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Mary Shomon

Natural Desiccated Thyroid Drugs Deemed Safe Alternative to Levothyroxine For Hypothyroidism Treatment

By June 18, 2013

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There is important news for thyroid patients from the Endocrine Society Annual Meeting, which took place June 15 through 18, 2013 in San Francisco.

According to a presentation made by Thanh D. Hoang, DO, staff endocrinologist of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., natural desiccated thyroid drugs (for example Nature-throid, Westhroid, Armour Thyroid, and the generic natural thyroid drug manufactured in the U.S. by Acella) are potential alternatives to what is considered the standard thyroid hormone replacement treatment, levothyroxine. (Some brands of levothyroxine include Synthroid, Tirosint, Unithroid, Levothroid, and Levoxyl).

Dr. Hoang conducted a randomized, double blind, crossover study to compare the efficacy of natural desiccated thyroid, versus levothyroxine. The study included 70 patients (ages 18 to 65) who had primary hypothyroidism. Patients were randomly assigned to either natural desiccated thyroid or levothyroxine for 16 weeks. The studies were blind, meaning that patients did not know which medication they were receiving.

At the end of the study, patients were asked which regimen they preferred, and almost 49% preferred the natural desiccated thyroid, versus almost 19% who preferred levothyroxine, and about 33% didn't specify a preference. Dr. Hoang also reported that the patients taking natural desiccated thyroid lost approximately three pounds, compared to the patients taking levothyroxine, who did not lose weight.

Dr. Hoang told Endocrine Today, "We didn't find any differences in the neurocognitive measurements between the two therapies...We now know that once-daily desiccated thyroid extract is a safe alternative treatment for patients with hypothyroidism who are not satisfied with levothyroxine treatment. It's an option for them to try, and also desiccated can cause modest weight loss in these patients as well.

Want to learn more about natural desiccated thyroid? Read Thyroid Patients: Do You Need T3 or Natural Desiccated Thyroid?.

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Source: Endocrine Today.

October 22, 2013 at 11:13 pm
(1) cyndiann says:

Actually dessicated thyroid does better if taken over the course of the day instead of once a day for many people.

Also, doctors tend to under medicate for hypothyroidism because they use the highly inaccurate TSH test as the first indicator of a problem when at least half of the people who have hypothyroidism are in “normal” range.

It would be interesting to see if the results were different if the patients were actually treated by symptoms instead of numbers on a test that never worked.

March 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm
(2) Annette says:

I really appreciate your work and research and sharing it with us !

March 20, 2014 at 6:01 pm
(3) gib says:

Great news that a natural alternative to Levothyroxine topped the percentage score. Even better news that it was reported in a medical journal. Maybe now doctors will offer patients a choice.

April 22, 2014 at 4:16 pm
(4) Carol says:

I had part of my thyroid removed about 20 years ago, after it was discovered I had a nodule on it. Since then I have taken Levothyroxine everyday. Two years ago I had to go into hospital to have a large polyp removed from my womb (I am 64) I was asked at the time, by two doctors, ‘how long, had I been taking Levothyroxine?’ I wondered why, I was asked that question and thought that maybe it had something to do with, the reason I had the polyps! I decided to stop taking my Levothyroxine there and then. Just recently I had a test for my thyroid levels and it came back normal! Does anyone on here have any advice, as I would prefer to keep to a natural medicine. I am taking kelp.

May 6, 2014 at 9:58 am
(5) lola white says:

i just wish i knew what to do ive been taking levo 50mcgs for a while i also took 25mcgs also ive had numbness in my ever since i sterted taking levo i cant stand it no more i cant gain weight i weigh 60 lbs and im 56 yrs old im only 4ft 11 inchs i wish my dr would put me on something new

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