We are excited to report that the struggle for proper thyroid treatment has made mainstream media. Sumathi Reddy of the Wall Street Journal investigated, “A New Call for More Thyroid Options” and brought global attention to thyroid patient suffering. Thank you, Ms. Reddy, for this opportunity.
ThyroidChange supporter, Dr. Ridha Arem, endocrinologist and director of the Texas Thyroid Institute, testified to the dissatisfaction of many thyroid patients. This statement brings credibility to the patients who are seeking change in the treatment of thyroid disease. More and more physicians are beginning to listen to their patients and are hearing that many are still suffering from symptoms when treated by the TSH lab test and T4-only treatment.
Many patients do not meet doctors such as Dr. Arem, but rather encounter physicians who are more like the other endocrinologist quoted. Unlike Dr. Arem, Dr. Garber believes that most patients do fine on the “standard of therapy” which is synthetic T4-only medications such as Synthroid and Tirosint. He continues to say that further research must be conducted for treatment options to be available to the individual. This leaves ThyroidChange with a few questions:
- If there is no research into treatment options, how do you know that the standard treatment is effective?
- How many of Dr. Garber’s patients are on anti-depressants, statins and other such drugs to mask the symptoms of low T3 syndrome?
- Why are you not listening to the patients who are organizing and use their experience to tailor further investigation and treatment of hypothyroidism?
Even though Dr. Garber appears to be turning a deaf ear to our pleas, he does state that, “there may be certain subsets who are genetically programmed to respond to such combination therapies.” Dr. Garber, as one of the authors of the current guidelines for the treatment of hypothyroidism sponsored by the American Thyroid Association and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, you should realize that there are patients suffering who NEED treatment options with T3 and we NEED change in the guidelines to account for these individuals.
The other theme that runs consistent through the article is the diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism by running the TSH lab test. It is simply assumed that a higher than “normal” TSH is a clear indication of hypothyroidism. Research demonstrates the many flaws of the TSH lab test, and the need to run extended lab tests such as Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies.
Thank you to every person who supports us and has joined with our community. Thanks to the strength of our network, we achieved media coverage, but we have not achieved change yet! Please keep spreading the name of our community, ThyroidChange and our petition for change: http://www.change.org/petitions/endocrinologists-patients-with-thyroid-dysfunction-demand-better-care Consider helping us become a nonprofit organization by donating to our fund: https://www.fundraise.com/thyroid-change/help-thyroid-change-become-a-non-profit-501-c3
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