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Dr. Su S
Dr. Su S, Doctor (MD)
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Experience:  25 years of clinical experience
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Can Armour Thyroid medication induce Graves Disease, or similar

Resolved Question:

Can Armour Thyroid medication induce Grave's Disease, or similar symptoms, even after stopping medication (7 months ago)?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Su S replied 7 years ago.


What are your symptoms ? When did it develop? Since how long? Any test ? Any treatment taken?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
My current symptoms are heart palpitations (occur at random, with no common trigger), declining distance vision (20/20 my whole life until the last 6 months. Objects beyond 20 feet are now blurry and I cannot focus them) and severe heat intolerance (I sweat, my face turns bright red and I have to fan myself above 74 degrees F, though skin is cool and clammy to the touch).

These symptoms have been progressing since I began taking Armour Thyroid medication in October 2008. I insisted that the Armour be stopped due to the heart palpitations, and the feeling of "skipping heartbeats". A brief EKG showed no abnormalities. Retesting of Tyroid levels showed that "I no longer needed the medication."

I cannot get in to see my doctor, as she is out of town. I have visited the OD who says there is no damage to my eyes as far as he can tell, but my eyes are now needing -.5 Rand -.25L corrections.

My research on the internet has only led to Grave's Disease.

Thank you so much,
Expert:  Dr. Su S replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for the input.

Armour thyroid can produce the symptoms of hyperthyroidism like heat intolerance or heart palpitations when it is taken in overdose. The effects should pass off when the medicine is withdrawn. Graves disease is an autoimmune condition which is not related to armour. You need a thorough examination by an internist for examination & investiagtion.

Hope this information will help you.
Wish your early recovery.
Any query, please ask.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
How long does the medication take to wear off? I had the lowest dose available, and stopped in Febuary, but my symptoms seem to be getting worse (especially my vision loss). Is there another possible diagnosis that fits these symptoms that I could bring to my doctor for testing?
Expert:  Dr. Su S replied 7 years ago.
Thyroid hormone is bound to protein in blood & excretion is variable. In any case it should not be 7 months. Your eye symptoms can come from a refractory error. A review by an ophthalmologist will be helpful.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Do you think the eye symptoms and the heart symptoms are related?

I have been to two ophthalmologists; they note that my eyes are changing quickly, but they attribute it to school work. They see nothing wrong with that, but I reject schoolwork as a cause.

The timing of the heart and eye symptoms correlate perfectly, and I have no history of rapid onset eye problems.
Expert:  Dr. Su S replied 7 years ago.
I think they are not related. In Graves there are certain signs like lid lag, exophthalmos or protrusion of eye ball which an ophthalmologist will hardly miss on examination. Heart symptoms of palpitation can come from anxiety , stress, excess coffee, tea, smoking, alcohol etc apart from any heart disease.
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