Getting Started with Natural Desiccated Thyroid Medicine

When starting natural desiccated thyroid medicine like Naturthroid or Erfa, the big questions are “How much should I take?” and “How quickly should I increase my daily dose?”. While I am just a patient and can’t give medical advice, I can share my experience, and what others have tried.

Getting to the right dose for us personally is really important. You might think being on too much natural desiccated thyroid medicine is the only problem. But being on too low a dose can also be problem for some people.

Personally, I was fearful of being on too high a dose, so I held back on increasing my thyroid medicine, and waited long stretches in between increases. The result was a much longer time recovery time. While I advocate being cautious, I was overly cautious. I could have reached my optimal dose within 2 months, but instead took two years!  So here is some information about how others safely, but quickly, reached their optimal dose:

Getting Started

According to Stop the Thyroid Madness (STTM), a safe starting dose is around one grain (or pill) a day which is 60 mg (for those with poor adrenals, starting lower is suggested). The STTM site says hold the starting dose for a week or two at the most to allow the body to adjust. Then start raising about 1/2 grain (or pill) every few weeks according to doctors guidance.

On the STTM they learned if they didn’t raise from a starting dose within two weeks, the hypothyroid symptoms started to return with a vengeance. So staying on too low a dose was a problem for them.


If hypothyroid symptoms still persist after reaching 2-3 grains (pills) a day, rather than raising more they found it best to hold their dose for at least 4 – 6 weeks to allow the body time to adjust.  Raising higher at this stage could cause a patient to dose too high, resulting possibly in hyper symptoms like a fast heart rate, jitters and sensitivity.

Finding the Optimal Dose

STTM says most of us end up needing between 3 – 5 grains (pills) to reach our optimal dose. For people its higher and for others its lower. There isn’t a one size fits all.  Personally, at one stage I raised as high as 3 1/4 pills thinking I need a higher dose, but I had a bad hyperthyroid reaction which included extreme noise, site, sound and sensitivity, as well as, irritability and edginess. So I eased back to find 2.5 pills was my optimal dose. You and your doctor have to explore and try things according to your individual needs, and the removal of hypothyroid symptoms.

Remember, too low a dose can be equally problematic to being on too high a dose. So think like Goldilocks and find the spot that’s “just right.”

xxoo

Lizzy

Read more information about dosage on Stop the Thyroid Madness

Miss LizzyGetting Started with Natural Desiccated Thyroid Medicine

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  • Sarah - October 27, 2013

    I have been on a very low dose of Armour Thyroid for 2 years. I did not know the thing about staying on too low a dose for too long. And my symptoms have returned. So what does one do in this case? Just increase the dose? Or go off it all together and start over?

  • Joya Goodhue - October 30, 2014

    Hi Liza,
    I’m Rebecca’s friend from Pro Arts 1985! 🙂
    I’ve had a variety of debilitating symptoms for 5 years since pregnancy and have yet to be diagnosed or treated. I’m using progesterone cream, natural thyroid supplements (iodine, selenium, ashwaganda & guggelsterones) and just started OTC NDT.
    I’ve read it’s important to split the dose into twice a day as T3 has a short half life. or would one take the whole dose twice per day?

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