Can you believe what this Endocrinologist said in 1931??

Ever heard of Henry R. Harrower?

He came to the US from England in 1903 at age 20, and with great fortitude and drive, became an MD and Endocrinologist. He had influence in the creation of today’s professional Endocrine Society. He also believed (to the consternation of many of his colleagues) in the use of organs to treat conditions, such as Armour desiccated thyroid.

And in 1931, he made the following incredible statement:

“A good laboratory report is cold comfort to a patient whose symptoms remain unchanged, and the doctor can repeat such reports until he is blue in the face, but they will not help his patient much if unaccompanied by controlled symptoms and changed feelings.”

He also stated:

“Are not the feelings of the patients often as clinically valuable as the other findings? In no case can we wholly discount them.”

BRILLIANT!! BRAVO!! “Cold comfort” couldn’t describe our reaction better when a slew of your modern colleagues have habitually discounted thyroid patient symptoms for decades in favor of ink spots on a piece of paper called “lab results” with dubious “normal ranges”. And we give the same “Bravo” to a growing body of doctors who are making a courageous change in their relationship with patients the last few years by LISTENING to the patient first and foremost.

p.s. Thanks to Stephanie Buist, working to become a naturopath, who posted the first quote above to the Facebook of a mutual friend of ours. You can read more about Harrower here.

How do you feel about what Dr. Harrower said over 100 years ago? How would you rate the Endocrinologists you’ve seen the past few decades as compared to Harrower? Have you had no more than “cold comfort”?

Important notes: All the information on this website is copyrighted. STTM is an information-only site based on what many patients worldwide have reported in their treatment and wisdom over the years. This is not to be taken as personal medical advice, nor to replace a relationship with your doctor. By reading this information-only website, you take full responsibility for what you choose to do with this website's information or outcomes. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use.

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11 Responses to “Can you believe what this Endocrinologist said in 1931??”

  1. Beth Bartlett

    I appreciate this link – your consistent work to share thyroid information. I am a bit on a “sidebar” here, but I despertsyely need your help and/or referral to a site or perspn with information that might help me “have a life clpse to normal” again.I am Postt Radiation Graves Disease – 1996, Too Late For Many/Most Treatment Options, I take .112 mc of Synthroid daily – 0 natural thyroid remains in my body. I wont bore everypne w my nightmare daily or the sad and tragic losses I have incurred due to my following a Dr of Endoc. advice and treatment that has left me seriously DISABLED. LOSS – DEVISTATING. I need advice for patients oof Graves Disease/Post Radiation. Please Advise. I plan to (hope to get in position to initiate and follow through) bring forth a malpractice suit against this doc that will gain national attention, in an effort to prevent others from suffering losses physically, personally, financially and seek to have his credentials revoked permantely. Please help me to help myself and hopefully save others future quality of lifr, possessions, dignity, families, hope. Thank you for all your work to educate, inform and provide hope to so many. Beth

  2. Barbara Williams

    I have a nodular goitre and my lab work is always “normal” but I feel anything but. I wish this guy was about today, he could give today’s endocrinologist something to think about

  3. Pat

    I told my Dr. that I needed a full thyroid panel done & they said ok. I get the results & guess what they only did the tsh labs uggggg!!!! It’s so frustrating!!!! I have problems with my t3 conversion to t4.

  4. Paul

    “how do you feel about what Dr. Harrower said over 100 years ago?”

    over 100 years ago???

    The year is now 2009. 2009 – 1931 = 78

    (From Janie: hahaha. I’m so used to saying “over 100 years ago” when it comes to the first use of desiccated thyroid that I got careless. Thank you for the correction, Paul)

  5. Jean Elizabeth Gittins

    NO HEALTH SERVICE AS FAR AS ENDOCRINOLOGIST IS CONCERNED! First time I ever needed help & it turns out they refuse to address the issues. I have never had the good fortune to speak to surgery doctors (except one) or an endocrinologist who have people skills. Never mind how to carry out the proper tests for thyroid and adrenal problems in one particular hospital I visited recently.

    Why is it these issues are deliberately ignored in this day & age when the knowledge & treatments have been available since before 1930?? I had to pay for a saliva test because I had no help from the surgeon. I had recorded adrenal hypofunction only to be told he did not use the test in his hospital. He then just sent me for a blood test but said there was nothing wrong when I eventually had the result. He did not do the required tests involved for the clinic that day.

    It seems we have to rely on finding a caring doctor who is NOT approved by the NHS before we get any attention. No doubt there are patients who are treated well and have the good fortune to meet the correct person in their circumstances but what is the mystery about laying the cards on the table when it comes to adrenal and thyroid problems. I did send a letter of complaint but there has been no answer as yet!

    Most of us are capable of learning something new every day & I certainly have. I now have decided to help myself as I have done all these years by taking recommended supplements. Yes I have just read another very interesting account about a doctor who proved that Vitamin B12 is something else to be taken on board for a number of illnesses, yet it seems we have to find out for ourselves one way or another.

    I have found so much information in the last nine years–enough to realize something is very wrong with the system called the NHS.

  6. Nancy

    I think most endocrinologists are the worst doctors out there. They only care about labwork. I have been on the awful (wish they would take it off the market) medication that all of them prefer. After over twelve years my body felt like I was over one hundred years old. I tried every diet. Nothing worked. I tried increasing exercise. It made no difference. Doctors tried repeatedly to give me antidepressants. I knew I did not need them. There is a difference in physical and pyschological symptoms. What depressed me was how little the physicians I entrusted with my care actually cared about my treatment. For years, I talked to doctor after doctor about how fuzzy my thoughts were and how slowly I spoke. I’m sure half of them thought I was drunk. One rocket scientist of an endo told me that I may have suffered a stroke. He did not even know the difference between rosacea and facial flushing and he was a recommended specialist. My current doctor is an M.D. He prescribed the armor a few weeks ago. Many of my symptoms cleared up including the foggy thinking which is such an unbelievable relief. After reviewing the information on the website I feel that I have b12 deficiency and adrenal deficiency. What is sad is that I feel like I put my doctor at risk for some kind of retribution from the medical community just for insisting on the Armour. He is a very kind man who genuinely cares about his patients. He stated to me that his fellow physicians might question his treatment, stating “What was he doing trying to specialize in an area that he knew little about.” Yet these same physicians had no problem with him prescribing the synthroid. I don’t want to be responsible for losing the world a good doctor so I feel obligated to self medicate for my other problems. I think it’s sad that patients don’t have the kind of support system they deserve. Thank you for the website. Hopefully the information will get there for other people to see.

  7. Michelle

    I cannot believe this comment was made, with such insight in 1931 and the doctors of today are completely oblivious to this! The last visit I made to my doc was ended like this: I gathered all kinds of information to be able to ask questions about Armour, about T4 to T3 conversion, etc, etc…. He ended up telling me that there is no reason why the body would not convert properly. Also, that the Synthroid is doing its job, of course because all of my labs were “normal”. I asked why I felt so horrible then? Get this…. he said because I’m “overweight and severely de-conditioned.” WHAT? And that if I just exercised, I would feel so much better. Couldn’t believe it! If I could muster enough energy to do any exercise…maybe!!! Right now, I’m feeling like I’m dying. I am constantly in pain, always have chest pain, feel like I can’t breathe, legs hurting, major anxiety problem… among a million other things. This doctor has me thinking that I’m completely nuts! I asked him to check my adrenals and he wouldn’t. I can’t even find a doctor in my area that cares about this. All of the feedback on the endos around here are also the same thing! I did find a naturopath that I’m considering. Don’t know how to feel better.

  8. Dawn

    Your thyroid is controlled is all I got from endos and GPs. I felt like death warmed up, and not warmed up by much either! Indeed it is ‘cold comfort’

  9. Jessica

    I couldn’t agree with your post more!

    As for my experience with Endo’s
    #1: Okay. Had to switch for insurance reasons.

    #2: FAB-U-LOUS. She closed her practice after being sued by a client for giving him armour at his request.

    #3: FIRED 3 minutes after I met her. She walked in, flipped through the records I brought, saw I was on levoxyl & cytomel and said “no patient of mine can be on cytomel. It is dangerous, unstable and will kill the baby inside you”. Without missing a beat I smiled, stood up and said “I won’t be able to be your patient then, have a nice day” and walked out the door.

    #4 Naturopathic Endo – Wonderful. Finally on Naturethroid and didn’t know it was possible to feel this good (and that is in-spite of a hematocrit at 27 and hemoglobin at 8.5!)

  10. Georgiana

    I do have a wonderful doctor. She LISTENS to me. When I told her my Armour was working great, but that I was still having lingering symptoms, she said “Well, you just need some tweaking!” She is so nice. I told her I wanted to keep doing 60mg in the morning but wanted to add a 30mg afternoon dose. She thought that sounded great. I also told her that I take my Armour sublingually. I think she was intrigued by that! I hope she starts prescribing Armour and other dessicated thyroid products to her patients more, and I hope she shares with them this fantastic way to take it. I must say, when I first started dosing sublingually, it almost felt like I had increased my dose so much more hormone was getting to my bloodstream. That is one of the most awesome pieces of information I’ve found since I started fighting this disease. Thank you, Janie!


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