Armour Thyroid is hormone replacement drug used to treat an underactive thyroid. This is also used as a medication to manage thyroid cancer and prevent enlargement of thyroid glands.
What Is Armour Thyroid?
People who were diagnosed with hypothyroidism were prescribed to take Armour Thyroid. This drug is manufactured by Actavis Inc. as a treatment for hypothyroidism.
It is safe to take this drug as it is all-natural and does not contain any synthetic ingredients or chemicals that’s why it’s more compatible with humans. The main ingredient of Armour Thyroid is derived from animal thyroid glands.
It is the best treatment for patients who can’t tolerate therapies using synthetic thyroid replacement hormones. Likewise, this medication has fewer side effects.
However, in spite of being all-natural, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists does not recommend Armour Thyroid as a safe treatment for hypothyroidism. They claim that it can pose serious side effects not to mention the fact that it does not undergo FDA approval process.
Armour Thyroid Effect on Weight Loss
The main component of Armour Thyroid includes T3 or triiodothyronine and T4 or thyroxine. It emits the pungent odor as it is extracted from porcine thyroid glands. One apparent side effect of taking this medication is weight loss.
The weight loss can be the results of reversing untreated hypothyroidism. It’s because the basal metabolic rate increases as the deficiency for T3 and T4 is being corrected. Thus, Armour Thyroid users may experience shedding extra weight.
There are also cases in which the user can experience substantial weight loss than expected. Likewise, the increase in basal metabolic rate may not only stimulate weight loss but also fat loss.
Specific causative factors that may influence weight loss include the following but may vary from one person to another:
- Appetite reduction – Most Armour Thyroid users have been experiencing increased appetite, but some notice appetite reduction. This factor is possible if the thyroid hormone level isn’t yet normalized.Likewise, if you’re taking this drug it will curb your food cravings and make you feel satiated and less hungry. Thus, appetite reduction may lead to weight loss.
- Bone density reduction – Obviously, when bone density declines, your body weight becomes lighter. But, this is not healthy especially for elderly as it poses risk for fractures.
- Diarrhea – If you are experiencing diarrhea while taking Armour Thyroid, there’s great possibility that you lose weight. This medication has a laxative effect that may cause frequent bowel movement or loose stools.However, if you’re noticing weight loss due to this factor, you must see your doctor immediately to ensure your safety.
- Increased energy – Taking this medication can cause increased energy due to the increase of thyroid hormone. With this, the user may become physically active and engage in exercise frequently.Engaging in physical activity can improve the metabolic rate at the same time burns more calories. Thus, weight loss is possible.
- Fat breakdown – Normalizing the thyroid hormones can lead to breaking down of body fat through lipolysis. This means that thyroid treatment reduces excess body fat that contributes weight loss.
- Ghrelin decrease – Taking Armour Thyroid as a treatment for hypothyroidism reduces the Ghrelin level. The Ghrelin is responsible for making a hypothyroidism patient hungrier and craves for food more often.Thus, reducing the Ghrelin level can make a person feel full for hours and food cravings can be prevented.
- Nausea – Some people undergoing treatment for hypothyroidism experience nausea most of the time. The effects of Armour Thyroid to lose weight vary from one person to another.You may lose weight as a result of appetite reduction, increased energy, increase in BMR or combination of the causative factors discussed above.
Armour Thyroid Dosage
The dosage of Armour Thyroid is determined depends on the laboratory findings and the ability of the patient’s response.
This drug is given orally if administered as thyroid hormones replacement. But, in more serious cases or emergency conditions, it is given intravenously.
If you will take this drug for weight loss, the dosage will depend on how much weight you want to lose. Obviously, if you will take a low dose, most likely you won’t notice any weight loss.
Taking more than the therapeutic needs may result in weight loss as a result of hyperthyroidism. The hypermetabolic state is induced by using Armour Thyroid that may result in lipolysis and increase in BMR, thus promote weight loss.
Side Effects of Armour Thyroid
Not all patients who were given Armour Thyroid respond positively. Most of them experience side effects from minor to serious ones.
Some of the side effects that are expected to occur include the following:
- Allergic reactions – If your body is unable to respond to Armour Thyroid, there’s great possibility that you may feel itchy, develop rash or swelling of various parts of your body.
- Anxiety – As you start taking this drug, you may notice low-grade nervousness or anxiety that may lead to internal discomfort. Your anxiety may disappear as your body adjusted to neurophysiological stimulation.
- Brain fog – Correcting hypothyroidism by taking Armour Thyroid can cause clouded thinking or brain fog. This drug may affect your ability to think and decide clearly.
- Cognitive deficits – The neurological performance greatly suffers when the dosage of T3 and T4 are suboptimal.
- Chest pain – This is a severe adverse reaction while taking hypothyroidism treatment. You must seek medical intervention the soonest possible time to avoid other serious conditions. It may trigger a heart attack or alter cardiac function.
- Facial puffiness – This can be a sign of allergic reaction to Armour Thyroid. It may be due to fluid retention within your facial tissue. But, this side effect may subside as the dosage is adjusted.
- Hair loss – Most users of Armour Thyroid experience hair loss or hair thinning. This is apparent during the early stage of treatment. But, it may subside after several months of treatment.
- Irregular heartbeat – You must monitor your heartbeat while taking this drug. It’s because Armour Thyroid can cause an irregular heartbeat.
- Joint pain – Another common side effect of this medication is joint paint as a result of changes in bone density and swollen joints.
You must be careful in using Armour Thyroid. You should not take it without doctors’ advice. Although this drug provides some benefits, you shouldn’t take for granted the possible side effects.
Dietitian with around 3 years of experience in assessing the nutritional needs of patients, counselling individuals, communicating the appropriate nutritional information to other members of the health care team and implementing nutritional care plans by following all the standards.