23 Nisan 2012 Pazartesi

The Problem With T4 Medicines

AppId is over the quota
AppId is over the quota

The dismal decade of the 1960s introduced a typhoon of cultural catastrophes. And heading the list were thyroid blood tests and Synthroid.

If you know anything about the 60s, your boggled mind can only try to comprehend catastrophes capable of topping all the other debacles of that decade.

And, thanks to your government in action, they still work their woe. Patients from sea to shining sea-and around the world-suffer endlessly and needlessly because of thyroid blood tests and Synthroid, so we need to talk about this.

While the tests and Synthroid are equally disastrous, let's look at Synthroid today.

Natural thyroid has five parts, T4 (the amino acid tyrosine plus four iodine molecules), T3 (tyrosine with three iodine molecules), T2 (tyrosine with two iodine molecules), T1 (tyrosine with one iodine molecule) and calcitonin.

T4 doesn't do a whole lot, while T3 has mucho mojo to energize our cells. When your body needs more of the good juice, it converts some T4 to T3 to keep the party going.

The T4/T3 conversion, which happens mostly in the liver, can't happen without adequate vitamins and minerals-Vitamin B, iodine and selenium as three examples. Label this as problem #1, since most of us are deficient.

But it means we can help-and sometimes correct-thyroid problems just by building a strong vitamin/mineral program and sticking to it. Did you know, for instance, that a simple copper/zinc imbalance can make you hypo or hyper, depending on which way the imbalance tilts? But I digress.

How did we get in this mess? When we don't crank out enough thyroid hormone, we spend our days doing beached whale impressions, and all this misery made visions of dollar signs dance in the heads of crackerjack drug developers. "Let's make synthetic thyroid hormone," they cried, and so Synthroid was born.

But it's not actually synthetic thyroid hormone; it's synthetic T4, only one part of the real thing.

Since T4 converts to T3, they skipped the T3 part. And since they decided T2, T1 and calcitonin were unnecessary, they skipped them, too.

But their synthetic T4 doesn't look much like the real thing, and our bodies really, really don't like ugly synthetics. Convert it to T3? How? It doesn't even recognize this stuff.

As a consequence, then, we don't get T3, which you'll remember is where the mojo is.

And it gets worse. It turns out T2 and T1 do a lot of the stuff T3 gets credit for, and they're nowhere to be seen in this scenario.

So Synthroid patients get a synthetic drug their bodies don't know how to handle, and no T3, T2, T1. And you wonder why you're dragging bottom?

But here's the kicker. While Synthroid doesn't treat hypothyroidism, it does make the blood tests look normal. You're still hypothyroid-and at major risk of heart disease, cancer and all sorts of stuff, but the tests say you're fine.

And still the bad beat goes on. Low thyroid leads to low calcitonin, and low calcitonin leads to osteoporosis. Synthroid has no calcitonin to take up the slack, and now there's increasing chatter that Synthroid actually eats our bones.

Doctors say osteoporosis comes only from a thyroid overdose. Fact is, no dose of natural thyroid causes osteoporosis, no matter how high, but any dose of Synthroid does, no matter how low.

Bottom line: While the tests look really good, Synthroid doesn't treat hypothyroidism; it just causes osteoporosis.

But governments around the world insist it's the only medicine hypothyroid patients can have.

The UK's National Health Service allows only Synthroid or one of its ugly generic cousins. Same with most of the European Union. In the U.S., military doctors are forbidden to prescribe natural thyroid. Same with Medicare. And probably Medicaid.

What are those famous words? "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." It's a payoff, pure and simple, but nobody seems to be of a mind to stop it.

Bette Dowdell has studied how the body works-or doesn't-for years to dig herself out of the ditch of endocrine problems when doctors didn't help so much. Now she offers an e-zine to share her knowledge with you-what's good, what's bad and what's the difference. Subscribe to her free weekly e-zine at http://toopoopedtoparticipate.com/. Start discovering how to get your energy and enthusiasm back.

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