GP had not heard of NDT

I have just been to see my GP and told him that I am giving myself a trial of NDT. He didn't seem to react and when he was filling in a blood test request on the computer asked me how much thyroxine I was on. I repeated that I was taking NDT and had stopped taking thyroxine. He didn't know what it was and asked me if it was herbal. I was completely amazed that he didn't know what I was talking about. Surely I can't be the first person in the surgery to ever mention NDT?

I had been very nervous about telling my doctor and thought I might be given a lecture, drummed out of the practice or something. I was wondering whether anyone else told their GP only to find that their GP had not heard of NDT?

15 Replies

  • Repton1 GPs are taught in medical college that Thyroxine works for everyone and that the TSH test is the gold standard.

    I've encountered plenty of GPs who've never heard of T3, without exception when I try to explain what it is and why I'm taking it the conversation is shut down. They don't want to know.

  • Repton1,

    Your GP will probably have heard of Armour or Erfa but may not have been familiar with the acronym NDT.

  • Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT) is not a term used in medicine, as a rule. (I don't know where it came from, nor when.) I'd love to see the term thrown out completely.

    I am convinced that many medics who are not specialists, if they have any idea whatsoever, think of NDT as being one of the products like Nutri-Thyroid which has an uncertain thyroid hormone content. Few understand that the best "proper" products are probably at least as consistent as many makes of levothyroxine and have a declared thyroid hormone content.

    More commonly used terms in medicine are:

    Desiccated Thyroid Extract (DTE)

    Thyroid BP (the desiccated thyroid product that used to be available in the UK)

    Thyroid USP (which is actually the desiccated thyroid powder before being formed into tablets)

    The major index of research papers, PubMed, has a clever mechanism which takes what you are searching for and automatically includes various synonyms. It does NOT include Natural Desiccated Thyroid. If you search for that, it just adds "Natural" to the search terms as a separate word. It then ends up with the grand total of just 9 papers.

  • That is very interesting - I had no idea that NDT was not the term commonly used in medicine.

  • Always strikes me that in a UK context, referring in some way to Thyroid BP might be a good ploy? The very name gives it some credence - and the main reasons put forward for it to be removed from the BP in the 1980s (hence from the market) no longer apply.

  • There's a mention for "natural dessicated thyroid" in an issue of Farmers' Digest from 1943.

  • Thank you! Well found... or remembered? :-)

  • A Google book search, limited to 20th century and ordered by date. I wasn't farming back then, or since :-D

  • I saw my dr last week she didn't know what t3 was or how to read my bloods or that a suppressed Tsh is dangerous (in my case any way) she had to get another Dr in to the room and she told me if I was to self medicated with anything that wasn't prescribed by the surgery they would by only able to treat me for my prescribed drugs eg, the thyroxine.

  • I spoke with a pair of young hospital pharmacists who didn't know of it and seemed to think it was herbal.

  • With the many products such as:

    Thyrotrophin PMG

    Thyroid Complex

    Thyroid Basics

    Thyroid Support

    Nutri Thyroid

    Which are herbal, vitamin, mineral or non-thryoid hormone products, it is not at all surprising to read that. (And there are many more that could be added to that list.)

    I have always felt that the word "Natural" tends to reinforce the idea that it isn't a real prescription product.

    I never write NDT here except when in some way quoting. I tend to put desiccated thyroid in full. Sometimes adding "porcine", "prescription-quality" or whatever else I think needed at the time.

  • I agree re the word 'natural'. You mentioned that the reasons for Thyroid BP to be withdrawn in the 1980s no longer apply. I was wondering what those reasons were? I am interested in case I do get into a meaningful discussion with my gp!

  • A recent post of mine explicitly reported the BMJ letter from several then-eminent endocrinologists which appears to have sounded the death-knell:

  • I have a very good GP who knows me and listens. He is retiring soon :(. We worked together when he could see T4 was not working for me, and tried T3, which was a lot better, but I still did not have a brain.

    I came on here and discovered NDT, which has given me back my brain. The GP could see straight away I was a lot better and I gave him some information. He was reassured that buying it from the USA it must be safe. He agreed with me that the body does not produce something it does not need, so a body must need T1 and T2 too! This is an argument that they cannot fight against, so may be useful for others here.

    I recently had a blood test and my TSH is 0.02 which is fine by me, but I have been called back into the surgery to "discuss" my results by another GP who has obviously not read my notes. Lets hope I can educate another doctor! I can bet he has not heard of NDT!

  • Any doctors that you or anybody else "educates" about NDT are then subject to the following obligation from the GMC: “CONSENT: PATIENTS AND DOCTORS MAKING DECISIONS TOGETHER. (9) YOU MUST give patients the information they want or need about (l) any treatments that you believe have greater potential benefit for the patient than those you or your organisation can offer.”

    Just Google the words to find the source online.

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