Why Is The Thyroid Gland So Important?
The human thyroid gland lies in front of the throat and secretes two types of hormones T4 and T3. The thyroid hormones are essential to good health as they control the energy production in each cell of your body.
When you have an underactive thyroid gland you get symptoms of hypothyroidism and low cellular energy as the tissues of your body are not functionening optimally.
T4 also called levothyroxine is a storage hormone, which is converted to the active thyroid hormone T3 in the body’s tissues (mostly the liver). T3 is the active thyroid hormone that increases cellular energy production.
You can learn more about your thyroid function and how it affects you health in Module 2 of BiochemNordic’s Hypothyroid Treatment Program. You can also check your thyroid function at home using BiochemNordic’s thyroid function test.
What Medications Are Used To Treat Hypothyroidism?
People with underactive thyroid function (hypothyroidism) often need thyroid replacement therapy. Thyroid medication can be either natural or synthetic but always contain thyroid hormone.
Natural thyroid supplements contain both T4 and T3 whereas a synthetic thyroid treatment usually is based on T4 only, although some doctors also recommend the use of synthetic T3 in combination with T4.
What is Natural Desiccated Thyroid?
Before the medical industry found out how to make the thyroid hormones T4 and T3 synthetically, hypothyroidism was treated with Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT) extract from either porcine or bovine sources.
As the thyroid gland of both pig’s and cows are very similar to the human thyroid gland treatment with these natural thyroid extract was very successful, and these thyroid extracts are still in use as a treatment for hypothyroidism.
Is Natural Thyroid Better Than Synthetic?
Pig’s and cow’s thyroid glands produce the thyroid hormones T4 and T3 in ratios very close to the human thyroid gland, and one cannot go very far wrong with the natural thyroid extracts.
After the medical industry was able to synthesize the thyroid hormones, the standard treatment for hypothyroidism quickly became pure T4 (levothyroxine) therapy.
Because the standard synthetic treatment for hypothyroidism consists of T4 only, it is not appropriate to compare it to the natural desiccated thyroid extracts which contain both T4 and T3. Some typical brand names for treating hypothyroidism with synthetic thyroid hormone are Eltroxin and Synthroid, which are both pure T4 medications.
According to Dr. Ray Peat, treatment of hypothyroidism with a pure T4 medication can create serious problems and the correct treatment for hypothyroidism consists of supplementation with both T4 and T3 either in the form of a natural porcine or bovine thyroid extract or a synthetic T4 and T3 combination therapy.
In Module 16 of my Hypothyroid Treatment Program, you can learn much more about how to use a combination treatment with both T4 and T3 for the successful treatment of hypothyroidism.
Is Levothyroxine Safe?
When the effect of pure T4 (levothyroxine) medication was tested, it was done on healthy young male and in them, it worked very well, as healthy males have no problem converting T4 to the active T3 hormone. However, women and seriously hypothyroid people often have trouble with a pure T4 medication, because their liver is less effective in converting T4 to T3. If you have an ineffective liver a T4 (levothyroxine ) is not safe for you.
An ineffective conversion of T4 to T3, can lead to serious side effects using a pure T4 drug, first of all, you will be undertreated for your hypothyroidism and in addition, T4 will accumulate in your tissues, resulting in a kind of poisoning with T4, which eventually results in an antithyroid effect.
You can read more about the problems with using a T4 mediction in my Hypothyroid Treatment Program Module 16.
Do You Need A Prescription For Desiccated Thyroid?
Many of the Natural desiccated thyroid products on the marked are prescription drugs, including Armour thyroid, Erfa thyroid, and NatureThroid, whereas others are over the counter supplements.
Unfortunately, the drug companies that now produce the prescription natural desiccated thyroid extracts no longer use the old manufacturing methods and there have been issues with some of the pills not releasing the thyroid hormones correctly.
In my hypothyroid treatment program Module 16, you can learn more about the issues with prescription natural thyroid extract and how you can find one that works for you.
Can You Treat Hypothyroidism Without Medication?
There are many natural desiccated thyroid supplements on the market that do not require a prescription. Importantly the hormone levels of these non-prescription thyroid supplements are not measured nor standardized, as that will categorize them as medication and they are sold as nutritional supplements.
Researching the market for natural thyroid supplements that do not require a prescription, I found that many of the natural products have had the thyroid hormones removed, which can be stated on the label as “thyroxin free”, however, some brands do not state on the label that their product is in fact “thyroxin free” but contacting the companies confirmed this fact. If a thyroid extract is thyroxin free it is inactive for improving your thyroid function.
A reliable natural thyroid supplement that can support your thyroid function needs to be the dried powdered extract of the whole thyroid gland of porcine or bovine origin.
A correctly formulated thyroid supplement can be very beneficial for boosting the thyroid function if you do not have a prescription for thyroid hormone or if you want to avoid medication.
Can You Buy Desiccated Thyroid Over The Counter?
When choosing an over the counter natural desiccated thyroid (NDT), it is very important that it contains the whole thyroid gland prepared freeze-dried so all of the naturally occurring factors remain intact in trace amounts.
A reliable thyroid extract needs contain a highly complex blend of naturally-occurring proteins, nucleotides, enzymes, hormones, nucleoproteins, and fats, vitamins and minerals carefully conserved in the thyroid gland product.
My thyroid Supplement Guide provides you with the information you need to purchase good brands of reliable over the counter natural thyroid supplements.
How To Use Natural Thyroid Replacement?
In my Thyroid Supplement Guide, you get information on where to buy reliable natural desiccated thyroid extract products that can help support your thyroid function.
The Thyroid Supplement Guide also provides information on how to dose a thyroid supplement correctly. Starting thyroid replacement therapy is not just straight forward, and the Thyroid Supplement guide helps you track your body’s response while you increase your thyroid function with a supplement.