Armour Thyroid Side Effects

When it comes to discussing the possible Armour Thyroid side effects, I think it’s important to first understand why they occur and what causes them. If you can do this then you’ll also understand that all Armour Thyroid side effects can be easily avoided.

Unlike synthetic thyroid hormones which are manufactured in laboratories, Armour Thyroid is a natural desiccated thyroid extract that is extracted from pigs.

The successful use of pig thyroid has been around since the late 19th century. And Armour Thyroid was the medication of choice by doctors who successfully treated hypothyroidism all of the way through the first half of the 20th century.

During the late 1940’s the pharmaceutical industry developed a synthetic version of the T4 thyroid hormone. And Armour Thyroid quickly and wrongfully came under scrutiny and was eventually replaced by the new synthetic T4 as the medication of choice. And this has resulted in far less effective hypothyroidism treatment for most who diagnosed through conventional medical doctors.

Armour Thyroid vs. Synthetic T4

One of the biggest problems with this switch was that synthetic T4 and Armour Thyroid were very different.

Armour Thyroid contained a combination of the non-active thyroid hormone T4 and the active thyroid hormone T3 in a ratio that was close to what your thyroid naturally produces.

Synthetic T4 on the other hand contained no active T3 and instead operated under the understanding that by supplying your body with enough T4, it would eventually produce as much T3 you need.

But unfortunately, this idea had some major flaws and it didn’t quite work out that way.

Can Hypothyroidism Be One of the Armour Thyroid Side Effects?

One of the biggest arguments against the use of synthetic T4 thyroid medications is that if the liver, for any reason, cannot convert the T4 into T3 then it could potentially have a negative effect on your thyroid.

The T4 would continue to build up which would signal your thyroid gland to stop producing more T4 and subsequently, T3 as well. And the end result was that you became even more hypothyroid while your hypothyroidism symptoms continued to worsen.

It stands to reason that under this same principle that hypothyroidism could also be one of the Armour Thyroid side effects. Not necessarily to the same degree as the T4 only medication but given the higher ratios of T4 to T3, it can still create the same effect.

Armour Thyroid Side Effects When Dosage Is Too High

On the other side of the fence, there are some side effects that can occur by taking too much Armour Thyroid. But few people understand why.

If too much Armour Thyroid is taken, it can shift your body from a hypothyroid state to a hyperthyroid state. And this means that your cells begin to get too much thyroid hormone.

Important Note: These Armour Thyroid side effects are not unique to Armour Thyroid itself. Any thyroid supplement or medication, if the dosage is too high, can push the body towards hyperthyroidism and the same side effects would apply.

But the mechanism that causes these Armour Thyroid side effects is not an adverse reaction to the medication itself. Rather, when you become hyperthyroid, your body becomes more sensitive to the effects of adrenaline.

So when your blood sugar gets too low or your body comes under stress and your adrenaline levels naturally rise, then the effects of the adrenaline can become amplified.

Mental Armour Thyroid Side Effects

  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anti-social behavior
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Emotional changes

Physical Armour Thyroid Side Effects

  • Headaches
  • Rapid Heart Rate (tachycardia)
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Fatigue
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Hair Loss
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Increased Body Temperature
  • Decreased Libido
  • Chest Pain
  • Light and Sound Sensitivity
  • Flushing

What to Do About These Armour Thyroid Side Effects

I think it’s first important to understand that this hyperthyroidism state is not permanent. It will only last as long as the medication remains active in your body.

Oftentimes, your dosage just needs to be lowered or adjusted to avoid the potential of becoming hyperthyroid.

But if this does happen, then one of the easiest ways to decrease your adrenaline levels quickly is with the use of salt. Drinking a glass of water or juice with a high concentration of salt can help your adrenaline levels to return to normal. And in this process, these Armour Thyroid side effects will lessen and eventually subside.

In the event that you experience any Armour Thyroid side effects related to the worsening of your hypothyroidism symptoms then it’s recommended to work with your healthcare provider to discuss the use of a T3 only medication to avoid the potential buildup of T4. And by sticking to the right hypothyroidism diet you can also ensure that your liver remains healthy and minimize many of these Armour Thyroid side effects.

In any event, these Armour Thyroid side effects should be taken seriously and it’s best to discuss them with your healthcare provider. But oftentimes your medication can be adjusted accordingly to avoid them in the future.

Thyroid Medication Side Effects

Anytime you use any sort of thyroid medication, it’s important to understand the possible side effects that they might cause. Oftentimes people are given the wrong kind of medication or prescribed the wrong dosage which can cause some pretty nerve wrecking thyroid medication side effects.

So be sure to note any adverse reactions you might have and below I’ll discuss a few of the common types of thyroid medications and what kind of side effects you might experience and what they mean.

And also keep mind that medication or supplements should only be used together with the right hypothyroidism diet or else your hypothyroidism treatment will not be effective in the long run.

T4 Only Thyroid Medication Side Effects

thyroid medication side effectsBelieve it or not, T4 only medications are responsible for more thyroid medication side effects than the other forms of medication. And it is pretty apparent with how poor patients have been responding to these medications for years.

These T4 thyroid medications oftentimes cause a buildup effect of T4 within the body. And as a result, this tells your body to stop producing so much thyroid hormone. So, your thyroid slows down even more. And you can quickly become more hypothyroid than when you started.

The typical signs of this are when your symptoms begin to get worse or more frequent.

So with that being said, the typical T4 only thyroid medication side effects can be any of the various hypothyroidism symptoms.

T3 Only Thyroid Medication Side Effects

T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone that can be used directly by your cells without requiring your liver to be involved. And because of this, it is possible to have some thyroid medication side effects from T3 only medications.

If you introduce too much T3 to your body, your cells will absorb it and it can shift you from a hypothyroid state to a hyperthyroid state.

This can increase your metabolism and raise your core temperature above its normal 98.6 Fahrenheit (37.0 Celsius).

But it also makes you more susceptible to the effects of adrenaline. And this can lead to some uncomfortable thyroid medication side effects.

Mental Side Effects

  • Anxiety
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Emotional changes
  • Anti-social behavior

Physical Side Effects

  • Increased Body Temperature
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid Heart Rate (tachycardia)
  • Heart Palpitations
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Chest Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Flushing
  • Tremors
  • Hair Loss
  • Decreased Libido
  • Light and Sound Sensitivity


These thyroid medication side effects should be taken seriously but are not permanent and will subside once your thyroid hormones normalize.

And it’s all the more reason to manage your stress levels and keep your blood sugar balanced. Both of these issues will drive adrenaline high.

Combined T4 and T3 Thyroid Medication Side Effects

thyroid medication side effectsCombined T4 and T3 medication such as Armour Thyroid can also cause any of the thyroid medication side effects mentioned above.

Because these medications contain predominantly T4, if your liver can’t convert the T4, then is can cause you to become even more hypothyroid and as a result, your hypothyroidism symptoms can actually get worse.

But if your liver is converting the T4 then you can effectively take too much and produce too much T3 thyroid hormone. And this will result in the same symptoms mentioned above due to the increased sensitivity to adrenaline.

Be sure to take  look at the various Armour Thyroid side effects for more information.

Iodine Supplementation Side Effects

There’s a lot of talk of iodine deficiency and the use of iodine supplementation with hypothyroidism. And while iodine deficiency was a real issue at one point in time, it rarely is now in industrialized countries.

Today the vast majority of goiters are the result of excessive estrogen which has a similar effect of not allowing the thyroid gland to release its thyroid hormones.

But today, there are a lot of people recommending dangerously high levels of iodine without considering the negative side effects.

For starters, it can actually have the opposite desired effect and further suppress your thyroid and cause thyroiditis. It can also contribute to the development of many degenerative diseases.

But since it can suppress TSH levels then many people falsely believe that it is in fact working for them.

Anytime you take medication, for your thyroid or not, it’s important to monitor your body’s response to that medication. If you notice any of the thyroid medication side effects listed above, it should not deter you from using it. But you should work with your healthcare provider to fine tune the dosage or to find a thyroid medication that is more appropriate to your body’s needs.


Hypothyroidism Diagnosis

One of the biggest problems with diagnosing hypothyroidism today is the unreliability of the testing that is used. Most doctors base their hypothyroidism diagnosis entirely on the levels of a single hormone called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH).

But TSH alone does not provide enough evidence for a proper hypothyroidism diagnosis. And because this is primarily the only test that doctors use, the majority of hypothyroid people walk away undiagnosed.

But it goes even deeper than that which I’m about explain.

Below I’m going to talk about a couple of controversial topics regarding lab tests that are commonly used to make the hypothyroidism diagnosis and why they are useless.

Then I’ll also cover the better options out there along with one of the easiest and most accurate ways that you can diagnose yourself.

Poorly Used Hypothyroidism Diagnosis Methods

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Labs

There’s no doubt about it. Hypothyroidism is by far the most under-diagnosed health problem today. And the biggest reason for this is the fact that the reference ranges used to diagnose are completely bogus.

hypothyroidism diagnosisIf you really want to get into the details of this, be sure to check out my free report, 7 Simple Solutions to Hypothyroidism, where I get into all of the details.

But the reference ranges used today were based on the results of the old Protein Bound Iodine test that was once used as the hypothyroidism diagnosis gold standard. But since then, there has been plenty of research showing that this old test was a poor indicator of hypothyroidism at best.

But aside from that catastrophic problem, TSH is still not a good indicator of hypothyroidism. And that’s because there’s plenty of other factors, independent of hypothyroidism that can effectively lower your TSH levels giving a false negative hypothyroidism diagnosis.

Some of these include the hormonal influences of…

  • Aging
  • Excessive stress or cortisol
  • Infection
  • Pain or trauma
  • Poor dietary choices
  • Caffeine
  • Fever
  • Adrenaline
  • Somatostatin
  • Dopamine or L-dopa
  • Amphetamine
  • Feedback effect of thyroid hormones

Free T3 and Free T4 Labs

The idea of measuring free T3 or free T4 is yet another very controversial topic. The free hormone theory was originally developed based on a limited understanding of the human cell. And research has clearly disproved this theory, even though some healthcare professionals continue to make their hypothyroidism diagnosis based on these results.

When hormones enter your bloodstream, they are carried to different cells by what are called, transport proteins. And the free hormone theory was based on the idea that your hormones had to be “free” or detached from these transport proteins in order for these thyroid hormones to enter your cells and do their job.

But research has clearly shown that these transport proteins can also enter your cells while carrying the hormones, which was once thought impossible.

So when you account for only the “free” thyroid hormone in your bloodstream (5%) then you fail to account for the other 95% of the hormone that is still active.

This means that free thyroid hormones are not a good indicator of hypothyroidism and should not be used as a basis for a hypothyroidism diagnosis.

Good Hypothyroidism Diagnosis Methods

Comprehensive Blood Tests

One beneficial way to look at hypothyroidism is to look at multiple indicators that collectively can provide a much better picture of how well your thyroid is working.

Some useful indicators by blood test include…

  • Cholesterol
  • Albumin
  • Glucose
  • Sodium
  • Lactate
  • Total T4
  • Total T3

For example, it’s well known that cholesterol is directly proportional to hypothyroidism. So, high cholesterol is one indicator. Hypothyroidism also results in the production of lactic acid so measuring the level of lactate in your blood can provide another useful indicator. Hypothyroidism also causes your body to lose sodium at an accelerated rate. So, low sodium levels are yet another indicator.

When many of these indicators all point to the same problem then a hypothyroidism diagnosis can be made using an educated process.

And one of the best things about blood testing like this is that it can also be used to help determine the best hypothyroidism treatment plan by giving you further insight as to what the underlying cause really is.

Basal Metabolic Rate

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), when determined by lab equipment, used to be the gold standard back when doctors were confirming their hypothyroidism diagnosis with 40-45% of the population.

Doctors would hook the patient up to a machine that would measure their oxygen consumption which was a clear indicator of thyroid function. When you’re hypothyroid, your body shifts aware from its health oxidative energy system which readily uses oxygen to other energy systems that are much less efficient at utilizing oxygen.

Achilles Reflex

The Achilles Reflex is a physical test for hypothyroidism that was used long ago along with BMR. But it is still quite valid and useful even today.

One of the well known hypothyroidism symptoms is slowed nerve reflexes. So, you can easily test the reflex related to your Achilles tendon. With a healthy reflex, the muscle will relax immediately and the foot will quickly swing back to its resting position. But an unhealthy reflex where your foot slowly returns to its resting position is oftentimes used to support the hypothyroidism diagnosis.

Recommended Hypothyroidism Diagnosis Method

Morning Temperature

Monitoring your morning temperature was a concept that was pioneered by an American doctor by the name of Broda Barnes. And Broda Barnes found that your morning temperature which is determined by your metabolism could be strongly correlated with the health of your thyroid.

A morning temperature of 97.8°F (36.5°C) or less is highly indicative of hypothyroidism.

Of course, there are factors that can affect the accuracy of this measurement such as climate, stress hormones, etc. But it’s an easy test that you can do in the comfort of your own home which can be far more accurate than most lab tests.


Respected endocrine physiologist, Dr. Raymond Peat, discovered that in warmer climates your morning temperature was not always the most accurate means of making a hypothyroidism diagnosis. You see, when the air temperature around you is warm, then your thyroid doesn’t have to do much work to maintain your core temperature of 98.6°F (37°C).

And it doesn’t make sense to measure your thyroid’s capacity to work when it doesn’t have to work very hard to begin with.

Dr. Peat also noticed a trend of very low pulse rates with those who suffered from hypothyroidism, even when their core temperatures were influenced by air temperature. But when these people took a thyroid supplement, their pulse rates returned to normal.

So, by taking into account your morning temperature and pulse rate together, you get more accurate results than with morning temperature alone.

According to Dr. Peat, the average resting heart rate of a healthy person is 85 beats per minute. And less healthy people average closer to 70 beats per minute which together with other indicators could be used to support the hypothyroidism diagnosis.

Therapeutic Trial

Bear with me for a minute because this one is borderline crazy. In fact, it’s so crazy that doctors today don’t dare use it (please note the sarcasm).

I’ve mentioned previously that long before every hypothyroidism diagnosis was made using the faulty lab testing used today, doctors use to confirm their diagnosis based on the concept of a therapeutic trial.

Equipped with this novel idea, doctors would make the diagnosis based on their patient’s symptoms, multiple tests results, and their own clinical opinions. And they would treat their patient accordingly.

But during the entire treatment, some of the indicators that were mentioned above, such as BMR, cholesterol, temperatures, and reflex rate were continuously monitored for improvement.

If the patient’s hypothyroidism symptoms improved as these clinical indicators improved then the hypothyroidism diagnosis was confirmed.

And this type of therapeutic trial can still be used today. If your hypothyroidism symptoms improve as your temperature and pulse begin to normalize then it’s safe to say that your self diagnosis is confirmed.

Hopefully this has opened your eyes to some of the bigger problems associated with the sheer under-diagnosis of hypothyroidism today. And hopefully it has opened your eyes to some things that you can do to make your own hypothyroidism diagnosis and monitor your progress with the use of your own hypothyroidism diet and therapeutic trial.

Hypothyroidism Causes

There’s a lot of confusion and misunderstanding floating around regarding the cause of hypothyroidism. Most people are led to believe that the underlying cause of hypothyroidism is some sort of defect to the thyroid gland itself. But the truth is that there are multiple hypothyroidism causes that all need to be addressed as part of any successful hypothyroidism treatment protocol.

Is Your Thyroid Gland Really the Problem?

It’s true that most doctors are trained to believe that 95% of hypothyroidism is a matter of a sluggish thyroid gland that is incapable of producing enough thyroid hormone to support your body’s needs. And you can’t necessarily blame them because on a very superficial level, it makes sense.

But if that were the case, then 95% of hypothyroidism patients who were put on supplemental Thyroxine (T4 thyroid hormone) would respond favorably and their hypothyroidism symptoms would simply disappear. And doctors prescribe T4 because that’s the primary hormone that your thyroid gland secretes.

But the results of prescribing T4 have been far less than impressive. In fact, they have been outright horrid.

The majority of patients who are put on T4 medication get no relief. Many even get worse. And most doctors fail to come to terms with the fact that this form of treatment is more of a problem than a solution. So, they continue to ignore the various other hypothyroidism causes and reassure their patients that the medication is working but that there are some other “unrelated” problems that they now need to investigate.

The Truth About Hypothyroidism Causes

The truth is that there’s an entire long process that occurs between the time that your thyroid gland produces its hormones and the time that those hormones get delivered to your cells for use. And if any part of this process is broken then the end result is… hypothyroidism.

So, it becomes much easier to see that there are a number of hypothyroidism causes that you have to account for if you really want to correct the problem.

But it gets even deeper than that.

Unfortunately, when any one single part of this process is broken, all the other parts suffer as well, much like a domino effect. So it’s not as easy as fixing the one little broken link in the chain. Once this process is thrown off, you have to work to restore functionality to the entire process to get it working properly again.

And that’s why it becomes so important to address all of the hypothyroidism causes at the same time.

And while TSH levels are high in the majority of hypothyroidism cases (but not all) this is not necessarily an indication of a problem with your thyroid gland. If any part of the process becomes broken then your thyroid gland is going to naturally down regulate and stop producing so many hormones. And it’s important to use the right thyroid function test before basing a diagnosis off of TSH alone.

But it’s easy to point the finger at your thyroid as the problem and that’s a big mistake that most people and doctors make.

Below I’ve listed the 3 main parts of this process to give you a much better idea of what can go wrong and the various hypothyroidism causes involved with each individual part.

Hypothyroidism Causes Related to Thyroid Hormone Secretion

When it comes to your thyroid gland, there are a few factors that affect its ability to secrete the thyroid hormones that it produces (aside from other broken parts of this process).

Iodine Deficiency

One such issue is an iodine deficiency. But in industrialized countries now days, this is actually one of the very rare hypothyroidism causes. And supplementing with iodine should be approached with extreme caution because you can easily experience iodine toxicity based on many of the popular recommended dosages out there. And this can actually have a number of negative health effects and make you even more hypothyroid in the end.

So it’s important to always get appropriate testing to determine your true iodine levels instead of using a shotgun approach of iodine supplementation.

Excessive Estrogen

One of the very common hypothyroidism causes today that affects your thyroid’s ability to secrete your thyroid hormones is excessive estrogen levels. And this goes for both men and women although it’s more of a problem with women since they naturally have higher estrogen levels.

When estrogen is in excess within the body, it deactivates the proteolytic enzymes that are responsible for signaling your thyroid to release its hormones. So the thyroid hormones tend to build up within the gland and many times leads to goiters and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Progesterone Deficiency

The hormone that is responsible for opposing and balancing estrogen is progesterone. And one of the many beneficial roles of progesterone is to activate the same proteolytic enzymes that estrogen deactivates.

And a deficiency in progesterone oftentimes goes hand in hand with excessive estrogen.

Hypothyroidism Causes Related to Thyroid Hormone Conversion

Your thyroid gland produces primarily the inactive T4 hormone that must be first converted by your liver into the active T3 hormone in order to be used by your cells. And because this process is responsible for producing about 2/3 of your active thyroid hormone then it can be a major player among the various hypothyroidism causes.

Protein Deficiency

Hopefully you are well aware of the fact that protein plays an important role in your diet. And when you don’t get enough protein in your diet then your body begins to break down your own muscle tissue in order to get the protein that it needs. But this comes with a price.

The process involved in breaking down your muscle tissue requires the use of your body’s stress hormones. And when these stress hormones rise, they also block the conversion of T4 into T3 making this one of the hypothyroidism causes.

Low Carb Diets

There’s a lot of controversy out there regarding the healthiest diet. Some claim that low-fat is the only healthy diet. And others argue that carbs are the problem. But in reality, both are wrong.

But low carb diets can really cause some problems with your thyroid. And this is because your liver requires carbs in your diet in order to convert T4 to T3. So it’s safe to say that carbs are not necessarily the problem. It has more to do with eating the wrong carbs vs. the right carbs.

And this is where a good science based hypothyroidism diet comes into play. But you have to be careful because not every hypothyroidism diet is created equal. And some are flat out bad.

Lack of Salt

Let’s move back to the topic of stress for a minute.

One problem that goes hand in hand with hypothyroidism is the inability to retain sodium within your cells. When you become hypothyroid, your cells easily take up water and sodium is readily eliminated.

But sodium plays a number of very important roles in your body, one of which is to help keep stress hormones levels low. So, your stress hormones are naturally going to be high with hypothyroidism and if you’re not getting enough salt in your diet to then you won’t be able to keep those stress hormones under control.

And as I already mentioned above, stress hormones are another one of the hypothyroidism causes.


Keeping along the same topic of stress, many people over-exercise which only places more stress on your body. In fact, it has been shown that over-exercising with hypothyroidism can actually stop your body’s production of the active thyroid hormone, T3, immediately.

So if you think more exercise or working out harder is going to do the trick then think again.

Hypothyroidism Causes Related to Thyroid Hormone Utilization

There are a few hypothyroidism causes that affect your body’s ability to properly utilize thyroid hormone. But few have the far reaching effects of these.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Poly Unsaturated Fats are a major contributing factor with hypothyroidism. They can easily be put into the category that affects thyroid hormone secretion because they do play an active role in suppressing the thyroid gland from secreting its hormones. But these fats also have more far reaching effects.

Polyunsaturated fats also work by blocking the transportation of your thyroid hormone in your bloodstream. So, this means that even less of the needed hormone is actually making it to your cells.

And to make matters worse, once your cells do get the little bit of thyroid hormone, these fats make your thyroid hormone less effective within your cells. So it requires even more thyroid hormone to keep your metabolism and cells healthy.

And with the prevalence of polyunsaturated fats in everyone’s diet today, it’s very easy to see that this is another one of the major hypothyroidism causes of today.

Miscellaneous Hypothyroidism Causes

Of course, there are so many other hypothyroidism causes that it’s impossible to list them all. But there are a couple of others that I think are worth mentioning because they do shed some light as to why hypothyroidism is so common.

Natural Aging

As you age, there’s a natural shift that occurs in your hormone levels, thyroid hormone included. And as your body naturally decreases its hormone secretion, then it becomes more and more important to get these necessary hormones from other sources, such as this.


Our diets have changed drastically over the past century and unfortunately, it’s been entirely for the worse. And this has become another one of the bigger hypothyroidism causes of today.

We use to utilize the entire animal that we ate including the various organs, bone, etc. And many of these parts that we now discard without thinking use to be very rich in thyroid hormones. So we use to get a good amount of thyroid hormone directly from our diet. And that meant that our thyroid gland didn’t have to produce quite so much on it’s own.

Hopefully this gives you some insight into how complex this issue really is and that it’s not as simple as saying that your thyroid itself is the problem. Instead, you have to consider the entire process and all of the hypothyroidism causes that can be involved along the way if you ever want to truly be successful at healing hypothyroidism.