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Against the Grain with Dr. Chad Edwards | Oklahoma City Prolotherapy| Podcast 9 – Part 4
It converts T4 to T3 but there is a normal biochemical mechanism for creating this reverse T3. You remove a different iodine and that chemical then behaves very differently. One of the issues is that not only does it take away that T4 molecule that can no longer become T3 but that reverse T3 binds to the same receptor that T3 binds to but it doesn’t exert physiologic effect. In effect you’re diverting away the T4 so you’re making something that doesn’t work and it plugs the spot for the one that actually does.
We look at this T3 reverse T3 ratio and it can give me an idea of how the patient feels and her TSH remember was completely normal. We talked before about- I forget what we called her but I think we called her Sally about her TSH level being normal. It was in one of our earlier podcasts and her reverse T3 was like way high.
This lady, her reverse T3 was way high. I was like I don’t know if that’s what’s going on because that can be elevated in older patients, so didn’t really know is this what’s going on. Long story short I ended up taking her off Synthroid and putting her on T3 only. That was on a Wednesday. On Monday she had a follow-up appointment with her neurologist and I got a letter Monday afternoon from that neurologist that said there’s nothing we need to do, she’s completely back to normal, in 4 days.
Brian Wilkes: Wow.
Dr Chad Edwards: This isn’t a patient that- there was nothing wrong with her thyroid but it felt like it was a thyroid problem but it was because she was on T4 only Synthroid. Her real problem was a conversion problem where she was converting that T4 that we’re giving her to reverse T3. Why is another topic and we can have a podcast about that in the future but she felt dramatically different on T3 only.
Brian Wilkes: Dr. Chad, America’s doctor.
Dr Chad Edwards: I did the best I could do.
Brian Wilkes: I tell you I’m pretty impressed by the story and I’m more impressed because I know one thing because I had grandparents. Once you hit 90 years old you don’t mind telling somebody they did a bad job. You know what I mean?
Dr Chad Edwards: Yeah.
Brian Wilkes: Very rarely will you say I feel better.
Dr Chad Edwards: Right.
Brian Wilkes: It’s pretty impressive story because obviously at 90 years old, percentage wise it’s pretty special when someone feels like there’s an improvement.
Dr Chad Edwards: Oh yeah.
Brian Wilkes: I would think it’s also pretty sad that it possibly took a long time for her to get to you to really get some help. There’s no telling how long this lady had to suffer through this right?
Dr Chad Edwards: Yeah.
Brian Wilkes: Pretty amazing story.
Dr Chad Edwards: It just underscores how Synthroid isn’t always the answer. It certainly Has its plcae. Synthroid isn’t always the answer, following TSH alone is definitely not the answer but you got to understand the whole picture. It’s very nuanced, there is a lot to it and we’re just scratching the surface but just as an introduction, TSH is not the only lab checking for thyroid.
Brian Wilkes: Before we bounce here, let’s talk about the symptoms of a thyroid problem, specifically for listeners out there if you’re feeling what?
Dr Chad Edwards: If you’re feeling tired and fatigued, can’t get out of bed in the morning you could have lower basal body temperatures, in the 97s instead of that 98.6. You can definitely have some lower average body temperatures. You can have some skin problems; dry skin, those kind of things. You have constipation, you can have hair loss. There’s a whole host of symptoms but those would be the big ones.
Brian Wilkes: I got some notes here, ask about NDT.
Dr Chad Edwards: NDT is natural desiccated thyroid. That is like Armour Thyroid or naturothyroid. The interesting thing about this is a lot of endocrinologists are opposed to therapy with natural desiccated thyroid. There’s a website that talks about kind of quackery and stuff like that and they’ll tell you don’t ever use natural desiccated thyroid. Yet there’s nothing in the scientific literature that says not to. There’s one particular manufacturer of natural desiccated thyroid that’s had some recalls in the past.
They were recalled by the FDA. Those medications are controlled by the FDA. The particular thyroid that I use, that I recommend, the natural desiccated thyroid that I recommend has not had recalls. We get very consistent results. We’ve not had issues and it’s not the version that a lot of people will hear about. I use naturothyroid and Armour had a recall. I think it was in 2005 and it may not have been the only one but the naturothyroid I have had very good success with. It’s worked really well, but it has T4 and T3.
Both of those- it’s the T3 that tends to help people feel better and I’ve had patients- I’ve got them on my website. You can go the testimonial section. I have had patients that just came back in tears because it made all the difference in the world for them. There’s nothing in those- the hypothyroidism guidelines that say don’t use it. Yet I hear it from so many physicians you should never do that. It doesn’t say it anywhere in the literature. This is bad advice that’s been propagated over and over again.
Brian Wilkes: Again before we go I want to talk just 30 seconds on compounds and why they are important.
Dr Chad Edwards: The normal human thyroid is roughly 90% T4, 10% T3. The natural desiccated thyroid is either bovine or porcine derived and is generally in that 80-20 kind of role, so 80% T4, 20% T3. You end up getting a little higher proportion of T3. It’s not uncommon that we’ll measure their levels and their T3 levels are a little bit higher. We can through compounding we can get the ratio exactly what we want and the patient needs.
Brian Wilkes: Let me just say for people that don’t understand what compounding is. Imagine your stomach is upset, you have Tums and you’ve got a headache. Instead of taking extra high doses to fix both problems, you would compound those two together for a natural occurring effect to both.
Dr Chad Edwards: Right.
Brian Wilkes: Rather than overdosing on both.
Dr Chad Edwards:Through compounding we can really any chemical we can put it in the proportion that the patient needs and customize it for that patient.
Brian Wilkes: Right, it’s like a custom car, man.
Dr Chad Edwards: I don’t own a compounding pharmacy, I’ve no stock, I have no financial ties to compounding whatsoever but I believe it’s one of the best things that we can do to take care of our patients because it’s customized for that patient.
Brian Wilkes: It’s the knock on the healthcare industry. Everyone is uniquely created by God right?
Dr Chad Edwards: That’s right.
Brian Wilkes: They should be uniquely cared for.
Dr Chad Edwards: That right.
Brian Wilkes: We should have unique medicine.
Dr Chad Edwards: Like unique New York.
Brian Wilkes: Unique, unique, keyword. All right, thanks everyone. We’ll see you on the next podcast.
Dr Chad Edwards: Thanks Brian.
Speaker 2: Thanks for listening to this week’s podcast with Dr. Chad Edwards. Tune in next where we’ll be going against the grain.