Welcome to the Dark Ages of Thyroid Treatment within the UK
We have a dark and insidious situation developing in the UK.
It is also happening in other countries.
Just as we appear to have more and more pieces of medical research that begin to show that T3 (Liothyronine) is necessary for some thyroid patients there is a shift against T3 from many endocrinologists and funding areas (Clinical Commission Groups, or CCGs, in the UK).
Just as the evidence is mounting for the life-changing benefits of adding T3 to a patients T4 medication, or using natural dessicated thyroid (NDT), or on occasion using T3-Only, it is becoming harder to have it prescribed.
It is so clear to me from my own case, and from working with thousands of thyroid patients, that T3 is absolutely essential to have as an option. I have seen transformations from decades of ill health to good health and vitality through the use of T3. There are many research pieces that now explain why this should be and support the need for T3.
In the UK a big driving factor is the cost of T3. Our health service has allowed the price of their supplier of T3 to rise. I think at the last count the price has risen over several years to around 6000% of its original level. The price of T3 in other countries is significantly lower and quite affordable. The price of 100 tablets of UK T3 was £856 in November 2018 (£239.76 for 28 tablets). This is compared to around 30 Euros for 100 German Thybon T3, and only 2 Euros per 100 for Turkish Tiromel T3! No wonder T3 is seen as a problem! The solution that is being employed is to stop the prescriptions of many patients who have remained well on T3, but who were sick previously on T4 medication!
This just seems a draconion and frankly, stupid solution!
The Car Analogy
The analogy I have been using when I speak about this problem is one based in the automotive industry.
Imagine that a car manufacurer had a brake disc supplier who had increased the prices of the discs by several hundred percent over some years.
Do we think the car company would have ignored this? No!
Do we think the car company would have decided to just remove the brake discs from the design of their cars?
Do wee think they would have sent their cars off the end of production line without brake discs, simply because the discs were too expensive now?
No! No! No!
At the first sight of a problem with pricing, they would have:
1) Negotiated with the supplier.
2) Second sourced at least one new supplier who could supply an equivalent brake disc.
3) Looked at second sourcing a cheaper brake disc, even if they had to design the surrounding braking system to work with the cheaper component.
They would not have chosen to be a victim of the supplier, and then when it got out of control, simply shipped the cars with no brake discs!
I have no idea why our health service has not got a vicious grip on the cost issue and got far cheaper alternative sources! It seems woefully negligent.
If the current situation did not feel like a violation of human rights, or abuse, I would say it was surreal and almost ridiculous. It is a situation that I find hard to believe is happening.
When I first released the 'Recovering with T3' book I felt that I was part of movement that was ushering in a new era of enlightened thyroid treatment.
I thought I would be contacted by lots of interested endocrinologists who would want to find out more about my experience and my safe protocol for using T3! Sadly, I was naive.
Instead of moving forwards, we are moving backwards.
In the old days, there was just clinical judgement and natural desiccated thyroid. I think it is probably the worst period of thyroid treatment that has ever existed since the early days when natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) was the only option. We are in the dark ages of thyroid treatment now. Endocrinologists are holding onto the mistaken beliefs that their use of thyroid blood tests and the wide population reference ranges are the best way to go about assessing efficacy of thyroid treatment. The old days of NDT therapy titrated according to symptoms were the best days ever for thyroid patients. We ought to have just moved forward from those days and improved diagnosis and treatment through the correct application of lab testing, and by the use of T4 and T3, and in some cases T3 monotherapy (T3-Only) for those few that need it. But this has not happened.
Endocrinologists are diagnosing and treating not just according to wide population reference ranges, but according to the WRONG TEST - the TSH test. It has got so much worse. We are left with current thyroidology simply looking at a normal TSH level, or at best other labs simply laying within the population ranges. We are moving backwards, as clinical judgement is taking second place to lab results, and only T4 is being offered to the majority. I think it is probably the worst period of thyroid treatment that has ever existed.
We are in the dark ages of thyroid treatment now. Endocrinologists are holding onto the mistaken beliefs that their use of thyroid blood tests, the wide population reference ranges are the best way to go about assessing efficacy of thyroid treatment, and that T4 monotherapy always is sufficient.
I think so many doctors and endocrinologists have been indoctrinated at their medical schools to believe the false paradigm of T4-Only, TSH-centric and lab test-driven thyroid treatment. It is hard for them to see past it and actually pay any attention to the new research, or to the many patients who have recovered their health with the help of T3 containing medication.
Do I have any optimism left? Well a little. If it has got as bad as this, surely there must be a backlash at some point? The research is clearly much stronger now and supports the case for T3 far more clearly than ever before. The large numbers of patients who remain well on T3 but were not on T4 medication ought to be enough of a case on its own.
I try to stay hopeful, although it is hard to.
We are not unique within the UK. It is happening in other countries.
Many groups are uniting to try to fight against this. Fighting to get back to the light, from the Dark Ages.
It is also time for those endocrinologists and doctors who know that T3 is needed sometimes in combination with T4 (and very occasionally T3-Only) to stand up and speak against what is happening in the UK, and against the pressure by the CCGs to force all doctors to not prescribe T3 at all and to withdraw it from their patients. They need to unite with the patient groups and help fight back against the wrong-doing that is currently happening.
Uniting seems the only way to tackle the situation.
Good luck to all involved in this.