(Note: this page was written when most of us around the world were on Forest Labs “Armour”, and when we found we could do it sublingually. But as of 4-09, Armour was “newly formulated” and it became chalky, gritty and almost impossible to dissolve under the tongue (besides ineffective, say many patients). So patients have turned to the Canadian version of desiccated thyroid by Erfa, called “Thyroid”. It still has the sweet taste and can be done sublingually. Or, with other brands, you can crush the tablet and put it under the tongue. Adding a touch of sugar under the tongue with the pill helps. But it’s all entirely up to you whether you swallow or do it sublingually.)
Yes, you can swallow natural desiccated thyroid and get excellent results. It works. But, doing your desiccated thyroid SUBLINGUALLY has real biological benefits that swallowing does not.
First, it’s direct and immediate, absorbed into your bloodstream via the millions of tiny capillaries that line your mouth and mucous membrane.
Additionally, sublingual bypasses the acidic, destroying gastric action in your stomach where you can lose some of the thyroid ingredients, besides bypasses the metabolizing action of the liver. In other words, you get more of what you give yourself by doing the desiccated thyroid sublingually rather than swallowing.
There are two glands that work well for sublingual methods of administration: the Sublingual Gland (for which this method is named after) and the Buccal Gland. The Sublingual Gland is under the tongue, and because there is more saliva, the pill liquifies and results in a faster administration of thyroid hormones to your blood via the tiny capillaries. The Buccal Gland is located in the “mucous membrane” which lines the cheeks, and because there is less saliva, it produces a slighly slower administration of your thyroid meds. The latter can be ideal to spread out the direct T3 over time in your body.
If you forget your morning dose of desiccated thyroid, or simply want the effect more immediately, under the tongue is the ideal spot. Or, if you want a much slower administration, between the cheek and lower gums is the target spot. Larger tablets can take at least 30-45 minutes to fully dissolve buccally if you are inactive.
This doesn’t mean you CAN’T swallow your desiccated thyroid and get benefits. Same with T3-only for those who want to get rid of excess RT3. You will get benefits! But if you do swallow it, make sure to avoid swallowing calcium, iron and estrogen at the same time, since all will bind some of the thyroid hormones with they mix in your stomach. Swallowing desiccated thyroid with food also slows the release of the thyroid hormones to your body–a plus since you might want to distribute the direct T3 more slowly throughout the day.
Will you feel the difference between swallowing and doing it sublingually? Some folks who used to swallow it, and then switched to sublingual, stated that yes, they definitely noticed a difference, and some even had to lower their dose! Others may not notice a difference, but it doesn’t matter. The positive biological facts of sublingual still are in effect, whether you notice it or not.
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