More BAD news if you are on T4-only like Synthroid?: it can cause Lung Cancer, says a study!

Lungs

After worldwide patient experience has revealed that T4-only treatment results in a slew of continuing hypothyroid symptoms, now we have a study which implies that T4-only treatment could be raising your risk of LUNG CANCER.

This complete study came out just last Thursday, August 8, 2013, in the Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology journal and it’s certainly not good news, if true, on top of what thyroid patients already know has been a failure in so many ways.

The Italian authors said the correlation between lung cancer and T4-only treatment was “significant“!

In other words, as hypothyroid patients raise their T4-only levothyroxine medication to chase continuing symptoms of hypothyroidism, it can lead to medication-induced hyperthyroid state, which in turns leads to an overproduction of oxidative stress, says the study from Italy. The latter oxidative stress is a known cause of cancer and other chronic diseases. But with T4-use, it’s specifically problematic for lung cancer.

Oxidative stress can be defined as a that which results in “significant decrease in the effectiveness of your inherant antioxidant defenses, such as glutathione” (Wikipedia). And there are two main consequences:  your body doesn’t detoxify itself well, nor does it repair any damage well because of free radicals.

The study states:

The prevalence of breast, colorectal, gastric and lung cancer in 18 Italian Regions during 2010 was correlated with the sales of LT4 in 2009. The cancer prevalence was analyzed in women aged 30–84. This age range corresponds to more than 80% of the consumers of the drug and to about 99% of all malignant cancers. The correlation between sales of LT4 and cancers was determined with the technique of Density Ellipses. The age and smoking contribution for lung cancer was determined with the Sequential test.

It also adds:

Lung cancer was the only tumor found directly correlated with LT4 supplementation.

It’s particularly interesting to note that simply being hypothyroid results in increased oxidative stress, but the use of T4-only medications creates the same problem via a different route, explains the study. “LT4 can alter the oxidative balance in lungs and behave as a negative factor because of oxidative stress….” 

The authors conclude that “hypothyroidism might also be involved in the development of lung cancer”, but the study does send an alarming message about the correlation between T4 use and lung cancer, as well.

The website Green Med Info, which promotes natural and integrative modalities, goes further into the discussion about the problematic nature of treating hypothyroidism with T4-only, stating

One of the main drawbacks of administering T4 in isolation is the possibility that it will not convert adequately to T3, and will therefore ‘back up’ causing excessive T4 activity, i.e. hyperthyroidism. There is also the very real possibility that T4 will not only not properly interact with thyroxine cellular receptors, but will block out what remaining natural levothyroxine the thyroid is still producing (and whose conformational state is far more health-promoting), essentially acting as an endocrine disrupter at the very moment that it is acting as intended as a ‘TSH suppressor.’ This T4 blocking/endocrine-disrupting property of the synthetic form would also activate a negative feedback loop within the endocrine system, further suppressing remaining thyroid function, and resulting in the atrophy of the compromised thyroid, a iatrogenic ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ if you will.

And they conclude: “There is also compelling research indicating that desiccated thyroid extract (Armour thyroid) results in superior clinical outcomes versus the synthetic hormone, especially as concerns improved body weight.” And of course, patients who have switched to natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) have reported FAR better results repeatedly! Brands are not limited to Armour. Other brands which patients like include Erfa, Acella (NP Thyroid), Naturethroid, Westhroid-P and more.

Message to those still using T4-only

Millions of hypothyroid patients have reported millions of prices in their own degree and kind thanks to their use of T4-only medications. Now we have a study that implies your risk of getting lung cancer is increased! What’s next?? It’s not a pretty picture. Time to take a strong and open-minded look at what patients have learned.

ADDENDUM FROM JANIE: Please note that this study doesn’t say that every single T4 user is going to get lung cancer. My mother was on Synthroid her entire life, and though she had many miserable symptoms from it being a poor treatment for her, she never got lung cancer. It just seems to say that the researchers noted increased oxidative stress with T4 use, and they saw a correlation between that and lung cancer in some. Read the entire study information here and decide for yourself. 

 

 

 

31 Responses to “More BAD news if you are on T4-only like Synthroid?: it can cause Lung Cancer, says a study!”

  1. Gail

    Why are you frightening people who have no choice but to take the T4 they are given?????????

    Reply
    • Janie

      Hi Gail. This is just about risk. It doesn’t guarantee you’ll get lung cancer. But I would explore NDT with your doc, or at the least look at adding T3 to the T4. If you have ever had issues with either, you could be here: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ndt-doesnt-work-for-me

      Reply
    • SG

      There is ALWAYS a choice..Look into how gluten effects thyroid function! And people should be scared…Ignorance is certainly NOT bliss when it comes to stuff like this!! It’s stupid to just ignore!!

      Reply
      • Angela

        I agree very much with Gail. My doctor won’t even change my generic to name-brand and I DON’T have a choice. I don’t have health insurance and am only lucky enough to get treated through a payment program at one of our hospitals here. But I can’t go anywhere else, because they don’t offer programs like this one hospital does.

        You can inform people in an unbiased manner in a less frightening way. People SHOULDN’T be scared unless they have a reason to be. Meaning, there are LOTS of people who have been treated successfully with generic or T-4 only medication, but you likely won’t hear about them online because they are out there living their lives. The people who are online are here because they are searching for answers.

        So you could possibly be fine with your T-4 only treatment, but this article and the way it’s written would have you scared out of your wits that you’re harming yourself, for no good reason except that it didn’t work for a few others.

        It makes no sense. Take everything online with a grain of salt. Everyone is different and not everyone “should” be scared. Your excitement comes off as fanatical nonsense.

        Reply
        • Janie

          Hi Angela. Patients really do have a lot of choices. I know of several who are choosing to use ThyroGold, for example, and work with a good doc. But also know that STTM is about patient experiences, not fanaticism. Hope T4 works out better for you than it has for so many others. :(

          Reply
    • Resa

      Gail and Angela-There is always a choice. The one of the post below says…print this out and take it to the dr that is T4 only frenzy. Or find a new dr. Or order Thyroid-Gold. There is always a way. I don’t have insurance either and found a way. I searched and it was tough but found a dr that takes cash and gives a discount for low income. He’s amazing. And prescribes NDT and doesn’t let you suffer on T4 only. There is always a way. Just got to fight for it.

      Reply
  2. Renee

    Gail,
    Anytime new truths are brought out into the open, that has to be welcomed, even if it is kind of scary at the time. We need to be aware of these things and make sure our doctors are aware also.

    Reply
  3. Jackie

    Gail, to be armed with knowledge, empowers you to be your own health advocate. Dr.’s do not know everything. It’s just that simple. They are people just like we are. If you don’t feel at this point in time you have a choice about taking T4, then at least armed with this knowledge, you have the ability to increase your own self care. To Detox on a daily basis, look into Green Smoothies. We can’t simply rely on modern medicine for our health. We must be aware and do everything we can to help ourselves!!!

    Reply
  4. Valerie

    I recently had my right lung removed due to lung cancer, and never was a smoker who has taken Synthroid for about 20 years. I am convinced there is a co-relation between my thyroid/auto immune issues and the cancer. Unfortunately, I do not transition well to ANY T3 products so far. It sets off my auto-immune reaction. But, I am working with a physician to get where i need to be so I can try an NDT product again.
    AMEN to being aware of everything we can to help ourselves.

    Reply
    • Diane

      God bless you and thanks for sharing. I’ve been taking T 4 for 8 years & suffered tremendously I’ve had RAI, & had Graves disease please hold on to your thyroids if feasibly possible. A great healer is Dr Osansky I only wish I found him before I ablated my thyroid, but I was too desperate too sick at the time to think clearly and investigate other options. These Ivy League Drs ought be ashamed of themselves, I live in Brooklyn NY & you’d think you’d get the best of the best treatment but most Drs – endocrinologists are behind the times. I just tried Armour thanks to us the people’s blogs and thank you Janie I’ve read a lot online & you are the best by far patient advocate, better than another particular well-known one. I just bought your book & it’s a must read, God bless us and We must educate ourselves as much as possible or most Drs will leave us with half lives & be satisfied

      Reply
  5. Yvonne

    I hope that each reader who’s on levothyroxine prints the linked research document and shows it to his or her endocrinologist! Doctors need to know about this research as further justification for trying NDT in those hypothyroid patients who don’t do well on levothyroxine. Janie, thank you for sharing this with your readers!

    Reply
  6. ekw0357

    Synthroid & Levo = Poison

    Reply
  7. David

    I have been taking levothyroxine for over 30 years and I have lung cancer!

    Reply
  8. Sturgess

    I’ve been taking Levothorxine since my total thyroidectomy in 2007. Took a couple of years to find the right dose, but since then I really feel great. So while your article is certainly food for thought, I’m not inclined to fix something that’s not broken.

    Reply
  9. Totto

    But we don´t know if NDT also causes lung cancer, do we? Or if combination therapy does.

    Reply
    • Janie

      Until we get more info, I think all we can do is intelligently speculate. The article was more about potential oxidative stress (and hypothyroidism) causing the connection between lung cancer and T4 use. So it’s what we might be doing to cause oxidative stress, which I’m not sure NDT does, and which T4 use could definitely do, since it leaves so many patients with continued hypothyroidism. Or, I can see it could be about the way one doses exogenously. See the next STTM blog post about oxidation.

      Reply
  10. Jim

    That “study” just compared the number of cases of lung cancer in an area of Italy to the amount of levothyroxine sold in that area. It did not address whether the lung cancer patients were taking levothyroxine. That is about as dumb as saying that toothpaste use causes cervical cancer, because in countries where toothpaste is commonly used, there are more diagnoses of cervical cancer. Just to be clear, toothpaste use is higher in developed countries, where they also end of finding more cervical cancer because they are able to find it. By the way, I have been eating carrots for 50 years, and I now have a torn meniscus in my left knee. Those darned carrots!

    Reply
  11. Andrea

    Jamie, I have been noticing a cough here where I can NOT seem to figure out where it is coming from. I have never smoked a day in my life.I am on that gel form of synthroid. The cough drives me up the wall and mom and I have exhausted anything else it could be.

    Reply
  12. Rose

    This is frightening. My doc has been slowly increasing my dosage of Synthroid. Last winter, I developed pneumonia and pleurisy.

    Reply
  13. Laura

    I was just recently told that I have a 4 mm on my left lobe, I have never smoked. Doctor said come back in a year, I predicated that. I decided to see if their is a connect between Levothyroxine and Lung Cancer, and found these articles online. I have severe Chronic Pain through out entire body.

    Reply
  14. SABRINA

    I HAVE BEEN ON LEVOTHROID FOR OVER 12 YEARS. WEIGHT LOSS IS STILL A BIG ISSUE. SO IS DRY SKIN AND FATIGUE. WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND ME TO TAKE? WOULD GLUTOTHIONE HELP? IM CONFUSED AND WILLING TO TRY ANYTHING.

    Reply
  15. Jeff

    I have been taking throid replacement for about 20 years. For most of that time I have been on the generic version. I few years ago I started having symtoms of hyper thyroid after getting a new monthly supply. A few times I have taken them back to the pharmacy and told them about my problems and asked if they could be a bad dose and asked them to replace the pills with a different lot. They have and usually it solved my issues. My issues were insomnia, irritability, and heart palputations. For the last few years I have been on synthroid brand because of my sensibility to the generic variations, with none of these side effects. This last month I have had the same side effects with the synthroid. Insomnia was the worst. I got a new monthly supply a week ago and all of the side effects went away and things are back to normal. I can tell that my pharmacist and Doctor think I am crazy when I suggest that the dose is wrong with a particular monthly supply and want a new supply. Has anyone ever heard of this problem? Am I just overly sensitive to slight variations when these pills are manufactured?

    Reply
  16. Nicole

    Wow… funny, as soon as I started taking levothyroxine I got pneumonia! :( what is ndt??? I need to do something about this! Lung cancer runs in my family!! Here I am eating healthy organic foods, throwing away my non stick pans… trying to make the right decisions… and I’m pretty much poisoning my self! So does this effect a baby when taking it?? I took it my entire pregnancy!!

    Reply
  17. KOral

    Synthetic Thyroid pills like Synthroid or Levothyroxine are NOT a must. Get diseccated thyroid which is natural, 100% of people who are on that see improvements. A great resource is Dr David Braunstein’s book : Overcoming Thyroid disorders.
    I’ve been for 5 yeard on synthetic with condition worsening. Now , for the last year I am on natural with every MD trying to get me off them… But I must say that I feel much better and in fact the amount needed is improving.

    Reply
  18. jeff

    Dont take t4 poison read please http://drlwilson.com/Articles/thyroid.htm

    Reply

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