Frustration mounted today as I received notice from a fellow thyroid patient and activist that the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American Thyroid Association (ATA) have begun a campaign to get desiccated thyroid removed as an acceptable form of treatment for hypothyroidism. Desiccated thyroid products include brand names like Armour Thryoid, Nature-thryoid and NP Thyroid. This medication has been used safely and effectively for over 100 years. That’s the problem. It’s cheap and effective.
Before I delve into how doctors can create a nice annuity of sickness that will guarantee repeat business for many years, (No one would do that right?) I wanted to draw your attention to the 2015 AACE Conference. AACE has been instrumental in getting Armour thyroid removed from formularies like Medicare stating it is an “illegal thyroid medication” so pharmacies are refusing to fill valid prescriptions.
According to the AACE guidelines published in 2012, recommendation 22.4 states; “There is no evidence to support using desiccated thyroid hormone in preference to L-thyroxine monotherapy (Synthroid, levothyroxine, Levoxyl ed.) in the treatment of hypothyroidism and therefore desiccated thyroid hormone should not be used for the treatment of hypothyroidism. Grade D, BEL 4”. This recommendation was approved unanimously by the AACE panel of experts.
New research titled: Conversion to Armour Thyroid from Levothyroxine Improved Patient Satisfaction in the Treatment of Hypothyroidism show a different picture than the AACE doctors would have you believe. Many of patients (myself included) have seen life changing benefits from switching from synthetic T4 only thyroid hormone to desiccated thyroid.
Advocates, like me, are asking patients and family members who depend on this medication to contact Shiela Spatola (administer of the event) to ask her to allow this information to be heard. Mail requests to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following statement along with any other comments you wish to add like how desiccated thyroid changed your health.
“ I support an open discussion of use of desiccated thyroid in the treatment of hypothyroidism. The authors of Conversion to Armour Thyroid from Levothyroxine Improved Patient Satisfaction in the Treatment of Hypothyroidism, should be given the opportunity to present their data at the 2015 national AACE meeting. “
Now for the health issues that accompany this chemical hormone.
Thyroxine (T4 only Synthetic) thyroid hormones have been proven to be ineffective over and over to thousands of users. Most of us spent many years suffering greatly before finally finding life from desiccated thyroid. But the brain fog, joint pain and weight issues pale in comparison to the other common issues that result form under treated hypothyroidism. Just look around and you will see it everywhere. The chart above is a small sampling of the many issues that can be tied to poor thyroid levels. But there are some illnesses that result from years of mistreatment and they are far more destructive.
Obesity – A low metabolism means that you will have trouble keeping the weight off. Obesity brings with it many other issues and health concerns.
Sleep Apnea – It is common for those with hypothyroidism to be on a CPAP machine.
Insulin Resistance – This condition usually results in a prescription of Metformin.
Diabetes – When insulin resistance continues it can end up in diabetes which can result in the need for Insulin injections.
High Cholesterol - When the thyroid is lagging the adrenals pick up the slack. The adrenals respond by increasing cholesterol to deal with increased inflammation and low sex hormones (it is the precursor to the hormones).
Depression / Anxiety - As the adrenals begin to fail a new issue emerges. Hormone imbalances create emotional issues resulting in anxiety and depression – especially around female cycles. This will result in a prescription for Xanax, Zoloft, Wellbutrin and more.
Sadly, this is a small sampling of what happens to someone who’s doctor tries but fails to treat hypothyroidism with the drug they have been trained to use in medical school by the pharmaceutical company. As patients we know that it is the pharmaceutical company that trains them because they all spout the same phrases when confronted with “Why can’t I have Armour?”
1. You don’t want to get Mad Cow disease do you? Desiccated thyroid is made from pig thyroid glands – not cows so there is no risk.
2. Synthriod is the Cadillac of thyroid medication. If this is the Cadillac then Armour must be the Rolls Royce.
3. There is too much T3 in Armour and it could result in heart conditions. That’s the great thing about Armour and other natural thyroid products. Your body can adapt to the balance because pig parts are close to the human body in make up. If the person feels heart palps it is probably due to adrenal issues. Package inserts state that adrenal issues must be addressed before giving thyroid medication.
To the educated patient these comments make the doctors look really bad. It shows they do not know about natural thyroid hormone nor do they know how prescribe it. So instead they demonize it and try to instill fear in the patient. This leaves hundreds to thousands – probably more living a life of suffering.
This bullying by medical professionals needs to end. It’s time that we remind the doctors that they are hired by us to perform a service for us and that is to help us get well. It is not to pump us full of medications so that they can live in large houses, drive BMW’s and take lavish vacations. There are a few, like my doctor, who went into medicine to help people get well. I am so blessed to have him. But this is not the case for most and I am regularly frustrated by the lack of options to refer my clients to for help. Most are too afraid of the medical boards to do the right thing. So they opt for subpar care dictated by the Merck Manual guidelines. All clinical evaluation is lost .
It’s time to take back our health and demand better options.