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The T4/T3 Thyroid Drug Controversy

By July 17, 2011 - 10:58pm


An interesting start to look into T3 treatment. Not sure what it is? If you have hypothyroidism you should!

There are studies that suggest it makes no difference, and studies that say it does. All I know is that if something isnt' working for you, you should try something else! No sense in flipping the light switch off and on if there is no electricity. :)

Know your options, and find what works best for you.
The best medication for a thyroid patient is the one that makes them feel better!!!


By August 15, 2011 - 2:07pm

Thank you SO much for sharing!!!

August 15, 2011 - 2:07pm
By August 15, 2011 - 12:58pm

Wow, my story. It would be rather involved. I will try to shorten it. As I said diagnosed at 11, given natural thyroid replacement as that is all there was. Taken off at age 18 during pregnancy due to misinformed doctors thinking it was bad for the fetus. I went for another 18 years of not taking a supplement due to lack of professional care. Went crazy , insomnia for 18 years, fought the weight battle and tried everything in the book to lose weight. Finally it took being checked into a mental facility, and a very very good Psychiatrist to ask another doc to investigate glandular involvement. She found me to be depleted of T3. Even then it was not known the differences of medications. I was put on Synthroid again and it did help, hell any amount of thyroid hormone was going to help at this point. It was then I was told I tested great for T4 but it was not converting. 10 years of physcho therapy to undo 18 years of head stuff, plus some stabs at making my T3 equate, well at least I became somewhat stable. I still spent another 20 yrs. of being barely treated, til I found a younger doc that when I first met him, I handed him print offs from the internet. I said, please, think about this T3 stuff. run any tests you want, but think with this in mind, I am not converting. Two weeks later after testing, after he roamed the internet like I did, he says to me, let's find something that will actually work and make the symptoms go away. He was willing to say, the old ideas aren't working, let's try the new thinking. So began my real travel to recovery, with the hiccups along the way when Thyrolar was no longer available. We then went to combine pharmacists to make a pill tailored made to order with T4 and T3. I am today at a crossroads. T4 Unithroid with the addition of T3 Cytomel. I am doing reasonably well.

You asked what was there things going on that I can now attribute to the poorly treated Hypothyroidism. yes of course. My head was never clear, I had 2 miscarriages for no apparent physical reason, I had emotional issues, I was tired, oh so tired and if I smell food I gained weight. I did not sleep, truly I did not sleep for 18 years. I became on the edge in every way. Yes this can all be laid at the door of poorly treated Hypothyroidism. Docs did not have internet, good God patients didnt have it. We did not know what to demand because we were uneducated. that has changed now. Knowledge is power, when I go to a doc now I have sheaves of print outs, I have urls to suggest. If they don't have a laptop on their desk or in there lap I leave. They are too out of it for me. Knowledge is power , both in my hands and in the hands of my doctors.
I recently had to change primary docs. I fear I have to start over in the education , but I guess that is what I will do . Another fight on my hands maybe, but I refuse to just take what they say at face value now.

When I was 11 they said here, take this. they overdosed us then which led to the mistaken idea that natural desiccated thyroid was bad. No, it was just that docs then were unsure how to use it properly. they were not bad docs, but uneducated in this. Fast forward to today, they have far better drugs and information to create a tailor made regime for their patients but are afraid to do it. Pity them, more pity for us.
I will always be fighting for more understanding regards this disease/syndrome. But at least now I have printed information at my fingertips. there are studies, not pharma generated, that give the truth to the facts surrounding T4. T3 Free this and that, you name it. We have to just go armed to the teeth. We have to support those newly diagnosed. you are not crazy, lazy, fat, temperamental you are under medicated.... I wish I had not lost those years from 18 to now but I did. I spent alot of money on mental health when a cheap thyroid supplement would have cured me. That's my history don't let it be yours.

August 15, 2011 - 12:58pm
By August 15, 2011 - 9:54am

WOW! It is great to meet someone else who has had this condition since childhood! (Not that I am happy that you have it at all, but it is nice to know I am not the only one that was so young).

With all you have been through, I have one question: Since you were so young when you were diagnosed, does it seem like there was a lot of stuff "going wrong" throughout your life that you didn't even realize was from the thyroid? At least people who become hypo have something to compare their health to, like before this I was not . . . for me thought it just seems like the hypo hit at a time when any changes they would just chalk up to puberty, and for years I just assumed that everyone felt like I did and had something going wrong every day just like me. (Now I have learned that it is not normal to have so many things dysfunctioning at once, and it is not normal for someone to appear to have a cold for 20 years straight) :)

It is so funny that you mention how they used to treat thyroid meds during pregnancy, because one thing I have been trying to locate is ways they have treated it in the past but were wrong, to point out that "Hey, the medical community has not always been right!" but amazingly I haven't found that bit of information on the internet! (I guess they don't like to admit their mistakes?)

I would truly love for you to post your story on here, if you’re interested. I believe you have a lot to offer all of us, and it would be great insight to learn what life with hypothyroidism was like before the internet. I was simply put on Synthroid in 1988, and had no idea of the impacts it was making on my health until 2006 when I started to realize that being so unhealthy no matter what I did was not normal.


August 15, 2011 - 9:54am
By August 13, 2011 - 5:50am

Hi there,
Still no word on when or even if Forest Labs will be making Thyrolar available.
I am 62 yrs old and have been hypothyroid since age 11. According to my docs today Hashimoto's was likely the cause however during those early days we seldom heard a real diagnosis other than Hypo. Back then there were no synthetics, only natural desiccated replacement hormone. Enter Synthroid on the scene years later and the docs flew to that as the one and only drug to prescribe (thank you drug reps.) The doctors cared not if it worked, most times it did not, but they bought into the idea that natural was not as good. It has been a very very long fight to convince a doc to either prescribe natural again or at the very least add an additional T3 supplement to my treatment.
We have come a long way in education but still have a long way to go. During my first pregnancy I was taken off all thyroid meds, it was known to be dangerous for the fetus. Uh Huh. and now they know quite the opposite is true!!!! We are not out of the dark ages yet, but with forums such as this and Mary Shomon's we are able to share more information and educate ourselves, in turn our docs.

August 13, 2011 - 5:50am
By August 12, 2011 - 4:28pm

Howdy J Hylton!
Have you heard any news of when the long-term back order will be over, if it ever will be? Man do I hate when they start messing with our drugs. I started my journey on natural desiccated thyroid with Armour, but ended up with Nature-throid, which I really like. It is really amazing how different people can do better or worse on different medications, and why they don't offer to try patients on different ones I will never understand!

If your still not feeling that great on the synthetics, maybe you want to try the desiccated? Although the desiccated medications already have the ratio decided for you, and going with the synthetics allows you to adjust the T4/T3 ratio better, it may be worth looking into. That is if your doctor will let you :(

I wish you all the best luck feeling better, as this disease can be such a big pain in the butt, but you already know that! :)

Keep us posted on any changes you may try, and have you found out if you have Hashimoto's or what has caused your hypothyroidism? It's just nice to know more of what is going on, as I always want to know the why's for things as well as the how’s.

Take Care!!


August 12, 2011 - 4:28pm
By August 12, 2011 - 10:08am

I have oodles of T4 in my system, however apparently I don't convert well to the more usable T3. After years of trying to be treated for how I feel I finally had a doc that prescribed Thyrolar a T4/T3 combo. Then that was off the market and he now has me on T4 (Unithroid) and Cytomel is the T3 drug. I am doing better on it than straight T4. Not as good as when I had Thyrolar, but certainly better with Cytomel than I am without it. I was actually able to reduce the Unithroid as the Cytomel started working so well.

August 12, 2011 - 10:08am
By July 25, 2011 - 9:46am

You know imsdac, the best medication for thyroid patients is the one that makes them feel better! That is our new motto :)

July 25, 2011 - 9:46am
By July 18, 2011 - 8:42am

Wow, brain fog moment... I am repeating myself it seems :P

July 18, 2011 - 8:42am
By July 18, 2011 - 8:40am

You are welcome. My ratio is 12.2 so I need T3 only big time! Now, if I could just find a doc who will prescribe it for me, then I will be golden!

July 18, 2011 - 8:40am
By July 18, 2011 - 7:32am

Thanks ismdac! So very true. There can be so much more to thyroid care than just T4 for some people. A big thank you for the ratio link!

July 18, 2011 - 7:32am

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