Natural desiccated thyroid, real thyroid gland from pigs, is controversial. Very few thyroid patients are lucky enough to get it prescribed and so most, like me, self-source and self-medicate.
But what is actually in NDT?
Unlike synthetic T4-only medicine such as Levothyroxine, NDT is natural and gives you exactly what your own thyroid (if it was healthy!) would be giving you. These are the hormones: T1, T2, T3, T4 and Calcitonin.
According to a few books, like those by Stop The Thyroid Madness and Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield (The Great Thyroid Scandal..), the below are roles played by each of those five components of NDT mentioned above. I strongly suggest you get both books to learn about them in even more depth.
This hormone is thought to play a role in keeping your thyroid function in check and is believed to influence the heart.
T2 likely plays a role in converting T4 to T3, which is very important. It also likely has an impact on metabolism and burning fat and is effective in increasing liver metabolism and that of the heart.
Referred to as the ‘active hormone’ and has the greatest effect on the body’s energy levels and overall health and well-being. It is more active that T4. T3 is said to be linked to mental health, ability to coping with stress and emotional stability.
Referred to as the ‘storage hormone’, T4’s main function is to convert to T3, both active T3 and reserve T3. T4 is involved in brain function.
Calcitonin is secreted from the thyroid when blood levels are high in Calcium. It acts to lower levels of Calcium in the blood and stops the release of more Calcium from your bones in to the blood. Because of this, it’s said to be effective in the prevention of osteoporosis.
All NDT brands will contain the above five components, but there are many different brands to choose from, and many also contain fillers in addition to the above. Stop The Thyroid Madness have compiled a list of brands and what each contain. You can see this here.
It’s hard to know which brand is for you, so have a good research and maybe reach out to patients who have tried different brands to get a feel for them. I would always suggest working with a doctor to make any change to your health regime, like switching to NDT. You may need to try quite a few until you find one, though.
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