Thank You Letter to the ATA (for Spring Symposium 2013)
In response to the American Thyroid Association’s announcement of their Spring 2013 Symposium and Research Summit entitled, “Treatment of Hypothyroidism: Exploring the Possibilities.” This symposium will explore the viability of treatment options beyond levothyroxine sodium. We are expressing not only our gratitude, but also, our aspirations for what will be discussed, and determined.
Bryan R. Haugen, M.D., President
American Thyroid Association
6066 Leesburg Pike, Suite 550
Falls Church, Virginia 22041
January 11, 2013
Good day, Mr. Haugen:
Thank you, Mr. Haugen, and the American Thyroid Association for your efforts in the study of thyroid biology and physiological implication. We recently read of the ATA’s Spring Symposium and Research Summit that you have planned for April 2013 entitled, “Treatment of Hypothyroidism: Exploring the Possibilities.” As you know, ThyroidChange is a collaboration of more than 7,500 individuals united in the belief that the current guidelines in the field of Endocrinology are not sufficient, and diminish the quality of life for many patients. Our community is greatly excited by the possibilities this symposium presents. This letter is not only to demonstrate our gratitude, but reinforce our areas of concern for discussion during your symposium.
Perception of Current Research
Consistent with research culture, the American Thyroid Association places high value on research with results that have been replicated or corroborated. However, new research is demonstrating what patients know: that current treatment methods are not always sufficient. We cannot thank you enough that you will be discussing the validity of current research findings. We are confident you will share our perspective.
The presentation of thyroid disease is dependent on the physiological make-up of the individual patient. Individual physiology combined with the subjective report of symptoms does not allow for an exclusive symptom list. We believe that this symposium will demonstrate that patients should not be considered euthyroid until the individual patient is relieved of his or her symptoms and optimal levels are found.
Patients report that their TSH levels do NOT have a relationship to the severity of their symptoms. Physicians and patients are finding that the best way to determine the cellular level of thyroid hormone is by testing Free T4, Free T3 and Reverse T3. Unlike TSH, optimizing these levels provides patients with symptom relief. ThyroidChange believes this phenomenon reinforces what we know of human physiology: that TSH is a pituitary hormone that regulates the thyroid levels, but is NOT in fact a direct indication of these tissue thyroid levels.
We request that endocrinologists suspend judgment during the symposium and consider expanding the current thyroid standard panel to include Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies. Running these labs will change the perception of effective treatment options.
Our community is eager to hear your conversation regarding combination T4/T3 synthetic therapy, as well as T3-only and natural thyroid treatments. We are pleased that you have heard the concerns of your patients and as a community of over 7,500 individuals united for better thyroid care (including numerous physicians who have employed the above detailed treatment perspectives), we would be happy to share our experiences with you.
ThyroidChange has united over 7,500 individuals in an effort to demonstrate the inefficacy of synthetic T4-only treatments. Our community is not advocating any one treatment; rather we are advocating for:
- The realization that symptoms correlated with thyroid disease will be individual.
- The TSH serum test to be viewed for its true nature, an indicator of pituitary health.
- Thyroid assessment to employ a complete thyroid panel which includes Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, TSH (as an indicator of pituitary health) and thyroid antibodies.
- Universal access to treatment options, including natural desiccated thyroid, T3-only medication, T4-only medication and T3/T4 synthetic combination methods. Treatment options must be tailored to the individual patient based on symptoms and modified based on both lab results and symptom presentation.
- The inclusion of patient experience in the interpretation of laboratory assessments, and the diagnoses and treatment of thyroid disease.
- Use of your best clinical judgment when assessing new research, creating a forward-thinking culture focused on optimizing patient quality of life and therefore symptom relief.
Thank you for again for your coming symposium. We enthusiastically wait for April’s ATA symposium.
Together, we can create effective change to improve the lives of patients worldwide.