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December 09, 2022 20 min read

Looking for a natural way to maintain healthy hormone levels? Or is your current medication not working as well as you need it to? Then Desiccated Thyroid Extract (DTE), also known as Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT), might be the answer you've been searching for. And if you're curious about what it is and how it might help you, you've come to the right place.

In this article, we'll talk about everything you need to know about desiccated thyroid extract — from its history to its potential benefits and how to incorporate it into your routine. Let's get started!

What is a thyroid gland?

First thing first... The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of your neck. It's part of the endocrine system, and it plays an incredibly important role in controlling many of your body's functions. Its main job is to produce and release thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism.

The two main thyroid hormones are thyroxine (inactive thyroid hormone - T4) and triiodothyronine (active thyroid hormone - T3). These hormones affect every cell and all the organs in your body by regulating your metabolism. They're responsible for controlling blood pressure, bone health, fertility, heart rate, body temperature, and cognitive function.

When your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough hormones, a condition called hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) occurs. Not having enough thyroid hormone can cause several symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain, depression, dry skin, nasal swelling, and hair loss. The good news is that these symptoms can be managed with thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

What is desiccated thyroid extract?

Desiccated thyroid extract (DTE) is a type of thyroid hormone replacement therapy to treat hypothyroidism. It works by replacing the hormones your thyroid gland cannot produce, bringing your thyroid hormone levels back to normal. Thus, it eases the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Desiccated thyroid is sometimes used to prevent or treat goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), as well as part of medical tests for thyroid disorders.

More often called natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) or natural thyroid medication, DTE is made from dried or powdered porcine (pig) thyroid glands. Thus, it contains the natural form of thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Other hormones and prohormones, such as T1, T2, and Calcitonin, are also present in DTE. T1 and T2 are not as active as T3 and T4 thyroid hormones. However, it's believed that they have a significant physiologic role in your body.

There is various desiccated thyroid extract available in the market. The most famous brands for prescription NDT are Armour Thyroid, WP Thyroid, NP Thyroid, and Nature-Throid. It's also available in supplement forms, such as VitaliThy, which is natural desiccated thyroid you can buy online.

Desiccated thyroid extract is also known as nature thyroid, porcine thyroid, natural thyroid, and pig thyroid.

What is Desiccated Thyroid extract

The history of desiccated thyroid extract

Desiccated thyroid extract is not a new thing. In fact, it's the oldest form of thyroid medication. The history of this medication goes way back hundreds of years ago. There's evidence suggesting that Chinese healers were using animal thyroid glands, sometimes mixed with fruits, over 500 years ago.

Western medicine discovered the benefits of animal thyroid glands in the early 1890s for the treatment of myxedema, which is severely advanced hypothyroidism. Prior to this discovery, hypothyroidism was considered a fatal condition that could eventually lead to death.

Although the use of desiccated thyroid extract had become widespread in Europe and the United States since the 1890s, the first commercially manufactured desiccated thyroid wasn't available until the 1930s.

The earliest forms of desiccated thyroid extract were prepared from the thyroid glands of cows. Pig thyroid glands only started to be used in the early 1900s, when the Armour Meat Company entered the thyroid medication market by releasing its own brand of natural desiccated thyroid derived from pigs. It's known as Armour Thyroid, which later become the most famous name in the natural desiccated thyroid market. And today, pig thyroid glands are the sole source of commercial desiccated thyroid extract.

At one point, desiccated thyroid extract was the only treatment available for hypothyroidism. And up to the 1960s, 80% of thyroid prescriptions in the US were for NDT. The popularity of desiccated thyroid extract started to fade in the 1970s when drug companies began to majorly market levothyroxine (the synthetic form of T4) as the "new and modern thyroid medication," leading it to become the standard treatment of hypothyroidism.

Desiccated thyroid extract started to regain its popularity in the 1990s as interest in natural medicine grew and people were aware that they have options. Fast-forward to today, desiccated thyroid extract remains popular and is seen as a safe and effective treatment option.

Although the phrase "thyroid hormone replacement medication" has become synonymous with levothyroxine, studies found that desiccated thyroid extract is preferred by many hypothyroid patients. In 2018, about 30% of hypothyroidism patients took desiccated thyroid extracts, according to a survey by the American Thyroid Association of more than 12,000 patients.

What exactly is in desiccated thyroid?

What exactly is in desiccated thyroid?

Since desiccated thyroid extracts come from porcine thyroid glands, it has all the thyroid hormones your own thyroid gland would normally be producing.

Each of the following thyroid hormones contained in natural desiccated thyroid plays its own role in your body. They complement one another and give your body a variety of benefits when combined.

Thyroxine (T4)

Your thyroid gland produces and secretes about 80% of thyroxine (T4) into the bloodstream. It's often called the 'storage hormone' since it's inactive, meaning it cannot influence metabolic processes in your body until it is converted into the active form of thyroid hormone: T3.

Once your thyroid gland releases T4 into the bloodstream, it's converted by certain cells in your body into T3 through a process known as de-iodination. There are numerous cells in your glands, tissues, organs, and body systems that can convert T4 to T3. These include the kidneys, liver, thyroid gland, pituitary gland, muscles, central nervous system, and brown adipose (fat) tissue.

Triiodothyronine (T3)

Triiodothyronine (T3) is the active form of the thyroid hormone. Your thyroid gland only secretes about 20% of the T3 hormone. The remaining 80% is produced from the conversion of T4 by the cells in your body. As the active hormone, T3 has a significant impact on your metabolism and overall health.

Diiodothyronine (T2)

Diiodothyronine is another active form of thyroid hormone that is only produced in small amounts. It might get less attention than T4 and T3, but it's still important. It's believed that this hormone has a role in the conversion of T4 to T3. It may also affect your metabolism, and thermogenesis (the process of increasing heat production), help with insulin resistance and fat metabolism, and suppress your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). These are important for the normal functioning of your thyroid gland.

Iodothyronamine (T1)

Iodothyronamine (T1) is considered the precursor to the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4). It's created when the metabolites of T3 and T4 are broken down. This thyroid hormone is thought to affect the heart by bringing down body temperature and cardiac output. It's also believed to help regulate your thyroid function.


Calcitonin is another hormone released by the thyroid gland. However, it's not grouped together with T4 and T3 as 'thyroid hormones.' The main function of calcitonin is to help regulate calcium levels in your body and increase bone density. Scientists and healthcare providers see it as a unique hormone because, while its function is clear, its importance is not fully understood yet.

It should be noted that not all brands of natural desiccated thyroid contain all five of the above, but many claims to have them.

Aside from porcine thyroid glands that consist of T4, T3, T2, T1, and Calcitonin, natural desiccated thyroid may also contain fillers. These are inactive substances with no therapeutic effect that are used to make the medicine easier to measure. Different brands use different fillers.

Who is desiccated thyroid extract for?


Who is desiccated thyroid extract for?

Desiccated thyroid extract is a great thyroid hormone replacement medication for most hypothyroid patients. However, it tends to work best on the following patients:

People who don't experience improvement with levothyroxine

If you are a hypothyroid patient who has been taking T4-only medication like levothyroxine for 6 to 8 weeks but you're still experiencing thyroid symptoms, it might be a great idea to consider desiccated thyroid extracts. Although your thyroid hormone levels are 'optimal' with levothyroxine, it's probably time to switch your thyroid medication if your symptoms still persist.

People who don't have a working thyroid gland

People who still have underactive thyroid symptoms even with synthetic T4 + T3

Sometimes when levothyroxine alone fails to give you the relief you need, doctors may recommend adding a synthetic form of T3 like liothyronine into your hormone replacement therapy. While combining synthetic T4 and T3 may help optimize thyroid hormone levels, some people still have to struggle with hypothyroid symptoms. In that case, you might want to try desiccated thyroid extracts.

People who don't have a working thyroid gland

If you don't have a thyroid because you had a thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid gland) due to thyroid cancer or you were born without one (congenital hypothyroidism), natural desiccated thyroid might be more beneficial for you compared to T4-only medications like levothyroxine. You might also consider taking natural desiccated thyroid if your thyroid was destroyed by radioactive iodine or thyroid atrophy.

Why? Because natural desiccated thyroid is a combination of both T3 and T4 hormones in their natural forms. Thus, it's more similar to your body's own production of these hormones; it gives you T4 and T3 in a ratio that is close to what your body naturally creates. In other words, natural desiccated thyroid provides much-needed support to those whose bodies are unable to produce them on their own.

People who don't convert T4 to T3 properly

Did you know that not everybody can convert T4 to T3 properly? If you've been taking levothyroxine for a while but hasn't felt any better, you might be one of them.

But how do you know for sure that your body can't convert T4 to T3 properly? Well, in most cases, your doctor may do thyroid function tests. Low levels of Free T3 (FT3) or high levels of Reverse T3 (RT3) may indicate that your body can't convert T4 to T3 properly.

This may raise the question: what are FT3 and RT3?

In normal conditions, most T4 converts to T3 or FT3. But there is another form of T3, known as RT3. And when the conversion doesn't occur properly, T4 transforms to RT3 instead of FT3. The problem with RT3 is that it's inactive and may even block your FT3 activity. While your body needs it in a moderate amount, too much RT3 from the improper conversion of T4 may lead to hypothyroidism. That's why taking levothyroxine when your body can't convert T4 to T3 properly may cause you to be more hypothyroid.

People who prefer a natural way to treat their hypothyroidism

For those who are concerned about the side effects associated with synthetic hormones or simply prefer a natural approach to their health care needs, natural desiccated thyroid can be a beneficial choice.

What are the advantages of taking desiccated thyroid extract?

The main benefit of desiccated thyroid extract is to ease your hypothyroidism symptoms by balancing your thyroid hormone levels. This means that you will experience an increase in energy levels, weight loss, and a better mood, as well as an improvement in your general health.

Various research finds that many patients prefer DTE to levothyroxine. In one study of 70 hypothyroid patients, researchers found that a majority preferred desiccated thyroid extract compared to levothyroxine for its convenience and effectiveness in improving their overall health.

The same study also finds that DTE leads to more weight loss than levothyroxine. Moreover, an online survey of 12,146 people with hypothyroidism found that those taking DTE experience fewer memory problems than those taking levothyroxine and a combination of levothyroxine and liothyronine.

Another advantage is that you can buy desiccated thyroid online.

Why don't doctors prescribe desiccated thyroid?

Some doctors not only refuse to prescribe DTE to treat hypothyroidism, but they also won't treat patients who request it.

But why? Well, the majority of healthcare professionals today were taught that levothyroxine is the only approved medication for hypothyroidism.

Another reason is marketing ploy. API Thyroid (USP) is 50-100 times more expensive to manufacture than sodium levothyroxine. Therefore, levothyroxine is much more profitable for drug companies. This is why levothyroxine is highly marketed as the "safest" thyroid medication, with sales representatives reinforcing negative ideas about DTE. As a result, many healthcare providers are misinformed about DTE and its safety. Some aren't even aware that natural thyroid medications are still available.


The controversy surrounding desiccated thyroid

DTE might be the oldest thyroid replacement medication, but it remains controversial. Here are some controversies you might hear about desiccated thyroid:

T3 levels on NDT are too high

It was reported that the T3 to T4 ratios in thyroid extracts like Armour Thyroid is three and a half times higher than those found in the normal human thyroid. Thus, there's a myth going around that taking thyroid extract could result in very high T3 levels, which might have negative effects on your heart health and bone density, as well as cause symptoms that are often associated with an overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism (a condition where you have high thyroid hormone levels).

This report, however, is not necessarily true. It didn't consider the fact that patients who take levothyroxine have lower T3 levels compared to healthy people who aren't taking the synthetic medication. Also, the secretion ratio of T4 and T3 is very diverse, which means that the levels of T3 can be different from one person to another. That's why thyroid replacement therapy is a highly individualized treatment. What's too high for some patients may be too low for others.

The report also didn't discuss the fact that our body uses T3 much faster than T4 and that T3 leaves the blood more quickly than it enters. Moreover, since tissues' responses to the hormone might be repressed, measuring the amount of thyroid in the blood isn't a reliable indicator of how well the thyroid functions.

Numerous studies have found that taking natural desiccated thyroid in appropriate doses can balance thyroid levels and ease symptoms of hypothyroidism just as well as levothyroxine, with no adverse side effects. As of right now, there is no proof that changes in T3 within the typical reference range, with normal TSH levels, represent an additional risk.

The amounts of T4 and T3 can vary in each batch

The American Thyroid Association argued against natural thyroid medications by stating that desiccated thyroid preparations have greater variability in each batch compared to synthetic ones. Thus, it may make it harder to keep hormone levels right. But this argument against desiccated thyroid preparations and the amount of T4 and T3 in the medication is disputable.

Since the 1980s, US Pharmacopeia has defined what Thyroid (USP) is and what the expected amount of hormones in each grain of natural desiccated thyroid is.

On top of that, although the thyroid hormone content of each pig might be slightly different, most manufacturers make huge batches of Thyroid USP. For example, one Chinese producer makes a batch containing 615 kg of thyroid powder, which need approximately 200.000 pigs' thyroid glands to manufacture. Modern pigs have similar genetics and similar diet.

Ideally, Thyroid (USP) has 38 mcg of T4 and 9 mcg of T3 per 1 grain (60 or 65 mg). But due to the natural origin of the source, a 10% difference in hormone levels is allowed. This idea is not exclusive to substances derived from nature either - most drugs also have their own margins of error allowed, and most medical professionals agree that this degree of fluctuation does not impact the efficacy or safety of the medication.

That means that Thyroid USP potentially could contain as little as 35.2 mcg of T4 and as little as 8.1 mcg of T3. On the higher end, it can contain up to 41.8 mcg of T4 and 9.9 mcg of T3. The range is:

  • 34.2-41.8 mcg of T4 per grain (60 or 65 mg of Thyroid powder)

  • 8.1-9.9 mcg of T3 per grain (60 or 65 mg of Thyroid powder)

What's more, natural desiccated thyroid medications are tested for accuracy before being released on the market. In order to meet regulatory guidelines, manufacturers must ensure that their products contain appropriate amounts (within the above range) of T4 and T3 in each batch. As technology increases and scientific advancements are made in the field, it becomes easier for companies to test their products accurately and quickly while still maintaining high-quality standards.

Mad cow disease

This controversy is ridiculous because there have never been any reports of "mad cow disease" linked to desiccated thyroid. Plus, all-natural desiccated thyroid manufactured today only use porcine thyroid glands, not cows.

NDT is not regulated by the US FDA

Natural desiccated thyroid has been used for a long time, even before the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was created. Therefore, it has never gone through a new drug application (NDA) for FDA approval. The FDA "grandfathered" natural desiccated thyroid because although it's not officially FDA-approved, it's still strictly regulated by the FDA.

Natural desiccated thyroid complies with strict FDA production standards for potency and consistency, just like any other FDA-regulated medicine.

Levothyroxine is better than NDT

The claim that levothyroxine is better than NDT is also disputable. The effectiveness of natural desiccated thyroid has been largely downplayed in the thyroid medication world. Because the truth is that there are many studies showing how natural desiccated thyroid is just as safe and effective as levothyroxine.

Various studies have also found that most hypothyroid patients prefer natural desiccated thyroid over levothyroxine. Furthermore, studies have shown that many patients who take levothyroxine still experience hypothyroidism symptoms and have abnormal test results.

NDT is an old-fashioned drug

Many argue that natural desiccated thyroid is an old-fashioned thyroid hormone replacement therapy that should no longer be used. Yes, this medication has been around for over 100 years, but so are many other medications. Other drugs that have been used for generations, like aspirin and penicillin, are still prescribed today - so why shouldn't we use natural desiccated thyroid too?

Is desiccated thyroid extract safe?

Despite the controversy, natural desiccated thyroid is a completely safe and effective thyroid hormone replacement medication for people with hypothyroidism. Again, there are studies that have found some patients do better on natural desiccated thyroid like Armour Thyroid and VitaliThy. The medication has been shown to provide much-needed relief from hypothyroid symptoms like constipation, muscle cramps, slow movements, muscle weakness, and fatigue. It may even provide more weight loss compared to levothyroxine.

As long as you take the right dose, there shouldn't be any adverse effects.

What are the precautions before taking desiccated thyroid?

Since desiccated thyroid contains thyroid hormones that are present naturally in the body, most people can take this medication without any problems. Still, taking a medication is an important health decision, so it's vital that you take some precautions before doing so. To ensure that the medication is safe for you, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor if you have any of the following health conditions:

Heart problems

If you have a heart condition or you'r elderly, taking too much natural desiccated thyroid can lead to heart problems. In this case, you might be recommended to start with a lower dose. If you're already taking natural desiccated thyroid and you're experiencing irregular heartbeat or chest pain, be sure to talk to your doctor. They may need to lower your dose.


You can take natural thyroid medication if you have diabetes, it's even beneficial for you. However, this medication may change your required dose of diabetes medications. Therefore, your doctor need to check your blood sugar levels regularly. If your blood sugar levels are higher than usual after you take natural desiccated thyroid, your doctor may increase the dose of diabetes medicine.

The important thing when you have diabetes but need to take natural desiccated thyroid is getting the right dose that will optimize the levels of your thyroid hormones. Often, optimal levels of thyroid hormones will lower the levels of cortisol (your body's main stress hormone). Excess cortisol production keeps your metabolism up (by tissue breakdown). You might think about it as the "dark side" of keeping the metabolism up.

Cortisol is well known to make people more insulin-resistant. Because T3 itself will also directly increase the demand for glucose (by increasing the metabolic rate), it's possible that the need for insulin or different diabetes medications will be reduced.

Allergy to the ingredients

Although all natural desiccated thyroid uses porcine thyroid extract, different brands may incorporate different ingredients in the filler. That's why you should always check the ingredients beforehand. Serious allergic reaction is rare, but it's always a good idea to prevent any unwanted side effects.

The good news is that many brands of natural thyroid extract are now free from allergens. VitaliThy, for example, is gluten-free and lactose-free. Plus, it's free from artificial flavor or color, egg, fish, and shellfish.

Adrenal gland problems

If both your thyroid and adrenal hormones are low, or you have hypothyroidism with adrenal sufficiency or Addison's disease, you might want to check with your doctor first. Your doctor will need to examine your adrenal hormone levels before you take natural thyroid medication. This is because treating your hypothyroidism first may cause your adrenal hormones to fall even lower. Thus, you'll feel even ill.


You shouldn't take natural thyroid medication like Armour Thyroid if you have thyrotoxicosis, which is a thyroid disorder that occurs when you have too much thyroid hormone in your blood.

Can you take desiccated thyroid while pregnant?

This depends on the type and brand of natural desiccated thyroid you're taking. Most natural desiccated thyroid brands, such as VitaliThy, are not harmful to your unborn baby. Therefore, you may take natural desiccated thyroid while pregnant, but your dose may need to be adjusted. In fact, sufficient thyroid hormone levels, especially of T3 are crucial for proper and physical development of the unborn baby. This means that you need to keep taking medication when you're pregnant to keep optimal levels of thyroid hormones.

You may also take desiccated thyroid while breastfeeding. While small amounts of thyroid extract can pass into your breast milk, it's in such a small amount that it won't harm your baby. Milk of healthy women who doesn't have hypothyroidism naturally contains different beneficial hormones such as progesterone or a certain level of thyroid hormones. This means that by replacing the thyroid hormones your body is not making with natural desiccated thyroid, you make sure your baby is getting milk that looks similar to the milk produce by healthy mothers. Still, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor about the medication.

Note that some brands of natural thyroid medications, such as NP Thyroid, are not recommended for pregnant women.

What are the side effects of desiccated thyroid extract?

Just like all medications, DTE has some potential side effects.

In most cases, the following side effects occur because your body is adapting to the medication, so you should get better over time as your body gets used to it. But be sure to talk to your doctor if you don't feel any better. These side effects are:

  • heat intolerance

  • mood swings

  • irritability

  • nervousness

  • tremors

  • tiredness

  • trouble sleeping

  • fast heartbeat

  • heat intolerance

  • diarrhea

  • muscle weakness.

More serious side effects of DTE are similar to hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) symptoms, and they may indicate that your dose is too high, causing you to have an excessive amount of thyroid hormones in your body. These include:

  • lack or increased appetite

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • rapid weight loss

  • shallow breathing

  • cramps in your legs

  • anxiety

  • changes in menstrual cycle.

These side effects are uncommon, but you need to contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of them. Your doctor may adjust your dose.

In rare cases, DTE may cause severe side effects. Seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of the following:

  • chest pain or tightness

  • extreme anxiety

  • seizure

  • fast heartbeat

  • severe rash

  • swelling of the limbs.

What's the typical dosing for desiccated thyroid?

Your dosage of DTE will depend on individual needs, usually based on your age, weight, and thyroid hormone levels, as well as other conditions you have and other medications you take.

Generally, it's recommended that you start with a low dose and increase the dose slowly until you find the right balance that relieves your symptoms. It's recommended that you do this in consultation with a doctor or healthcare provider since too much or too little can cause side effects. In addition, regular blood tests and thyroid function tests are required when taking this medication to ensure correct dosing levels are being taken.

DTE comes in grains. 1 grain of DTE is 60 or 65 mg and contains 9 mcg of T3 and 38 mcg of T4. Taking 1 grain of DTE is roughly equivalent to taking 100 mcg of levothyroxine. The typical starting dose is around 1/2 grain (30 mg) of DTE daily. You may then increase 15 mg every 2 to 3 weeks until you feel your best. You might be recommended to start with a lower dose, usually around 15 mg, if you have chronic myxedema or cardiovascular problems. Older adults may also need to start from a low dose.

Most hypothyroid patients require between 1 grain (60 mg) to 2 grains (120 mg) of DTE per day to experience relief from their underactive thyroid symptoms. Keep in mind, however, that a higher dose doesn't always mean you'll feel better. Some people keep increasing their dose of NDT in hopes of easing their symptoms, especially those who are struggling with weight gain. But the truth is, taking much more than you need may only cause problems. Therefore, always take the appropriate dose and constantly monitor your thyroid lab tests.

What to do if you take too much?

If you're taking too much DTE, you will likely experience symptoms of hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid. With hyperthyroidism, your metabolism speeds up, so the symptoms are the opposite of hypothyroidism. These may include heart palpitation, nervousness, and persistent tiredness. In this case, you need to see your doctor so they can make adjustments to your doses.

Paradoxically, there are situations when the symptoms of overmedication are the same as those of hypothyroidism. These symptoms may include fatigue, weight gain, and aches accompanied by anxiety and nervousness.

If you think you're taking too much natural desiccated thyroid, don't stop taking it abruptly. You need to continue taking your usual dose. It might be tempting to skip doses or reduce them if you experience symptoms of overmedication, but changing your dose without a doctor's supervision could have consequences. So talk to your doctor as soon as you can. Your doctor will need to assess your thyroid levels through a thyroid blood test.

Your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test will probably fall below the reference range if you are using too much thyroid medication. Plus, your T4 and T3 levels might be on the upper end of the reference range if you're overmedicated.

How to take desiccated thyroid extract?

Natural thyroid medications like Armour Thyroid and VitaliThy should be taken on an empty stomach. It's best to take it first thing in the morning, 30 minutes to 1 hour before breakfast.

But what if your schedule doesn't allow you to take DTE as soon as you wake up? In this case, you might consider taking it at night right before you go to sleep, 4 hours after your last meal. If you take other medications or supplements, it's also important that you don't take them together with your DTE. You need to separate them by at least 4 hours.

The key is to take your natural desiccated thyroid on an empty stomach. This is because food, drink, and other drugs can affect the absorption of the medication. If you take the medication right before or after eating, you might not get the full benefits of it. It's also important to make sure that you take your medication at the same time every day. This is to make sure that you get the most out of each dose and that you have a constant level of thyroid hormone levels.

Some alternative practitioners and thyroid patient advocates also suggest taking your DTE several times a day by splitting your total daily dose. Doing this is believed to support more stable T3 levels throughout the day.

It's best to discuss the ideal time for you to take your DTE with your doctor, taking into account your lifestyle, general health, and other medications and supplements you're taking.

Here's a full guide on how to take natural desiccated thyroid.

What food will interfere with desiccated thyroid?

All kinds of food can bind to your natural desiccated thyroid, altering how your intestines absorb the medication. However, some foods may make it especially harder for your body to absorb the medication or even interfere with how it works. You might need to avoid consuming the following foods too close to your daily dose of natural desiccated thyroid:

  • Grapefruit and grapefruit juice

  • High-fiber foods, such as kale and broccoli

  • Soy-based foods, such as miso and tofu

  • High-calcium foods, such as cheese and yogurt

  • High-fat foods, such as avocado and fatty fish

  • Sugary food, such as cakes and ice cream.

You should also avoid taking your medication with tea, coffee, juice, or alcohol. Only take it with water for optimal absorption.

Keep in mind that you can still consume the foods and drinks mentioned above; you just have to wait several hours before or after your natural desiccated thyroid.

What drugs and supplements will interfere with desiccated thyroid?

Natural desiccated thyroid like Armour Thyroid and VitaliThy may interact with other medications or supplements. Therefore, always tell your doctor if you're taking other medications, herbals, and supplements. Your doctor will likely advise you to take the drugs at a different time from your natural desiccated thyroid or adjust the dose. Your thyroid hormone levels may also need to be monitored regularly.

Some of the most common medications that may interact with your natural desiccated thyroid include:

  • antibiotics (rifampin, ciprofloxacin)

  • antidepressants (amitriptyline, fluoxetine)

  • antacids (omeprazole, ranitidine)

  • cholesterol-reducing medications (colestipol, cholestyramine)

  • ulcer medications (carafate)

  • anticoagulants or blood thinners (heparin, coumadin)

  • seizure medication (phenytoin).

  • hormonal contraception

  • estrogen-based hormonal replacement therapy

  • estrogen based sex-change drugs for male to female transgender

For supplements, you might want to take the following for at least 2 to 4 hours as they may decrease or increase absorption.

  • iron

  • vitamin C

  • calcium

  • biotin

  • kelp or iodine.

What to do if you miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of your DTE, don't panic! You can take it as soon as you remember. But if it's almost time for your next dose, you can just skip your missing dose. Doubling up on your dose may lead to overmedication.

What brands of DTE are available around the world?

There are numerous different DTE brands available around the world.

The following are prescription medication NDT:

  • Armour Thyroid

  • WP Thyroid  (no longer manufactured since 2020)

  • NP Thyroid

  • Nature-Throid (no longer manufactured since 2020)

  • ERFA Throid (from Canada)

  • Thyroideum (from Germany)

The following are available without a prescription/over-the counter or even online:

  1. Thyroid-S (from Thailand)

  2. VitaliThy (from Vietnam)

  3. Thiroyd (from Thailand, but no longer manufactured since 2019)

  4. TR Thyroid (from Thailand, but no longer manufactured since 2018)

  5. Real Thyroid (from Vietnam)

VitaliThy and Real Thyroid are very unique since they're a supplement that are available without a prescription, but have Thyroid (USP) in them.

Everything you need to know about Desiccated Thyroid Extract (DTE)

Synthetic vs. Natural Thyroid, which one should you choose?

There is no definitive answer to this question. When it comes to thyroid replacement therapy, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. The best medication for you will depend on your specific conditions and preference.

Many hypothyroid patients prefer natural desiccated thyroid over levothyroxine, but this doesn't mean that natural desiccated thyroid is the "best", or vice versa.

If you've been taking levothyroxine for a long time and haven't experienced any improvements or your body can't convert T4 to T3 properly, natural desiccated thyroid like VitaliThy could be the life-changing medication you've been looking for!

Wojciech Majda
Wojciech Majda

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