Previously on Hormona… My treatment post-Thyroidectomy was, in my opinion, not working for me. So, I started taking care of it myself, using just T4, and T3 was never, ever something that entered my head as a form of treatment. And now whole new world might be on the horizon…
My own Endo
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve basically been taking care of my own meds for many years. And that’s not just a comment on the treatment I’ve received. It’s actually something that was requested of all NHS patients back in the early Noughties. They wanted us to become Patient Experts, because knowing your body and symptoms can save doctors lots of time… And, I assume, money.
So, that’s what I did. I became my own Endocrinologist, specializing in me. I know when I need to drop or increase my meds for a couple of days, weeks, or months, because I know what the physical and emotional changes mean. But also because blood tests, multiple appointments, and convincing skeptical medical types that something isn’t right takes time that I simply don’t have. I change the meds, or I get sick. It really is that simple.
And then there’s the increments in which the medication is available. They are far too large. The smallest pill available to me is 12.5mcg, but there are days when the line between over and under can be almost invisible. And there’s no way I’m the only person in that situation. In fact, Hormona’s own co-founder Karolina Lofqvist also has exactly the same issue.
So how many Thyroid patients in total aren’t getting the right dose because the pills are too high to begin with? And how many of us are just setting our own dose?
Thyroid therapy: All T4 and no T3
But perhaps the main reason I’m of the opinion Thyroid treatment is failing is T3. Given how I’ve just told you that I consider myself a Patient Expert, I can’t believe that I’d literally never heard of T3 as medication until recently. But now I know, I’m convinced that lots of us would likely benefit from some form of T3 therapy.
Why had I never heard of it? Honestly, I don’t know. Back in the day, Thyroid patients were prescribed a combination of T4 and T3, but that was before synthetics. Once Levothyroxine burst onto the scene, allowing for better T4 management, it seems T3 became seen as unnecessary. Why? our body converts T4 to T3 when you’re short of it.
These days, T3 is rarely measured, particularly post-diagnosis. And yet, a healthy Thyroid would produce both T4 and T3, as well as doing some conversion. So it seems a little odd that we don’t attempt to mimic that setup, and instead ask a lot of a damaged body.
T4 and T3: The future of treatment
There is good news, though, gang. And it isn’t just that you’re nearly at the end of this series. No, the juggernaut that is Endocrinology has started to remember that T3 can work for lots of people. In fact, Endo societies in the US and Europe once again recommend it as a second-line treatment for certain patients. How long that’ll take to filter down to doctors on the ground is anybody’s guess, but at least it’s happening.
Now, you may remember, way back in the mists of time, I said my Thyroid treatment journey lead me to Hormona. When I first met co-founder Jasmine Tagesson and she explained where Hormona was going, I knew I’d found my hormonal home.
Yes, awareness is important, which is why I and lots of the team write the blogs and app pieces, spreading as much hormone-related info as we can, as often as we can. But it’s far from the most we can do.
Hormona’s healthcare revolution
I’ve always said that we’re going to change hormone healthcare, and I’ve always meant it. From more regular testing, including T3, to individually tailored hormone therapy that I can control with confidence, there’s so much that could change about Thyroid treatment.
And while it’s early days, Hormona has plans, big plans, that’ll help people like Karolina, and me, and my mum, and the millions of women who are never 100%, for the want of more regular tests and a small, regular, change in medication. It’s why I started writing for them in the first place. And it’s why I’m now the copywriter, with no intention of going anywhere until it’s done.
Stick with us, gang. We’re going to make you, and me, feel better. For real.