've gone to them all and keep being met with the same response. "Armour bad, rah rah rah! Your TSH is in normal range now, you can't be still feeling symptoms of hypothyroidism!" I've left a new doctor's office in tears more than once when they just flatly refuse to acknowledge what I know about my own body! Could you please, please share your doctor's name with me?

    Ever grateful,

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  5. Who is this doctor in Austin? I am in need of one and I just went to one that sounds like the arrogant doctor mentioned above. I feel like their aren't any that understand the thyroid/gluten connection.