It used to be that patients with hypothyroidism were given desiccated (dehydrated) pig's liver, but this medication was replaced by newer synthetic products. One of the most widely used is a drug called Synthroid. Although patients on Synthroid often improve with a lowering of their TSH, they often reach a plateau where they still have many of the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism. Dr. Mary explains that synthetic thyroid medications supply the body with T4 only. "If you can't convert T4 to T3, you are going to have inadequate levels of T3 in the body, even though you have normal levels of T4.The way to overcome this is to just give them the combination therapy, with both T4 and T3." For this reason, Dr. Mary and many of the endocrinologists with whom I consult have been going back to an older and highly respected thyroid medication called Armour Thyroid. This medication is made from desiccated pig's liver and contains both T3 and T4. According to the Consensus Report, doctors agreed that "patients will continue to improve when switched to desiccated thyroid."
Was this article helpful?