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| Safely Getting Well with Thyroid Hormone
Why isn't Thyro-Gold™ working for me?
Q: I just got back to town and got the Thyro-Gold™ I’d ordered. It seemed promising for the first 24 hours. I took 10 caps per day, and for a while, my temperature was above 97. Right now, my temperature is 93.7. I took 5 caps of Thyro-Gold™ about 1 hour ago, and now I feel awful. My temperature this morning is 94. After I took Thyro-Gold™, it went DOWN to 93.7. After an hour had past, my temperature went up to 94.4. Again, I took 5 caps of Thyro-Gold™, and my temperature went down to 93.5. I don't think Thyro-Gold™ is working for me at all! There may be too small a dose in these big caps. This morning, I took 5 caps and they did nothing for me. My temp is still between 93 and 94. Maybe the quality control is poor. I say this because the first day I tried it, it worked, but now it isn’t, even though I take 5 caps in the AM, 5 at night, for a total of 10 caps per day. Temp is now up to 97.5. What should I do? Thank you.
Dr. Lowe: Judging from your description, you’re not using Thyro-Gold™ properly. My impression is that you think the product is a fast-acting stimulant, such as caffeine tablets. This is definitely not the case.
Most people should start with 1 or 2 capsules initially, and take that dose—without changing it up or down—for up to two weeks. Jumping back and forth on your daily dose won’t allow enough time for you to see what any particular dose does for you, good or bad. The only result will be utter confusion.
At the end of the two weeks, after starting the initial dose, the person should evaluate any benefits of the initial daily dose. If there are no benefits, or the benefits aren’t satisfying, the person should increase his or her dose by maybe one or two capsules. Another waiting period of two weeks is then essential. It is essential to see whether that daily dose provides satisfactory benefits. Throughout the two-week time, the person should keep the dosage the same—no increases, no decreases.
In addition, you said you started with 10 capsules per day. That is far too many capsules for most people to start with. For most people, it’s appropriate to start with 1-to-3 capsules. And again, for emphasis, the person should stay on exactly that dose for the two-weeks.
Q: Has Thyro-Gold™ been chemically "stripped" of T4 and T3 in the same manner as other so-called "dietary" thyroid supplements? Or is it pure, unadulterated bovine thyroid that contains naturally occurring T4,T3,T2,T1 hormones?
Dr. Lowe: Thyro-Gold™ contains all the natural contents of the bovine thyroid gland. Many people believe there is such a thing as “thyroxine-free” desiccated thyroid. Presumably, the T4 has been selectively removed from these products, leaving only T3, T2, and T1.
Maybe there are “thyroxine-free” products with the T3, T2, and T1 left in. But if there is a technology for selectively removing T4, it’s being cleverly hidden from me and my colleagues, such as the biochemist who researches such issues with me.
As far as I know at this point, the term “thyroxine-free desiccated thyroid” actually refers to desiccated thyroid tissue from which all the iodinated compounds (T4, T3, T2, and T1) have been removed.
I say this based on carefully acquired evidence: we’ve systematically tested “thyroxine-free” thyroid tissue, and we found it to be metabolically inert. If the tissue we’ve tested is typical of all products labeled “thyroxine-free,” this means that people who use them to increase their body’s thyroid hormone regulation are likely to be very disappointed. We’ll notify readers if we find evidence that justifies a change in our current belief. But right now, our belief is this: dietary desiccated thyroid either contains the full array of thyroid hormones, or it contains none at all. Thyro-Gold™ contains them all.
Q: Here in the
Judging from Nutri-Thyroid ads stating that the product is “thyroxine-free,” we’re left with the assumption that the product still contains T3, T2, T1, and calcitonin. This is a reasonable assumption in that these hormones are natural to thyroid gland tissue.
First, let me say that your tremors are consistent with thyroid hormone overstimulation. I don’t think, however, that thyroid hormone overstimulation was the sole cause of your tremors. I say this because 3 capsules that contain 130 mg of thyroid powder each are not likely to cause most people to have thyroid hormone overstimulation. I’ve talked with many people who've gotten well on products that contain 130 mg of thyroid powder. Most of them got well by taking between 6 and 10 capsules. This would be 780 mg to 1300 mg of thyroid powder.
Q: I’m happy to find that Thyro-Gold™ is a dietary thyroid supplement and doesn't require a prescription. I’ve ordered it already. I’ll be grateful if you’ll answer a question for me. I notice that one Thyro-Gold™ capsule has 300 mg of thyroid powder in it. Why do most other over-the-counter desiccated thyroid products have only 130 mg dosage?
Dr. Lowe: I don’t know for sure. My assumption is that people who used dietary desiccated thyroid powder in the past came to 130 mg of powder per capsule through trial and error.
Several years ago, I talked with a gentleman who started a well-known company that markets a dietary desiccated thyroid product that contains 130 mg of powder per capsule. He told me he had taken the time to talk with customers who repeatedly bought the product. Of those who said they had recovered their health, he asked how many capsules did the job for them. On average, he said, customers were satisfied with their use of the product when they took either 6, 7, or 8 capsules each day. The range of satisfactory daily dosages, then, was 6-to-8 capsules.
Q: My family doctor is wonderful. She agreed to take me off Synthroid and help me in using Thyro-Gold™. I'm doing so much better on Thyro-Gold that she and I are excited. She's on board with my Thyro-Gold™ treatment, but has a question. She asked if we're not to use my
Dr. Lowe: Please give your family doctor my best regards and my thanks for her cooperating with you. I hope more clinicians will emulate her and help their hypothyroid patients by taking them off T4 products and having them use Thyro-Gold or prescription desiccated thyroid products, such as Armour Thyroid.
Before I address what you're concerned about, I'd like to clarify a point; by clarifying it, I'll have to rephrase your question.
Proper Terms. You mention possibly becoming "hyperthyroid" from taking too much Thyro-Gold™. Some people occasionally do take too much of their thyroid hormone product. The product might be Thyro-Gold™ or any other one on the market. When someone takes too much, the excessive exposure of his or her tissues to thyroid hormone overstimulates some of them. However, the proper term to describe the tissue overstimulation is not "hyperthyroidism."
Hyperthyroidism is the production of excessive amounts of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. That's all the term denotes. The term does not mean that the person's tissues are Overstimulated. When someone's tissues are overstimulated by thyroid hormone, we call the syndrome "thyrotoxicosis." This term literally means tissue overstimulation by thyroid hormone.
Most clinicians I've talked with haven't understood the distinct meanings of the terms hyperthyroidism and thyrotoxicosis. I believe it's important, however, for patients who are guiding their own treatment to know the difference.
The reason it's important to know the difference is that not understanding it can lead to false beliefs. The person who has an overly active thyroid gland and is in fact overstimulated by too much thyroid hormone typically has a low
The endocrinology specialty has a conspicuous discrepancy none of its members have stepped before microphones to explain: according to the specialty, low
The endocrinology specialty doesn't have to explain. The evidence is readily available to anyone interested in learning the truth. The fact is that low
How Best to Test for Overstimulation. If your family doctor and you suspect that you're overstimulated by Thyro-Gold—that is, that you're thyrotoxic—she and you can verify or refute the suspicion easily enough. You can test at home to see whether your basal temperature is too high and your basal pulse rate too fast. And you can lightly touch the palmar parts of your finger tips to your chin to see whether they tremor. (Many of my consulting patients and I called this latter procedure the "Tammy fingertip test" for overstimulation. Tammy discovered and introduced me to the test, and I've never found where anyone else described the test before.)
Your doctor can do an ECG (EKG) to see whether the voltage of the QRS complex is high compared to the voltage on your previous EKGs. She can also test your Achilles reflex to see if it's too fast.
The tests you can do at home and those your doctor can do are far more meaningful tests than your
The reason I don't trust the lab tests is that I've done hundreds of comprehensive metabolic evaluations for patients. I've run statistics many times to see whether the patients'
Overstimulation Form. There is one other step you can take to get a good idea as to whether you're overstimulated or not. That is to fill out a form I created, check off any of the 20 symptoms of overstimulation I listed, and estimate the intensity of those symptoms. By comparing copies of the form you filled out before you started Thyro-Gold and when you were on lower doses, you may see indications of developing overstimulation.
If symptoms of overstimulation develop or become more intense, you should do the home tests I recommended (your basal temperature, heart rate, and a tremor check). Positive test results may be enough evidence for you to decide to reduce your Thyro-Gold dosage. But you may want possible verification by having your doctor follow up with the tests I recommended she do.
If you do appear to be overstimulated, then it's appropriate to reduce your Thyro-Gold dosage somewhat, perhaps by one capsule. But I caution you not to overdo it and reduce your dosage too much. Too little thyroid hormone regulation can be as harmful as too much. Because of that, finding your optimal dosage is important. That dosage for most people is just short of mild overstimulation, which the overstimulation form can help you identify.
Q: I ordered several bottles of Thyro-Gold and it came in the mail today. Before I start taking it, I have a question. I know from what you’ve written in your books and on you website that I should not let my family doctor use my
Using these additional measurements is crucial if some patients are going to find their right daily dose. For example, some patients’ low basal temperatures increase very little; other patients' temperatures don't increase at all. These patients' temperatures stay low even after they’ve fully recovered with thyroid hormone therapy. For them, seeing the basal heart rate rise with higher doses denotes improved thyroid hormone regulation. And some patients’ sense of well-being remains low because of one or more persisting and troublesome symptoms; only after the patients reach a high-enough dose of Thyro-Gold to eliminate their symptoms does their sense of well-being improve.
First, I'd ask you to use your basal armpit temperature, but I'd also ask you to use three other physiological measurements: your basal heart rate, basal blood pressure, and your fasting weight. Second, I'd ask that you record estimates of your sense of well-being, but I'd also ask you to estimate how severe your predominant hypothyroid symptoms are.
With these two sets of measurements you can quickly and easily monitor your responses to different daily doses of Thyro-Gold. When you reach the dose that’s right for you, you'll subjectively feel good, but you'll also have your monitoring record to verify in objective terms how much you've improved.
Hypothyroid patients who wants to recover their health are in much the same predicament: whether they do or don’t reach their therapeutic goal may well depend on whether they avail themselves of relevant gauges that are readily available to them.
Q: How exciting! I can't wait for additional information on Thyro-Gold. I'm hoping you will address a question I have: Why is it necessary to have Armour, Nature-throid etc doctor prescribed, yet that's not the case for Thyro-Gold? Thanks so much for all your great work! My cousin is going to be over the moon when I tell her about Thyro-Gold. Her doctor is refusing her any thyroid med in spite of hypothyroid symptoms because she has "normal test results." Ugh! Thanks again!
My reply is this: When it comes to hypothyroidism and thyroid hormone resistance, it would be hard indeed for patients to do a worse therapeutic job than doctors have done for the last forty years. Far too long now, the endocrinology specialty has ruined endless patients' lives and brought some to premature death through its often-changing "practice guidelines" (that is, its dictates) for the diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism. And for too long, clinicians in other specialties have been duped or intimidated by the specialty into following its dictates—dictates that are clearly harmful for many hypothyroid patients and for virtually all thyroid hormone resistance patients.
I staunchly believe that it's far past time that people deprive the endocrinology specialty of its power to ruin lives through it's commercially-driven dictates. One of my ways to help bring about the dissolution of that power of the specialty's dictates is to let patients know about Thyro-Gold. We have in Thyro-Gold a product that I believe can effectively enable patients to recover their health—thereby liberating them from the slavery of the specialty's dictates.
You asked, "Why is it necessary to have Armour, Nature-Throid, etc. doctor prescribed, yet that's not the case for Thyro-Gold?"
Nature-Throid and similar products are classified by the FDA as prescription drugs. Thyro-Gold is an organic food-derived product for which specific drug-like claims aren't made. The product is protected by the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. As such, the FDA cannot regulate it as a drug—that is, as long as we walk an informational and terminological tightrope in informing the public and practitioners about the product. That tightrope walk is the reason you and others may sense some hedging in my communications about Thyro-Gold. I apologize for the seeming evasiveness, but it's a necessity to help keep the product available prescription-free to the public.
October 2, 2011
This need for trial-and-error shouldn’t be cause for you to feel frustration or despair. Dosing with dietary supplements—as with prescription drugs—is always a matter of trial-and-error. Consider that nowadays, most hospitalized near-death patients in severe pain are allowed to manipulate their own individual dose of pain-killing drugs by merely pressing a button. The amount of a powerful pain-killer that works for one patient won’t for many others. Biology and perception are highly individualistic. This is just a fact of life, one that makes it next to impossible to tell an individual person, with trial-and-error, what amount of dietary desiccated thyroid will work well for him or her. I hope this explanation helps you.
April 14, 2011
Dr. Lowe: Our biochemist tells us that from the time the thyroid glands are collected from animals, the thyroid powder produced from them is good for about three (3) years. It's at the end of three years that a follow up certificate of analysis is required for a particular numbered batch of thyroid raw material.
September 26, 2009
Here’s the answer somebody gave her: “Nutri-Meds is a non-prescription brand of natural thyroid. Patients report that over-the-counter thyroid products, including Nutri-meds[sic], are FAR weaker than all the above [referring to Armour]. Yes, they may be good in a pinch for help, but not for long term support."
Dr. Lowe: The person who gave the answer is right only in one sense: If you compare the effects of a dietary (nonprescription) desiccated thyroid to prescription desiccated thyroid, and you use the exact same weight of each, you’ll see that the dietary product is weaker. But if you use enough of the dietary product, you'll induce the same measurable physiological effects as you can with any other type of thyroid product.
These people's attempts to get well failed because they failed to learn a simple fact—precious few people get well simply by taking thyroid hormone, whether it's over-the-counter or prescription thyroid hormone.
Most anyone who's going to recover his or her health with thyroid hormone must—absolutely must!—at minimum engage in lifestyle practices that are synergistic to thyroid hormone. That means adopting a wholesome diet, taking a wide array of nutritional supplements, exercising to tolerance, and declining to use a number of Big Pharma's drugs that impede metabolism.