A Few Words About Synthetic Thyroid Medications

Most prescription thyroid medications consist of 100% synthetic T4. This is the inactive storage form of thyroid hormone and must be converted to T3 before it can be used by the body. It is presumed that the person with an under active thyroid can convert the T4 to the active form of T3. This, however, is often not the case. Since the conversion mainly occurs in the liver, and, since the liver needs the stimulus of the thyroid hormone to make this conversion-it is very common that people who truly have an under active thyroid do not have adequate liver function to form the active thyroid hormone T3, from the synthetic T4. (The two most commonly prescribed drugs in this category are Synthroid and Levothyroxine.)

This is why natural thyroid hormone is ideal for virtually all hypothyroid patients. Natural thyroid contains both T4 and T3, and in approximately the percentage (71% T4 and 29% T3) that a healthy thyroid produces. Since there is active T3 in the natural thyroid medication it not only gives the person the direct benefit of the T3, but it gives the person’s liver the ability to convert the T4 into T3. We use natural thyroid hormone, and have it available through our office at a very reasonable price.

Another point of confusion about synthetic T4 medications derives from the fact that they do normalize blood levels of thyroid related hormones, including TSH. The most important blood test in determining insufficient thyroid function is an elevated TSH, which is the pituitary hormone that stimulates the thyroid (thus the name Thyroid Stimulating Hormone-TSH). The elevated TSH is the hypothyroid patient’s attempt to compensate for insufficient thyroid activity. When this person is given T4 the feedback from the T4 to the pituitary gives the pituitary the message that everything is OK in the thyroid, and the TSH levels return down to normal. This normal TSH is misleading, however, because it is not necessarily accompanied by any significant increase in thyroid function.

Most medical physicians have been convinced by the pharmaceutical companies that natural thyroid is obsolete and inferior (after all it’s been around for a few million years and was designed by God). They claim that the quantity of thyroid that the patient receives from natural thyroid medication is difficult to regulate. That simply is not true. Natural thyroid medications are very precisely calibrated, and besides, this argument implies that these doctors are so brilliant and so perfect in their calculations that they actually know within one or two millionths of an ounce what a person’s body will need on a given day. This is nothing but absurd! Only our own body, working with the innate power provided to us by God can know such a thing. I am always suspicious when a company claims that their man-made version of a substance is superior to the one God designed. The argument fails by its own lack of merit and absurdity.

There is one other important consideration with regard to hypothyroid patients, and that is that thyroid function is inhibited by excess estrogen. Thyroid function is potentiated, or assisted, by normal levels of progesterone. Since many women have an elevated estrogen to progesterone ratio they tend to suffer hypothyroid symptoms. Furthermore, many post-menopausal women (and nowadays many young women between the ages of 15 to 35 for regulating periods) who are put on estrogen replacement therapy suffer thyroid insufficiency as a consequence

I know this is a lot of information. Please read and re-read. Ask any questions necessary. Let us pray that we can do for you what we have done for others.

Dr. Bogan