Desiccated thyroid is a form of treatment for hypothyroidism and can be used either as an alternative or in conjunction to Levothyroxine (Synthroid, Eltroxin). This may be indicated for patients seeking a more natural approach or if they are not feeling optimal on their medications.
Desiccated thyroid was the treatment of choice for hypothyroidism up until the 1950s. It is extracted from porcine thyroid glands, which are dried, ground to powder and pressed into pill form. Desiccated thyroid includes all forms of the thyroid hormone (T1, T2, T3 and T4) while pharmaceutical thyroid medications contain only T4 hormone and heavily rely on the body’s ability to convert the inactive T4 to the active form of thyroid hormone, T3.
This process of conversion can be impacted by numerous factors, such as cortisol dysregulation, chronic inflammation or illness, low iron levels and other factors. For those patients that may not be good converters, Levothyroxine/Synthroid may not resolve all of their symptoms and desiccated thyroid may be a better solution.
We are all unique and treatment options can vary greatly between individuals. It is also important to properly test for thyroid function by assessing all thyroid markers (TSH, T3, T4, thyroid antibodies) and not just TSH. Even if TSH is within the “normal” conventional reference ranges, if you are symptomatic or not feeling balanced, you may still benefit from supporting your thyroid (even with certain vitamins and herbs). Contact the clinic today if you would like a thorough work up or second opinion on your thyroid conditions.