Thyroid Tidbit: Thyroid Disease in India

STTM thyroid disease in indiaThough this was originally written in 2008, it has been updated to the current date. Enjoy!

In the magazine India Today, it was estimated that there were at least forty million individuals with thyroid disease, according to Dr. Ganapathi Bantwal, faculty member of the Indian Thyroid Society (ITS) and Professor and Head of Department of Endocrinology, St John’s Medical College, Bangalore.

He stated that most with thyroid disease are women, and most hypothyroidism is occurring after the birth of a baby, called postpartum hypothyroidism.

Actually, that most with thyroid disease are women is actually true all over the world. And hypothyroidism can occur at other times in one’s life, not just after the birth of a baby.

The Indian Thyroid Society wants to observe January as Think Thyroid Month with experts calling thyroid related disorders as the next diabetes to affect the nearly forty million Indians.

India in the News

This article in 2013 from the Daily Mail. states that one in ten people in India suffers from hypothyroidism. Considering the amount of Indian citizens, that’s a hefty amount.

Similar to the above article, DNA India underscores that

“undetected cases were significantly higher in Delhi (3.97 %) as compared to other major cities like Mumbai (2.86 %) and Chennai (2.09 %). About 9.61 % of the study population in Delhi had mild thyroid failure, which may lead to hypothyroidism in future.”

In 2015, Times of India reported the same number suffering from hypothyroidism.

How is hypothyroidism treated in India?

Sadly, it’s treated in the same poor way as everywhere else: with T4-only and the use of the TSH lab test–both which patients report keeps them sick. An example of the emphasis of both is here from the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. But here or there, one can find doctors who prescribe NDT (natural desiccated thyroid).

Does India have a thyroid organization?

One is called the Indian Thyroid Society, which is represented by the website for their peer-reviewed online journal called Thyroid Research and Practice, here. The journal covers “technical and clinical studies related to health, ethical and social issues in field of Thyroidology”. Articles with clinical interest and implications are given preference. The Editor in Chief is Dr. Unnikrishnan AG, an Endocrinologist and CEO at Chellaram Diabetes Institute Pune, a not-for-profit Institute, where he heads clinical care, research, education and oversees a philanthropic rural diabetes care program.

i.e. it’s not for patients as much as it is for clinicians.

 

71 Responses to “Thyroid Tidbit: Thyroid Disease in India”

  1. P. Krishnan

    I have gone to 4 different thyroid doctors in Bangalore, India, and none of them is willing to prescribe anything but Eltroxin/Thyronorm. Is an equivalent of Armour Thyroid available in India? Does anyone know any doctor in Bangalore who would be willing to prescribe anything other than the T4 drugs?

    Reply
  2. Tom Shankar Iyer

    Hello Krishnan & other Thyroid patients,

    First of all – Yes, there is a permanent cure for all types of Thyroid problems & that too without any side-effects. This treatment today is available only at clinic called Ayur XaQti Wellness Clinic located at JP Nagar, Bangalore. For more details please contact me at t underscore iyer at yahoo dot com. We provide complete cure withour any side effects for all types of thyroid problems. It is an ayurvedic cure and the treatment shall last for anywhere between 18 to 36 months depending on hoe much of these thyroxin/thronorm, etc., you have already takn in the past several years. We need to help in first tapering your intakes of these drugs, while simultaneously curing you of your thyroid problem by giving you some special preparation made of Ras Kriya which is based on Kupi Pakwa techniques as mentioned in ancient ayurvedic texts & rig veda. We shall also ask you to have some panchakarma & other toxin removing procedures to do.

    Any questions / need clarifications / to setup an appointment, please feel free to contact me anytime. Let’s hope we are able to treat one more patient (i.e, you) & free you of all the problems related to thyroid, not to talk about the side effects like Kidny / heart / arthritis, etc., problems which crop up due to thyroid.

    Regards,
    Tom Shankar Iyer

    Reply
    • Kavita

      Hello Tom Iyer,

      Can you explain more about this natural treatment. What do you think is the cause and how do you go about solving it.

      When you say treatment lasts 18-36 months, Do you have to be in Bangalore. I don’t live in India but trying to look for more natural ways of treating.

      Reply
    • Uma

      Dear Sir, my relative have problems of thyroid, is it any natural treatment for thyroid
      Please reply

      Reply
  3. Satya

    Why is so much price difference between Eltroxin and Thyronorm (Rs 50 vs Rs 117)? Is there a difference in composition?

    Reply
    • RAMAN S IYER

      Eltroxin-is a brand of natural dessicated thyroid available in India, according to the details given in medindia site on the web. Please check this link – http://www.medindia.net/doctors/drug_information/thyroid_dessicated.htm
      I have also been looking out for availability of any brand of dessicated thyroid instead of synthetic ‘Thyronorm’, which doesn’t seem to work for me even after consuming 100 mcg of it for almost for 10 years now. If Eltroxin is available in India I would be glad to buy it. Where did you find Eltoxin for Rs 50?

      Reply
      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Raman, Eltroxin is T4-only, not desiccated thyroid.

        Reply
        • RAMAN S IYER

          Yeah! I realised after going to the medicine store and holding one in my hand. The wrong info is given in the medindia site on the web. Extremely sorry for giving this wrong info on this page. But of course, the link I have provided will prove that I had put up the info in real earnestness. There are so many individuals who are claiming to have used T3 and got their ailment under control. But they are not sharing the info from where they sourced the medicine in India? I am suffering from Hypothyroidism induced Artherosclerosis which has made me miserable. Please help

          Reply
  4. hypoactivegirl

    I am an Australian living in India much of each year. I have so far been relying on Abbotts thyronorm 100mcg, which has been ok, but last week ran out and the only option was to take an equivalent dose of Abbotts 75mcg. Despite the dosage being equivalent, since taking the blue coloured 75mcg I experienced every single symptom that the T4 usually prevented from appearing. The worst of which is a major fibromyalgia flare up in places I never had such pain before, anxiety, depression, severe weight gain in this short period, bloating, more pimples and general feeling of exhaustion and loss of stamina. This started appearing after the first day on the new batch, but it took me about three days to work out what was going on. I have since tracked down some 100mcg Eltroxin made by Glaxo, and after one day on it it is too soon to tell, but I certainly think I feel a little better already. I am wondering if I fell victim to some fake thyronorm which is apparently not so unusual. My symptoms were as if I had stopped taking T4 altogether.
    If anyone knows where I can order T3 in India please post here. I would be very reluctant to order any kind of thyroid glandular made in India, but synthetics I will try! I am getting some friends to bring some glandulars for me from Australia at Christmas. Can’t wait to get back on them again!

    Reply
  5. Sapna Shahani

    I would also like to know if natural thyroid Armour is available in India. If anyone knows, do post here…

    (From Janie: if no one answers, google Thyroid-S and Thiroyd. Both from Thailand)

    Reply
  6. Alankar Maurya

    My doc says,” your tsh,ft4,ft3 is fine
    with THYRONORM.”
    Me-” I am easily fatigued, i have
    less energy”.
    Doc-“Then Exercise more.”
    Me- “My hair are pathetically dry and brittle.”
    Doc- “Then eat well, this may be
    hereditary”.
    Me-” I dont wake up refreshed”
    Doc- “Take tea in morning”.
    Me- ” I could’nt study, my memory
    problem & brain fog is out of
    control.”
    Doc-” Then Try to be focused.”
    Me-” I often feel shortness of
    breath”
    Doc- ” Then it is a cold problem, go
    for an inhaler”
    Me-“i have dry eyes”
    Doc-” Then wash yr eyes”.
    Me-” complete lack of motivation”
    Doc- “Then go to a
    psychotherapist”.
    Me-” I think LEVOXYRINE dont
    work, try T3 or desiccated on me.”
    Doc-” what is t3 or desiccated? I dont know . GO TO HELL.”
    Me-” I WANT TO DIE”
    Doc-“THEN GO FOR IT YOU MAD
    PSYCHO BOY”.

    Dear Janie,
    This is true that there is NO cytomel or desiccated thyroid is available in india.
    India has millions of thyroid patients. . . Undertreated. . PATHETIC. .
    India’s number of thyroid patients exceed the of
    TOTAL POPULATION of Most of the European countries. .

    IS THERE ANY SOLUTION??
    Where can i buy these? Please mention some reliable sites.

    Can i dose myself ?
    If yes, how??

    IM GETTING MADDDD. . .

    Reply
    • Dr. Vivek Kadambi

      You can get armour equivalent at Belle Sante Pharma, Bangalore. Phone no 080 41680063
      or email : pharma.bellesante@gmail.com

      Reply
      • Sanjeev

        Hello Dr Vivek,
        Do you sell armour equivalent dessicated thyroid hormone,
        If Yes what is the cost in Indian Rupees for delivery in India
        drsanjeev at yahoo dot com

        Reply
  7. ishan bakshi

    Hi alankar maurya, I can feel the plight. What disease are you suffering from? Have you got the diagnosis?

    Reply
  8. Anil B.

    Hi,
    After going thru all the good facts about the NDT Therapy here onsite and also acknowledging that its non availability in India,I have a question regarding how NDT which has natural pig thyroid hormone composition be effective for humans as Pig’s thyroid ratio T4/T3 => 4/1 whereas this ratio in Humans is T4/T3 => 14/1 as stated here from British Thyroid Assoc. notes —->> http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/armour.html .
    Please clarify and also let us know if any manufacturer makes NDT with human ratios ?
    Thanks
    Anil

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Anil, NDT is not “made”. It comes directly from the thyroid of a pig. It’s natural. And pig thyroid is 80% T4 and 20% T3….and it has worked well for humans for over 110 years. That quackwatch article is one of the most ridiculous articles on the internet.

      Reply
    • Dr. Vivek Kadambi

      You can get NDT human ratio equivalent at Belle Sante Pharma, Bangalore. Phone no 080 41680063
      or email : pharma.bellesante@gmail.com

      Reply
    • Dr. Vivek Kadambi

      You can get ARMOUR/ NDT (with human ratios) equivalent at Belle Sante Pharma, Bangalore. Phone no 080 41680063
      or email : pharma.bellesante@gmail.com
      You can also get information about prescribing doctors for this tyoe of thyroid from Belle Sante Pharma.

      Reply
  9. Ash

    Hi Janie,

    I’m from Bangalore and I am desperately looking for T3/dessicated meds. I have been on Thyronorm 100 mcg for the past 6 years and all my symptoms remain the same! Is there anyone who has found a good doctor in Bangalore who is willing to prescribe T3 supplements/natural dessicated meds??

    Reply
    • Dr. Vivek Kadambi

      You can get ARMOUR (or dessicated thyroid) equivalent at Belle Sante Pharma, Bangalore. Phone no 080 41680063
      or email : pharma.bellesante@gmail.com
      You can also get information about prescribing doctors for this type of thyroid from Belle Sante Pharma.

      Reply
  10. debabrat saikia

    I am an Indian .I am a cancer survivor.Now I am on 225 mcg of eltroxin since 2011 when my total thyroidectomy was done.I want t3 medicine.can you.tell what is the name of t3 drug in india

    Reply
  11. swati

    Hi…i am 29,hypothyroid. And I have so many other health problems…high bp, high cholestrol, anxiety, migraine, lupus anticoagulant..I suffered 2 miscarriages in last 2 years. I dont know whether these all problems are because of thyroid or not. But they have ruined me.I am on thyronorm 25 and i have attained a normal TSH. But I feel extremely irritable and tired, my hair are falling out like crazy, I have depression, IBS. Can armour NDT give me my life back? What is the equivalent Armour dose of thyronorm 25? Please tell me. Please.

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Swati. What informed patients have learned over and over is that being on T4-only meds (which thyronorm is) is the worst way to treat one’s hypothyroidism. As a result, we get depression, irritability, fatigue, hair loss…on and on depending on the individual. Read this page: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work And yes, Natural Desiccated thyroid, which gives you all FIVE hormones that a healthy thyroid makes, turns lives around. After you have read the above linked page, then read this one: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/natural-thyroid-101 The only way to get well is to become very educated!! 🙂

      Reply
    • Dr. Vivek Kadambi

      closest equivalent dose for 25mcg of Thyronorm is 15 mg of armour (1/4 grain)
      You can get ARMOUR (or dessicated thyroid) equivalent at Belle Sante Pharma, Bangalore. Phone no 080 41680063
      or email : pharma.bellesante@gmail.com
      You can also get information about prescribing doctors for this tyoe of thyroid from Belle Sante Pharma.

      Reply
  12. swati

    Thanku so much Janie for making me so well informed. I will consult with my doc and ask him to dose me with NDT, if he agrees 🙁
    I am scared to try it all by myself. I already have so many problems. The NDT stuff is a bit complicated to understand. But it seems it has amazing results too..for sure!
    What would you recommend? I am confused how to start NDT?

    Reply
  13. Debabrat Saikia

    Hi janie.Could you please help.Is cytomel or any t3 drugs available in India.If it is available then please let me know.

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      I’m not sure if it is, Debabrat. But there are certain Mexican pharmacies which have a version of it without a prescription that can be sent out.

      Reply
    • Dr. Vivek Kadambi

      You can get cytomel/T3 equivalent at Belle Sante Pharma, Bangalore, INDIA. Phone no 080 41680063
      or email : pharma.bellesante@gmail.com
      You can also get information about prescribing doctors for this tyoe of thyroid from Belle Sante Pharma.

      Reply
      • Chitra Aprameya

        Hi, am a juvenile diabetic and in 2013 I got very critically sick. I was diagnosed with high TSH @33 but T3 & T4 are very normal. I was branded suffering from Hypothyroidism. I had symptoms of stiffness at neck, heavy breathing,extreme fatigue, hairloss/dandruff.
        One of my friends introduced me to one Dr.Chandrashekar in Bangalore, who is a practicing Ayurvedic physician. Am taking ayurvedic treatment since 2013 June and the hypothyroidism symptoms have almost become Nil.The T3 & T4 are still normal but the TSH levels are fluctuating.
        Recently I have started with the problem where, after I wake up in the morning from sleep, my both palms are stiff and it takes some time to get rid of the stiffness.
        Kindly advice.

        Reply
  14. rita

    10 years I have suffered with just t4 drug, recently added t3 and bang. Unfortunately doctor s in India don’t understand it and need much more awareness. I want to work with Indian hypothyroid patients.. I wish we all hypothyroid Indian patients could come together to do something about it.

    Reply
    • Debabrat Saikia

      Rita can you please tell what is the name of your t3 medicine and its brand

      Reply
    • krishnanunni prakasan

      please please rita how to get t3 , pharmacies dont sell t3 (liothyronine sodium )

      Reply
    • Shoba

      Rita can u pls give the T3 drug name that u are taking. Thanks

      Reply
  15. sweta dugar

    My daughter is 7 yes old n suffering from thyroid n taking 100mcg from last one year. Please anyone knowing its curable treatment then suggest me.

    Reply
  16. ravi kanzal

    hi,my problem is i am loosing wait from 3 weeks of about 5 kgs and getting fever with chills suddenly.doctors have done all the tests and are saying my thyrod is not holding the reserve and i have vitamin d3 shortage..no drugs given.i am confused please help me.i stay in bangalore,my fever and cold has come down from 3days.
    regards in advance

    Reply
  17. Debabrat

    Hi I am Debabrat from India.Recently I brought thyroid-s.I have been taking it from April 21 and now I am on 2.5 grains.But I don’t see any improvement in brain fog and loosing weight.I am a tt patient too.My condition has deteriorated than on only t4 treatment.And I am chewing the thyroid-s tablets.And here is no doc in India who prescribes Ndt.So,I have to self medicate myself.Any suggestions please.I have been following the sttttm protocol for raising the meds.

    Reply
  18. Sandeep

    Any treatment for TED in pune mumbai or elsewhere. Iv acute proptosis with complete red eyes & have to use clearine eye drops every day 8-9 times besiides ice for last 15 years

    Reply
  19. Sakshi

    Can anybody recommend some doctor in Delhi who will be willing to prescribe Armour Thyroid or any NDT rather!

    Reply
  20. Zack21

    Janie Bowthorpe, Which dessciated thyroid brand do you use personally ?

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Zack, was on Erfa. But with all the individual reports of doing lousy on it since last year’s batch came out, I’ve moved over to NP Thyroid. Both by prescription via my doc. 3 1/2 grains.

      Reply
  21. Zack21

    How do you feel on NP Thyroid ?

    One other question is, when I read your website, you’re talking about T4 only as not being the right way since it’s there only for conversion to T3, and we should take dessicated because it has all T1 and T2 and other hormones ? But how do we know that we require T1 and T2 as well ? Are there any separate tests for them ? How do we know that we don’t just require T4 only ?

    Sorry I am a noob when it comes to all this since my latest hypo diagnosis.

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Just as fabulous as I did on Erfa, and before that, the old Armour. As far as how patients know to take desiccated thyroid: it’s about both common sense (a healthy thyroid produces, T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin. NDT provides the same) and experiences (patients all over the world report much better results!) Go here: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/natural-thyroid-101 Also read Chapter 1 and 2 in the revised STTM book. More excellent info.

      Reply
  22. Zack21

    Thanks for the links. I have put this site on my fave list.

    Just one more thing. If my FT3 and FT4 are in range, but TSH above the upper range , does it mean I am fine on T4 only ?

    Reply
  23. Zack21

    Hi Janie,

    Is this also a “desiccated” thyroid brand or raw thyroid is something different ? I couldn’t understand, so I wanted to run it by you.

    http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/p/natural-sources-raw-thyroid-90-capsules/nz-7003

    Reply
  24. Raja

    Am personally making a recommendation for treatment for Thyroid related expertise.
    (Specific to referrals and followup treatment.)

    Dr.N.E. Eliya Singan, Other, 1280,25th main, 9th blk, Jayanagar, bangalore, india, 26646083, http://www.epmcwomensclinic.com.

    “Dr. Singan and his wife make a great team. i went to see dr.singan for my regular check up and he diagnosed, that i was having Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, just like that no center before picked it up he is truly at the forefront of thyroid treatment.” (August 2007)

    Reply
  25. Prit

    Hi
    Is ndt available in India
    Plz let me the name

    Reply
  26. hope2recovery

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid in 2008. Since then, its a story of pain and agony. In feb 2015, i started taking Armour thyroid instead of Levothyroxine. Some of the symptoms got better and some didn’t. Now a days, I run 13.5 KM on alternate day and preparing for a half marathon. I lost around 18Kg weight and weigh 57Kg now. Currently, I am taking 2.75 grains of Armour and my FT4 is in middle range and FT3 is near to the upper limit. The day I run, i feel better and on the other day, I feel shortness of breath, Mild Palpitations, Anxiety, fear, short of words and sometimes slur. I feel tightness in chest & throat. Lack of oxygen and very anxious and uneasy. I dont feel any other symptoms of low cortisol. I sleep well and wake up fresh and manage to run long distances. I still have hair loss, which is lesser than before. In india, there is nothing like saliva test. Only, 24hrs urine test can be performed for free cortisol. Can you pls help me in finding out the optimal values of free cortisol, so that i would be clear about adrenal fatigue. Also, whenever i increase armour more than 2 grains, then these symptoms start. But on 2 grains, i dont feel thyroid symptom free.I had immense hair loss. Besides, My ferritin is around 30 and recently i started iron supplement.
    If I stay on 2 grains, then i suffer from immense hair loss. When i start increasing my dose, hair loss become better(didn’t stop completely) but I start suffering from shortness of breath, tightness in chest, anxiet, fear and palpitations. These symptoms become worse before my periods and during ovulation. i am 35 years old female and my periods are quite regular and ok.
    In india, this is almost impossible to find out any doctor, who can help in this regard because they work mainly on synthetic Levothyroxine and due to my extremely low TSH, I would be declared as Hyperthyroid patient due to overdose.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi. A couple of things to tell you: for one, we learned we canNOT go by Ferritin alone, which is simply storage iron. Just because it’s low doesn’t mean the others are. i.e. there is a genetic mutation called the MTHFR mutation that can cause low ferritin with good or high iron!! We have to do all four iron labs to be sure. And if you are really low, this is what we’ve learned and could explain your continued issues: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ferritin

      As far as cortisol, it’s really hard to know what’s going on without doing saliva. Symptoms of high are similar to symptoms of low. But there clues. Usually (but not always since high can sometimes cause this), waking up with low cortisol seems to result in not getting up feeling refreshed at all…or getting tired an hour or so later. Also, having insomnia when going to be bed can be “usually” due to high cortisol at that time. Some do fall asleep fine with high bedtime cortisol, yet they wake up an hour or two later.

      Reply
      • Hope2recovery

        Hi Janie,
        Thanks for the reply. I don’t have these low cortisol symptoms. However, I am not able to increase my medication. Now on 2.75 grains of Armour, some days I feel Ok. No palpitation, No anxiety, No fear, No short of words, No shortness of breath, No slur speech. However, All of sudden everything comes back. At this stage, I am not sure what to do. No doctor of dedicated thyroid available here for the guidance and no saliva test for cortisol. Is there any way out. Can we figure out, what is going on.

        Is there any other test, which can give us insight about my cortisol levels. I hope that day comes soon, when I feel all right and can tell Hypothyroid “Go Away, I don’t want to see you any more. Let the world know Yes there is a life beyond Thyroid. You can live, feel fit and look beautiful.

        Reply
        • hope2recovery

          Hi Janie,
          Thanks for the reply. I don’t have these low cortisol symptoms. However, I am not able to increase my medication. Now on 2.75 grains of Armour, some days I feel Ok. No palpitation, No anxiety, No fear, No short of words, No shortness of breath, No slur speech. However, All of sudden everything comes back. At this stage, I am not sure what to do. No doctor of dedicated thyroid available here for the guidance and no saliva test for cortisol. Is there any way out. Can we figure out, what is going on.

          Is there any other test, which can give us insight about my cortisol levels. I hope that day comes soon, when I feel all right and can tell Hypothyroid “Go Away, I don’t want to see you any more. Let the world know Yes there is a life beyond Thyroid. You can live, feel fit and look beautiful.

          Reply
  27. hope2recovery

    Hi Janie,

    Can you pls help me to find out Armour Thyroid/NP Thyroid in India. Do you know any place in India from where I can buy it. Also, is there any reliable or genuine online pharmacy, which can deliver in India. Pls help.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  28. A Kumar

    Hi Janie

    I have been on synthetic T4 for 10 years post total thyroidectomy for pap ca. I have been miserable in the last couple of years, though like you say, the blood levels have always been alright. Looking to find a good doctor willing to prescribe and monitor NDT dosing in India. If not, can you recommend someone from your data base who does online consults from the US?
    Appreciate your help

    Reply

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