The Top 5 Myths About Natural Desiccated Thyroid
Monday, April 1, 2019

The Top 5 Myths About Natural Desiccated Thyroid

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The Top 5 Myths About Natural Desiccated Thyroid

Have you been hearing this, that and the other thing about natural desiccated thyroid (NDT)? Well, today I want to talk to you about some of the biggest myths surrounding this form of treatment. Have you heard that you cannot take it if you have Hashimoto’s? Well, this article is for you! Please enjoy this article while I discuss these controversies, and much more, today.

Let’s Talk About NDT

First, we should take a moment and define what NDT is all about. I want to really break it down, so let’s go word-by-word so that you can have a clear and total understanding of what NDT is built upon and how it is created:

  • Natural – means that it is from a natural source. In prescription medications, that will typically come from pig thyroid (also known as porcine thyroid).
  • Desiccated – this means something that had its moisture removed, like desiccated coconut.
  • Thyroid – it’s thyroid hormone!

One of the things I want to start off with is that sometimes people think of NDT as Armour. While Armour is the brand name, NDT is the compound. It’s kind of like how Kleenex makes facial tissues, but there are plenty of facial tissue companies out there – Kleenex is not the only one making it, and when it comes to NDT Armour is not the only option. Personally, I prefer WP Thyroid as NDT for treatment.

Now that we have a solid understanding of what goes into NDT, let’s break down the myths:

 

#1: NDT is not okay for those with Hashimoto’s disease

The argument goes something like this: somehow, ingesting thyroid will raise your thyroid antibodies against your “original” thyroid. That would obviously not be ideal for those who are dealing with Hashimoto’s. In fact, I have actually heard doctors tell people that they cannot take NDT at all and that it can even worsen your immune state.

I do not want to jump to conclusions about what is true and what is a myth without unpacking the myth itself because then we can approach it logically. Let’s think about it: people who take thyroid do so because they have hypothyroidism (where their gland simply is not making enough hormone for their body). Those who have hypothyroidism, almost universally, have Hashimoto’s disease.

FREE - Optimal Thyroid Values Program - Dr. Alan Christianson

In Conclusion: If those with Hashimoto’s could not take NDT, then who would? They are the only real group who NDT would be meant for to help.

Well, to track back to the argument about taking natural thyroid and raising your antibodies against your thyroid, this is something we need to focus on. There actually have been a couple studies done on exactly this topic.

Those that I found showed that orally taking natural thyroid lowers your body’s immune response against your thyroid. This is based on the model of “oral desensitization,” which is based on the idea that when you take something in your body, in a tiny amount, on a regular basis, your immune system tends to become more tolerant of that same substance.

Clinically, I have case studies to where patients have had high thyroid antibodies and erratic thyroid levels that came from that. Oftentimes, the one change we would make was switching to NDT as a form of treatment. This would ultimately result in the antibodies coming down, and the levels stabilizing.

In Conclusion: I have seen countless cases where thyroid antibody levels have come down from the thousands to zero, simply by switching to NDT for 6 – 8 weeks. Having said that, it might not work for everybody when it comes to lowering them completely, but it certainly does not raise them any higher.

Myth #2: NDT is a poor choice because it is not standardized

This argument is all about creating a consistent product, and it is based on the idea that synthetic thyroid (or Synthroid) because it is synthesized. It is made to have a set amount of hormone, and it is generally more predictable how much T4 (or T3) you are getting.

Remember how I mentioned before that NDT comes in certain brands? In the past, there were actually more brands of NDT then we have today. It was also more widely used in the past. The turning point actually occurred in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Prior to that point, there were more doctors prescribing NDT than those prescribing Synthroids.

The means of standardizing hormone used to be based on iodine content. Back in the day, that was more difficult to do using NDT than Synthroid – because you could guarantee how much active hormone would be present. Unfortunately, this led to some sad cases of people not getting the amount of active hormone that they needed. This led to a change in the guidelines for how hormone treatments would be standardized.

Key Insight: You know it, and I know it, a lot of things have changed since the 70’s and NDT is no different! If we look today, science has come far enough that we can ensure that we get the right amount of active hormone from NDT that we need for effective treatment.

Now, let’s look at it from the other side, there have been multiple recalls for synthetic versions of thyroid over the years – upwards of a dozen in the last decade. This is chalked up typically to poor quality control, and not being as consistently manufactured to a high degree of quality.

In the last decade and a half, there has been one voluntary recall of NDT. So, NDT has actually had a better track record of helping patients over a longer period of time than Synthroid.

In terms of numbers:

  • Synthroid – standardized to within 5% of prescribed recommended dosage.
  • NDT – there are brands which are standardized to less than 2% variability.

In Conclusion: NDT brands like WP Thyroid, Westhroid and Nature Throid all have better standards than Synthroid alternatives. While they might not be standardized the same way, that’s a good thing, because they are standardized amongst themselves even better.

Myth #3: You have to take NDT multiple times per day to have it work

This is one that I hear all of the time. When it comes to prescribing medications, there are some terms that we hear a lot in the medical community. In order to help your understanding, here they are:

  • QD – once daily
  • BID – twice daily
  • TID – three times daily

Many say that you must take thyroid BID or longer, or more frequently, to have it work properly. The logic behind this idea comes down to T3 absorption in our bodies. So T3, which is found in natural thyroid, is absorbed and peaks in a 4 – 8 hour window after you take it.

Many doctors have looked at that and suggested that you need to take it a couple times a day, or else that T3 absorption will drop off after that time period. This is where the problem starts.

Key Insight: We need to understand the key difference between “absorption” and “metabolism” – how quickly it comes in, and how quickly it goes out. How frequently you take a medication should not be based on the former, it should be based on how long it takes to actually leave your body.

The excretion of T3 from your system is actually 1 – 3 days, as opposed to that 4 – 8 hour window that we mentioned previously. Because of that, you can take it once a day and have consistent amounts in the cells – even though your blood levels shift after a dosage.

In Conclusion: In fact, it is better to take T3 once daily because thyroid hormones abide by a circadian rhythm. Your body releases the bulk of them during the late evening/early morning, so taking NDT before bed or early in the morning actually achieves what would be happening if your thyroid was operating normally.

Twice a day ingestion is not only not good for your circadian rhythm because it is an unnatural process that your body would not abide by if it was working at 100% health. It is also unhealthy because it ignores your body’s excretion levels, instead of providing too much all at once.

 

Myth #4: NDT affects your ratios of natural thyroid (T3/T4) impossible

Here’s the thought on this one: the T3/T4 ratios, once you are on a good dose, are more about:

  • Your liver
  • Your kidneys
  • Your intestinal tract
  • Your detox pathways

They are more about these things than they are about the dosage you are taking. But, more often than not, that someone is not on a good dose. That itself will skew those ratios, no matter what they are when you are taking it.

What I mean by this is that if you are taking too much thyroid hormone, you will get rid of T3 faster than you would get rid of T4. If you are on too little thyroid hormone, you will hold onto T3 longer than you would hold onto T4.

In Conclusion: The issues about ratios are more about dosage than the medicine being somehow wrong for us. Once the dosage is right, though, and those ratios are not perfect it would have more to do with peripheral thyroid metabolism.

Daily Reset Shake - Dr. Alan Christianson

In terms of how the ratios are found in NDT, compared to the body, many have said that it is a 4:1 ratio and that humans need a 10:1 ratio. The real question is, “what are we talking about when it comes to this ratio?” Do we mean:

  • What’s in the thyroid?
  • What’s in the blood?
  • What’s in the cell?

Getting to the bottom and answering the “where” component of the question is going to be so important, especially as it concerns proper ratios. Our thyroid itself is actually at the same ratio as NDT, and when we first take NDT, the bulk of it gets bound up in carrier proteins in our body anyways. So, our body has the ability to unbind and “convert” as we see fit.

If we are on the right dosage, and our body is working well, then we can actually use NDT properly.

The Role of Testing

If someone is on NDT, and a doctor runs a test like:

  • TSH
  • Free T3
  • Free T4

In this case, the doctor might notice that T3 is too high. This will then lead them to believe that you need less, because of the fact that your ratio is too high. The real problem here actually is not the ratio, but the timing of the testing itself.

Key Insight: If you take a blood test right after taking your NDT tablet, your TSH and Free T4 might remain normal, but it can make your Free T3 score look shockingly high. This is only a question of timing, and nothing more!

Myth #5: NDT raises reverse T3 levels

This goes back to our same, earlier issue about ratios. If you are on too much thyroid, your body will ultimately compensate – this will result in your body converting more T4 into T3 than it otherwise normally would.

In Conclusion: High reverse T3, in nearly all cases, is more of an issue of the wrong dose rather than the wrong medicine. If you get the dose right, reverse T3 is apt to fix itself.

Dispel The Myths, Gain Knowledge

Now that we have gone over some of the most common myths about NDT, and worked to a better understanding of how it can benefit our thyroid, why not take the next step and really learn more about your thyroid today? Take the Thyroid Quiz ( 1 ), and learn a little bit more about this important part of your body. Are you concerned about the status of your thyroid? Get on the road to recovery by learning more about what could be wrong today.

Dr. Alan Glen Christianson (Dr. C) is a Naturopathic Endocrinologist and the author of The NY Times bestselling  Adrenal Reset Diet .

Dr. C’s gift for figuring out what really works has helped hundreds of thousands of people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, and regain energy. Learn more about the  surprising story  that started his quest.

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DR. IZABELLA WENTZ, PHARM D

Thyroid Pharmacist

The History of Natural Desiccated Thyroid Medications

The History of Natural Desiccated Thyroid Medications

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If you’ve been following me for a while, you will likely know that I am a big proponent of optimizing thyroid medications in people with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism. Getting the right dose of the right type of thyroid medication, can make a huge difference in one’s symptoms and is often the first necessary step in feeling like ourselves again. However, this can be a lot harder than it sounds.

In 2013 & 2014, Synthroid was the #1 prescribed drug in all of the United States (based on a number of prescriptions filled). This is a synthetic version of one of our active thyroid hormones, levothyroxine (T4). This medication works wonders for many people with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism, but some continue to struggle with hypothyroid symptoms, even when taking the correct dose of T4.

This is because T4 is known as a pro-drug, or a precursor hormone, as it needs to be activated to T3 (liothyronine), which is the more active thyroid hormone in the body.

In theory, this conversion should go off without a hitch, but in the real world, some people do not convert T4 to T3 adequately. In those cases, thyroid patients find that adding T3 directly to their bodies can make a big difference in how they feel.

I have heard from numerous readers about the dramatic changes they’ve seen in their symptoms after switching from a T4-only medication like Synthroid, Levoxyl or levothyroxine to a T3-containing medication like Armour Thyroid*, Nature-Throid, WP Thyroid or compounded T4/T3.

My inbox and  Facebook page  are flooded with patient stories from people who have seen a huge improvement in their symptoms, with just a medication switch. Here are some typical stories I’ve collected over the last few years (names have been changed for privacy purposes).

  • Lois, 43, lost 15 lbs within 2 months of switching from levothyroxine to Nature-Throid, without changing her diet.
  • Analisse, 33, saw a reduction of hair shedding within 1 month of switching to Armour Thyroid*. She began to have little “spikes” of new hair growth within the second month and is now proud of her lustrous, shiny hair.
  • Donna, 56, said that switching to WP Thyroid finally gave her enough energy to keep up with her grandkids! She saw changes within the first two weeks!

You’ll see similar stories of transformation on patient advocacy sites and thyroid patient forums all over the internet, yet most traditional medical doctors are very reluctant to prescribe anything but Synthroid!

Every system is perfectly designed to produce the results it produces. Change starts with education.

In pharmacy school, I was taught that T4 medications were the preferred therapy for people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s and that medications like Armour* were unstable and should be avoided. “The only time a person should remain on Armour*,” I remember hearing my professors and supervising pharmacists say, “is if they’ve been on it for many years and are unwilling to switch to the newer, better medications like Synthroid.”

This was what everyone was taught…

During pharmacy school, I worked as a pharmacy intern at a busy Walgreens pharmacy, where we filled on average 500 prescriptions per day. Most dosages of Synthroid and Levoxyl were in our “fast mover” section of the pharmacy, or in our automated counting machine because they were prescribed so frequently. On an average day, I filled 20-30 prescriptions for Synthroid/Levoxyl, and we always had multiples of 1000-count bottles on hand to be sure we didn’t run out.

In contrast, we only carried a few doses of Armour Thyroid* for a couple of patients we had on Armour*. These tiny bottles sat on a lonely shelf in the back of the pharmacy, and we always made it a priority to check expiration dates on the bottles, as sometimes the medications would expire before we had a chance to dispense them, due to low prescription volume.

I often get letters from frustrated readers who say that their doctors are refusing to prescribe T3 containing medications. I decided to interview my colleague, Registered Pharmacist Carter Black, about why physicians (especially endocrinologists) are hesitant to prescribe anything except Synthroid, or Levothyroxine, commonly known as T4.

Here are a few issues that have made endocrinologists skeptical of any thyroid medication besides Synthroid, and its generic or branded equivalents.

  1. Liability
    Physicians are averse to any liability that may affect their practice or ability to continue their profession. Levothyroxine (T4) is often cited in studies, that it is sufficient for most patients.  Anything containing liothyronine (T3) is looked at with fear that it may cause palpitations (tachycardia), or osteoporosis resulting in over-replacement.
  2. Historical (sometimes hysterical) Prejudice
    Before the mid-1960’s, most thyroid patients were treated with Thyroid U.S.P., which like Armour*, and WP Thyroid, was derived from the thyroid glands of animals. This type of treatment has been used since the 1890’s in the United States! Thyroid U.S.P. was available in some dosage forms as tablets that were in a similar ratio to the current Armour Thyroid*, but the assay standards to test the level of active hormones were nowhere near modern standards, sometimes resulting in inaccurate dosing.
  3. Misinformation about Compounding Pharmacies
    Historically, “in between” doses were compounded with Thyroid powder U.S.P.  Any pharmacist could put an amount into a capsule.  Back in the day, this was not an exact process. The balance (scale) was not sensitive, and compounding was done by every pharmacist with a scale, some empty capsules, and some powder.  Today’s standards for pharmaceutical compounding have dramatically changed, so that most compounding is done with prediluted powders and ultra sensitive scales, by specially trained pharmacists, in specially certified compounding pharmacies. Note: when working with compounded thyroid medications, be sure to seek a pharmacist that compounds the bulk of their prescriptions, participates in organizations devoted to compounding and has an excellent reputation.
  4. Pharmaceutical Marketing Dollars
    When Synthroid came to the market in 1955, Flint Labs, the manufacturer of synthetic thyroid “Synthroid” recognized that patients and physicians alike were frustrated with inconsistent results from the glandular-derived thyroid medications, as well as the other new synthetics on the market, so the manufacturer made an effort to create a predictable product that patients and physicians could trust.This innovation resulted in more predictable outcomes from therapy, compared to the other previously available medications. Flint Labs pharmaceutical representatives began to educate physicians about the superior predictability of Synthroid to Thyroid U.S.P. Physicians and patients appreciated this; no more worries about becoming hypothyroid or hyperthyroid the next time you refill your medications! Soon enough, Synthroid became the drug of choice. But Synthroid was not the only medication with improved predictability…Eventually, Armour Thyroid* was created to address the dosage variability weakness, but by that time, glandulars had fallen out of favor. The patented levothyroxine (T4) in the name of Synthroid became a top ten seller in the United States (It has now become the #1 selling drug in the United States, as of 2013 and 2014 data). MOST patients were happy.  Armour Thyroid* did have a sales force but nothing compared with Flint Labs. There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the marketing of Synthroid. In 2000, Synthroid was the third most commonly prescribed medication in the US, due to claims by the manufacturer that generic alternatives were inferior. The pharmaceutical company funded university researchers to perform studies to test generic equivalency with Synthroid. When the studies showed that the generic products were equivalent and would offer cost savings to patients and insurance companies, the researchers were allegedly discouraged from publishing their results, and the information was suppressed. This study was done in 1986, but suppressed from publication until 1997! The company settled, agreeing to pay $87 million dollars in a class action lawsuit. Harold J. DeMonaco, in MGH Drug Therapy, Vol XI, Issue 8[1] called it a “Made for TV Movie” situation.  It was a point in history when two other levothyroxine products were FDA approved and the maker at the time refused to seek approval because Synthroid was the standard product.Meanwhile, Forest Lab, the manufacturer of Armour Thyroid*, just kept making their product, without dedicating much of a marketing budget to the product. According to Carter Black, RPh, Synthroid the brand and others have been recalled many times, and Synthroid was even reformulated in 1981. In his 40 years as a pharmacist, Mr. Black does not remember a recall of Armour Thyroid*. The interest in glandular products was finally revived (in my opinion) in recent years by RLC Lab, the manufacturer of Nature-Throid and WP Thyroid. The website for RLC Lab proudly states that their products have never been recalled due to inconsistent levels, while Synthroid has gone through numerous recalls in the last decade. Speaking to a pharmacist friend of mine, who still works at Walgreen’s (we used to be pharmacy technicians and pharmacy students together many moons ago), she noted that she sees an increased number of prescriptions filled for Nature-Throid, yay!
  5. Inappropriate Medication Use/AbuseThe 80’s Also Cast T3 in a Negative Light
    Weight loss clinics started prescribing Cytomel (T3), along with amphetamines, for people without thyroid disease, inducing hyperthyroidism in their patients, which resulted in quick (but dangerous) weight loss!  As you can imagine, this combination was given to an overweight person with a normally functioning thyroid often created a dangerous situation.  Patients were admitted to the emergency rooms with life or death symptoms of high fever, palpitations, labored breathing, dehydration, delirium, nausea, vomiting, and even coma.  This is a difficult clinical situation. Death can result, as well as future problems of thyroid management (alternating hyperthyroid and hypothyroid), cardiac damage and mood disorders are among the consequences of the above. As a result of this inappropriate abuse of medications, all thyroid medications are now required to carry a black-box warning (the most strict warning given by the FDA), that warn against the use of thyroid medications for weight loss. Many of today’s practicing endocrinologists witnessed the effects of this situation first hand, as young residents and medical students early in their training.  One can certainly understand a doctor’s aversion to T3 or T4/T3 combinations, because of a history of inappropriate use. ****. Please Note, you shouldn’t confuse this with appropriate use of thyroid medications for people who are overweight due to hypothyroidism. Using thyroid medications for a person who is hypothyroid is an appropriate use of medications, and anyone suggesting otherwise should be questioned for their understanding of basic physiology. I once saw a poorly researched article written by an internet marketer who was saying that thyroid medications were not to be used by people with thyroid disease due to this warning! That’s like saying that dogs shouldn’t eat dog food because it’s not appropriate for cats! 🙂
  6. Reliance on TSH
    In the good ol’ days, before the availability of thyroid testing, patients were dosed on thyroid medications based on their symptoms – this didn’t always turn out for the best, and patients were often overdosed. Thyroid symptoms can be nonspecific, and fatigue and weight gain are not always thyroid related. With the emergence of thyroid testing, most physicians now dose thyroid patients based on their TSH levels. Of course, all health care professionals are taught to treat the patient, not the lab test, but very few seem to follow that advice. I recommend working with a practitioner that relies on not just the TSH test, but also free T3, free T4, AND your symptoms, to paint a complete picture of how to properly adjust your medications. You can read my articles  When Your TSH is Normal, and You Are Anything But 6 Types of Thyroid Tests Top Things To Know About Thyroid Medication  for more information.
  7. Research Funding Clinical Trials are Very Expensive and Require Funding
    Most studies focusing on medications are funded by pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the medications, and thus the majority of studies done with thyroid medications will focus on T4 medications.  However, National Institutes of Health, a government agency conducted a  clinical trial  not funded by pharmaceutical grants to see if natural desiccated thyroid therapy is advantageous to T4 alone. The authors of the study concluded: “DTE (Desiccated Thyroid Extract) therapy did not result in a significant improvement in quality of life; however, DTE caused modest weight loss and nearly half (48.6%) of the study patients expressed a preference for DTE over l-T4 (Levothyroxine). DTE therapy may be relevant for some hypothyroid patients”. Additional searches of PubMed (the largest database of published medical research) will reveal that patients prefer combination therapy of T4 & T3. A recent article stated: “Physiologic combinations of Levothyroxine plus liothyronine do not offer any objective advantage over Levothyroxine alone, yet patients prefer combination treatment.” Annals of Internal Medicine 2005 Mar 15.  Most endocrinologists do not like “subjective” evidence, and prefer “objective evidence.”  Plainly defined; objective evidence includes numbers and tests, while patient responses to questions (how are you feeling?) are considered subjective.   Objective numbers lead to less liability.

So what’s a patient to do?

If you’re not feeling well on your current medication, you shouldn’t suffer just because your doctor is not familiar with other types of medication.

Rather than getting upset at your doctor for not wanting to prescribe a medication he/she is not comfortable prescribing to you, my suggestion is for you to do the following:

  1. Educate yourself. Read through the above-listed articles and get a copy of my new  eBook on optimizing medications free !
  2. If your doctor is not willing to prescribe anything besides Synthroid for you, find a doctor who has experience with the use of Cytomel, liothyronine, T3, Armour*, Nature-Throid, WP Thyroid and/or compounded thyroid medications, and make an appointment. It’s better that you work with someone who is experienced in using these medications safely and correctly, rather than convince your current doctor to prescribe them for you! After all, you probably don’t want to be someone’s first patient on a medication they are not familiar with anyway!  A database of practitioners is available on my  website . If there are no practitioners are available in your area, check with your local compounding pharmacy to see if the pharmacists there have a recommendation for you.
  3. If you are hoping to have your current doctor involved and he/she is open minded, I suggest a team approach. You have the option of having another practitioner prescribe the medication to you, while you keep in touch with your current doctor, or you and your doctor can work with a pharmacist who is experienced in thyroid medication use and dosing, like Carter Black, who I interviewed for this article.

Please note, some patients resort to ordering T4/T3 medications off the internet. I do not recommend this, due to quality concerns and the potential for overdosing yourself. You should always work with a qualified healthcare practitioner to optimize your medications!

*Note: While Armour Thyroid does not have any gluten-containing ingredients, it is not tested for gluten content, and cannot be certified as gluten-free. Armour does contain sodium starch glycolate, which can be derived from wheat or corn.

About Carter Black, RPh

Wentz-Carter-1024x768

L-R Dr. Izabella Wentz, Carter Black, RPh

Registered Pharmacist Carter Black is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy with undergraduate work at the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana.  He is a preceptor for pharmacy students and is a consultant by doctor referral for women and men’s health, hormone, and thyroid issues.  He is a former professor of pharmacology at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and has over 40 years of experience working with compounded medications and bio-identical hormones. Mr. Black has extensive training through the Institute of Functional Medicine, Hashimoto’s Self-Management program, and the Hashimoto’s Institute, and is Dr. Izabella’s go-to resource for thyroid medications, compounded medications and appropriate use of hormones. He has been collaborating with Dr. Izabella since 2011.

References

SYNTHROID. Food  For  Freethought. 2017. Available at: http://foodforfreethought.weebly.com/synthroid.html. Accessed August 3, 2017.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Dear Izabella,
    I have Hashimoto’s with a variety of gut problems. My question today is about my tinnitus which comes and goes. I notice it more around the time I have my period. Could I benefit by changing from l-thyroxin to DTE?
    Sincerely,
    Susan

    Reply
    • Susan – thank you for following this page. Please, understand that due to liability issues, I am unable to answer specific medical questions.

      I highly recommend that you work with a functional medicine clinician. It’s a whole medical specialty dedicated to finding and treating underlying causes and prevention of serious chronic disease rather than disease symptoms.

      FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE APPROACH TO THE THYROID
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/functional-medicine-approach-to-the-thyroid

      WHAT TYPE OF DOCTOR SHOULD YOU SEE IF YOU HAVE HASHIMOTO’S
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/what-type-of-doctor-should-you-see-if-you-have-hashimotos

      10 THINGS I WISH MY ENDOCRINOLOGIST WOULD HAVE TOLD ME
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/10-things-i-wish-my-endocrinologist-would-have-told-me

      CLINICIAN DATABASE
      http://www.thyroidpharmacistconsulting.com/clinician-database.html

      FIND A FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE CLINICIAN
      https://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117

      Reply
  2. Dr.Wentz,
    I have been following you.and finally had my Dr. prescribe Nature-thyroid. Just within 3 days I have noticed changes in my skin and the skin tags that I had. So far this is great! Thanks for your advice!

    Reply
    • Wanda – thank you for following this page. I am so happy you are taking charge of your health! Our skin is a window to our internal health. It is the body’s largest elimination organ, and also a canvas where toxicities, nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities and hormonal imbalances can show up. Women with Hashimoto’s and autoimmune conditions are more likely to have dry, dull skin, rashes, hives, pre-menstrual acne and facial swelling, especially if their thyroid levels are not optimized and they are not absorbing vitamins and nutrients correctly.

      THE THYROID AND SKIN
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/the-thyroid-and-skin

      Reply
  3. I discussed switching medications with my doctor from levothyroxine to nature-thyroid. She agreed to the switch and I was on it for 3 months. I had my blood work done and my TSH was 38! I am now 6 days back on levothyroxine hoping to get my levels down. My Dr. said my body was not absorbing the Nature-thyroid:(. I was disappointed because I was still having hypoactive symptoms even though TSH levels were in normal range.

    Reply
    • Beverly – thank you so much for following this page. There are quite a few options for thyroid medications. In my experience, what works for one person may not work for another. In order to self-advocate, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of thyroid medications. There are many reasons why your thyroid levels might not be optimal and my Optimizing Thyroid Medications eBook will give you those answers as well as give you a full explanation of the different options that are available to you! I want you to be empowered, so I’m giving this eBook away as a FREE download this week! Download it for FREE Optimizing Thyroid Medications eBook!
      This book will help you understand your thyroid lab results and how to optimize your thyroid hormones!!
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/checkout/?product_id=4702

      Have you read these articles?
      WHICH THYROID MEDICATION IS BEST?
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/which-thyroid-medication-is-best/

      TOP 11 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THYROID MEDICATIONS
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/top-11-things-you-need-to-know-about-thyroid-medications/

      Reply
  4. I have hashimato desease. My gland is unactive en have few nodules. The spesialist only told me that and does’nt explain me anything. He gave me a prescription for Eltroxin 1mg. What l knew about my condition are becauce of google. I’m not using sugar, wheat( because i have asthma also and the wheat trigger the asthma) and now i’ll cut the diary products. I’m using immandue booster, vitamine b-complex and osteoease. And 3x times a week i went to the gym for cardio especialy on the treadmill and the exercice bicycle’s.

    Reply
    • Kotie – thank you for following this page. Most thyroid conditions result from the immune system attacking the thyroid because the immune system is out of balance. Even when the thyroid is taken out surgically, is ‘dead’, or treated with radioactive iodine the autoimmunity still persists in most cases. Many people will have their thyroids removed, and will develop new autoimmune disorders such as Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, etc. The immune system just finds a different target. We need to re-balance the immune system to prevent this (sometimes the autoimmunity can be reversed as well). The gut determines your immune system. With the exception of discussing proper thyroid medication dosing, the majority of my website and my book focuses on balancing the immune system. The info I present is based on my own research and journey for overcoming my autoimmune thyroid condition.

      Hashimoto’s Protocol
      thyroidpharmacist.com/protocol

      Hashimoto’s Root Cause
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0615825796?ie=UTF8camp=1789creativeASIN=0615825796linkCode=xm2tag=thyroipharma-20

      Reply
  5. Hello!
    I started armour thyroid about 8 months ago after being on synthroid since 2007. Its the best ive felt in years! I had some lingering issues so I started seing an endocrinologist yesterday and she immediatly told me how horrible NDT was and gave me a prescription for synthoid snd cytomel. I started taking it this morning and im back to being tired, brain fog, achy joints like no tomorrow. Do i stick with it or go back to my Armour and insist she work with this medication?

    Reply
    • Shannon – thank you for following this page. There are quite a few options for thyroid medications. In my experience, what works for one person may not work for another. If your doctor will not prescribe the medication which you are looking for, ask your local pharmacist for doctors in your area who prescribe the medication you are looking to try. When you have been prescribed thyroid replacement hormone but your thyroid levels are still not optimal and your doctor is convinced that Synthroid® (which is a T4 only hormone replacement) is the only replacement that you should try, remember, information is power! In order to self-advocate, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of thyroid medications. There are many reasons why your thyroid levels might not be optimal and my Optimizing Thyroid Medications eBook will give you those answers as well as give you a full explanation of the different options that are available to you! I want you to be empowered, so I’m giving this eBook away as a FREE download this week! Download it for FREE Optimizing Thyroid Medications eBook!
      This book will help you understand your thyroid lab results and how to optimize your thyroid hormones!!
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/checkout/?product_id=4702

      Have you read these articles?
      WHICH THYROID MEDICATION IS BEST?
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/which-thyroid-medication-is-best/

      TOP 11 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THYROID MEDICATIONS
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/top-11-things-you-need-to-know-about-thyroid-medications/

      HOW THE DOSE OF YOUR THYROID MEDICATION CAN UNCOVER YOUR ROOT CAUSE
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/the-dose-of-your-thyroid-medication-can-uncover-your-root-cause/

      HOW TO GET ACCURATE LAB TESTING WHEN TAKING MEDICATIONS
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/how-to-get-accurate-lab-tests-when-taking-thyroid-medications/

      Reply
  6. I had Hashimoto’s for YEARS and was undertreated. I developed high blood pressure during this time. Eventually I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had a total thyroidectomy. I am on Synthroid and Cytomel. I find it very hard to lose weight, my hair falls out in bunches and I just do not feel good. I want to try Armour, but my endocrinologists refuse because of the cancer diagnosis. Can you speak to the use of natural thyroid and control of TSH and cancer. Much appreciated.

    Reply
    • Vicky – thank you so much for following this page. There are quite a few options for thyroid medications. In my experience, what works for one person may not work for another. If your doctor will not prescribe the medication you are looking for, ask your local pharmacist for doctors in your area who prescribe the medication you are looking to try. Have you read these articles?

      WHICH THYROID MEDICATION IS BEST?
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/which-thyroid-medication-is-best/

      TOP 11 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THYROID MEDICATIONS
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/top-11-things-you-need-to-know-about-thyroid-medications/
      Here are some articles which might help:

      HASHIMOTOS AND THYROID CANCER
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/hashimotos-and-thyroid-cancer

      THE CONVENTIONAL COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE APPROACH TO HASHIMOTOS AND THYROID CANCER
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/the-conventional-complementary-and-alternative-approach-to-hashimotos-and-thyroid-cancer

      Reply
  7. Thank you for this history of thyroid meds. What can you tell us about storage and shelf-life of natural desiccated thyroid products? I have a year-old bottle of Armour, stored cool, dark and dry. Will it have retained it’s potency? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Darlene – thank you for reaching out. Please contact my team at info@thyroidpharmacist.com and they will be happy to help you.:)

      Reply
  8. Is Withania Somnifera contraindicated when using NatureThroid or other hypothyroid-supporting medications due to its potential effect on thyroid hormones?

    Reply
    • Andy – I wish I could give you more direct advice but, each person will react differently. I would advise you to ask your personal pharmacist or a trusted clinician who’s care you are under. I am not able to respond directly to these types of questions here. I also don’t recommend starting multiple supplements all at once. I recommend starting one at a time, and then adding another a week or so later once it has been confirmed that the first supplement is not causing any harm.

      I do have a full supplements chapter in my book. Have you checked it out? Not everyone should be taking every supplement and the book will help uncover your root cause. This will help you figure out your supplementation.

      Hashimoto’s Root Cause
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0615825796?ie=UTF8 …

      Hashimoto’s Protocol
      thyroidpharmacist.com/protocol

      Reply
      • I am reading Hashimoto’s Protocol and will get your other book for more guidance. Thanks so much.

        Reply
  9. I have been on Armour thyroid since I was 16, I am now 71. The pharmacy recently switched me to NP which smells like the Armour thyroid of many years ago. My question is, I have developed hypoxia now but no underly8ng heart or lung problems. How do I find out if this hypoxia could be related to hypothyroidism?

    Reply
    • Carol – Thank you for following this page. Please, understand that due to liability issues, I am unable to answer specific medical questions, but I highly recommend that you work with a functional medicine clinician. It’s an entire medical specialty dedicated to finding and treating underlying causes and prevention of serious chronic disease rather than disease symptoms. Here are some links which might help:

      FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE APPROACH TO THE THYROID
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/functional-medicine-approach-to-the-thyroid

      CLINICIAN DATABASE
      https://www.thyroidpharmacistconsulting.com/clinician-database.html

      MY RECENT CHALLENGES AND FINDING DR. RIGHT
      https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/my-challenges-and-finding-dr-right/

      Reply

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9 patient evaluations
for
Desiccated thyroid

Sort by:
Most recent

  • Helpfulness
  • Most Recent

Apr 12, 2016
(Started Jun 15, 2015)

  • Effectiveness

    Major
    (for hypothyroidism)
  • Side effects

    None
  • Adherence

    Usually
  • Burden

    Not at all hard to take
Dosage:
90 mg
Twice daily
Cost:
$25-49 monthly

Nov 15, 2013
(Started Jun 15, 2015)

  • Effectiveness

    Major
    (for hypothyroidism)
  • Effectiveness

    Major
    (for T4 only (levothyroxine) was not effective enough)
  • Side effects

    None
  • Adherence

    Always
  • Burden

    Not at all hard to take
Advice & Tips:
You may notice that you are able to concentrate better, have more energy, but are not jittery or anxious. If you do feel anxious you may be taking too much. I also no longer have the fibromyalgia-like or depressive symptoms now that I am on Armour Thyroid.


  • 0
    helpful marks

Jan 1, 2015
(Started Sep 01, 1998)

  • Effectiveness

    Moderate
    (for hypothyroidism)
  • Side effects

    None
  • Adherence

    Always
  • Burden

    A little hard to take
Dosage:
60 mg
M,W,F
Advice & Tips:
My blood tests came out very bad . I am afraid my doc will force me to to synthetics.
Cost:
< $25 monthly

Sep 29, 2014
(Started Sep 01, 1998)

  • Effectiveness

    Major
    (for hypothyroidism)
  • Side effects

    None
  • Adherence

    Always
  • Burden

    A little hard to take
Dosage:
120 mg
Daily
Advice & Tips:
Since I started taking LDN I have slowly needed to go down on Thyroid meds. Aug to Sept . ’14 I have gone down to only 60 mgs every 2 or 3 days!!! I am now AK testing off Chlorella and Molybdenum. I think the LDN have helped my Immune System w/my Hashimoto’s, and cut my mood swings down.
Cost:
< $25 monthly

Mar 23, 2011
(Started Sep 01, 1998)

  • Effectiveness

    Major
    (for hypothyroidism)
  • Side effects

    None
  • Adherence

    Always
  • Burden

    Not at all hard to take
Dosage:
240 mg
Daily
Advice & Tips:
Levothyroxine did not not work for me at all! My blood levels where better but I felt horrible! I’ve titrated up to 4 gns (240mgs) of Natural Desiccated Thyroid (Armour) I’ve lost 18 pounds and my energy is MUCH better!
Cost:
< $25 monthly


  • 2
    helpful marks

Feb 10, 2014
(Started Jul 01, 1991)

  • Effectiveness

    Can’t tell
    (for hypothyroidism)
  • Side effects

    None
  • Adherence

    Always
  • Burden

    Not at all hard to take
Dosage:
125 mcg (0.125 mg)
Daily


  • 0
    helpful marks

Last updated:


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