DID YOU KNOW: Thyroid therapy was used to cure polio and breast cancer, as well as prevent dementia?
There is quite a substantial body of science regarding thyroid health on the web. Just as with anything, some of the information may be incorrect, however the majority of valuable data comes from longtime researchers and providers like Dr. Barnes, Dr. Wilson, Dr. Lowe and others.
Once again on a trip back to the future, people with thyroid problems and the thyroid were not disregarded as "flakes". And it seemed that doctors knew what tests to order and how to properly interpret them s well. They also had no fear of natural thyroid products such as Armour.
Today, it seems as if the thyroid is some taboo gland that will, if not functioning very well on the hypothyroid side, lead you only to the following scenario - a TSH only test - or if you are lucky you might get a TSH and a T4 - and maybe if your result is outside the old range up to 5 or even 8, you might get Synthroid.
Synthroid is synthetic T4 and it usually does not effectively address the physiological issues present. It also can lead to osteoporosis in long term treatment.
One problem is that several years ago the range for TSH results were redefined at 0.3 to 3.2. So if your doctor, NP, or lab is still relying on the old scale, get a new one.
And if they rely on the old scale, maybe they don't even know how to interpret the results.
Some people may need T3, like Cytomel, but with compounding pharmacies being attacked maybe this is herd to come by where you live.
Many people do not do well on Synthroid and really need natural glandular products, or a combination product like Thyrolar.
And you can have normal appearing lab results and still have a problem, which indicates more testing like an rT3 and/ or a TRH, and not to overlook both Free T3 and Free T4.
On the other side of the coin is a group of people with hyperactive thyroid conditions who are "radiated" to "kill" the gland and then require supplementation, usually Synthroid. This group of people should know that there are effective ways to address this situation, as hypothyroid as well, using natural therapy or in combination with drugs; usually you do not hear this too.
Of course it is worthwhile to consider that adrenal function might be evaluated first, and corrected if needed, before addressing thyroid concerns. Its that TPA (Thyroid-Pituitary-Adrenal) axis thing you know...
"The prevailing dogma says that all you need to know is that the TSH test is the gold standard for diagnosis, and the only treatment is T4-replacement/levothyroxine. Even then, the dogma usually stipulates that you use Synthroid, the top-selling levothyroxine drug, the most expensive of all the brands, the one that has legions of drug reps in its employ, and the one that not coincidentally spreads around millions in research money, grants, honoraria, freebies, samples, and support to doctors, endocrinologists, professional groups and patient organizations each year.
People deserve to know that:
there are other brands of levothyroxine than Synthroid, and despite a doctor's allegiance to one brand, another brand may work better for you (not to mention cost you far less)
some patients will not be relieved of their hypothyroidism symptoms -- such as fatigue, depression, weight gain -- despite treatment to the so-called "normal range," and will need additional treatment to regain their health
patients deserve to know that there are other thyroid medicines that for some, may better relieve their symptoms -- additional T3 as Cytomel or time-released T3, a synthetic T4/T3 combination Thyrolar, or the natural desiccated prescription thyroid drugs Armour and Nature-throid
the TSH test itself is one part of diagnosing thyroid problems, but T4, T3, free T4, free T3 tests, antibodies tests, clinical evaluation of signs and symptoms, and consideration of medical and family history, should also be part of a thorough diagnostic process for thyroid disease
The TSH "normal" range that is used to rule thyroid disease in and out may not be relevant on an individual basis, it may be flawed, and it is subject to change, making it a rocky foundation on which to base an entire diagnosis and treatment regimen"
from David Odom, MD, a UK physician: "Of course, this move in Britain is politically based. This document is no more than ossified opinion. This is in a country that has 'cookbook' medicine. So, politics rules! Likely, this our future, approaching rapidly. In my practice, I have the patient supplement Thyroid USP, so as to maintain relief from low thyroid symptoms while maintaining a youthful Free T3 (& coincidentally suppressing TSH). It is ironic that the British medical literature has pointed out 'the emperor's new clothes' regarding treatment of hypothyroidism. It turns out that suppression of the TSH is an expected consequence of thyroid supplementation that has no adverse health consequences, moreover the TSH has no specific or reliable correlation with thyroid function. The large majority of medical practitioners follow the system of prescribing synthetic levothyroxine to regulate the TSH, even though this practice has no scientific foundation. Doctors who practice Natural Hormone Replacement therapy, on the other hand, prescribe Thyroid USP or compounded T4/T3 combinations, seeking symptom reversal without regard to the TSH and find success with great benefit for patients."
Thyroid disorders 'misdiagnosed'
People with suspected thyroid disorders are being mistreated and misinformed, experts have warned.
British Thyroid Association doctors say some people are being given the wrong tests and the wrong treatment.
NHS doctors abide by expert guidelines - but the BTA says the problem comes when patients go outside the NHS.
Around 3% of the UK population has an underactive thyroid, which should be diagnosed with a blood test and treated with a synthetic hormone.
An under-active thyroid, or hypothyroidism, develops when the thyroid gland produces too little thyroxine, and it is becoming more prevalent because of the ageing population.
Symptoms can include being very tired, feeling the cold, having difficulties with memory or concentration, weight gain and fertility problems.
These are symptoms that can mimic other conditions, and experts warn an incorrect diagnosis could mean some patients could suffer harmful effects from excess thyroid hormones, while other serious conditions may go undiagnosed.
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) recently set out guidance for how hypothyroidism should be diagnosed and treated in the UK.
It says the only accurate way to diagnose a thyroid disorder is via a blood test which measures hormone levels, and the only scientifically proven way of treating the condition is by topping up a patient's natural thyroxine levels with a synthetic form of the hormone.
But the BTA warns that information on the web and in the media about alternative ways of diagnosing and treating the condition are leading people to turn to alternative methods of diagnosis and treatments.
It says urine tests, saliva tests and measuring body temperature are not reliable ways of diagnosing the condition.
Dr Amit Allahabadia, the secretary of the BTA who wrote the editorial, said: "This is potentially an enormous problem, given that in any one year, one in four people in the United Kingdom have their thyroid function checked.
He added: "I think it is essentially doctors who are outside the NHS [who] may be misdiagnosing the condition.
"Patients may go to see them when they think they have an under-active thyroid, or when tests have shown they have normal hormone levels but they still feel ill."
Dr Allahabadia said he believed a "significant minority" of patients were affected, either directly through misdiagnosis or mistreatment or because they were being confused by inaccurate information.
Professor Peter Trainer, who chairs the clinical committee of the Society for Endocrinology which represents the specialists who treat thyroid disorders, said: "Our sympathy has to lie with the patient because there is potentially misleading information available on the web.
"It can be confusing for patients, and it can be difficult for GPs when they are confronted with that information, which is why the RCP guidance was published."
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/7965417.stm
Published: 2009/03/27 © BBC MMIX