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Thyroid Replacement Hormones

Thyroid Replacement Hormones


   Types of Thyroid replacement hormones

   Long-term use of these drugs is associated with depletion of thyroid and tissue iodine levels

   Use iodine/iodide in preference to thyroid hormone supplementation



Types of Thyroid replacement hormones


      Synthetic thyroid hormone (levothyroxine sodium) – a synthetic form of thyroxine (t4) normally secreted by the thyroid gland’s follicular cells.


-       Used to treat hypothyroidism and also goiter (via its ability to lower Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH))


-       Ineffective form of thyroid hormone because it contains only T4 - A patient with liver problems cannot convert it to the active form, T3. This is especially prevalent in estrogen-dominant women. The worst effect of Synthroid is its suppression of pituitary TSH, which in turn, suppresses T3 from the thyroid.


-       Brand names -  include Levothroid, Synthroid, Levoxyl, , Unithroid, Eltroxin, Levaxin, Norton, Eutrosig, Oroxine, Tirosint


      Natural Dessicated Thyroid hormones (NDT) – because of the problems seen with T4-only (storage form) hormone replacement medication and the inability of some people to make the conversion to active T3, some doctors are now again choosing to prescribe NDT, a medication used safely for over 100 years   


-       NDT hormones are dessicated (dried) porcine thyroid gland powder combined with tablet fillers - and contain all 4 human thyroid hormones T4, T3, T2, T1 and Calcitonin (needed to build or rebuild bone mass). Connective tissue and fat are removed before processing, but in addition to hormones, the result still contains ~98% other thyroid components.


-       NDT hormones meet stringent guidelines of the US Pharmacopoeia


-       Brand names – include Armour (by Forest Lab), Naturethroid and Westhroid (by RLC Labs), Thyroid (by  Erfa), and newly available  generic NP Thyroid (by Acella Pharmaceuticals)





Long-term use of these drugs is associated with depletion of thyroid and tissue iodine levels



      Supplementing TH’s may tend to make the thyroid lazy;


-       Thyroid hormone inhibits the body’s ability to uptake iodine – Synthroid (or other thyroid-destructive therapies) should never be taken without iodine supplementation;


-       Thyroid Hormone Supplementation significantly increases Breast Cancer Risk - A woman with hypothyroidism has a 6% risk of developing breast cancer. Once she starts taking thyroid hormone, it doubles her risk. If she has had no children or if she’s been on thyroid hormone replacement for 15 years, the risk more than triples to a 19.6% chance of developing breast cancer.

Abraham GE et al, Orthoiodosupplementation: Iodine sufficiency of the whole human body. 2002;  Ghandrakant C et al, Breast Cancer. Relationship to Thyroid Supplements for Hypothyroidism, JAMA 1976



Use iodine/iodide in preference to thyroid hormone supplementation


      Guidance for Getting Off Thyroid Hormones (advice given by endocrinologist Dr. Jorge Flechas, MD):


(1)    Start the iodine supplementation


(2)    If there are symptoms of HYPERthyroidism - you can reduce the thyroid hormones in half.  Do not reduce the thyroid hormones until symptoms of hyperthyroidism occur.  They may occur 3 - 4 weeks after starting iodine supplementation, 3 - 4 months later, a year later, or not at all. 



Symptoms of  HYPERthyroidism

Typical Symptoms Include:

   Weight loss – despite increased appetite

   Nervousness, Anxiety, irritability

   Heat intolerance

   Tremors in hands/fingers

   Muscle weakness/aches


   Excessive production/excretion of urine (Polyuria) / Excessive thirst




   Non-pitting edema over the shin (Pretibial myxedema)


Can also include:

   Palpitations/ increased heart rate / arrhythmia

   Memory loss



   Loss of libido

   Pain in thyroid gland (at front of neck)

   Shortness of breath (dyspnea)

   Light/absent menses





      Iodine will increase the sensitivity of the thyroid RECEPTORS to the hormone - thus, less thyroid hormone is needed.



Thyroid Disorders -  Main Page

Thyroid Hormones (T3/T4)

-TH production - In detail

Thyroid Hormone Tests

-DIY Thyroid Metabolism Test


-Supposed Hypothyroidism could actually be Estrogen Dominance



Graves Disease

Thyroid damaged by anti-thyroid antibodies - Thyroid disorders

Support Nutrients Required for Thyroid Hormones

-Iodine against thyroid disorders

-Selenium for thyroid

-Manganese for thyroid

How to treat thyroid disorders

 Thyroid Replacement Hormones


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