Funny how things work. I had been wondering what the heck was going on with thyroid patients in the UK after the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) came out with their February 6th guideline stating that 1) thyroxine was the only medication needed for hypothyroidism, 2) “natural” medications were dangerous and 3) the only labs needed are the TSH and T4.
All the above goes totally against the life-changing experience of a growing body of patients.
Equally a part of this B-grade horror movie is the stand taken by the British Thyroid Association (BTA). Read it. And UK-TPA thyroid patient advocate Sheila Turner began to go through her own hell when her Armour was taken away, which you can read about in the February 20th blog post here.
And suddenly, I get an email from Sheila, informing me that the RCP stand is as bad as it was three months ago for her and other thyroid patients.
Sheila states: This is absolutely unbelievable that out of the hundreds of references we sent to the Royal College of Physicians to show their guideline to be flawed, they have taken no account of one single one of them. They are publishing their previous guidance without one since change. The world has gone mad.
Dear Sheila, Further to my email of 6 April, the comments and materials received by the College have been reviewed. This position statement or guidance (not a guideline) was produced on behalf of the Royal College of Physicians, in particular its Patient and Carer Network and the Joint Specialty Committee for Endocrinology and Diabetes; the Association for Clinical Biochemistry; the Society for Endocrinology; the British Thyroid Association; the British Thyroid Foundation Patient Support Group and the British Society of Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes and is endorsed by The Royal College of General Practitioners. The President has asked me to let you know that this review has not resulted in any changes to that statement. It should be noted that it is about the treatment of primary hypothyroidism and does not preclude other treatments for exceptional cases by specialist endocrinologists who can make clear to patients any associated risks. References supporting the statement are listed below. Yours sincerely, Catharine Perry Administrator • Diagnosis and treatment of primary hypothyroidism. BMJ 2009;338:b725 • Vaidya B, Pearce S. A Clinical Review of the management of hypothyroidism in adults. BMJ 2008;337:a801. This contains references for 35 articles and states that Armour thyroid is of no proved additional benefit to levothyroxine. • The Lancet Volume 363, Issue 9411, Pages 793 – 803, 6 March 2004. This covers the history, epidemiology, pathophysiology, and clinical diagnosis and management of hypothyroidism and is written by Caroline GP Roberts and Paul Ladenson of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA. This review, which references 164 clinical articles, states that the treatment of choice for hypothyroidism is levothyroxine sodium (thyroxine) and does not refer to Armour thyroid. • Baloch Z, Carayon P, Conte-Devolx B, et al. Laboratory medicine practice guidelines. Laboratory support for the diagnosis and monitoring of thyroid disease.Thyroid 2003;13:3-126. • Association of Clinical Biochemists BTA, British Thyroid Foundation. UK Guidelines for the use of thyroid function tests. http://acb.org.uk/docs/tftguidelinefinal.pdf • Surks MI. Ortiz E, Daniels GH, et al. Subclinical thyroid disease: scientific review and guidelines for diagnosis and management. 2004;291:228-238.
And as your peruse the six references above which they use to defend their tunnel-visioned, moronic position, you realize that you, your words, and your positive-outcome experience on desiccated thyroid, as well as the use of far better labs, is about as important within the UK’s latest medical pronouncement as is dirt on the bottom of a rusted bucket in the middle of an empty field in nowhere. Yup.
Or as Harold Shipman stated about the RCP’s guidelines: What a brilliant wheeze.
See below on the potential importance of potassium in your health and well-being. And on the May 7th post about the party being over with Forest Pharmaceuticals, comments continue to come in about experiences with the “new” Armour.