A year later we finally get the results of last years survey. Not very impressive for T4 mono-therapy. I find it interesting that a PhD did the write-up not an MD endocrinologist. Thyroid wants $51.00 to read the full report, maybe someone can find a copy? PR
Hypothyroidism is a common disease that requires lifelong treatment with thyroid hormone. Current guidelines recommend daily tablets of levothyroxine. Clinical studies indicate that some levothyroxine-treated patients remain symptomatic as compared with control individuals. These patients may complain of sluggishness, lethargy, sleepiness, memory problems, depression, cold intolerance, hoarseness, dry skin, body weight gain, and constipation; patients may also change physicians multiple times in pursuit of better quality of life. To gain further insight and patients’ perspective on the treatment of hypothyroidism the American Thyroid Association organized an online survey dedicated to hypothyroid patients in the Spring of 2017.
In this survey, hypothyroid patients were asked to rank satisfaction with their treatment and their treating physician on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the maximum. Responses were categorized according to their therapy, which was identified as (i) levothyroxine, (ii) levothyroxine plus liothyronine, or desiccated thyroid extract (DTE).
A total of 12,146 individuals participated in the survey, with an overall degree of satisfaction of 5.0. Many patients also reported other important clinical conditions such as depression, stressors or other medical conditions, and were subsequently eliminated. Of the remaining 3,670 individuals, those taking DTE reported a higher median treatment satisfaction of 7.0 compared to other treatments. At the same time, the levothyroxine treatment group exhibited the lowest satisfaction of 5.0. Individuals taking DTE were also less likely to complain about weight management, fatigue/low energy levels, mood, and memory, compared to those taking levothyroxine.
In conclusion, a subset of patients with hypothyroidism is not satisfied with their current therapy. Higher satisfaction was reported by those patients taking DTE. Future studies should investigate why DTE is preferred by this subset of dissatisfied patients.
Contributed by Sarah Peterson, PhD