T4-only meds like Synthroid do NOT work, exclaim many patients!
Why does this page state that for too many thyroid patients, T4-only medications didn’t work well enough?
First know that it’s not based on strong opinion.
Instead, the information on Stop the Thyroid Madness is based on the reported experiences of a large body of patients worldwide over the years while on their T4-only meds (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothyroxine, Unithroid, Eltroxin, Levaxin, Norton, Eutrosig, Oroxine, Tirosint, for example).
i.e. T4-only was NOT doing the job as a sole treatment for all too many…unless you think that an elevator that goes up to the 5th-floor-only on a 50-story building is “doing the job”.
Granted, we do hear from those who feel they are doing great on T4-only! And we believe them and applaud that! But on the other side of the coin, there are also many who, though they feel they are doing well, report symptoms which creep up over time. The body is not meant to live for only one of five thyroid hormones for the vast majority.
**You can read a lot more interesting information about T4-only in Chapter 1 of the revised STTM book.
But “we’re all different” right?? What doesn’t work for one may work for another, right?
If ten people were playing in a street, and seven were run over, would you still approve of playing in the street because three didn’t get run over at that moment in time…in the name of “We’re all different” or “Whatever works” or “To each his own”?
Why doesn’t T4-only work well?
Please consider that a healthy thyroid makes five hormones: T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin. T4, also called thyroxine, is simply a storage hormone meant to convert to T3, the active hormone. But a healthy thyroid doesn’t make you totally dependent on conversion alone, giving you direct T3 plus the other hormones above. So in other words, being on a T4-only med means you are missing out on direct T3 as well as the compliment of all five hormones.
And what do too many uninformed doctors do for the symptoms you might have?
What our doctors tend to do is what we call “band-aid treatments.”i.e…..
But what about Tirosint, a newer version of T4-only?
Tirosint is a liquid version of T4 which patients have reported doing better on than Synthroid or Levo. But the clear answer is: T4-only is T4-only is T4-only. We again saw that even on Tirosint, patients have reported problems by Tirosint forcing your body to live for conversion to T3 alone. Feeling better apparently doesn’t equal getting rid of all symptoms of hypo, or avoiding the problems that too many encounter down the line from forcing their bodies to get T3 from conversion only.
So what’s a better alternative to being on T4-only?
Patients are returning to a medication that was successful from the late 1800’s onward: natural desiccated thyroid hormones (NDT). Most are made from pig glands, meet the stringent guidelines of the US Pharmacopoeia, and give patients exactly what their own thyroids give them—T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin. It’s powerful and it works.
Additionally, when on NDT, patients are not dosing by the lousy TSH. Instead, they raise their desiccated thyroid (NDT) according to criteria mentioned on the NDT page on STTM. Even adding synthetic T3 to your synthetic T4 is miles better than being on simply T4, report patients.
**You can read a LOT more interesting information found nowhere else about natural desiccated thyroid in Chapter 2 of the revised STTM book.
I once tried Natural Desiccated Thyroid and it gave me problems! Why?
In other words, read this: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ndt-doesnt-work-for-me This is why patients have found it to be so important to test their adrenals via saliva before being on, or raising too high…as well as all four iron levels (i..e NOT just ferritin).
What’s the BOTTOM LINE?
Years and decades of reported patient experiences and wisdom tell us that the risk for problems is far too high with T4-only…sooner…or later, for too many. It’s not a pretty picture. So patients feel strongly: Why risk it??
Work with your doctor on this!
Want to learn more? Here you go…Listen to an audio version of some of this page.
- Watch Janie talk about T4-only vs NDT
- Learn more about natural desiccated thyroid,
- Here’s a great summary of what patients have learned about all of this.
- See the different brands of desiccated thyroid
- Here’s the labwork you need and places to get it on your own to share with your doctor
- Here’s how to find a good doctor. And remember: YOU need to face your doctor informed and assertive. Use the revised STTM book to take with you.