Harvard Says TSH Enough Testing !!!!: Hello... - Thyroid UK

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Harvard Says TSH Enough Testing !!!!

ASkepticalConsumer profile image

Hello everyone. I subscribe to Harvard Medical School research and this article just arrived today.

I am compelled to sent this along as I am mortified with the content.

Thought you would enjoy having reconfirmation of what we are up against.

Stay Well Everyone and Blessings to You All!

health.harvard.edu/blog/nee...

72 Replies

Shocking

Gosh! No wonder you were "mortified with the content"?

It's horrendous!

From the comments section:

" the author of this article, feels the other tests don’t matter. Well they matter to the person who wants to be able to get out of bed in the morning and be able to function!!! Stop spreading this nonsense!"

6 out of the 7 "comments" were similarly disparaging ....

" comments" were then closed.....

but are much more fun to read than the original article

I wonder what Mr "TSH is all you need" would make of my current TSH 1.94 .. all good eh ?

but my fT4 is 142% .. is that OK too then ? funnily enough my own Doctor seems to think i'll die from it. (He's wrong too )

And how would he decide what dose i should have been put on ..my TSH was :

2.9 on 50mcg

2.5 on 100mcg

2.7 on 150mcg ... So my TSH apparently says "it doesn't matter, any of those doses is good enough for me" ?

And if anyone had the misfortune to have Central Hypo . they would almost certainly be missed ... what a muppet.

Hi tattybogle - thanks for posting about the comments section, I was so riled that I never got that far, I just had to get it to Thyroid UK asap!

I agree 😡😡😡😡😡

jgelliss profile image
jgelliss in reply to tattybogle

Spot On. Thank you.

Article says :

However, what happens in a lab test often fails to mirror the elaborate dance of hormones in the body.

So, the author wants to cancel the dance because the moves are too complicated?

Seriously though...

My TSH was between 5 and 6 in five NHS tests between 2009 and 2013. I also had one TSH test during the same period which gave a result of 2.97.

I'd been told in 1990 (ish) that my thyroid was "borderline underactive" but required no treatment. (Nobody told me any numbers.)

So, my thyroid had been struggling for 23 years before I got my first prescription for Levo in 2013. I've actually had some hypo symptoms since childhood.

I became a member of this forum in 2013. I have probably read thousands of posts by thousands of members since then. I have seen a couple of people writing in during that time who have had the same or very similar levels of Free T4 and Free T3 as I had when I finally got a prescription. But in one case the TSH was about 10, and in another it was about 30. Mine never reached 6.

TSH is simply not reliable.

I do hope the author never gets a thyroid issue and is unfortunate enough to be treated purely by TSH. Then again… what goes around, comes around. 🤸🏿‍♀️🥛

lol yes Karma never forgets!

I'm not as nice as you MissGrace. I hope the author does get a thyroid problem. A difficult one!

Black_puma profile image
Black_puma in reply to MissGrace

I wouldn't be as nice to him either, I was born without a thyroid gland, and only this past year have I really had to learn the effects of being undermedicated!When the doctors only get you tested for tsh it could turn into a life threatening situation, I'm still arguing with my gp about this now!

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to Black_puma

I am very sorry you were born with a dysfunctional thyroid gland and therefore would never, ever have known what good health meant.

I hope your GP will be sensible and I hope he prescribes a T4/T3 combination - it's the least you require.

Black_puma profile image
Black_puma in reply to shaws

Hi, the thing is that I have enjoyed good health for a long time with the correct amount of medication, but due to external influence like stress or other things can influence, as I have been under quite some stress from work, it has had an effect on my health but because the GP and Endo only looks at TSH values and not ask me any questions relating to general health, they will then adjust medication without looking at the whole picture, I have been talking and explaining this to my GP and Endo but they insist on reducing my meds, they're underestimating the effects this has on our general wellbeing. But stress can both be a cause and result of misinterpretation of only looking at TSH values! Also the stress of having to put up with the doctors ignorance isn't helping of course.

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to Black_puma

Sometimes I wish the medical professionals can have a 'trial of being hypothyroid' and see how they get on with either being undiagnosed or forced to take replacement thyroid hormones that don't return their good health.

vocalEK profile image
vocalEK in reply to shaws

"In the US, there are two antithyroid medications available—propylthiouracil (PTU) and methimazole (also known as Tapazole). The medications are similar, as they both stop the thyroid from producing T3 and T4 hormones." Maybe we could do a double-blind study where we put the experimental group on one of these medicines and compare what happens to them regarding fatigue, weight, etc., with what happens to the controls on no medication. We could even compare the "effectiveness" of the two medications. The subjects must be GPs or endocrinologists, though.

Edit: Just had a few more ideas. Before the trial, measure everyone's TSH, FT3 and FT4. Give the experimental group just enough medication to raise their TSH to between 5 and 10. Keep them there for a minimum of 3 months. Then measure their FT3 and FT4 again. Also do pre-trial and post-trial measurements of attention, concentration, weight, and have them keep a sleep journal.

I wonder how many drop-outs there will be in the experimental group.

Any other ideas for my little science project?

tattybogle profile image
tattybogle in reply to vocalEK

VocalEK , you are a bad woman :) Please can i play too ? ...

I want to be the one to tell them "that's not a thyroid symptom , what do you expect at your age ? ........ we all get fat if we eat too many cakes , perhaps you should try these antidepressants"

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to vocalEK

I agree and it would be truly wonderful if all Endocrinologists treated patients as our 'old fashioned' doctors did.

These doctor were trained upon clinical symptoms alone - as there were no blood tests or levothyroxine. The hypo patient got Natural Dessicated Thyroid hormones (another product withdrawn by those who haven't a clue how beneficial it is and lives were saved from 1892 onwards). Now we are in the 20th century things have backfired somewhat as very few doctors know any clinical symptoms and before the hypo patient is finally given levothyroxine the professionals have no understanding of 'clinical symptoms at all' and seem to think that by just taking some levothyroxine we shouldn't be complaining. Little do they know and the pity is that the patient suffers unnecessarily. (by the way I had to diagnose myself one day after I was told I had not problems whatsoever. Doctor didn't appear to have a clue of what a TSHof 100 meant!)

We need doctors to help patients like the following doctor and doctors who would like to do so are not permitted and might even lose their licences.

hormonerestoration.com/

Two of our last 'trained' doctors, Dr Gordon Skinner and Dr Barry Peatfield, treated patients as they were taught as medical students. Patients travelled all over the UK. Dr Skinner consulted in Birmingham and Glasgow.

For restoring their hypo patients to good health both were pursued as if they were criminals by breaking all rules of the regulations the organisation had laid down.

Thank goodness that Thyroiduk.org.uk is the organisation behind this forum. If anyone would like to become a member it is easy to do and the more members the stronger we are by supporting one another.

thyroiduk.org/

Hi everyone!I have Hashi's and struggling right now because I can not get a doctor here in Ontario, Canada (30% of the population have no family doctor). We do not have a private option on anything.

I only learned of my Hashi's a couple of years ago in emerg where the emerg doctor actually did the TPO etc blood test (how wild is that).

So if I used the Harvard article as my guide, I still would not know that I have Hashi's.

What a god awful, malpractice article.

If you are in the Golden Horseshoe area, there is a thyroid clinic in Oakville.Thyroid & Hormones Endocrinology Center

700 Dorval Dr #500, Oakville, ON L6K 3V3

Hours:

Closed ⋅ Opens 9 a.m. Mon.

Phone: (905) 849-3066

Get a referral from a walk in clinic.

Hi gabkad, thanks so much for this. I am in Ottawa, but can easily drive there. I will definately get a referral!Keep well!

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to ASkepticalConsumer

I wish you well because if we do find a doctor who is fully capable of knowing how to treat patients who're hypothyroid and enable their patients to be symptom-free they would be inundated with appointments and then pursued by the 'authorities' for not toeing the line the authorities have laid down.

Call them up. Tell them you are in Ottawa. There is a two year wait list to see anendocrinologist (according to what's on Reddit). You were diagnosed in the emergency department of the hospital and you don't have a family doctor.

See what they say.

Hi,

I used to live in Ontario...where I was given prescriptions for both T4 and T3...albeit, it became a struggle in the end.

Please feel free to PM me.

Shield

The blokes a quack. I wonder if he knows my doctor? 🤣.

🤣🤣🤣

No need to read the article. The very fact that comments were closed so soon after publication is very much on the lines of what the BTA and the ATA did after they published their thoughts about NDT a few years ago. Many thousands of posts by actual patients who know how good NDT actually is were expunged without a single word of explanation, including mine!Unforgiveable, reprehensible and utterly hypocritical.

humanbean profile image
humanbean in reply to Panda321

I think it was about 2015 when the American Thyroid Association reported the publication on Facebook of what was perceived by many readers to be their latest piece of "torture porn" that they called their latest guidelines/consensus opinion on the treatment of hypothyroidism. They received tens of thousands of comments, (mostly from women naturally), about the treatment of hypothyroidism and how bad it was. They allowed the comments to stay up for a week or two then deleted the lot. Nothing changed, naturally. I'm not sure that they allow comments on their page any more. (I don't have a Facebook page so am limited by what I can read on FB nowadays.)

Maybe you and I are remembering the same event.

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to Panda321

The fact that those who do not have hypothyroidism made the decision that we, hypothyroid patients, many who had recovered their health on NDTs when it was decided - by those who do not have a problem with their thyroid glands - to remove NDTs safely used since 1892. It is also made through animals thyroid glands so has all the hormones our gland would produce if we weren't hypo. Many suffered anxiety just by sudden withdrawal of it and not able to get a presription any more .

Cruel is not the word and those who do not have a problematic thyroid gland pronounce changes to our replacements never caring about how it will affect hypo patients.

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to Panda321

Unforgiveable is definitely the correct word.

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator

At the bottom of the page it tries to lead you on to another article. They start by saying:

Many people diagnosed with a thyroid condition are surprised that such a small gland can have such a profound impact on overall health and well-being.

Completely ignoring the pea-sized pituitary which is so fundamental. Indeed, have an issue with that far tinier gland, and you won't have the TSH to tell the thyroid to make thyroid hormone!

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to helvella

I had no idea of the size of the thyroid gland but our old-fashioned doctors did. The modern ones seem to know very little about how to restore their patient's health. Patients are rarely listened too and leave the surgery despondent.

Well done to the people that argued and put their points across at the end. We need more people like that on a tv show about the thyroid and how badly people are treated just by TSH alone simply because Dr’s and some endos really don’t understand how to treat the patient with a thyroid problem. The medical profession are putting peoples lives at risk because they are too pig headed to learn more about the thyroid and their mindset is the patient knows nothing.Grrr!!

I wonder why it took over 2 years to send it to you? My doctor referenced that article at the time, when we were discussing my (then) diagnosis of subclinical hypo. He didn't agree with it, but let me try to stop taking my Synthroid, to see what would happen.

Mortified?? You are kind, I am filled with revulsion at Ms TSH’s blinkeredness.

Arggggg

😱😱😱

This bloke is clearly another medical Neanderthal. No wonder so many of us struggle to be heard by our doctors when this kind of stuff is allowed to be published.

It seems to me that for a condition which is so common there is a woeful lack of research in to the whole area.

And Ialways thought that Harvard was a top university with brilliant minds! Shows I was wrong in this instance!

Hi, one of the reasons I posted it - to help shatter the reputation of Harvard.

The basic problem for getting thyroid treatment advanced is the parochiality of information acceptance. By this I mean that US physicians only read US work, even though European sources do give US papers their due. The person in question simply is not up to date with new thinking, even that now beginning to come from his own country. One must conclude that the medics such as this one are far behind, and have not examined or do not wish to examine, anything that challenges their prejudices.

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to diogenes

Maybe they get some payments from the pharma company that produces thyroid hormone replacements. Dr Lowe stated that levo became the No.1 prescription due to Endocrinologists being paid to prescribe. Whereas we would ususally be given NDTs.

knitwitty profile image
knitwitty in reply to shaws

I was thinking that maybe they are being given money from all the pharmaceutical companies that make all the other medications, that hypo's who are under treated need to be given, to alleviate their symptoms. When just giving the correct thyroid hormone replacement would be far more beneficial.

annca1 profile image
annca1 in reply to knitwitty

I was thinking this, too. Who benefits if sufferers of a common illness remain untreated and need multiple medicines instead?

Excellent post and analysis.It is even worse in Canada. We have only a gov't funded system, no private doctors allowed. No private blood testing. The government doctor "unions" are working hard to get rid of Naturopath doctors (which I use).

The Doctors are all government employees and they are so indoctrinated into the narrow view of medicine is normal blood ranges. There is no urgency, no customer service because well, unlike in the US and in England, they do not need to worry about customers.

Soon as the border opens between the US and Canada, I am off to get medical care in the US.

Not at all surprised! I’ve been attending an endo clinic for 2 years and each time I go I’m asked how I’m feeling and about my symptoms. All totally ignored as my TSH is suppressed on combo t3 and T4 treatment. (In fact on numerous occasions they haven’t even had my thyroid hormone level results back before a decision has been made on my treatment!). Have had to fight to keep my meds at current levels even though I’m convinced that I need an increase.

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator

Why did my dysfunctional thyroid gland remain undiagnosed?

When I was finally very. very unwell and told GP (doctor) there was something seriously wrong with me he phoned to say I had no problems at all! I cried because I felt so unwell. GP thought that a TSH of 100 was 'fine and there was nothing wrong with me.'

Obviously, neither did any of the doctors/professionals I consulted as none of them thought that a dysfunctional thyroid gland could be the reason for me to feel very unwell. You can click on my name and it will take you to my page where I have posted my history.

All of our old-fashioned doctors could diagnose a patient with a problematic thyroid gland just by looking at the patient and taking note of their symptoms and prescribing NDTs (natural dessicated thyroid hormones) - the very original replacement from 1892. Patients from then on did not die a horrible death.

Natural dessicated thyroid hormones made from animals' thyroid glands restored health since 1892 with no blood tests. Despite it helping patients to recover, it was removed from the UK even though its safety and helpfulness was proven from 1892. They also removed T3 but due to the furore from patients it was restored but only if an Endocrinologist prescribed. Many will not as they've been told/believe that levothyroxine is satisfactory. It cerainly is for many hypothyroid patients but not for everyone.

I think that the statements made could well be by someone who is unaware they have a dysfunctional thyroid gland

Hi shaws!I have Hashi's and I have read many articles (including some on this forum) that NDT does not work well on many Hashi's because the NDT is so close to our real thyroid that the immune system attacts the NDT.

I have tried NDT and I do get rather hyper on it.

What do you think?

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to ASkepticalConsumer

There are always other 'points of view' or rumours.

I am not medically qualified but if a doctor couldn't diagnose me when TSH was 100 - they know nothing at all about clinical symptoms in these 'modern' times.

Some people have a bad effect if they take paracetamol.

If hypothyroid people from 1892 onwards did not die due to taking NDTs-and there were no blood tests at all then, and it was the doctors who knew instinctively what their patients' problems were through signs/symptoms and given a trial of NDT.

If patients' symptoms eased and they felt well again and it is now also called a 'grandfathered' replacement hormone, it saved many thousands of lives from 1892 onwards.

They would have died as there was nothing else available .

Even today thousands of hypo patients who take levothyroxine feel well upon it, will not be searching the internet - they will be getting on with their lives.

Today, we are very fortunate that we have options although some may have been removed in the UK by those we would expect to be more knowledgeable.

On this forum it is the many members whose knowledge exceeds many medical professionals.

I have had personal experience of nonsense told to me by a qualified doctor.

We will always have rumours and I have had personal experience of taking a thyroid hormone that made me very , very unwell but I sussed out that something within it had been altered. I was right.

I take T3 alone and have recently reduced my dose. I had tried many of the options but by 'listerning' to my body T3 serves me well.

Thank-you for this diverting article! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 It's always good to read a certain amount of Twaddle in the morning!! Don't you just love the smell of manure!!

It beggars belief!!! It leaves my head spinning!

However... I would like to be generous and cast aside the possible interpretation of incompetence, due to the hallowed source of this article... Instead I am wondering what is the underlying agenda??

Who 'paid for it?'

Who benefits from such downright lies?

It causes nothing but harm!

But somebody somewhere must gain from it!

There is so much nonsense and downright misinformation 'out there' that it's a real curse!

😡😡😡😡

Poppy!!!!!!!!!!Love your post. I also greatly admire your suspicious mind and your ability to question the source of things (we need more people to have an investigative mind these days).

Tenacity is vital for success and you and this forum are exactly that.

I complement you greatly!!!!!

👏👏🥰🥰

It appears, reading in between the lines, that it’s all down to costs! Surprise surprise 😏

"we still do not recommend universal treatment for people who have subclinical hypothyroidism: slightly elevated TSH (between 4.12 and 10 mU/mL) and normal free T4.

Even though subclinical hypothyroidism is associated with worse health outcomes, treatment with thyroid hormone medicine may not significantly improve a person’s symptoms and quality of life."

wow. just wow. thats how we got to transing kids. harvard indeed.

Ignorance is in control at Harvard Med!

First - the article is two years old. Expert researchers in the US, Europe and the UK are not in agreement.Second - Marcelo Campos is not an endocrinologist. He does not show up in the ATA's physician search for thyroid specialists. He is not a cardiologist (the field where a lot of the thyroid research occurs).

Third - He is a prolific "content" author. Having read the Harvard newsletter for some years, it really isn't any better than a lot of other health information sources for filling their "newsletters" with trivial and inaccurate content.

Even the ATA (American Thyroid Association) fills their patient newsletter with old filler blog posts with inaccurate information.

The group here provides some of the most reliable, up to date info around. It's a shame we can't trust a "respected source" like Harvard.

Patti in AZ

Thanks Poniesrfun.Good post. I also get articles from Mayo Clinic, I find them more helpful.

I wanted to post about this disgusting article as a way to support the messaging from this great board.

Since 1973 I've had no thyroid gland and have had regular blood tests, but for the last three decades I've been feeling wierd and depressed, then having endless bad heart problems. Earlier this year I was taken into hospital unable to open my eyes, I had so little energy. Blood tests showed only one thing wrong: TSH was through the roof, despite my regular T4 consumption. A young doctor visited me undercover and said it showed definitively I had no T3. He showed me the tablets I needed, ordered a T3 drip for the time being and told me to search for a doctor who'd prescribe it. I got better, bought some T3 and found a sympathetic doctor. My heart problems disappeared overnight. Meanwhile the hospital removed all information about the young hospital doctor and his T3 recommendation from the record. Harvard Medical School research is wrong: all blood tests are good and informative. It's some doctors' and health administrators' interpretations that are wrong.

Wow, did you have a chance to support the young doctor, reach out to him etc.That is censorship.

No, every doctor I spoke to was scared about losing their job in the circumstamces. The NHS 'party line' is very brutal nowasays.

Isn't it strange: The bio for him reads: "Marcelo Campos, MD works as a primary care doctor at Harvard Vanguard. He is a lecturer at Harvard Medical School and clinical assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. "

I looked him up in the Faculty directory at both schools and got zero hits.

Mortifying!!!

it's shocking that even in the comments, one PhD [his field?] doesn't disagree but eventually does. This is what happens when so-called 'learned' professionals reveal how they have to adhere to the 'party' line - that is the various medical professional bodies, some of whom are FUNDED by the pharmaceutical industry. And within that industry, there's a HUGE problem in that many of the tablets we're all taking are not up to standard and are causing 'availability' issues because of shoddy adherence to professional guidelines. Quite simply, these creatures are not doing the research nor are they interested. All they want is to be published to enhance their careers.

I am so glad I posted the disgusting harvard article.Learned so much here about the great depth and breadth of knowledge on this forum.

We certainly have an uphill battle.

I remain amazed at how useless big pharm trained doctors are. They are useless particularly in:

* thyroid obviously

* menopause and andropause for the guys

* osteoporosis

I have all three and the regular doctors are simply useless - have a shot or pill.

Interesting but not surprising that commenting was closed for the post. What a load of hogwash! Perhaps the best protest would be to write to them and share your stories and say why you think this article should be pulled. (Imagine not treating someone who has TSH of 9!) Harvard Health Publishing4 Blackfan Circle, 4th Floor

Boston, MA 02115 USA

hms-cme@hms.harvard.edu

Stourie profile image
Stourie in reply to Sharoosz

In the early nineties I had number that was 9. I’m presuming it was tsh as I was being tested for thyroid. I was tired and not great but by the time they diagnosed me in 2006 my tsh was over 100. Go figure. Jo xx

Sharoosz profile image
Sharoosz in reply to Stourie

Over 100?!

Stourie profile image
Stourie in reply to Sharoosz

Yes but there have been a few on here with much the same. It’s dreadful. Jo xx

Sharoosz profile image
Sharoosz in reply to Stourie

I didn't really realise it could go that high. I was fortunate enough when diagnosed - I had a GP in Poland who also had thyroid problems - she had me tested for it and sent me to an endo. (GP's don't treat thyroid here - you must be referred on to a specialist.) Mine was about 6 at the time.

Stourie profile image
Stourie in reply to Sharoosz

I wish one of my doctors could have had thyroid problems. I wouldn’t have had to wait so long. I’m not bad now on quite a large dose of t3 and t4. I hope you’re well. Take care. Jo xx

Sharoosz profile image
Sharoosz in reply to Stourie

Glad you are doing ok. I'm alright. :)

yes, this is an excellent idea as the Harvard Research network is supposed to be a peer-review one and this article clearly isn't in that category.

Hello everyone! Glad I sent the article to keep us all fired up against our enemy,The fight for good thyroid care seems to be up against many obstacles - particularly 1) the closed minds of modern doctors 2) influence of big pharma 3) political correctness (there is only one correct approach) and 4) shut up little people and do what the "experts" say.

My mother died of congestive heart failure and her Hashi thyroid was a total disaster (once I got power of attorney I got her a full thyroid panel). In discussions with her doctor, we agreed that the awful thyroid contributed to it.

I have been fighting for quality thyroid care for years and will continue the fight. It is hard because I lost my family doctor to retirement and there are no doctors available in Ontario (30% have no family doctor, do not get me started on our useless health system in Canada).

We have to continue to fight the "experts", backlash them, demand care and never stop.

I wish everyone and your families continued good health and also thanks to the hardworking health care workers out there.

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