5 weeks on NDT and what my GP said

As hashimotoa patient or under active thyroid, I was ill on levothyroxine and never felt well over 9 months. I had a few months trial of liothyronine (T3) which I took with the Levo. I felt a bit better but was no way optimal, particularly getting out of bed for work and also thinking was cloudy. I decided that as you are supposed to feel well way before 10 months that's I would try NDT. Did a lot of reading (stopthethyroidmadness is a good website on NDT) and ordered from US from a reputable pharmacy.

I started on 1 grain for 2 weeks, then upped to 2 grains on week 3. I had a blood test from NHS GP at the 2 weeks (was on previously 50mcg Levo and 10 Mcg lio) which was 4 weeks + 2 weeks on NDT. It showed me under medicated which I expect on the 1 grain.

I told my GP I was taking NDT and she was horrified and said I wouldn't find an NHS GP in the UK to prescribe me it. She said (after googling it!) that the endo's are against it because of bovine disease (mad cow) which was passed to humans through glands). This she read from an article in Australia she googled). NDT is made from pig thyroid not cows and there is as much counter-argument for using NDT as there is for Levo. It seems cost is a huge factor as NDT is prescribed in the US as Hilary Clinton takes it.

A long story p, however, I wanted to say that after 10 days of taking the NDT I feel the best I have all year. In particular the brain fog is so much improved. I am studying part time and also have a full time job and as you can imagine it has been near impossible to keep both going whilst medication has made me so sick. On Levo I was depressed, spent every available minute in my bed completed zapped out, I had bad digestion (worse than before) and overall I lost "me" the zest for life had gone. So far (and I am aware it is slow and ongoing process to get properly well) I feel that the old me is returning. I am starting to wake up through the night again (which I always used to do to visit the toilet) and feeling more alert. On Levo I could sleep for 14 hours without waking up and still feel like I hadn't slept. I also had very serious emotional imbalance on Levo - some days I was crying and upset for no reason. It totally affected my life, I stopped much of my social life as just wanted to sit in on my own in my pyjamas "resting".

I have moved house (that went better than expected - I think NDT helped with better energy) so will be joining a new GP (my old one said that she would never prescribe NDT but that the NHS would monitor my blood) - great news for someone who has paid NI & tax for last 30 years (!) I am going to try and work on my new GP - will post up how I get On after next blood test on the 2 grains (around January) and if I get any luck asking the NHS To do full thyroid bloods rather than just TSH.

Cost to me on 2 grains just now is approx. £25 for 7-8 weeks supply ordered from US.

6 Replies

  • MY NHS GP prescribes my NDT and although my endo will not prescribe it he supports me taking it and tolerates my supressed TSH so as I am sure you know from this site some GPs will prescribe. Good luck with your new GP.

  • Thanks Debjs. My first TSH was 9.4 which I'm sure will be much less at my next blood test now I have increased my dose. Do you mind if I ask you what your TSH is now to give me an idea of what can still be tolerated by the GP/NHS?

  • My TSH is now below 0.03 which the endo is not happy about but as long as my T3 does not go above the top of the range he tolerates it. I do have receptor resistance though so things are not perfect. Dr Mark Starr in his book on hypothyroidism talks about NDT or Armour in particular supressing TSH when given in adequate doses.

  • The Endocrinology Depatments have been brainwashed into believing that levothyroxine alone is the 'perfect' replacement.

    Consider that NDT has been in use since 1892, and before that we just died a horrible death.

    NDT was successfully used, without blood tests, but by doctors being trained as medical students all of the clinical symptoms of thyroid problems and we were prescribed until we were well. Not when the TSH was 'in range'.

    It was promotion and monetary incentives to endocrinologists by the pharmaceutical companies' who bombarded the endocrinology worldwide that levo was the 'perfect' replacement with blood tests and that NDT was inconsistent and that's what they accepted completely. It didn't matter that patients were kept underdosed or undiagnosed (due to the TSH not rising sufficiently). (I wonder what their profits have been).

    Also one NDT which has been produced for 75 years has never had an inconsistency in the T4-T3.

    Despite three yearly reminders to the BTA and RCoP they did not respond to the following article. Maybe give your doctor a copy, plus the other link too:-



    I am glad you are so much better but just in case you haven't read this in STTM


    GPs an prescribe on a 'named-patient basis' as it is known as a grand-fathered medication. Many still wont prescibe.

  • Referring to the "mad cow" comments from your GP, my all-time favourite, which I read on SSTM, was this one :

    When patient asked doc if she could switch to Armour: “It isn’t a drug that is prescribed anymore and besides, it’s made from pig testicles.”


  • The main reason that most GP's won't prescribe NDT is because compared to levo its much more expensive. Nothing to do with its effectiveness or its contents.

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