Ndt is it suitable for thyroid cancer patients ? - Thyroid UK

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Ndt is it suitable for thyroid cancer patients ?

I have had half of my thyroid removed and a lump which was cancer in March I am now scheduled for the other side of the thyroid to be removed in

May but I want to find out what's the difference between ndt and the nhs prescription ? Hope someone can help me slightly confused with it all !

7 Replies

NDT is natural dessicated thyroid hormone, so called 'natural' as it's made from either pigs or cows thyroid gland and has been in use for more than 110 years, whereas levothyroxine which is the only one recommended in the guidelines of British Thyroid Association is levothyroxine.

Levothyroxine, T4 should convert to is a synthetic thyroid gland hormone. Many do o.k. on it but others find they feel better on the NDT, which contains T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin and is more synergistic to the human body but is more expensive than levo (£1.50 approx per month).

Every thyroid receptor cell in our body of which there are billions have to have T3 to function - being the active hormone. T4 is inactive.

Doctors will not prescribe NDT as they go by the guidelines. They could prescribe on a 'named patient' basis but I believe that's frowned upon.

I am sorry you are to lose the other half of your thyroid gland and hope you have a replacement thyroid gland hormone which makes you feel well again. Usually, as you have cancer you will need enough to make your TSH suppressed.

Always get copies of your blood test results with the ranges for your own records and so you can post if you have a query.

When you have a blood test, do not take your medication before your test but take it afterwards as it may skew results. Always take levo with one glass of water, not having eaten for around 1 hour. Take supplements four hours later as they may interfere with the uptake of levothyroxine.

I wish you well after your op and also that you have a good Endocrinologist.


In regards to supplements what do patients usually take ? Thanks for the reply


Usually vitamins but it can also include other medications. This tells you the ones which are important or their function.




My friend had similar experience to you she had her surgery in London and was put on T3 only and is doing well.



That's good to hear of a good experience ! Thank you


I have had thyroid cancer and have been on NDT for 16 months...with an awful lot of hard work increasing all my other minerals it has given me my life back after years of substandard treatment on T4. But NDT is not for everyone and endo's are very reluctant indeed to prescribe. I think you need to be quite a while on from initial diagnosis...please PM me if you need to x



You may not be able to persuade your specialist to prescribe NDT as it isn't licensed for use in UK. You can request T4 and T3 combination but may not get it until you've tried Levothyroxine for a few months and proved it isn't working for you.

You'll be put on a high dose of Levothyroxine to suppress your TSH in order to reduce the chances of recurrence. Labs usually measure FT3 in addition to TSH and FT4 when TSH is suppressed. My FT3 dropped below range despite being overmedicated on Levothyroxine to suppress TSH and endo ignored it. I added T3 to my prescribed T4 and it made a great improvement to my health and endo now prescribes T4 and T3 combination. Some surgically hypothyroid patients do well on Levothyroxine monotherapy but I wasn't one of them.

It's crucial to get copies of your TFT results with ref ranges at every blood draw to monitor your symptoms and dosing.

I hope your completion thyroidectomy is benign.


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