Are you switching to Nature-throid? Here’s 10 good things to know!

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 1.33.08 PM(This page has been updated to the current day and time. Enjoy!)

In 2009, there were many folks reporting problems with the newly-formulated Armour (and that has been true for 2015, sadly), just as there was a growing body of individuals stating they are switching to Naturethroid by RLC Labs (formerly Western Research), another prescription brand of desiccated thyroid which also makes WP Thyroid.  

Today, there are even more quality brands to consider. And when a brand like Armour disappoints, many are also switching to NP Thyroid by Acella.

But if you are considering Naturethroid, here is info to carry with you if you switch:

  1. Naturethroid has a coating on the outside, and some patients state they bite on the pill to remove the coating, and still try to do it sublingually. No sugar, but some are determined.
  2. One grain of Naturethroid is 65 mg rather than the 60 mg that Armour users have been used to. Two grains are 130 mgs, etc. (One grain is actually 64.8 but it’s easier to round it up). Strengths are 1/4, 1/2, one grain, two grains, three grains.
  3. The makers of Naturethroid started making 1 1/2 grain tablets by 2010.
  4. Ingredients are
    • Porcine Thyroid Powder, U.S. Pharmacopeia
    • Microcrystalline Cellulose
    • Dicalcium Phosphate
    • Sodium Starch Glycolate
    • Magnesium Stearate
    • Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose
    • Stearic Acid
    • Carnauba Wax
    • Polyethylene Glycol
  5. Naturethroid uses the same USP thyroid powder as any good desiccated thyroid product—it “adheres to full pharmaceutical purity and standardization on the consistency of the hormones along with full pre-and-post testing procedures associated with quality prescription products.”
  6. RLC Labs is a small and friendly pharmaceutical company.
  7. Twitter has a Nature Throid website.
  8. RLC labs also used to distribute Westhroid more than it does today (simlar), but that has largely been replaced by WP Thyroid–an NDT with very few fillers.
  9. When switching, you will have to figure out if you need to be on a similar amount as before, or a different amount, according to symptoms.
  10. And finally, it’s been around since the 1930’s–another tried and true desiccated thyroid product!

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429 Responses to “Are you switching to Nature-throid? Here’s 10 good things to know!”

  1. Kathy

    I’ve been self dosing for years on westhroid because doc had no clue, now on 4gr, finally found a doc who has extended thyroid knowledge. He switched me to nature-throid, stating that others had better results on this compared to being on westhroid. I just picked up my Rx and it looks like the same pill that I was taking, only it’s 1 1/2 grain and my new dose is 1 pill every day. Is there any difference between the two? I read that they are identical. It’s making me question this docs knowledge, but he still doses by symptoms and not TSH, so that makes me hopeful. I’m worried because every time I tried to reduce my dose because of TSH, once I reach 3.5 gr, I get pain in my shoulder and back, 3 gr and I feel like an old person with joint pain and I actually start limping. Do you know of anyone switching between the two for better results? Thank you so much for all the valuable information you provide all of us. You are truely a blessing from God!

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      I have not seen better results with Naturethroid Vs Westhroid. They are, in fact, almost virtually identical and the makers admit that.

  2. Jackie

    My endocrist’s PA has agreed, at my request, to switch me from 112mcg Synthroid to Naturethroid. She said to just start on 90mg, saying it was roughly equivalent to the 112mcg Synthroid dosage. I asked if I should “wean” myself off the Synthroid, and she said no, just to start the Naturethroid. When I asked if I should multi-dose to prevent stressing on my adrenals, she didn’t think it was necessary. I suggested (after reading STTM) that I would feel more comfortable starting with 1/2 grain (32.5 mg) of Naturthroid in the morning and 1/2 in the afternoon for a 2-week period, then increasing to another 1/2 grain after 2 weeks, for a total of 90mg, if I tolerated it well. She said I could do whatever I want! Can you advise as to the best way to transition? Also, 3 years ago another doctor put me on 112mcg Levothyroxine with 5mg of Cytomel added twice a day. I experienced significant hair loss for 3 months and asked to discontinue, also because I didn’t feel any better. Who needs to feel lousy and go bald at the same time! At this point, I have more faith in the research and facts you have presented in STTM than I do in the medical professionals I have seen thus far. Thank you for any help you can provide!

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Congratulations on the switch! Yes, most of us just take T4 one last day, then start on NDT alone the next and never look at T4-only again. NDT is 80% T4 anyway! By the way, there’s a very strong possibility that 90 mg (1 1/2 grains) won’t be enough and you’ll need to raise in search of your individual optimal dose. Mine, for example, is 3 1/2 grains, but everyone is different as to what is optimal. All explained here:

  3. Betty Campbell

    On Naturethroid 97.5 mg. x6 mon. (was on Armour 90mg) Now FT3 4.69, FT4 0.68, TSH 0.721. This was 3 hours after dosing. Am sleepy, very cold, very hoarse when I talk, feels like a large lump in my throat. My Endo. said ” I dont know”. Is it time to increase dose ?

  4. Jackie

    Hi Janie. I made the switch from 112mg Synthroid to 60 mg Naturethroid 3 weeks ago. One week later, I increased my dosage to 90mg, and was planning to increase again to 120mg today (one week later). I had been feeling markedly better, BUT a couple of days ago, noticed the headache and foggy brain symptoms of hypo came back somewhat, and my hypo weight gain (only 5-6 pounds) is still there, despite being gluten free for a month, and eating basically “clean.” Yesterday morning, I decided to whip myself back into shape with an 8:30 zumba class. I had taken my morning 60mg Naturethroid at 6:30, so I knew I’d probably feel the T3 “peak” at some point during class. Wow!!! Half-way through, I felt my heart rate was really elevated moreso than usual, and I felt hyper-like symtoms of neck and shoulder tension. OK, maybe not a good idea to jump back into zumba, since I hadn’t done it or any other heavy-duty cardio in probably a year. This morning, my hip and knee joints are really feeling it, so I decided to just do some lightweight resistance bands for bicep/tricep strength. Same thing all over again. That was 5 hours after taking my morning 60mg, and I’m still feeling hyper shaky. Like I said, I was planning on increasing my dosage from 90mg total to 120mg today, but I’m not so sure what’s going on here. Can you enlighten me please?

  5. Joi

    Janie, I do have an Rx for Nature Throid at my pharmacy right now. I have a different ? though. I have a 4-point Cortisol Saliva test from Quest Diagnostics and have heard that that test from them isn’t good. Why? What’s wrong with that lab? I’m supposed to be doing the test this wednesday. I hope to hear from you before then. Thank-you

  6. Martha Barnhart

    The dr increased my levothyroxin from 50mcg to 75mcg back in Dec. I am asking him to put me on Naturethroid. I feel fatigued, really tired, muscle and joint pain in my legs and arms, depressed with no energy. I have been on Synthroid 50mcg for two years until Dec 2015 then switch to generic brand levothyroxin. Not helping. I also was recently diagnosed with high risk for fractures with osteoporosis in my spine -3.5 with some disk degeneration L4-5 and I was deficient in vit D and B12. The labs for those are fine now. Q:what dose should my dr start me on for the Naturethroid? Does anything else stand out to you concerning my condition? I just turned 62. Thank you very much.

  7. Martha Hancock

    I am on Armour, 3 grains, and am optimal. I feel really good! I do have a little itching with it. I want to switch to another ndt, because my last refill went up in price again. I am gluten and lactose intolerant. I have read the information on what is in Naturethroid, but it says it is a traceable amount as part of desiccated thyroid powder, which makes me think all ndt’s contain it? Are you aware of anyone else who is lactose intolerant who reacts to this ingredient? I did read that it is gluten free. I am feeling so good, I don’t want to switch and start having belly problems. Is there a particular ndt that you would recommend for someone like me? Thanks!

    • Angela

      If you can get naturethroid, go to CVS and ask them about card to cover cost, I pay $24 for my morning dose 113.75 and $20 for my afternoon dose 97.5

  8. Marsha

    Can you please expound onthjs a bit more so I understand better. I feel perhaps I am at this point. Thank you. But patients who want to start lower learned to keep going up, bit by bit, to counter the feedback loop suppression. i.e. those lower doses have made some patients feel even worse if they stay on them too long.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      There is a system in your body called the hypothalamic-pituitary axis…or the feedback loop. It’s a messaging system from the hypothalamus (tiny gland in your brain area), to the pituitary (another tiny gland in your brain area), to the thyroid…and back again. It’s all why your thyroid releases thyroid hormones in the first place. It’s “told to do so” by this feedback loop.

      When we start on thyroid meds, the little gland in the brain called the hypothalamus senses it, though it doesn’t realize it’s coming from YOU giving it to yourself. Instead, the hypothalamus thinks it’s your own thyroid doing it! So, the hypothalamus stops telling the pituitary to stop messaging your thyroid to produce! So now, your own body makes even LESS thyroid hormone release on top of a very low starting dose of thyroid meds…and we can feel worse. Thus the importance of raising of thyroid meds pretty systematically and not too slowly.

      • Cynthia Martin

        What about when you don’t have a thyroid. What does the brain tell you?
        Had mine removed 11 years ago.

  9. M.J.

    This is such a wonderful website– thank you for providing all the information and for answering questions. I am going to order the book! I have a question about switching from Armour to Nature Throid. I was diagnosed with Hashi’s in 2010 with a TSH of 4.61 and TPO antibodies of 187. I have been on Armour since then. Started at 30 mg, then 60, and have been on 75 mg for the past 2 years. My T4 and T3 have stayed on the low end of “normal” range over the past 6 years but my TSH bounces around — each time the Armour was increased it dropped below 1.0 but then would “rebound” back up to high 2’s. At my last blood test in March it was 3.85 and my doctor agreed to switch to Nature-Throid and raise it to 113 to see if that will help my symptoms — weight gain, fatigue, increased LDL out of the blue, etc. Plus my TPO antibodies have been over 2500 for past 3 years.
    Is it OK to increase the dose from by a 1/2 grain, or should I ask for a 1/4 grain increase right now. Many thanks-

  10. Susan

    After 25vyears on Synthroid and never feeling great, I found a doctor that switched me to Naturethroid 4 weeks ago. I was on
    .125 Synthroid and he started me on 3/4 Grain (48.75) two tomes a day. After 3 weeks I was still fatigued, so he doubled my dose. The first two days I was ok, but the third day I ended up in the ER with severe palpitations and HBP. I don’t want to give up on the Naturethroid, I think he was just too aggressive with the increase? What is the average dose increase for Naturethroid?

  11. Sherri

    Does anyone “break out” from naturethroid? I’m on 130 MG and I break out on my face, neck and arms “I guess adult acne”. I never had acne very bad until now and I’m 46

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Sherri, two possibilities to explore: 1) Naturethroid may be helping you to detox, thus the pimples. 2) You may be allergic to a filler? Here’s a page which shows ingredients/fillers to explore:

    • Vicki

      I started nature thyroid and have the same issue but I also started itching very badly all over. I’ve tried all the other thyroid meds, not sure what my direction will be now. My dr thinks I’m allergic to a filler. I’ve never felt better physically but the itchy burning skin has got to go !

  12. Sharon

    Hello. I have hashimotos. T3 and T4 numbers are optimal. My antibodies number was over 860. Tried synthroid and levothyroxine but felt horrible; headache, nausea, fatigue. I think the fillers did not agree with me. Will Nature Throid help people with high antibodies?

  13. N L

    I started on Armour lowest dose, and I have some good results, feeling much better and sleeping longer, and if I wake up after the old 4-5 l/2 hours, I can go back to sleep.

    But my physical energy is gone in 3-5 hours, although I feel ok & have mental energy until around 5 to 7pm, when I feel totally drained, and not good.

    My question is this: I have been swallowing my Armour Thyroid pills & waiting l/2 hour to eat/drink anything but water. But on this page it was mentioned that someone taking NatureThroid takes it sublingually. Was I supposed to take it sublingually? My doc did not tell me, if so. Could that be why I lose the good effect for the afternoon/evening?

    Also, I have switched to NatureThroid but just got the prescription, same dose as Armour, and need to know if I am supposed to take it sublingually.


  14. Julia Gurr

    Hello, I was on 100mcg of Levo for hashimotos for 21 years. Never felt well and put on loads of different meds for symptoms
    Changed to 50mcg Levo and 10mcg T3 six or so months back
    Initially better bit then not so good again. Endo said up Levo to 75 but each time I try that I feel hyper. Don’t seem to get on with Levo
    I started nature-throid about 2 weeks ago (self bought). Stopped Levo and started 1/2 grain nt + 10mcg T3 early morning, then half grain of nt in late afternoon. Raised to one grain nt + 10mcg early morning then 1/4 grain of nt late afternoon. Sincestarting fatigue been better but have severe back of neck and shoulder pain. V short tempered too??

  15. Erin

    I have tried most all the thyroid meds over the last 5 years including armour and none have ever stabilized my numbers. I stopped taking all thyroid meds on February 22(2 1/2 months ago) so the doctor could do a clean set of labs with all meds out of my system. I had hoped so much that my labs would come back perfect and my hypothyroidism had magically disappeared. Of course that didn’t happen and my lab work showed I still have hypothyroidism and also my ferritin level is low. I asked my doctor about nature throid and he said let’s give it a try. I just took it for the first time and am feeling a little nervous. I have no idea what to expect from it. He prescribed me 195mg a day and I am hoping it works! Any info or advice would be greatly appreciated. Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired:(!

  16. Nicole

    Hey all! I’ve been on naturethroid for years, and have had good results with it. Even still, I’m still raising and am up to SIX grains as of January 2016. Bloodwork is showing that I still have antibodies in the high 80s, thyroid hormones are in the low normal ranges, but dr wants to see them closer to high normal. Bloodwork also showing high inflammation via crp and sed rate tests. I went gluten free in Janiary to hopefully address the inflammation, but recent bloodwork shows it’s actually increased. I’m seeing my dr tomorrow, but am feeling stumped and wondering why I have to keep increasing. I’ve not met anyone who was on such a high dose, and while I’m okay with raising based on symptoms, it just seems really high to me! Does anyone have any insight as to what might be going on? My primary thyroid symptoms like sleepiness, dry skin, etc are long gone, though I still have other unexplained symptoms that may or may not be linked to my hashis.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Nicole, that usually happens when someone has Thyroid Hormone Resistance, i.e a mutation in the R383H gene. I see it more in Europeans especially, but it can happen anywhere. It just means that a person with this mutation has to go quite high to get their levels where they are optimal. I’ve seen some as high as 8 grains, 10 grains, even 12 grains!! Or some start adding in T3-only to those high doses of NDT, too. As far as the inflammation, it may go down as you go much higher with the Naturethroid to get your levels up, especially since you removed all gluten.

      • Nicole

        Thank you for your quick and personalized response, Janie! I was wondering if you have any links that might explain this mutation/thyroid hormone resistance in laymens terms? The information I was able to find said that those with thyroid hormone resistance should show numbers in the normal range even before medication. Wondering if it’s a different thing altogether?

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          Remember that “being in the normal range” means nothing, we’ve discovered repeatedly. It’s more about where a result falls that has meaning, based on years of observations of each other’s labwork. Yes, it could be something else. Always a possibility> But when we see someone like you being that high yet having results lower in the range, it does always seem to point in the direction of that mutation. You could do genetic testing and find out one way or the other….:)

    • Lori

      Try maybe a liver detox.

  17. Gina

    HI. I live in Spain and have been on synthetic thyroid 100mg for about 40 years after being diagnosed for an overactive thyroid and being given radioactive iodine. A little over a month ago I just stopped taking it, one thing I noticed is that my hair stopped falling out and my face is not getting bloated. I have been looking for a doctor who will prescribe NDT but according to people I’ve spoken to, it is highly unlikely I find a doctor here who will do so. I’ve come across a site in US where I can buy Nature Throid on-line but I will have to wait until at least late June to get it. So now I’m thinking of going back on synthroid until then. What do you think? I feel fine but worried that I’m not taking anything, I never felt bad but losing my hair really stressed me out.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      You know, we can never know. But is it possible that “some” of your thyroid still exists and is working for you? I would personally do labs i.e. free T3 and free T4 and see what’s up first…but it’s up to you.

  18. Tim

    I was switched from Levothyroxine to Tirosint last July and then I had my thyroid removed on 2/16/2016. I had been on Levo for 9 years. This morning I started on Nature-Throid 65MCG which I hope will help me join humanity again. I am also about to fire my second endocrinologist after she told me NDTs are made from leftover parts from both cows and pigs. What the what? I know what it is made from so I just brushed it off because she was finally going to prescribe it to me. She also once told me that testing for free T3 was voodoo but she still included in the blood test. I am going back to my PCP for my thyroid monitoring because he listens and will work with me. Thank you for the information on this site. It has helped me quite a bit when it comes to trying to locate the right med and searching out doctors that truly know what I am going through.

  19. karen

    not sure how to say this because it is embarrassing but I just started on Nature Throid last month. I take it in the morning while still in bed…within 15 minutes I have very runny diarrhea…has anyone experienced this? it’s just one time each morning and then done.

  20. Miralys

    Hello, someone at the thyca website recomended NDT from RLC labs, I was checking and look like is glutten free, I will definitely ask my doctor for that one whenever I’m ready to switch. Also another person who is a thyroid cancer survivor recomended to stop my Levo for at least a week before I started with the NDT, I can’t wait., with the levothyroxine 75 I feel bloated and I have gain 40 pounds since my TT, hoping NDT help.

  21. Jan Erik

    I lowered my NT dose 3 weeks ago since lab an body tells me I overdosed. I went down from 135 to 120. I feel Im not stabilized on the new dose but got symptoms of fatigue, dizziness,and hangover one day and feel better the next. When can I expect to feel steady better? I have a small rest production after RAI in 2012. My Iron ,B12 and Cortisol are top notch

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Jan. There’s no way for us to know for any individual. But the extra T3 should be out of your body within a week. It takes longer for conversion of T4 to T3 to lower itself. Otherwise, I would make sure that you aren’t also seeing symptoms of having a cortisol issue. Do the Discovery Steps here: Iron needs to be optimal, too.

      • Jan Erik

        Hmmm. Intresting… What about the negativ feedback loop of 14 days. Will this happen when reducing dose also. I certainly feel that way. After 3-4 days my heartrate and temp falled to normal but after 14 days they came back up!

  22. Jan Erik

    Fascinating reading! That was just what was happening this season. On the same dose of Armour, with the labworks showing constant levels of Ft3 and Ft4. But TSH was elevated suggested that I needed to raise my NDT dose. Which of course got me hyper AND hypo at the same time! Cortisol ref. Values is <21.6 Nmol/l in the morning and <6.0 or 50% of morning levels


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