Below this blog post, you will see my original July 25th post about the potentially harmful thyroid article that appeared in Good Housekeeping magazine’s August issue.
And sadly, though thyroid patients can appreciate even getting a reply by the Editors of Good Housekeeping (which is certainly better than the dead silence thyroid patients got from Oprah Winfrey when they emailed numerous times about this horrific thyroid treatment scandal), we certainly are saddened by the continued poor understanding and false suppositions contained in the reply:
We have read your postings and letters with great interest and are moved by the depth of feeling that underlies them. It is obvious that many of you write out of frustration with your own unresolved symptoms, and we are sympathetic to your ongoing difficulties.
Good Housekeeping‘s August 2011 article on thyroid disease describes one woman’s quest to understand her own ambiguous diagnosis. As described in the article, there is a great deal of controversy surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of low thyroid disorders – among mainstream physicians as well as those with a more complementary or integrative orientation. We recognize that much of the information on the Internet serves to support patients who haven’t been heard or understood by their own doctors – a terribly disheartening and frustrating experience for anyone. But it is often difficult to discern what’s been scientifically tested and proven versus what is still being explored. That is why this article, like all health articles in GH, drew on research and advice that is evidence-based; typically, such information comes from credentialed doctors working at leading medical and academic centers. A careful reader of our story will see that doctors we consulted acknowledged that low thyroid levels might be treated if a patient has other problems like infertility or depression or if she has Hashimoto antibodies and other factors.
It is our hope that better understanding of the disease will lead to more effective treatment for all. That’s really the goal and the motivation behind all of Good Housekeeping‘s health coverage.
We thank you for your valuable feedback and encourage you to continue to send us your thoughts. You can reach us at email@example.com.
And here is my reply to the Editors of Good Housekeeping:
We, as thyroid patients around the world, do appreciate that you took the time to reply. We have been the recipients of dead silence all too often in our quest to inspire and educate the media about this near 60-year thyroid treatment problem. Thank you.
But there are incorrect observations and assumptions in your reply that need clarification and intelligent re-thinking:
- This patient-to-patient movement is far more than ‘frustrations with our own unresolved symptoms’. This is about hundreds of millions of us worldwide who have been subjected to a brainwashed bias by medical professionals in the use of T4-only medications and the TSH lab test (both which have left us with lingering hypothyroid symptoms and denied as such by our physicians).
- What you refer to as “a great deal of controversy surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of low thyroid disorders” is, in our experience and observation, only within the boundaries of a dogmatically-trained medical profession comprised of those who seem to have lost the art of paying attention to CLEAR symptoms of hypothyroidism with a so-called “normal” TSH lab test or with the use of the laughable “gold standard” of thyroid treatment–T4-only.
- This is far more than what is “scientifically tested and proven.” Do you REALLY believe that all scientific testing is unbiased and correct?? Do you not understand that much science has been done quite badly, and the results are often in conjunction to whoever or whatever FUNDED the research? Instead, this is about real live and multiple patient experience and outcome–patient experience where lives are changed due to not going by the TSH but by symptoms; where labwork is used as the cart pulled by the horse of symptoms; where desiccated thyroid has been proven to be far more beneficial in the removal of our symptoms than thyroxine ever was or will be…and more. (And here is science that actually underscores our experience).
- You state that the article “drew on research and advice that is evidence-based.” And what about the evidence of millions of thyroid patients who have endured multiple and clear hypothyroid symptoms for years before the TSH lab test rose high enough to reveal their obvious hypothyroid state? What about all of us who have suffered for years in our own kind and degree while on T4-only meds like Synthroid, levothyroxine, etc? What about the irrefutable evidence of those whose lives have turned completely around thanks to desiccated thyroid and/or T3, especially after they treated the extreme side effects of being undiagnosed or undertreated all these years thanks to a clueless medical profession?
- You refer to “credentialed doctors working at leading medical and academic centers” as your source of information: would it shock you to hear that MANY credentialed doctors are the very ones who have kept us completely sick for nearly sixty years?? Ask thyroid patients about all those doctors they saw over the years who were “credentialed”, and your eyes and ears will burn. And what about all the growing body of “credentialed doctors” who now have the courage to state that the TSH lab test is lousy (except for diagnosing hypopituitary), just as is T4-only treatment? They are many!
- And finally, if your “goal and the motivation behind all of Good Housekeeping’s health coverage” is to find more effective treatment for all, do a follow-up article in an upcoming issue about the scandal of T4-only treatment, the poor use of the TSH lab test (which is measuring a pituitary hormone, not cellular levels of thyroid hormones), the experience of patients worldwide on T4, the experience of patients who lives made a complete turn-around thanks to desiccated thyroid or T3, the experience of patients with “credentialed doctors” who have been nothing more than condescending, ignorant, biased and dogmatically close-minded to our experience and wisdom in our own bodies!
Good Housekeeping do a PATIENT EXPERIENCE article! Let your readers use their own wisdom about the “mass experience of patients worldwide” vs the “dogmatic, pharmaceutically-brainwashed “opinion” of a several misguided and credentialed medical professionals.”
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25 Responses to “Good Housekeeping replies…and let’s set the record straight!”
i jsut checked thta article again to read the comments and it says comments are 0!
I have purchased your book. I am waiting for it to be sent to my local Barnes and Nobel bookstore. I have been diagnosed with hypothyroid. I am trying to determine the correct dose of Armour that I should take. My dr prescribed 1 grain to stat with and said I might need double that later. When I go to your calculator to get my ratio of Total T3 to Reverse T3 I get a strange number. My blood work shows T3 to be 86.6 ng/dL and Reverse T3 is 26 ng/dL. Since they are the same ng/dL, can’t I just devide for 9.6 ratio. Using your formula online the ratio come out as 3330.8. Why?
(From Janie: have presented this problem to STTM’s behind-the-scenes techies. Thanks for letting me know.)
Sandra, I take a relatively large amount of dessicated thyroid (whenever I see a different doctor for some reason, they raise their eyebrows at the dosage). Because t3 can cause heart palpitations, something I am rather prone to after 20 or so years of insufficient thyroid hormones, I just find it more comfortable to take smaller doses at intervals of 4 – 6 hours apart, often 1/2 to 1 hour before a meal. That way I can maintain more even t3 levels (the t3 in dessicated thyroid peaks in the bloodstream within about 3 hours, then gradually dissipates). At my last endo visit, I had taken 60 mg around 7 am, then when I saw him around 9:30 he was convinced I was hyper. It would have been too difficult to explain to him that my agitated manner and slightly trembling hands were caused by my disbelief and rage at the drivel he was telling me. He just wouldn’t have understood. He ordered blood work on the spot, and I haven’t heard back from him in over a year! My life is about 90% better now, but I still lack that extra burst of energy I once had, and I can’t seem to focus on trying to lose weight. 20 pounds would probably make me feel a little better, but I can live in the world, work, hang out with family and generally participate in life. I went camping in Maine with my husband a while back, and really enjoyed it. Maybe this is as good as it gets these days (I’m now over 50). Good luck to you.
Oh Teresa, thank you for replying to me and understanding. I wish you continued wonderful life changes. Your reply made my day, that someone understands what I have lost for a reason that could have been prevented. That is the crime.
I know this is not the forum but I’m curious why do you divide your NTH dose into 3-4 as opposed to the norm two per day?
To Sandra, I know how you feel! Thank heaven I had my children very young (3 children when I was between 22 and 27 years old) or I may have had to miss out on my family. In fact, it was after the third child (now 25 years old) was born that thyroid disease reared it’s ugly head. Tremors, dizzyness, prominent eyes, not really a concern to my dr’s until my tsh test came back indicating hyperthyroid (actually it was my sweet mother in law who clued me in). They gave me pills to slow down my thyroid and told me I was “fixed”. By the time my baby boy was heading into kindergarten, when I asked for further thyroid testing, the dr. rolled his eyes, said “we fixed that problem”, and lo and behold, the test came back hypo! Well, my blood work was always “interesting”. Unfortunately, they didn’t at that time treat a tsh below 10, so I waited, exhausted, with 3 young children to care for, to hit the “magic number” on the tsh test only to begin my journey with the t4 medicine (Synthroid) that was supposed to make my life perfect! Needless to say, that was a huge disappointment.
My children are now 25, 27 and 29 years old, and it’s only been the last 4 or 5 years that I’ve been prescribed dessicated thyroid (by Erfa here in Canada) and have gradually started to participate in life again. I can’t wait for grandchildren to play with and share the energy that I didn’t have for my own three. I’ve gotten back into playing the guitar, something that was too painful for so many years because of the joint pain and fatigue caused by my thyroid problems.
It was only a few years ago that an endo (who was otherwise useless) confirmed that I have Graves AND Hashimoto’s diseases and thankfully started me on desiccated thyroid (although a laughably low dose, thank goodness my GP let me increase to 240 mg/day divided into 3 – 4 doses). Thank heaven I found this site and others like it to make me aware of the treatment options available! Good luck to you in your journey.
You are my hero! I am 60-70% better thanks to you and STTM and at almost 49 years old am starting to relive my life. I was so sick before that I missed the opportunity to even consider having children ( I had never imagined that I would not ever have children) as I just knew that staying up with a baby all night long would be impossible. I was even considering leaving my dream job due to complete exhaustion from being totally hypothyroid. It has been a year and a half since I switched to natural thyroid hormone from synthetic crap that I was on since my total thyroidectomy in 1994 and I am so very grateful to you for literally saving me and my life.
What amazes me is how many women I talk to that are on synthetic thyroid medication and are undertreated. I immediately tell them my story and about you and give them your website in hopes that it will help them too.
From the bottom of my heart. Thank you!!!
So what other major magazine can you get to hear our voices that is not owned or manipulated by the pharmaceutical industry?
Marie in PA
Wow! You go, girl!! That was an amazing response. Gave me chills! thank you for taking the time to address this issue. I was recently diagnosed , through the TSH, hypo. I have been absorbing as much as I can through the STTM book, online forums, and perusing the net. My dr is a DO and is totally open to treating presenting symptoms IN SPITE of a ‘normal’ TSH!! thanks again, Jainie!
My mother has cancelled her subscription. She subscribed to that magazine for over 45 years!!!
Thank you for your well-written response Janie. Someday soon everyone will be up to date with the latest findings and the old, incorrect info will be weeded out. Thank you so much for all your hard work – which shouldn’t have to be so hard…
Janie, thank you, thank you. The information on your website STTM gave me back my life. After more than 25 years on synthetic thyroid medication my thyroid symptoms were just getting worse, especially my cholesterol. I tried diet, exercise, but nothing helped. My cholesterol got up to 402! My doctor dropped me as a patient because I refused to take statins. After a long search in Germany and the U.S. I finally found a doctor who prescribes natural thyroid and would work with me. I’ve been on them for 6 months and my cholesterol is down to 262 and dropping. My energy is coming back and I’m not loosing so much hair. Can’t believe my joint pain is gone. The website is a treasure trove of information.
Because of the website, my cousin and I got my 83 year old aunt switch to natural thyroid, after she was diagnosed with dementia. What an improvement. Her doctor is impressed. But it is sad that there are so many more who are not getting good advice. The Good Housekeeping article is just another example. What a shame.
Eric K. Pritchard
The frustration that people, mostly women, have with their continuing symptoms of hypothyroidism is simply this: The tests that endocrinology insists upon address only the thyroid gland (and by implication the pituitary gland) and do not address any of the post thyroid functions, such as the conversion of the primary thyroid secretion (T4) to the active hormone (T3), the cellular reception of T3, and its use within the cell by the mitochondria.
The reality of this problem is also simple: Medical practice was warned of the ineffectiveness of the thyroxine-only therapy in 1947 by Drs. Kirk and Kvorning and again in 1954 by Dr. Means. Medical practice was informed of the existence of a mimic of hypothyroidism and how to diagnose it in 1960-1 by Dr. Goldberg. This disease is known as euthyroid (your thyroid is OK) hypometabolism (but you are exhausted anyway). The relevant physiology was discovered circa 1970 by Drs. Refetoff and Braverman and their respective teams. So patients have been unnecessarily and systematically abused by medical practice for more than 40 years.
One of the major issues, is the imprecison of language. There are two definitions for hypothyroidism and they are physiologically different. The patient thinks of hypothyroidism in terms of the symptoms while the physician things of it in terms of the source. Strictly speaking the source of hypothyroidism is only a deficiently secreting thyroid gland. But from the patient’s perspective, there are other sources – uninvestigated sources.
To make matters worse, the proper therapies for these non-thyroid causes of the symptoms of hypothyroidism are effectively banned by medical practice. Further this ban is enforced or threatened to be enforced by state boards of medicine. Consequently the medical practice guidelines are not really voluntary – they are mandatory – a fact recognized by the US Supreme Court in Goldfarb v. Virginia State Bar and by a lower federal court in Wilk v. AMA. Consequently the only physicians who do diagnose and treat these victims are ones who value their ethics more than they fear their boards of medicine.
These brave physicians have created patient counterexamples. These patients have experienced the consequences of inadequate diagnostics and improper therapies as directed by endocrinology and have experienced the virtual resurrection of their lives with therapies effectively banned by endocrinology. Their experiences demonstrate the lack of reliability in endocrinology’s dictates for the diagnoses and treatment of patients having the symptoms of hypothyroidism. They demonstrate the error in the excessively broad conclusions made upon medical studies that demonstrate the ineffectiveness of the active hormone and the alleged effectiveness of the relatively inactive hormone. These studies really are limited to the special case of no post thyroid deficiencies, which we can see from the study subjects.
I can say for certain sure that this is an accurate representation of reality because both my wife and her mother are patient counterexamples. In fact, they are triple counterexamples. And as triple counterexamples they meet the criteria of the proof of causality usually associated with adverse drug reactions. They have been challenged by the banned T3 therapy with good results, they have been dechallenged with the withdrawl of the T3 therapy with bad results, and rechallenged with the reintroduction of T3 with good results. This proof, otherwise known as CDR, is medically accepted and is accepted by the Food and Drug Administration.
Consequently, the excuse of the lack of medical knowledge is wrong. It exists but it has been ignored.
By the way, if the language aspect of this problem were made precise, as required my good medical practice, in either way, and logical consistency maintained, then this problem would disappear. This is one result in my peer-reviewed published paper, “The Linguistic Etiologies of Thyroxine-Resistant Hypothyroidism.” which is available on the internet at http://www.thyroidscience.com
I think the article backfired in such a huge way that the message of STTM and the pro-dessicated physicians informed people far more than this magazine did damage. It makes one wonder, almost, if the backlash was anticipated and possibly even executed to bring the truth to light in such a way as to not allow the magazine to be the brunt of pharma attacks but to still reveal the truth to the masses. It’s either good that came from evil or a mastermind writer who knew the reactions would lead the world to something better. Thanks Janie. You saved me 20 years of not “being left in thyroid hell”. If it takes a few moron written articles and the backlash to help others, maybe I’ll write one, too. lol.
Janie, thank you for standing up for all of us who have suffered and continue to suffer for many years. Because of the ideas presented by “credentialed doctors” and their TSH test I went without diagnosis for 15 years and then went another 4 years being improperly treated with T4-only meds (levoxyl). As a result, I have lost years of my life to illness and have developed multiple other health issues I will fight for the rest of my life. I am only alive today because someone directed me to Stop the Thyroid Madness and your internet information that finally has me on the path to hope and healing. I pray the medical community will wake up to the suffering and that publications like GH will not censor life-saving information from their readers.
“First they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
Then they fight you.
Then you win.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
So even Magazines are bought out by Big Pharma and continue to perpetuate their vitriolic push for the synthetics. All I can say is I spent over 20 years on that garbage and the only thing it was fit for was lining a trashcan. Finding online information on here for one was a lifesaver for me. My kids and hub would verify the amazing difference in me just for taking dessicated meds. But it also seems like our increasingly growing voices may eventually be heard someday. So, NOT ONE of us can sit back on our laurels….we MUST continue to voice ourselves and be heard. As Janie said in her book….we are pioneers and until the frontier is mastered we must keep on the road!
Wow, once again the “patent” medical answer and “glib” comments by the author of this article, to an incredibly complex condition. When your condition worsens and you start to suspect your doctor is not listening or is not interested in what’s REALLY going on with you AND… you suspect the Synthroid you are taking is no help at all…please look up those of us who have “been there”. You will see a whole other side to this that you apparently were not aware existed.
Excellent reply! I hope GH will publish your answers — it must be known!!!
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Patient
Under the care of Dr Rommel Geronimo (San Diego, CA)
I have been seeing these types of “articles” show up in various media. This article is “propaganda” put out by the Pharm companies masquerading as legitimate research. Even the response from GH was likely written by a rep from the makers of synthetic HRT.
corporations have been ruling the world but thanks to the internet we’re learning that, and can learn from each other and not be brainwashed any more by corporations, big pharma, the AMA , agribusiness etc etc
That response from good Housekeeping sounded just like the doctor dogma we are fighting against.
Hopefully they will think more about your second response, read your book, do a little research and get a little educated.
It’s sad enough that so many of our doctors allow themselves to be blinded by big pharma. Now we have to put up with large magazines reiterating the same incorrect and non-scientific based information.
Thanks for standing our ground!!!
yes thansk you jamie !! i agree great reply ! go get em
BRAVO!!! I couldn’t have said it better.
It all boils down to money.
There’s money in printing incorrect information because Good Housekeeping is more interested in its advertising than accuracy.
There’s money in patenting Synthroid and scrapping older methods.
And there’s no money in doing tests to see what actually works unless it’s for a new patentable pharmaceutical 🙁
Wow! What a reply! Thank you Janie for being our advocate!! You write brilliantly!! Love that you are doing this!