A Positive & Negative- My First Month on Armour

After a few weeks of being on Armour, I can report both positive and negative effects. I'll start with a positive effect. I've noticed that my stomach bloating is actually starting to subside and I think that my metabolism has slowly increased.  My abdominal area and the severe swelling in my legs both have decreased practically overnight.  I've also maintained my gluten-free diet and so far, I've successfully incorporated more calories in to my diet without notably ill effects. If I would have increased my calories before, my body would have been in worse shape.
I've been sitting on writing this post for about a week now because I was going back and forth on whether or not I felt comfortable with publishing photos of me at my worst, but I decided to put my own self consciousness aside for the sake of helping others, and I think that the photos speak for themselves.  Hashimoto's creeps through bodies in whatever way it wants to, and the bloating and digestive difficulties are very common in the disease. It's not just about weight gain and hair loss.  The type of bloating that I experience is not really the same as women get during their periods.  So, instead of painting a picture for you with my smart play on words (she said, sarcastically), I'm just going to provide you with a few real images.  I rarely talk about my bloating, fluid retention, and my struggle to maintain my weight because I know that I am hardly overweight, but these photos truly depict just how Hashimoto's can cause physical changes.

I am not purposely protruding my stomach in these pictures.  In fact, if the bloating occurs in public and I am in a tight dress or skinny jeans, you can bet that I'll be sucking in my abs until I'm blue in the face. Anyway, I snapped these photos about a month before I started the Armour. I believe that the bloating is largely linked to the fact that the disease has slowed my metabolism to the point that the digestion process was compromised. I already know that my gallbladder was not functioning properly due to the Hashimoto's, and I have a suspicion that the medicine has revamped it, despite popular belief that the gallbladder cannot regain its function back. I failed the HIDA scan, but I'd never had a gallbladder attack.
I can remember the first few times that my stomach swelled. Aaron and I thought it was hilarious because I literally looked pregnant, but it became a serious matter when it started occurring everyday. When the bloating is this bad, my skin is tight, my stomach aches, breathing is more difficult, and I'm generally uncomfortable. Not to mention the emotional problems I experience, simply because the figure that I have tried maintaining my entire life was robbed by something that doctors did not believe was there, and that is another reason why I sought the diagnosis by going directly to the lab, rather than dealing with yet another doctor.
I'm really surprised that I haven't developed stretch marks because my skin was so tight and stretched.

I took the next photo about two weeks after starting the Armour treatment.  My doctor started me on 30 mg., which is a baby dose, but he quickly increased it to 60 mg. because I was not responding to the smaller dosage at all. I still have a long way to go, especially because I am still having many symptoms, so he will probably need to increase the dosage to 90 mg.  I still have the fatigue, brain fog, muscle aches, and occasional bloating, though the below photo shows that it has drastically improved within the month.

This is closer to the me that I remember. Still not there yet, but I'm starting to see my 'real' self again (of course, the hair loss is worse, which I will discuss).  The photo is not the best quality because it was one that I posted to Instagram.

My doctor explained to me that it would take about a month to feel the effects of the medication, so I am trying to refrain from over analyzing my body's reaction to the drug, but I can confidently note that I'm better, but not significantly, but I did want to share the physical changes that I noticed going on with my body.
I will say that my hair loss has slightly progressed and it is an emotional topic for me to discuss.  Hair loss is not only a symptom of Hashimoto's, but the medications may cause it too. I've always had thin hair, but it was generally healthy until recently, and it is now breaking off and its rather course and brittle. I have started losing long pieces of what appears to be healthy hair. I don't think it's vain at all to be devastated over hair loss because it is part of our identity, just like our nose, freckles, teeth, etc. I'd quickly get over a bad haircut, but this is honestly devastating to me. I'm not going to dwell on it because things could be worse, so I'll soon be visiting Kady, my awesome hair stylist, and I'm probably going to beg her to put my hair out of its misery and  just chop it off.

I'm also having some chest pain only when I try to increase my heart rate during my workout, and I still have times of dizziness upon standing. These are both likely caused by adrenal problems, which is another common problem of the disease. I have a hunch that my adrenal glands are 'shot' and I'm probably going to purchase the cortisol saliva test.

I have my second appointment with my doctor next week, so I'll probably have more of a complete update to post. Until then, eat well and stay strong!


  1. Oh wow this is exactly me! I'm small like you and people think I'm just putting on weight but it's not, I go from a size 6-8 to a 10-12 overnight and it's so devastating especially when it's all on my stomach. The worst is I don't know when it's going to happen! I don't know what causes it and if it's going to happen when I have a special event on. Thank you for sharing these photos, I finally feel like I'm not alone.

  2. I have Hashi's, and I started armour last night since levoxyl was recalled. I'm very interested in reading a follow-up to this post, but I can't seem to find one. How is armour working for you these days? What dose did you settle at?

  3. How is your bloating doing now that you have been on Armour for awhile? I have not been treated by medicine yet but my bloating is just like yours!! I too said to my mom I cant believe I dont stretch marks cause my normally flat stomach gets so big!

  4. Update please? Thanks so much for sharing this! I'm exactly the same. I'm on T4 so thinking of adding very little of T3 to start with and hoping to get the same miraculous result as you.
    Thanks! Chari

  5. Try testing your Vitamin D. Low D and B12 run with thyroid problems. My D was very low so when I started taking it my chest pain went away some aches improved andy hair looks better. Good luck

  6. I also suffer from adrenal problems and Gaia Herbs Adrenal Support has helped me a lot (though I still have quite a ways to go.) Good luck with everything.

  7. That is exactly my Hashi-belly bloat! I go from 115 to 125 overnight, and it's all in my belly. It used to be unexpected, but now it happens at some point every day. Thanks for posting the pictures - I know it's not fun, but it really helps. Hope Armour is still working. My current endo refuses to let me try it and claims that I am not bloated! Time for a change.

  8. How did you get a diagnosis by going directly to a lab? What test did they run? I have spent way to much money at several doctors who all say they can find nothing wrong with me. I recently found out both my Dad and Aunt have Hashimoto's and think I may have it to.