There are two main schools of thought when it comes to health; conventional and complementary (natural). Of course, every case is different and what works for one person may not be optimal for another. Here you’ve got to take into account the seriousness of your thyroid disorder, your overall health, comfort level, tolerances and preferences, and of course, the thoughts of your healthcare provider – and that’s just to start! Usually the best approach is to use the best of both worlds.
1. T4 or thyroxine. Also known as levothyroxine, oroxine, synthroid, and eltroxin .
2. T3 or Cytomel is another option for treating an under-active thyroid. The downside here is the pill needs to be taken several times a day. This makes it slightly more inconvenient and can vary results when not taken regularly.
3. Desiccated thyroid = T4 + T3 + other known elements. This is a bio-identical hormone (whole thyroid extract) which is derived from pigs. You can think of it as a “bridging the gap” drug between conventional and natural/holistic healing approaches. When drugs are required both conventional and natural medical doctors seem to agree with this option, as it appears to react better with patient’s systems than synthetic T4.
Medication Dosage Equivalents: 100 mcg of Synthroid = 25 mcg Cytomel = 1 grain desiccated thyroid
Please note that some prescription drugs can depress thyroid function such as lithium bromide, tricyclic and moamine oxidase inhibitors; anti-depressants, dopamine (both treating depression caused by low thyroid sometimes) and adenosine.
If you choose to take conventional therapy for the long term, you increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. This is particularly devastating for women in the menopausal age range. This form of treatment also increases your risk of thyroid cancer if you are deficient in iodine and Vitamin D and don’t address those deficiencies whilst taking medication. If you get too little thyroid medication you may feel chills, feverish, cramping in your muscles, and extreme tiredness. Too much on the other hand can leave you excitable, dealing with heightened anxiety and depression, nervous, unexplained weight loss, headaches, decreased appetite and trouble dealing with heat.
Dr. Whitaker of the Whitaker Wellness Institute Medical Clinic state, “I strongly recommend that you insist on natural thyroid replacement. Whereas synthetic hormone preparations, such as Synthroid, contain only the thyroid hormone T4, the natural desiccated porcine thyroid hormone (which more closely resembles our own thyroid hormone) contains not only T4 and T3 but other factors that we have yet to understand”.
“I had been taking Thyroxine for 3 years and all of a sudden I noticed my Hashimoto’s symptoms were starting to come back. I didn’t know why as I hadn’t changed anything but when I went to see Lucy at The Lucy Rose Clinic I was advised to change my medication to whole thyroid extract. Lucy also gave me some methylation detox support. My antibodies started to come down for the first time in 3 years and I felt better than I had ever felt!” – Helen, Sydney
1. Ebook on How to Balance your Thyroid Hormones in 60 days or less © The Healthful Group Pty Ltd 2012