The hypothyroid treatment so convincing
even mainstream medical journals are going “natural”!
Hypothyroidism is a major illness in the U.S., affecting an estimated 13 million people. This condition is brought on when the thyroid gland does not produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormones, which control metabolism and provide energy to every cell in the body. The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are extreme fatigue and weight gain. For the past 40 years, most mainstream physicians have been treating their hypothyroid patients with a synthetic prescription drug called Synthroid.
Unfortunately, this protocol has one major flaw: Synthroid doesn’t work!
I can understand if you find this hard to believe. But my assertion has been confirmed by a source I never thought I would have the opportunity to use on ANY of my soap boxes: The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has come out in favor of using natural thyroid over Synthroid to treat cases of hypothyroidism. An article about the study’s results stated the following:
“Patients with hypothyroidism show greater improvements in mood and brain function if they receive treatment with Armour thyroid rather than Synthroid (thyroxine). Hypothyroidism, where the gland has ceased to function or been removed, is usually treated with daily doses of Synthroid. But the researchers found that substituting Armour thyroid led to improvements in mood and in neuropsychological functioning.”
In the study itself, the patients scored better after receiving natural thyroid on 6 of 17 measures of mood and cognition than after receiving synthetic. Results of mood and physical status tests were better in 10 of 15 instances.
The authors also detected biochemical evidence that thyroid hormone action was greater after treatment with natural thyroid rather than the synthetic.
In spite of these findings, the NEJM does not recommend that patients switch to the real thing. Why? The drug companies would punish them by withdrawing advertising if they told the whole truth.
The “hypothyroid miracle” turns out to be prescription drug propaganda
I know first hand just how persuasive the drug companies can be. When I opened my practice in Sarasota, Florida in 1962, the “detail man” from Knoll Pharmaceutical was just about the first one up to the receptionist’s counter. He was in before I had even nailed my shingle on the front door to give me the gospel according to Knoll on the treatment of hypothyroidism.
I was eager to hear what he had to say. I liked the drug companies; they seemed to love me and wanted me to succeed. After all, one of them had given me an expensive alligator skin doctor’s house call bag as a graduation present. Plus, they had a lot of shiny brochures with colorful pictures of their pills, graphs illustrating product effectiveness, and sometimes full-color photos of pretty ladies in bikinis who I’m guessing were supposed to be patients that had been cured of various terminal illnesses after treatment with the drug in mind. Of course, the companies would be too modest to admit that. (It’s unprofessional to promise a cure, but implying one is another story entirely.)
The rep explained to me that their hypothyroid product, Synthroid, is a pure synthetic and, being “pure,” it is smoother, easier to control, and safer than natural thyroid products derived from animal thyroid glands. It made sense to me.
So I put all hypothyroid patients I treated on Synthroid. The results were disappointing to say the least. Many patients did not respond. Wondering if the Knoll rep had left something out, I did a little additional research on my own.
Switching to natural thyroid provides almost instant relief
Research shows that the thyroid hormone T3 is more active than T4-in fact, it is roughly four times as strong as T4. In the body, all T4 hormone must be converted into T3 in order to control metabolism. Many patients do not have the enzymatic capability to make that conversion. Synthroid is T4. After I discovered this fact, I switched all of my hypothyroid patients to a natural thyroid product (called Armour). Natural thyroid is derived from the thyroid glands of pigs and is a combination of T3 and T4. The majority of these patients experienced an almost immediate improvement.
The problem with natural thyroid is that it cannot be patented, and, therefore, drug companies cannot make a profit from it. Instead, Knoll took only one fraction of the natural substance, which could be patented, and marketed it as a miracle product. But when you mess with nature and divide a natural substance into its parts, you usually muck it up. Hence, Synthroid’s less-than-stellar performance for treating hypothyroidism.
Synthroid slips past the FDA watchdogs- providing inadequate treatment to patients for 40 years
Synthroid has been on the market for 40 years hiding under the skirts of the natural thyroid: It was grouped together with the natural product Armour, and so was assumed to be “safe & effective” (as Armour is) without any proof whatsoever. Finally, though, after all these years, complaints from patients got the FDA’s attention. The FDA stunned Abbott Pharmaceuticals (the company now manufacturing Synthroid) by informing them they would have to submit a New Drug Application for Synthroid and that the drug would have to be investigated. If it didn’t meet the FDA’s standards, Abbott would have to start taking the drug off the pharmacist’s shelves.
Abbott got a little huffy, and responded by sending a letter out to doctors and pharmacists touting the virtues of Synthroid and telling them what a pity it would be if patients had to take an inferior product because Synthroid was no longer available. The letter was little more than a guilt trip and plea for amnesty.
Beware other imposters
Unfortunately, Synthroid isn’t the only drug enjoying the shade of Armour’s “safe” umbrella for the past several decades: There are at least two other companies selling synthetic thyroid almost identical to Synthroid. And as ironic as it is, these products have been approved by the FDA as “safe and effective.”
There is something smelly here. It cries out for further investigation. Knoll, then Abbott, sold millions of Synthroid pills worldwide. They have done well at the expense of trusting patients. And now the FDA is letting this deception continue through the other companies whose synthetic products have been approved.
Actions to take:
(1) To locate a physician in your area who will be able to assist you with natural thyroid treatments, contact the American College for Advancement in Medicine at (800)532-3688 or www.acam.org or the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians at (703)610-9037 or www.naturopathic.org.
(2) If you are currently taking synthetic thyroid medication, consult your physician before making any changes to your regimen. RH
Could your mystery symptoms be due to an underactive thyroid?
Until very recently, Synthoid was the treatment of choice for an underactive thyroid. This condition is known as hypothyroidism and is very common. But because the symptoms of hypothyroidism are so varied, the condition often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are:
- memory loss
- weight gain or increased muscle cramps and difficulty losing weight
- frequent muscle aches
- coarse, dry hair
- decreased libido
- dry, rough, pale skin
- hair loss
- abnormal menstrual cycles
- inability tolerate cold temperature
Patients with hypothyroidism will have at least one of these symptoms, but in the majority of cases, the person experiences a combination of several. The intensity of the symptoms can vary as well, depending on the severity and duration of the condition. Occasionally, some patients with hypothyroidism have no symptoms at all, or the symptoms are so subtle that they go unnoticed.
“Effects of Thyroxine as Compared with Thyroxine plus Triiodothyronine in Patients with Hypothyroidism.” The New England Journal of Medicine 1999; 340: 424-429, 469-470.
“NEJM Study Proves Armour Thyroid Better Than Synthroid,” Optimal Wellness Health News, 2/99