If you’re concerned about which thyroid hormone to take, you should know that you’ll do better with natural thyroid hormone replacement rather than synthetic forms. You may also need to know how to find a physician who will treat low thyroid hormone conditions and not just lab values.
Testimonial To Natural Thyroid Hormone
According to the Synthroid website,  “The active ingredient in Synthroid is called levothyroxine sodium. It is a synthetic hormone identical to thyroxine — the hormone that the thyroid gland naturally makes.” According to IMS statistics,  in April 2011, Synthroid was the fourth most prescribed medication in America, with 70.5 million prescriptions. That places it just behind hydrocodone (a narcotic), Zocor (a cholesterol-reducing statin), and Lisinopril (a blood pressure drug).
I’d like to reveal more about synthetic levothyroxine that maybe your doctor won’t share with you.
Recently, a reader commented on her experience with Synthroid, which is not uncommon. She wrote: “A wonderful doctor that I went to for 43 years did not think the blood tests gave accurate results. She gave me 1/4 grain [15 mg] of natural thyroid a day, and I felt life trickling through my body. Over the period of a year, I was gradually raised to 1 full grain [60 mg], and I felt terrific. I was treated with natural hormone for 17 years. When natural hormone went off the market because Synthroid announced that their artificial thyroid was as effective, I could no longer get the natural thyroid. The synthetic did nothing for me. My blood pressure went up; I gained weight, developed allergies; and my muscles became less elastic, causing my muscles to cramp and joints to slide.”
As a matter of fact, if you look at the structural and functional properties of each substance, you can see they are actually very different.
It was reported even as early as 1959 that by altering the basic structure of the thyroxin molecule, many important beneficial effects of the hormone are lost. 
A common mistake in managing hypothyroidism with Synthroid, which contains only synthetic T4, is that this will bring TSH levels into a more normal range, thus lowering the secretion of T3, the more biologically active thyroid hormone. When the patient doesn’t feel better despite a normal TSH serum level, the doctor will often then blame continuing symptoms on depression, fibromyalgia or a psychosomatic cause and may even prescribe an antidepressant. Instead, the physician should prescribe both natural T4 and T3 in combination as needed to eliminate signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism without producing any signs or symptoms of hormone excess.
You want the natural desiccated thyroid hormones (aka thyroxine) with natural enzymes to enhance conversion of T4 to the more active T3 hormone peripherally. Common names are Armour, Naturethroid, Westthroid and compounded T4+T3. These come from pigs’ thyroid glands.
The same reader who had such trouble with Synthroid as quoted above then asked: “Do you know where I could find a doctor who does not worship blood test results and who might find a form of thyroid that helps me once again?” Similarly, I believe many of you also want to find such a physician. Therefore, I’ve listed a few ideas for you on how to find a physician near you who will prescribe natural desiccated thyroid hormone.
You need to find a doctor who is willing to prescribe natural desiccated thyroid based on signs, symptoms and body temperature primarily, not on TSH levels; though free T3, free T4, thyroid antibodies and reverse T3 (rT3) should be measured.
If your doctor is open to learning this, it will be very helpful: There are many reasons why measurable thyroid levels may not reflect exactly how thyroid hormone is functioning in the peripheral body tissues and cells. Finally, if your doctor understands the role of cortisol and adrenal dysfunction/fatigue and how to guide you to treatment, it will allow your thyroid hormone to work properly in the peripheral tissues. Usually, they need to be treated together; and you’ll find your proper dose of thyroid hormones will need to increase for many months until both are optimized and you are feeling great (without signs or symptoms of thyroid excess).
Here are some ideas to finding an appropriate healthcare provider:
- Go to your favorite local compounding pharmacy and ask the pharmacist which providers prescribe natural thyroid hormone to patients.
- Ask your friends if they know of natural medicine-oriented practitioners in your area, including those who use saliva hormone testing. (They will likely understand adrenal dysfunction.)
- Email the Broda Barnes foundation to ask if there are doctors trained or registered with the organization in your area: info@BrodaBarnes.org.
- Seek out a naturopathic doctor (ND) near you who may be able to prescribe natural thyroid hormone or who may know who can locally.
The many aspects of low thyroid hormone I’ve discussed have not become part of mainstream medicine. Yet millions of people with classic symptoms and signs of this illness still go undiagnosed, untreated or even mistreated. Correcting the low thyroid hormone condition has a huge bearing on all other tissues of the body. It produces far-reaching beneficial effects on health, including the reversal of many common chronic illnesses.
This is a relatively easy condition to diagnose and treat. Initial treatment should entail using diet, nutrient supplements and thyroid-enhancing herbs. Then, physiological replacement doses of natural thyroid hormone can ensure reversal of signs and symptoms of low thyroid hormone.
To feeling good for life,
Michael Cutler, M.D.
Easy Health Options
 See blogs from “Doctor’s Hall of Shame” at Stop the Thyroid Madness website found at: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/give-me-a-break/
 American Journal of the Medical Sciences. Sept 1959, vol 238, issue 3: p261-73. Online at: http://journals.lww.com/amjmedsci/Citation/1959/09000/A_Dissociation_of_Thyroid_Hormonal_Effects_By.1.aspx