Professor Colin Dyan quoted in Daily Mail

I was disappointed to see Professor Colin Dyan of Cardiff, Endocrinologist quoted in the Daily Mail as saying: 'There's a strong placebo effect with these patients,' says Professor Colin Dayan, director of the Institute of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at Cardiff University.'I've done double-blind studies that have found patients can respond much more strongly to getting thyroid hormone in a trial, even when they have been getting it as a regular treatment.

'They assume it's a new and different treatment.'

as I was hoping to get my GP to refer me to him.

Has anyone else seen him in person and found him unsympathetic like he appears in this article? Please let me know via PM before I make a fool of myself with my GP. Thanks

ps I am assuming it's okay to mention his name as he is in a public paper stating his point of view?

12 Replies

  • Dr Dyan was the first endo that I was sent to. I found him reasonably sympathetic, and he agreed on my first consultation to let me have liothyronine as the huge dose of thyroxine that my GP had prescribed was making me ill.

    His statement about patients getting the same treatment in a trial is flawed of course because we all know that hypo patients with a problem, respond differently to different brands of medication. So unless he was using the same brand in the trial, he can't claim that it was a placebo effect.

    I also find the idea that a doctor is effectively trying to trick his patients in that way is somewhat unethical.

    'Placebo' appears to be the weapon of preference for doctors that can't find a valid answer as to why their patient is not getting better.

    In short: nice chap but like most of them, he needs educating.

  • it certainly wasn't a placebo effect when many patients were changed from Goldshield Eltroxin to MP generic. So many recognised a change that we couldn't all be wrong.

  • Yes, I was disappointed too. I rather think it was Mr Dayan who was chosen to monitor Dr Skinner when the gmc had their last bout of lunacy.

    Maybe he is just covering his own back?

    G x

  • I have read some of Prof Dayan's research which is some of the best. I also met him at a presentation to patients. I do not know anyone who has seen him. I'm not sure if he sees patients? He might be just on the research side.

    I have found him to be open minded and helpful. I think his comment re placebo effects whilst valid might have been taken out of context, the reporter will have wanted to present another side of the argument. The observation about patients responding to thyroid hormone in a trial is valid as the research has to be double blind. The patients are usually told about the use of placebo tablets, it's the only way to know if the medication is working. There are many reasons why a patient might respond differently in a trial, I won't go into them as it would be off topic.

    In short, I haven't seen him as a patient but I think he's a very good endocrinologist. I would check that he does see patients before you ask your GP for a referral (if you haven't done so).

  • I expect the people he experimented on had high hopes of him making them feel better, therefore they would of put themselves in that position mentally, what a mental trick, huh..........I just feel that todays GP's have no empathy at all.

  • Thank you to all of you for your useful information and comment. I think from experience of m.e that it is perfectly possible to feel better through mental effort, hope, placebo, however it does not last if there is a pathological problem and after a few weeks one feels rubbish again and disappointed that what you've tried hasnt lasted. I Wd be interested to know how long the placebo he reports lasted because lots of the patients in the article experienced a difference for decades and I doubt very much that placebo works for more than a month or two at the most. Yes he does see patients is my understanding and I will continue with my battle for the GP to refer me. Thank you again lovely people!

  • Having suffered all the usual hypo symptoms after having a TT and putting up with them for 4 years I finally tried a combo of T4 and T3. Oddly enough the symptoms cleared up, not all off them but the really bad ones. In fact, I am in the process of increasing my T3 to see if I can fine tune my meds and get back to my old self pre TT. Guess what, the only parameter changed was the introduction of T3. Does this prof expect me to believe it was placebo effect. I personally find this statement an insult to my inteligence as I am sure many other people will. When will doctors/endo's etc understand we don't like being ill, we don't have time to be ill and it is not all in the mind. Why can't they accept and be humble about the fact that they can't know everything about everthing. Maybe listening to a growing number of thyroid patients who are becoming aware of T3 and getting better (if they can get a prescription for it) and perhaps doing more clinical studies. In my opinion I think the THEORY of how T4 and T3 works in the human body is well understood. But it appears to me there is a lack of understooding as to how this medication ACTUALLY works in individuals. Well, I for one,would like to throw operator bias into the mix. If these data are a true reflection of real thyroid patients then the only conclusion I can come to is poppycock. I have "abnormal bloods" (not in range) but I am feeling very much better. Personally I would not only question the meds offered to thyroid patients but would also question the validity of the blood tests. I am sure I am not the only one who doesn't happily fit into the compartments that this prof would like and will not put up with this debilitating illness just because I don't fit into his model. Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry all my life, been involved with research, development, clinical trials etc I think I am qualified to realise whether the benefits are real or placebo and indeed have documented my own personal journey to this point in time. I don't like taking any medication not even for a headache as I am a firm believer in mind over matter. However, that won't suit everybody and why should it. We are all different and have to cope the best way we can. I am fed up with hearing from these so say professionals spouting fourth with what I now believe to be a load of clap trap. How many of these professionals who ultimately make decisions on what meds should be available have had or got a thyroid problem and have found that T4 alone doesn't work for them. I would suggest none because if they had felt like I have for the past 4 years I think they would soon question the relevance of their own research.

  • Here here! Although as others have pointed out he has been known to prescribe t3 so perhaps daily mail have done their usual sensationalism and quoted him out of context.

    Ironically I have just received a copy of tony robin sons book recovering with t3 and he thanks the said prof, so he can't be all bad. Looks very interesting helpful book!

    I have often wished drs who don't believe in m.e would get it, however when dr s do get it they are ostracised by their colleagues and disbelieved. I have an aunt who is an oncologist and this is exactly what happened to her when she found herself in a wheel chair!

    Science must start with observation, that is anecdotally, then progress to hypothesis and attempt to disprove the hypothesis not prove it! Well that's how it used to be before big pharmas started playing the tune.

  • I read his placebo comments out loud to my husband because I couldn't believe what I was reading. What a total patronising pratt. I'm not one who is ever really stuck for words but he sounds awful. All I can say is that I hope someone sticks a placebo where his sun doesn't shine.

  • Agree with fruitandnutcase. Sounds like a complete tool.

  • Making a research driven observation of a placebo effect is one thing. However, where he 'assumes' to understand the reason i.e. the patients think a new drug is better, is ridiculous and contradictory. The whole point of a placebo is that the reason for its effectiveness is unknown. If he's so confident he knows why patients feel better, its no longer a placebo because improvements then have a known cause. Not much of a research scientist.

  • I saw Prof Dayan he prescribed T3 (I was already on it on private sript) and was excellent in the consult, but I did not get any real diagnosis. A few months later I became so ill I could not swallow and was so unwell it was my GP who said he believed something was going on with my thyroid, he ran TGab's & TPO's and they were in 1000's sent me for thyroid scan and I had 16 nodules (were only 2 on previous scan) also other antibodies were off scale. When we contacted Dayan it took him 8 weeks to respond, in fact he ignored I & GP for a while, when he dod reply he said antibodies had no significance. He was truly caring in the initial consult but my oh my how things changed when I and GP asked why all these tests were not run. A Very different man from who I initially saw

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