Having felt tired and lacking zing for most of my life, seeing dozens of practitioners looking for answers and being told by my GP I should wait a little longer! to see what my thyroid antibodies were brewing, I was finally trialled on a low dose of thyroid medication – thyroxine (T4) to be exact. You may know what is coming but bear with me while I tell you about treatment options – sadly I wasn’t given this information.
Many thyroid patients who require thyroid hormone replacement to treat their hypothyroidism are never told that there is more than one medication. Here is a brief overview of the options available:-
Levothyroxine, a synthetic form of the T4 hormone, is the drug of choice for the mainstream and conventional medical world – commonly known here in Australia as Thyroxine. Generally a GP will prescribe only this drug for their hypothyroid patients.
However, as discussed previously, T4 is considered a storage hormone and must be converted in the body to the active T3. Therefore if your body cannot make this conversion, as mine couldn’t, when I started taking thyroxine I felt worse than when I was taking nothing! My body was converting the extra T4 into RT3 and I was like a bear heading into hibernation, every bodily function was slowing even further.
What next! After a great deal of research I found a doctor who knew a little about Natural Desiccated Thyroid, also known as NDT. NDT is a prescription drug derived from the dried thyroid glands of pigs. NDT is natural and gives you what your own thyroid would be giving you: T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin. Most endocrinologists and many mainstream physicians do not support or prescribe the use of natural desiccated thyroid drugs.
For many, NDT is the answer and they live well on it. However, once again, I did not thrive on NDT – due to the fact that it still contains T4 and my body continued to convert this to RT3. My reverse T3 level continued to rise and I continued to feel unwell.
Life had become all about research, knowing there must be an answer out there!
Thankfully I found, for me, there was – in the form of Liothyronine. Liothyronine is a synthetic form of the active T3 hormone. Here in Australia it is called Tertroxin and generally not prescribed by mainstream GPs but nutritional doctors do – thank goodness! T3 takes more care to use as it has a short half-life, meaning its affects run out after 4-5 hours. I have alarms set on my phone to sound every 4 hours of daylight! but it is worth it. My body gets the active T3 I need to feel well for the first time in my life!
Hypothyroidism, and its associated health issues, is a complex disorder that requires understanding and help from people who really know – these may be fully qualified practitioners or people who have lived with it and found answers.
If you feel unwell and know something is wrong but can seem to find help, please contact us. We can point you in the right direction, provide contact details for practitioners who understand and don’t just tell you to ‘eat less exercise more’ or ‘it’s all in your head’. There is a wonderful, healthfull life to be lived out there for us all!