The herd are still bellowing their worn-out song

I thought that you might (or there again might not) be interested in the fate of two papers our group has been trying to get past the intransigent blocking tactics of the professional thyroid community. I mentioned earlier that we had submitted them (one a paper on the incidence and presentation of those people who are poor T4-T3 converters/users, the need for FT3 monitoring and the futility of T4 monotherapy for these subjects, and the other an overarching review covering the whole of our findings and the implications opposing current conventional consensus thinking and proposing a rationale for detecting and suitably treating conversion-deficient patients). We have received time and time again refusals even to take our ideas seriously, if at all. The most specious dishonest arguments are put forward - e.g. one reviewer rejected our review simply because "he/she is a firm advocate of TSH based diagnosis" (no chance of objective assessment there! But the editors concurred, rather than disqualifying the reviewer as irredeemably biased). With donkeys like that, it's an uphill struggle. But my message is that we do not give up. Even though the latest RCP guidelines continue the same old dreary story - they remain back in "penny-farthing" days. TUK members can be assured we'll publish, but I can't feel confident about the herd response - other than shrugging of shoulders and turning of backs.

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20 Replies

  • Thank you for trying so much for us Diogenes. Wish there were more professionals like you - we need them.

  • We so understand your frustrations. My approach is totally non-scientific - and yet I still am frustrated with peoples lack of knowledge of how the thyroid works - how dependant they are on the - you are normal - conversation with their GP...

    I live in an aging ex-pat community in Crete and I am surrounded by all those signs and symptoms that in the old days would have guaranteed a diagnosis of Hypothyroidism.... observing also all those medicines dished out as a cure too :-)

    I have seem so many test results where the FT3 result is on the floor and still they are declared normal..... End of story. ( Even with your comment that results can be 50% up or down ! )

    We applaud your work and thank you........

  • Diogenes, it's a shameful state of affairs. Until the papers are accepted can you post links to your research on Twitter and Facebook which have large thyroid patient and advocate followings?

    The following publications curate and publish thyroid info shared on Twitter and are subscribed by doctors and patients. You could even start your own Paper.Li publication.

  • The problem with your suggestion is as always, copyright. If papers are essentially made public before a journal sees them, that automatically means they are no longer novel. One glimmer of hope on the T4-T3 conversion paper is that, though we were chased out of the main journal, its online sister publication expressed interest. We got the usual nonsense of reviewing but it was at least admitted to be "interesting" but not "novel" as a paper. How something can be both at the same time beats me. We've put in a revised version accommodating all the reviewers' demands, silly as they were, so fingers crossed on that one. But the review is really going to be an Everest to climb, because it encapsulates in logical progression all the fallacies of present consensus thinking and where that has gone wrong, why, and setting out the alternative model. In other words, it is a mighty big torpedo with a high load of HE. If (or when) accepted, thyroidology ain't going to be the same again.

  • Diogenes, Let's hope the sister publication accepts your paper and that when comes soon. Thyroidology is long overdue a major rethink.

  • It must be so demoralising for you diogenes when you've worked so hard on these papers. Thank you for what you're doing.

    The tide has to turn.

  • Demoralisation isn't a word I recognise, If you've got the right message you stick with it whatever,

  • Good luck with getting these papers published somehow. I have a background in materials physics and know from first hand experience how difficult the peer review process can be... Once I had a theory paper outright rejected by two referees for a major physics journal as being 'irrelevant' and 'overly complex', when the reviewers for the next journal (of equal scientific standing) declared it 'a tour de force' and 'excellently written'. It was then published almost immediately, with only the correction of a few typos... In my experience, scientific referees are incredibly biased towards their own pet theories and the status quo in general.

  • Thank you for trying to help us! Please don't give up and we won't give up!

  • diogenes,

    What extraordinarily good company you keep - other rejectees could make a most excellent club. The ones we tend to know about have often had the last laugh.

    My tiny experience was of a relative doing his PhD. Sole comment from one referee was complaining at the use of a split infinitive.

    Nature rejects Krebs's paper, 1937

    By Brendan Borrell

    Nature rejects Krebs’s paper, 1937 Photo: © SPL / Photo Researchers, Inc. What would be the perfect revenge for a scientist whose paper is turned away from Nature? A Nobel Prize, of course. Such was the case for Hans Krebs, the biochemist who nabbed the award in 1953 for discovering the citric acid cycle, or “Krebs cycle”—the cellular pathway that converts carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy.

    By Brendan Borrell | March 1, 2010

    And a number of others here:

    (There are bound to be thousands of examples.)

  • Strange you should mention Krebs. My wife worked as a technician in his department and they got on very well; by accident one day she mistook him for the Merton College gardener when the gardener was due to visit the lab to have a look at what was going on, and Krebs turned up unannounced instead. He took the mistake with huge glee and she was remembered by him fondly ever after. I also knew him quite well, but was in a different department with another Laureate: Cyril Hinshelwood. They taught me a lot, if nothing else, total scientific integrity.

  • Diogenes

    I echo everyone else's comments: please keep up your sterling and essential work. You will get there in the end and we will all be over the moon.

    Bon courage!

  • I feel for you, Diogenes. I can't imagine anything more soul-destroying than the professionals in your own sphere of work treating you like a leper and belittling your research. I have experienced this first-hand myself (not in medicine) and I gave up, so I greatly admire you persevering. I, for one, appreciate anyone sticking their neck out for what they believe in, no matter how unpopular it is, and I am sure many people on here do too. I don't treat the sacrifice lightly either and know what it costs you and how lonely it is. It always fills you with self-doubt and rage - neither of which is easy to live with. I applaud you, and here's hoping some day your beliefs will be vindicated.

  • Thank you for all your efforts and good luck Diogenes. 'A firm advocate of TSH based diagnoses' - idiot - it would almost make you laugh if it weren't so serious. Sadly, as many users of this site will vouch, your reviewer is not alone in their entrenched beliefs.

  • Only just read your post Diogenes but wanted to add my thanks too for everything you are doing. I am full of admiration for the line of work you have chosen and what you are doing your best to achieve. As they say, persistence is everything, you will get there in the end and what a legacy that will be! xx

  • It's a real shame research outputs are very often "shelved" by a select group of blue-eyed club members who all sing from the same song sheet to probably avoid change. Colleagues of mine have had years of research/IP bought from them only for it to be shelved to avoid litigation costs, etc. from new technologies. What a sad situation when the furthering of knowledge is thrown away or put on hold to presumably maintain the financial status quo, without looking at the future gains/benefits as a whole. I'm a reviewer (non-medical) and find this mindset baffling. Anyway, hope you find a way forward. Not that I've read any of your work but to echo some of the replies on here, keep up the good work and get the vital changes put into place.

  • Only one trouble; I've now passed the magic 80 in years, and by the most liberal of estimates, I'm an old man in a hurry. BUT, I have medically qualified colleagues who are both younger and determined to carry the message on. And its ultimately on their shoulders I must rest my case.

  • Thank you so much for what you are doing.

    Good luck and Best wishes

  • Diogenes

    How frustrating for you and your team. The effort, time and thought and being hopeful that there are some medical professionals who have an 'open mind'.

    Where are they?

    Thank you to you all in your endevours and hope it's not too long before a reputable organisation/person will publish.

  • the clowns that claim TSH is perfect need to advise how they intend monitoring let alone diagnosing Central /2ndary hypothyroid ??????????

    Its hit 4 members of my family (6 are all hypothyroid )

    and none of those 4 can tolerate Levo or T3 either

    just one granddaughter is well on levo

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