Hypothryoid/Adrenal Fatigue: Armour and Cortef

KathleenHKathleenH Registered Users Posts: 48
I started both Armour Thyroid and Cortef (oral hydrocortisone) last year for newly diagonsed hypothryoid and then shortly after, Adrenal Fatigue.

I believe Cortef has made my formerly wavy hair disappear. While at times I complained about the waves in terms of getting my hair blown straight with no frizzies -- now, I cannot wear my hair natural (which I used to do exclusively in the summer) because it does not wave, does not curl -- just frizzes. I look like Albert Einstein if I don't blow/flat iron my hair.

Anyone else have experience with Cortef (or other oral steroids) that has changed the texture of your hair? When you went off, did your hair go back to normal?

Or, is this from Armour thryoid?


Thanks in advance for all answers and help!
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Comments

  • MaybeWavyMaybeWavy Registered Users Posts: 374
    actually, I had the opposite happen, my hair has gotten curlier with the increase in armour..I'm on 32.5 mgs HC and 3 3/4 grains armour (rx'd 3 1/4; self treating the extra 1/2 grain, planning to add another 1/4 here the first of august).

    Curly hair can be a side effect of low adrenal function, albeit fairly rare.

    How much armour are you on? Have you checked aldosterone function?
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  • curly2curly2 Registered Users Posts: 320
    I have been on Armour for maybe 6 months, after coming off of the synthetic Synthroid. I have been feeling very fatigued lately and have scheduled an appointment with my doctor for blood test tomorrow morning. The only difference I noticed with my hair is, it has not shed as much. I am thinking on going back on the synthetic (will be talking to the doctor about this), due to the fatigue. I am on 90 mg a day with the Armour and when I was on the synthroid it was 0.125 at one time. I do not have a thyroid, due to surgery. Thanks for any help.
  • KathleenHKathleenH Registered Users Posts: 48
    maybewavy: I honestly think it is the Cortef (HC) that altered my hair pattern. I was wavy-to-curly prior to any treatment.

    I have been weaning of the Cortef and my hair seems a bit better -- so we shall see.

    I am at 4 grains of Armour - and right now 5mg of Cortef (split 2.5 and 2.5) after being at almost 35mg a day for the past 18months. Taking me FOREVER to wean since I want to go really slowly.
  • KathleenHKathleenH Registered Users Posts: 48
    curly2 wrote: »
    I have been on Armour for maybe 6 months, after coming off of the synthetic Synthroid. I have been feeling very fatigued lately and have scheduled an appointment with my doctor for blood test tomorrow morning. The only difference I noticed with my hair is, it has not shed as much. I am thinking on going back on the synthetic (will be talking to the doctor about this), due to the fatigue. I am on 90 mg a day with the Armour and when I was on the synthroid it was 0.125 at one time. I do not have a thyroid, due to surgery. Thanks for any help.


    There is no one that is optimized at 90mg (1 grain). For most people, it takes about 3-5 grains to get the Free T3 and Free T4 to the appropriate range (we hypos want to be close to the top of those ranges; FT4 at the top 1/3 and FT3 at the very top).


    I would not blame the Armour -- I would blame the dose. Hopefully your doctor is progressive enough -- many of them aren't willing to prescribe more than 1 to 2 grains per day (also don't take it all at once -- multi-dosing is key).
  • curly2curly2 Registered Users Posts: 320
    KathleenH wrote: »
    curly2 wrote: »
    I have been on Armour for maybe 6 months, after coming off of the synthetic Synthroid. I have been feeling very fatigued lately and have scheduled an appointment with my doctor for blood test tomorrow morning. The only difference I noticed with my hair is, it has not shed as much. I am thinking on going back on the synthetic (will be talking to the doctor about this), due to the fatigue. I am on 90 mg a day with the Armour and when I was on the synthroid it was 0.125 at one time. I do not have a thyroid, due to surgery. Thanks for any help.


    There is no one that is optimized at 90mg (1 grain). For most people, it takes about 3-5 grains to get the Free T3 and Free T4 to the appropriate range (we hypos want to be close to the top of those ranges; FT4 at the top 1/3 and FT3 at the very top).


    I would not blame the Armour -- I would blame the dose. Hopefully your doctor is progressive enough -- many of them aren't willing to prescribe more than 1 to 2 grains per day (also don't take it all at once -- multi-dosing is key).
    I am a little confused on the optimized issue. My dose of 90 mg is only 1 grain? I take 3 pills a day for this dose, each of which is 30 mg. I am seeing my GP tomorrow for the bloodwork and he is not progressive. He only goes by the tsh levels and lives and breathes Synthetic. I went to an endo, without his approval, and got the Armour. He just shook his head. I want to have bloodwork for cholestrol, sugar, c-reactive protein, and other general workup, to see if I hav anything else going on. We will talk about the thyroid, but I will probably have to go back to the endo to get any results. Did you take any of the synthetic thyroid previously?
  • CalamityMCalamityM Registered Users Posts: 541 Curl Novice
    Just curious...why is mulit dosing key? I am hypothyroid, and I am on a desicated thyoroid pill. (Is that the same as Armour?) I take my pills all at once at night. I feel fantastic, but just wondering if there is maybe new research out there that I"m not aware off. Are you supposed to spread the dosage out during the day?
  • curly2curly2 Registered Users Posts: 320
    I had never heard of multi dosing either. I take my thyroid medication first thing in the morning, since you are suppose to take them on an empty stomach. That is the only time my stomach is empty. I went to the doctor for bloodwork, so will find out tomorrow where I am. Last time I was at 3.88 and he said I was normal.....He is not overly helpful with my thyroid issues. I will probably have to go back to the endo, which I hate to do.
  • Kendallkd78Kendallkd78 Registered Users Posts: 1
    To all of you who suffer from Hypo thyroid, Hashimoto's and/or Adrenal Fatigue/Insufficiancy~ Please check out StopTheThyroidMadness dot com

    It has helped me answer a lot of questions about these issues!
    Also, if your doctor is not helping, listening or just going by your TSH levels-get a new doctor!!! I have personally gone though over 15 different providers to get the help I need!
    TSH and Synthroid are not the way to go!

    Good Luck to you all :-)
  • curly2curly2 Registered Users Posts: 320
    My doctor actually called ME this morning about my thyroid test. It was a 10, which is not good. He had me up my Armour to 120 mgs (I was on 90). I have to go back and have bloodwork in 1 month. He does not like Armour, but is trying to work with me, so I will save the endo visit for a later time. Hopefully I will get to feeling better. Such irony, I had started working out at the YMCA this summer and thought my fatigue was due to my workouts...

    I know some of you are taking your thyroid meds at night or distributing throughout the day. I always have taken them in the morning right after I get up. Please let me know when you take your meds and why. Thanks to you all!!
  • KathleenHKathleenH Registered Users Posts: 48
    Stop the thryoid madness saved my life!

    Dessicated thryoid -- can be Armour, or Westhroid or Thyroid-S or Naturethroid (there are others). Armour is dessicated thryoid but a certain brand. They are all basically the same.

    The reason why multi-dosing is key is because the half life of T3 is very short. So, it peaks in about 4 hours -- and then the potency declines in the body (or lack of a more scientific explanation). Therefore, anyone who takes dessicated thyroid or T3 -- should NOT take it all at once for best results.

    This does not apply to Synthroid which is a T4 only drug.
  • MaybeWavyMaybeWavy Registered Users Posts: 374
    Loss of curl/wave can also be due to a growth hormone deficiency, which can be altered w/ HC.

    Are ya'll taking your armour sublingually/buccally(in the cheek)? Makes a big difference.
    2cFii-ish with 3a moments. Always subject to change.
    (\_/) This is Bunny.
    (O.0) Copy Bunny into your signature to help
    (> <) him on his way to world Domination.

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  • KathleenHKathleenH Registered Users Posts: 48
    Thanks...no growth hormone deficiency. But, I honestly believe the HC did affect the hair. I have lowered quite a bit, and the new growth is curlier than the bottom half of the hair.
  • curly2curly2 Registered Users Posts: 320
    MaybeWavy wrote: »
    Loss of curl/wave can also be due to a growth hormone deficiency, which can be altered w/ HC.

    Are ya'll taking your armour sublingually/buccally(in the cheek)? Makes a big difference.
    I have never heard about this, could you provide more information on taking it in the cheek? I take 4 30mg Armour a day first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. So what I am reading here is; I should be taking 2 in the morning and 2 around lunch. I will buy the book, but thanks for any info you can provide me.
  • mdmmdm Registered Users Posts: 1
    I was diagnosed a few months ago with metabolic syndrome x. I'm taking some prescriptions and some nutritional supplements. My normally very curly hair is going straight. Anyone else had this experience?
  • bnlucibnluci Registered Users Posts: 3
    wow am i glad i found this site. i was diagnoised with hypothyroidism in jan of this year and i am still trying to find the right amount of medication. i am currently on 75 mcg of synthroyid, and i have blood test at the end of the month to see if its helping at all. so far my numbers have not budged. my hair is still falling out, and my curls are very sad. i have gone from a 3b to about a 2b, and i am not happy. any further advice would be greatly appericated!
  • Sleepy OwlSleepy Owl Registered Users Posts: 105
    I take HC. I was on it for a while right before I got pregnant with #2, and after weaning off of it is when my hair went wonky. I blamed it on my pregnancy, and never even thought about a possible connection to the HC.
    I started taking it again a few months ago, and my hair actually seems to be recovering, even though I am pregnant again. Hmmm... It could be totally unrelated though. :geek:

    BTW, I take a combo of "synthroid" and Armour. For some reason too much Armour gave me the jitters, but I feel much better taking some Armour vs just the synthroid. I take the equivalent of 2 grains, and it has my TSH totally supressed and my T3 and T4 levels both in the normal range. I think I am going to try increasing it after the baby comes, and I get my adrenals straighted out again. (Because I am sure I will have to start over with them after the baby is born. *sigh* )
    Laura
    2bc f/ii highly porous hair
    CG since Aug '06 ~ (mostly ;) )
    Fotki updated 6-30-09
  • Sleepy OwlSleepy Owl Registered Users Posts: 105
    Oh yeah, and I totally agree to check out "Stop the thyroid madness". It totally saved me!


    Here is my thyroid blog if anyone is intersted. I haven't updated much in a long time, but it might be helpful. :)
    http://ijustwanttobemeagain.blogspot.com/
    Laura
    2bc f/ii highly porous hair
    CG since Aug '06 ~ (mostly ;) )
    Fotki updated 6-30-09
  • Tomorrow Never KnowsTomorrow Never Knows Registered Users Posts: 320
    Hey, I have questions for you guys who are on desiccated thyroid and adrenal support drugs. How did you find a doctor to prescribe these for you? I've been on just synthroid for about 2 years now. My symptoms have barely improved and I'm still exhausted. I also have symptoms of adrenal fatigue and when I do the at home adrenal tests they're positive. I've had major stress from abuse/related trial for a few years so I know it's likely that my adrenals would be shot. But hooow do I find a doctor to help? I'm in Canada (Victoria, BC) but would be willing to go to Washington to see a doctor if I have to.
    Type 2b/2c, med/coarse, low porosity, medium density

    Co-wash: Suave Naturals Tangerine, Live Clean Moisturizing, CJ Daily Fix, GTTT, Tigi MM

    Conditioner: Tigi MM, Jessicurl WDT, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Daily Smoothing, CJ H&B Deep Fix

    Deep Treatment: same as rinse out

    Leave-in: KCKT or my rinseout

    Styling Aids: Alberto/V05 Gel, HETT/HESMU, KCCC
  • Sleepy OwlSleepy Owl Registered Users Posts: 105
    I found my doctor here..
    http://www.thyroid-info.com/topdrs/index.htm

    also check out this page...

    http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/how-to-find-a-good-doc


    I know there are ways to do it without actually seeing a doctor, but I haven't tried it, so you would have to do some research to figure out how. I would try to find a doctor first though.

    Good luck!
    Laura
    Laura
    2bc f/ii highly porous hair
    CG since Aug '06 ~ (mostly ;) )
    Fotki updated 6-30-09
  • Tomorrow Never KnowsTomorrow Never Knows Registered Users Posts: 320
    Thanks. :) I read the STTM website yesterday and found it informative. However what are her sources? Unfortunately I can't go to a doctor and say, "I want to go on dessicated thyroid medication because I read about it on a website started by a patient". Unless I missed that she's an MD or ND? It's so tough getting allopathic doctors to accept this kind of stuff.
    Type 2b/2c, med/coarse, low porosity, medium density

    Co-wash: Suave Naturals Tangerine, Live Clean Moisturizing, CJ Daily Fix, GTTT, Tigi MM

    Conditioner: Tigi MM, Jessicurl WDT, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Daily Smoothing, CJ H&B Deep Fix

    Deep Treatment: same as rinse out

    Leave-in: KCKT or my rinseout

    Styling Aids: Alberto/V05 Gel, HETT/HESMU, KCCC
  • crimsonshedemoncrimsonshedemon Registered Users Posts: 2,098
    I was recently diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. I'm taking Cortef and Medrol.

    I was diagnosed with hypothyroid a few years ago. I take Armour Thyroid 180mg.
    I also have systemic lupus. I take a ton of medication.
    So far, no change in my hair. Lupus and hypothyroid can cause hair loss but for the most part, I'm losing very little now.

    Questions:
    Thyroid med dosing thru out the day? I have never heard of this. I can't imagine having armour sublingual - blech! The pills smell bad enough.
  • crimsonshedemoncrimsonshedemon Registered Users Posts: 2,098
    Unfortunately I can't go to a doctor and say, "I want to go on dessicated thyroid medication because I read about it on a website started by a patient". Unless I missed that she's an MD or ND? It's so tough getting allopathic doctors to accept this kind of stuff.

    If a doctor isn't willing to try new things, it's time to find another doctor.
    Research Armour yourself versus synthetic yourself. I wouldn't mention that someone on the internet told you about it.
    about.com has a lot of helpful info.
    http://thyroid.about.com/od/drstevenhotze/a/hotze.htm

    Write down the pros and cons and present that to the doctor. Have a couple of good reasons why you want to try Armour.
    Since you're still symptomatic, the current treatment isn't working. You simply want to feel better and want to explore your options. Make an intelligent argument.
    Good luck
  • Tomorrow Never KnowsTomorrow Never Knows Registered Users Posts: 320
    Thanks crimsonshedemon. I'm sorry to hear you have lupus. My mother and all four of her sisters have it and I have a very elevated SED rate and CRP so we're not quite sure still where that's heading.

    Unfortunately since most doctors stopped prescribing dessicated thyroid hormones years ago it's considered bad practice by most doctors...furthermore a doctor in the area lost his medical license a few years ago after prescribing dessicated thyroid hormones to a lot of people so the doctors here are a lot more cautious about it now.:sad3: I think a lot are unsure of it since the dosing isn't as standardized.

    I also don't know that my symptoms ARE from thyroid problems...there are so many things that can cause fatigue/mental fogginess etc. I got a new doctor recently though and so far I've only used her for a referral to a rheumatologist, so I might as well go back and ask her about this and see how she responds.

    How did you get diagnosed with adrenal fatigue? Do you feel better on the meds for it?
    Type 2b/2c, med/coarse, low porosity, medium density

    Co-wash: Suave Naturals Tangerine, Live Clean Moisturizing, CJ Daily Fix, GTTT, Tigi MM

    Conditioner: Tigi MM, Jessicurl WDT, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Daily Smoothing, CJ H&B Deep Fix

    Deep Treatment: same as rinse out

    Leave-in: KCKT or my rinseout

    Styling Aids: Alberto/V05 Gel, HETT/HESMU, KCCC
  • Tomorrow Never KnowsTomorrow Never Knows Registered Users Posts: 320
    Okay, I'm starting on Isocort which has Cortef in it. What dose has everyone been on for Cortef? Did you gain weight?
    Type 2b/2c, med/coarse, low porosity, medium density

    Co-wash: Suave Naturals Tangerine, Live Clean Moisturizing, CJ Daily Fix, GTTT, Tigi MM

    Conditioner: Tigi MM, Jessicurl WDT, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Daily Smoothing, CJ H&B Deep Fix

    Deep Treatment: same as rinse out

    Leave-in: KCKT or my rinseout

    Styling Aids: Alberto/V05 Gel, HETT/HESMU, KCCC
  • crimsonshedemoncrimsonshedemon Registered Users Posts: 2,098
    Interesting about Armour in your location. There is a shortage. My doctor found a compounding pharmacy in FL that is reasonable so that's where mine will be coming from.
    I think part of the problem is that the doctors like to think synthetic is better. That they have more control over it.


    Cortef- I'm taking .1mg.
    I also take Medrol
    If you're really experiencing adrenal fatigue, you shouldn't experience the typical side effects from the steroids. Those side effects (weight gain, moon face, etc, etc) come from too much, an excess of steroids. Right now, we're way below the "normal" level and the meds help bring you up to the optimal level. Does that make sense?
  • Tomorrow Never KnowsTomorrow Never Knows Registered Users Posts: 320
    Yeah I think since most doctors are taught to use synthetic they prefer it. They DO have more control over it because the dessicated thyroid hormone does vary in strength from batch to batch...but that doesn't mean it won't work better for some people.

    Are you sure you're only on 0.1 mg of Cortef? I've heard of ULTRA low dosing with Cortef at around 2.5-5mg per day, with common doses being in the 12.5-30mg range, which is equivalent to about 3-6 mg of prednisone (a very low dose). But yes, the weight thing does make sense, thanks.
    Type 2b/2c, med/coarse, low porosity, medium density

    Co-wash: Suave Naturals Tangerine, Live Clean Moisturizing, CJ Daily Fix, GTTT, Tigi MM

    Conditioner: Tigi MM, Jessicurl WDT, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Daily Smoothing, CJ H&B Deep Fix

    Deep Treatment: same as rinse out

    Leave-in: KCKT or my rinseout

    Styling Aids: Alberto/V05 Gel, HETT/HESMU, KCCC
  • SpiralliSpiralli Registered Users Posts: 3,684 Curl Connoisseur
    A bit OT, but does anyone know of a website that helps to decipher the results of thyroid lab tests?

    I got my lab results in the mail. My T3 and T4 are normal but my TSH was out of range. My GP recommended that I see an endo, since I expressed my concerns to her about possibly trying Armour (instead of Synthroid) and that my hair has been thinning.
    Location: Texas
    Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
    CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Desert Essence Coconut, Oribe Silverati
    Leave-ins: Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls, KCKT, cno overnight
    Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG, CJ Pattern Pusha
    DT: Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
  • Tomorrow Never KnowsTomorrow Never Knows Registered Users Posts: 320
    What does your temperature tend to be like? What were your TSH, T3, and T4?
    Type 2b/2c, med/coarse, low porosity, medium density

    Co-wash: Suave Naturals Tangerine, Live Clean Moisturizing, CJ Daily Fix, GTTT, Tigi MM

    Conditioner: Tigi MM, Jessicurl WDT, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Daily Smoothing, CJ H&B Deep Fix

    Deep Treatment: same as rinse out

    Leave-in: KCKT or my rinseout

    Styling Aids: Alberto/V05 Gel, HETT/HESMU, KCCC
  • SpiralliSpiralli Registered Users Posts: 3,684 Curl Connoisseur
    TSH = 0.22 (supposed to be 0.40 to 4.50 for 20+ year olds, per lab report)
    T4 = 11.8 (range 1.5-12.5)
    T3 = 155 (range 97-219)
    Location: Texas
    Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
    CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Desert Essence Coconut, Oribe Silverati
    Leave-ins: Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls, KCKT, cno overnight
    Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG, CJ Pattern Pusha
    DT: Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
  • Tomorrow Never KnowsTomorrow Never Knows Registered Users Posts: 320
    Your TSH indicates hypERthyroidism, not hypOthyroidism, so you wouldn't want to use Armour thyroid.
    Type 2b/2c, med/coarse, low porosity, medium density

    Co-wash: Suave Naturals Tangerine, Live Clean Moisturizing, CJ Daily Fix, GTTT, Tigi MM

    Conditioner: Tigi MM, Jessicurl WDT, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Daily Smoothing, CJ H&B Deep Fix

    Deep Treatment: same as rinse out

    Leave-in: KCKT or my rinseout

    Styling Aids: Alberto/V05 Gel, HETT/HESMU, KCCC

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