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There has been a reason why I waited several months before writing another general update blog to share how I was getting on with Armour Thyroid medication – you may have seen in my announcement blog post last week – I’m currently pregnant and expecting my first child.
I have been on the prescribed NDT (Armour) from the private GP for four months now. I can’t say I have had any issues or complaints and as I have been pregnant during that time too, had I been feeling unwell, I would probably have been worrying about how to decipher between the pregnancy and new brand of NDT not working for me. However, I have felt very well the past few months and, minus the usual pregnancy symptoms, have no issues to report with the Armour. So for that reason, I will be staying on it.
I have had a few followers on social media ask if I will be going back to the Thyroid-S (self-sourced) NDT, seeing as the Armour feels no different and the self-sourced meds are much cheaper, but I didn’t switch to Armour because I was unhappy on Thyroid-S, I switched because:
- I was planning to start a family and was uneasy about the thought of being on self-sourced medication whilst pregnant. Mainly because it didn’t feel totally safe and responsible for the unborn child but also because I knew it would be a nightmare to navigate with the NHS. Being on a self-sourced medication would certainly get the NHS’ back up and cause tension, but also, I expected a lot of push back and didn’t feel I could trust them to manage me on it safely while pregnant. So it was always my plan to have my meds prescribed before falling pregnant.
- I wasn’t convinced that Thyroid-S was consistent in batches due to my levels going all over the place. I was therefore worried about taking something ‘bad’.
- I wanted the NHS to start taking me more seriously, and having a private prescription has meant they’ve left my thyroid health management to the private doctor. It has been a lot less stressful.
As I’ll cover in more detailed blogs for my ‘pregnancy’ section of the website, being on a privately prescribed thyroid medication has been a breeze overall and much easier than I expect a medication bought online would have been. My levels have also remained optimal and well-managed, compared to when I was on the Thyroid-S NDT.
My overall health has been very good in the last four months. My skin is the clearest it has been in years, which really does reiterate that my history of acne comes from a sex hormone (oestrogen and progesterone) cause. My vitamin levels are also all looking very good and the midwife has complimented me on them a few times! The supplements I take each day have obviously changed quite a bit whilst being pregnant as not all were safe to take and I had to alter dosages of others. I’ve been taking a pregnancy multivitamin that does contain iodine (controversial in the thyroid community) and feel absolutely fine on it. In fact, I think it’s helping with my energy levels.
I was unfortunately glutened at the beginning of my pregnancy which left me in discomfort for a few days, but I managed to get over it fairly quickly thankfully.
I haven’t felt any relapse in adrenal dysfunction, Hashimoto’s (although I haven’t actually tested my antibody levels whilst pregnant as the NHS refuse and being pregnant is expensive so I don’t have the budget to pay for them myself really!), gut health etc. which have all been big thyroid puzzle pieces in the last few years.
Some of the ‘thyroid symptoms’ to reemerge whilst pregnant have included dry skin on my hands, eyebrow thinning (though only one eyebrow!), hot flushes, mood swings, restless legs etc. though they’re all very common pregnancy symptoms and as my thyroid levels are all looking optimal, I can rule this out as a cause.
I’ve had to adjust my exercise regimen, as what I was doing pre-pregnancy was no longer working on my pregnant (with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s) body. I kept up my salsa dancing for as long as possible, as well as the aerobic dance classes, but soon found I no longer had the stamina for them. So I switched to yoga and more walks, with some swimming too.
My mental health has mostly been very good, with some flare ups in anxiety here and there which is pretty normal when you’re experiencing pregnancy and all the changes and preparations that come along with it.
So overall, things have been going smoothly. I’ll be posting blogs about how each of my trimesters have been, so if you’re interested in following how appointments have gone, especially with my private thyroid medication and how they’ve managed me as a thyroid patient whilst pregnant, be sure to check those out. The posts about each trimester will replace my General Update blogs for now, until after pregnancy, when I’ll go back to writing General Update blogs.
I am also considering booking in to see my functional medicine practitioner again early next year after the birth, in preparation for some holistic support in helping my body get back on track smoothly following pregnancy.
Do remember that you can keep up to date with my personal health journey via Instagram. My Instagram is updated with realtime updates and you’ll be able to follow along as and when everything happens over there!
Are you on Armour thyroid? How has it worked for you?
You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.
Caz / InvisiblyMeNovember 6, 2019 at 9:30 am
It’s so heartening to hear your health has been better for a few months and your skin clearer too (mine is oddly also doing better, but I put that down to swapping to Boots No.7 skincare keeping the flares down rather than my health actually improving!) Pregnancy is sure to shake things up so it’ll all be a learning curve with lots of adjustments, and I think it’s wonderful you’re sharing that journey here with us all. And you know we’ll always be rooting for you and hoping for the best! ♥
Valerie MillerNovember 5, 2019 at 9:25 am
Hi Rachel I note you said that you saw a private doctor who prescribed armour for you. Do you actually have to pay for the armour or was it just the doctors consultation. I’m generally not too bad on levothyroxine but I know that 2 years ago pre diagnosis I felt much better. As I’m almost 74 I want to feel the best I possibly can. I’m gf and dairy free too which helps. I’ve cut down to 2 meals a day to stop weight gain. Dont get me wrong I love my food and I certainly have generous portions. Snacks are 2 pcs of fruit. Thanks
Rachel HillNovember 5, 2019 at 9:27 am
Hi Valerie, I do have to pay unfortunately and have listed the breakdown of the costs in my last blog post here: https://www.theinvisiblehypothyroidism.com/general-update-26/
It sounds like you’re already being proactive in helping your own health but the weight gain could be an indication of being undertreated. We have to make sure we’re fuelling our bodies well so cutting down dramatically on calories isn’t always the best idea as it can make us feel more tired and rubbish. Hope you’ll get some answers soon.
MeganNovember 6, 2019 at 12:55 am
So Armour thyroid is safe in pregnancy? I’m on 15 mg of Armour and can’t find any research anywhere. I just found out today that my baby (9 wks gestation) has no heartbeat. I’m concerned that my thyroid or medication had something to do with this.
Rachel HillNovember 6, 2019 at 4:20 am
I couldn’t find much regarding NDT in pregnancy either which is why I wanted to blog about my own experiences. I’m so sorry to hear about your baby – but it’s doubtful the type of thyroid med had anything to do with it. As long as your levels are managed well during pregnancy, I understand that any type of thyroid med is considered safe. Sending you a hug x