American Thyroid Association clarifies public dissatisfaction with treatment of hypothyroidism

The ATA convened a symposium on treatment of hypothyroidism and determined that “it is important to describe the patient perspective on hypothyroidism treatment.

If Hypothyroid and Unhappy, Which Came First?

Medical specialists increasingly accept that some patients being treated for hypothyroidism continue to be symptomatic and “unhappy”. Experts however, are debating if the unhappiness not the thyroid condition came first.

Survey Reveals 84% Feel Doctors in US Overly Influenced by Pharmaceutical Industry

A large percentage of physician policy makers in the U.S. are tied to pharmaceutical company interests through large sums of money they are paid as “consultants”.

Wall Street Journal Reporter Helps Bring Clarity to Thyroid Treatment Controversy

An article in the Wall Street Journal, written by columnist Melinda Beck, adds support to the growing movement for broader options for treatment of hypothyroidism.

Can a Blood Test Identify Those Who Need T3 for Proper Treatment of Hypothyroidism?

Research is described which hopes to find a simple blood test to predict who will fail to respond to traditional T4-only treatment of hypothyroidism; these patients may respond to Armour Thyroid instead.

Which Pesticides Create Precancerous Changes in Thyroid Cells?

Scientists at UCLA Medical Center led by Dr. Jerome Hershman investigated the potential for pesticides to damage the DNA of thyroid cells. Specific pesticides were found in everyday commercial products which could cause this DNA damage.

What is The Thyroid Project?

The mission of the The Thyroid Project is to encourage sharing of information and experience between the public and the medical community about the treatment of hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). For at least the past few years there is a growing awareness of “something missing” in the way sufferers of hypothyroidism are treated for their disease.

Too many patients, as documented in an on-line study of 12,000 individuals conducted by the American Thyroid Association published in June 2018, (, complain of persistent symptoms of hypothyroidism despite what their doctors believe is successful treatment with levothyroxine (brands include Synthroid, Unithroid, Tirosent, Levoxyl).

We believe something needs to be done to resolve this conflict between patients and their doctors. The first step in our mission is to provide a series of 1 minute, raw and unedited, unrehearsed interviews with patients with hypothyroidism during their actual visit with an endocrinologist. All identifying features (that’s why no faces) have been removed to protect patient privacy.

We hope these videos will be a good first step to opening the conversation between medical professionals and their patients about this serious and decades old controversy. In our introductory interview we share the experiences of a typical person caught in this sad predicament.


What is DTE Therapy?

DTE stands for “desiccated thyroid extract” which is made up of thyroid hormones refined from pig thyroid and used to treat people with hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone). This is possible because human and pig thyroid are very similar in the production of the 4 known thyroid hormones. For over 100 years, DTE had been used successfully to treat hypothyroidism.

T4, also known as levothyroxine, is the most abundant of the 4 thyroid hormones and synthetic levothyroxine has almost completely replaced DTE treatment since the 1980’s. There is no scientific evidence however, that synthetic T4 is better than DTE for treating hypothyroidism.

The almost universal switch to levothyroxine and away from DTE appears to be due to a shrewd worldwide marketing campaign by the makers of brand synthetic T4. Due to this marketing, Synthroid, the major brand of synthetic T4, became the most widely prescribed medication in the U.S. during the 1980’s and 1990’s. Only in recent years has the medical community begun to recognize the failure of synthetic T4 to properly treat all people suffering with hypothyroidism, and the role of DTE to improve results.

Patient 1

Patient 1

Since 1 Year on Treatment for Hashimoto Disease

“After one year of treatment with Levothyroxine I am still feeling tired, cold, have dry skin, muscle pains, have to keep my nails short. Fatigue is my main concern.” Alternative treatment with DTE was offered. Follow up with our patient and learn all about her experience with DTE treatment.

Patient 2

Patient 2

Suffering for 20 years of hypothyroidism

“Eight years ago I switched to DTE treatment and noticed an improvement. I did not feel well while on Levothyroxine. I am now feeling much better, no longer lethargic or amnesic. Due to insurance issues I had to go back for a short while to Levothyroxine, but the bad symptoms were back. That did not work for me at all.”

Patient 3

Patient 3

Diagnosed with low thyroid 10 years ago

“For years I took 25 mg of Levothyroxine, then my doctors increase the dosage to 225 mg as I was still not feeling better. When they switched me to DTE, for the first time in years I could feel my symptoms improving: no more heart palpitations, my sleep and concentration are becoming a lot better and I finally feel ‘normal’ again.”

Patient 4

Patient 4

Had her thyroid gland removed 14 years ago

“I’ve been on synthetic thyroid hormone since having my thyroid removed 14 years ago. Despite treatment, some of the symptoms persisted, such as dry skin, hair loss, broken nails and feeling tired and cold. I’ve added T3 three months ago and I’ve seen great improvements with regard to my mood, sleep, energy level and feeling better overall.”

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