Conventional Thyroid Treatment is Practically Useless
Throughout my entire career, I’ve recommended and prescribed natural thyroid preparations that include both T3 and T4, almost exclusively. After all, our bodies need both hormones to function optimally. So it’s really no surprise that patients almost always feel better on these natural preparations than they do on the synthetic T4 options available. (Try as they might, Big Pharma can’t trump nature in their quest to make money here.)
Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped mainstream endocrinologists from ridiculing me for the last 30 years for my natural approach to treating thyroid conditions. So I admit to feeling a sense of vindication when I came across the latest news on the subject. And it won’t take long to see why I couldn’t wait to share it with you…
The Rules of Replacement
First and foremost, T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone. Meanwhile, T4 is what the body produces—which must be converted to T3 in order to be useable. The problem is, many people lose the enzyme that allows this conversion to happen—which makes a stand-alone T4 product useless to that patient. That’s why, in my view, treating underactive thyroid with a natural combo of T3 and T4 has always made sense.
Unfortunately, clinical trials on T3/T4 combination treatment for hypothyroidism treatment have produced inconsistent results, so it hasn’t yet caught on in mainstream circles. (Never mind the fact that none of the trials were particularly well-designed. Or that real-life patients have seen and felt those benefits for themselves… I’ve seen it over and over in my career and in my private practice!)
To make matters worse, the original manufacturer of Synthroid (the most popular synthetic T4 product) has covered up all sorts of scientific evidence about its competitors in the generic field… so you can imagine how natural combination products fared in this misinformation campaign.
In fact, Big Pharma has such a hold on the endocrine field that anyone who doesn’t use Synthroid might as well be accused of malpractice. Even though we’ve known people have trouble converting T4 to T3 for years. But finally, endocrinology experts recently arrived at a consensus, calling for new clinical trials to better analyze the potential benefits of combination therapy for hypothyroidism treatment…
Experts Call for Action
This endocrinology “task force” is urging for evaluations of a time-release version of T3. (The very same one I recommend to my patients all the time—though they act as if such a thing doesn’t even exist.) They are also finally beginning to include patient-reported outcomes in these evaluations, to get the bigger, clearer picture of whether or not the treatment is working.
If you ask me, it’s about time! I have always spoken out about the importance of tailoring treatment according to the symptoms that a patient is having, not by the numbers in a blood test. And this is especially true where thyroid problems are concerned.
So the sooner conventional endocrinologists circle around to my way of thinking, the better. Of course, these trials are still ongoing. So don’t expect much change in the mainstream just yet. (If ever.) Which is why, in the meantime, I encourage you to find a doctor who supports natural thyroid replacement. So that you can start feeling better today.
Until next time,
- “New Trials on T3/T4 Combination for Hypothyroidism 'Justified.'” Medscape Medical News, 03/02/2021. (medscape.com/viewarticle/946681)