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Are natural thyroid drugs really less consistent or stable than the
synthetics? -- Mary Shomon
DRS. RICHARD AND KARILEE SHAMES ANSWER
It is my professional opinion that natural thyroid products are
excellent choices for many thyroid sufferers. Some people do better on these
dessicated animal gland medicines than they would ever do on any brand or
combination of synthetics. Other people do fine on the synthetics, in fact,
some do better on synthetics than they would on natural thyroid. There is no
one best medicine for everybody; people's metabolisms are just too different.
Regarding stability and uniformity of dose, the synthetic medicines do not
have a corner on the market in this area. Several times over the years, the
Synthroid company has been called to task for nonconformity and
nonreliability of dosage strength. More recently, Levoxyl tablets have faced
the same charge, and had to be recalled. This suggests to me that stability
and uniformity is an issue with any and all thyroid products, both the
prescription type and over the counter variety.
Considering the tremendous benefit to some patients that natural thyroid
products provide, the uniformity of potency may well be a minor issue. It has
certainly been a smokescreen for the prescription drug companies to further
denigrate the natural products. What we believe is that a medicine that words
really well, be it Armour thyroid, Naturethroid, or BioThroid, may well be
preferable compared to any possibly more precisely-dosed amount of a
synthetic medicine that doesn't work all that well in your body.
What we recommend is that with any thyroid medicine, be it prescription
synthetic, prescription natural, or a totally over the counter regimen, is to
realize that optimal dosing is a moving target - an ongoing process. Keep
well aware of your symptoms and your basal temperatures, along with periodic
blood tests, and let them in combo be your guide as to whether you need a
midcourse correction toward more or less intervention. As we've always said,
optimal health is an ongoing process, not a destination.
Bottom line - if you try natural thyroid and do well with it, the variability
of dose per pill should not pose any significant problem. If you would like
to try natural thyroid because you are not doing that well on synthetic,
don't for a moment let the dose-variability issue stand in your way.
Dr. Richard Shames has practiced for over 30 years, written and lectured
widely on thyroid-related topics, and is considered an expert in the field.
He practices in San Rafael, CA. Karilee Shames has been an assistant professor of nursing, and has led thyroid support groups for many years. In addition to writing their popular book, Thyroid Power, they are regular contributors to Thyroid-Info.com, and provide a service offering thyroid coaching education sessions to consumers nationwide by telephone. For more information, see their site, www.Thyroidpower.com.