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If someone that has no thyroid disease takes any form of thyroid replacement, including Armour thyroid, there is the risk of developing a wide variety of symptoms related to hyperthyroidism, such as heart racing, nervousness, irritability, tremors, insomnia, muscle weakness, and weight loss. There also is a rare risk of abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death.
If a lower dose of Armour thyroid is used, then the risk is lower, because the body can adjust how much hormone is released from the thyroid, but with increasing dose, the likelihood of risk also increases. There are some conditions in which low doses of thyroid replacement have been shown to be beneficial, even when there is no thyroid condition. For example, some people with stubborn severe depression, low doses of thyroid replacement have shown to augment the effect of antidepressant.
It is also important to note that even in someone with hypothyroidism and taking Armour thyroid for replacement (or any other thyroid replacement), the same risks can occur if higher doses of Armour thyroid are used. Even in these people, there should be ongoing monitoring of thyroid function to assure that the levels are not getting too high and creating risks for these side effects. But in these situations, the benefit of the thyroid replacement generally outweighs the potential risks of using the drug.
So, whenever thyroid replacement is used, these are the potential adverse effects that should be considered.
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