If you're one of the many people who rely on natural thyroid medication to manage and treat hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), you may have noticed that there has been a shortage of these medications in recent years. This shortage has left many people struggling to find the medication they need to feel their best.
But don't worry; there are steps you can take to manage the shortage of natural thyroid medication. Here's what you can do to ensure you get the medication you need, including alternative treatments and lifestyle modifications that can contribute to optimal thyroid health.
Natural desiccated thyroid (NDT), also known as desiccated thyroid extract (DTE), is a thyroid hormone replacement medication made of dried pig thyroid glands. It contains natural forms of both thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Additionally, it also comes with other hormones present in the human thyroid gland, such as T2, T1, and Calcitonin.
For many hypothyroid patients, NDT becomes the preferred choice when the standard treatment, levothyroxine, fails to deliver the expected relief from symptoms. Many patients experience greater effectiveness with NDT compared to levothyroxine due to its composition. NDT contains the inactive and active thyroid hormone, while levothyroxine only includes the inactive form. This distinction often leads to improved symptom relief and overall better results for those using NDT as their thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
Some popular NDT brands in the US are Armour Thyroid, NP Thyroid, WP Thyroid, and Nature-Throid. Since there is no one-size-fits-all approach to thyroid treatment, the most effective brand may vary from person to person. Through a process of trial and error, you may discover that one particular NDT brand works best for your unique needs.
Different NDT brands may contain varying amounts of active ingredients, fillers, and additives, which can influence their efficacy and tolerability. Consequently, you may need to experiment with multiple brands under the guidance of your doctor to identify the best fit for your specific condition and symptoms.
If you're a long-time user of NDT, chances are, you regard it as a lifesaver and the only treatment that doesn't leave you feeling exhausted, mentally foggy, constantly cold, and struggling with other persistent symptoms. But you're most likely also aware of the downside: drug shortages.
For decades, NDT has repeatedly been under the scrutiny of the FDA. This attention has led to both short-term and long-term recalls and shortages of NDT. Regrettably, the situation has not improved. As of May 2021, NDT shortages have persisted for over a year. FDA recalls of NP Thyroid, Nature-Throid, and WP Thyroid have resulted in difficulties obtaining prescriptions, increased prices for available NDT, and, most frustratingly, forced some patients to resort to alternative treatments that don't enable them to feel their best or live life to the fullest.
The unfortunate reality is that NDT shortages are unlikely to be resolved in the near future. Consequently, many hypothyroid patients face the challenge of finding an effective thyroid hormone replacement medication.
Obviously, the shortage of natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) has significant consequences if you're a hypothyroid patient who depends on these treatments to manage your condition. The unavailability of NDT creates several challenges, which include:
As the supply of NDT diminishes, you may find it increasingly difficult to get their prescriptions filled. Some pharmacies may run out of stock or experience delays in restocking, causing disruptions in your treatment plans and leaving them without their preferred medication.
With the demand for NDT remaining high amidst the shortage, the prices of available NDT medications may rise. These inflated costs can impose financial burdens on patients who rely on NDT for their well-being, potentially leading to skipped doses or discontinuation of treatment due to affordability concerns.
For many hypothyroid patients, NDT is the only treatment that effectively alleviates their symptoms and allows them to lead healthy, fulfilling lives. If you're one of them, the shortage of NDT may force you to switch to other medications, such as levothyroxine, which may not provide the same level of symptom relief. As a result, you may experience a decline in your quality of life, with hypothyroid symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, and joint pain. You may also find weight loss more difficult despite your best efforts.
The uncertainty surrounding the availability of NDT can cause additional stress and anxiety for patients already dealing with the challenges of hypothyroidism. The prospect of not being able to access your preferred treatment, coupled with the potential impact on your health and daily life, can exacerbate your emotional well-being.
If you're forced to switch from NDT to alternative treatments, you may require more frequent monitoring of your thyroid hormone levels and adjustments to your medications. This process can be time-consuming, involving multiple visits to healthcare providers and potential trial-and-error with different treatments to find the most suitable replacement therapy.
Thyroid medication changes, including switching to a different brand or dosage, can cause side effects in some people. These side effects can vary depending on the individual and the specific medication change.
For example, if you switch from natural medication like NDT to a synthetic hormone like levothyroxine, you may experience various side effects such as:
Nausea and vomiting
Diarrhea or constipation
Skin rash or itching
Muscle and joint pain.
During a shortage of natural thyroid hormones, several alternatives can be used to manage your hypothyroidism and keep your thyroid hormone levels in check. Down below are several alternatives you can try during the shortage.
If your usual pharmacy doesn't have NDT, one option to explore during a natural thyroid hormone shortage is to check medication availability at other pharmacies. Some pharmacies may have a limited supply of NDT brands that could suit your needs.
You can start by contacting other local pharmacies to inquire about their current medication availability. It's important to note that medication availability can vary greatly depending on location and demand. Therefore, finding a pharmacy that can provide you with the medication you need may take some effort and persistence.
Today, you can buy desiccated thyroid online without a prescription. One great option is VitaliThy. Similar to Armour Thyroid, WP Thyroid, and NP Thyroid, it is made of Thyroid (USP), containing not only T4 and T3 but also T2, T1, and Calcitonin. Additionally, it is free from common allergens such as lactose, gluten, eggs, fish, and shellfish. With no artificial coloring or flavoring, VitaliThy offers a completely natural alternative.
Now, you might be wondering about its safety. Rest assured, VitaliThy is classified as an NDT supplement since it's manufactured in Vietnam, where the regulations differ from those in the US. The supplement adheres to the high-quality standards set by the Good Manufacturing Practices of the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture, an institution known for its rigorous guidelines. This means you can trust in the safety and reliability of VitaliThy for your thyroid needs, all while enjoying the convenience of online shopping!
Another alternative to NDT medications is synthetic T4/T3 combination treatment or combination therapy to regulate your thyroid function. This approach involves taking synthetic T4 and T3 hormones together.
In addition to considering desiccated thyroid extract alternatives like VitaliThy or synthetic T4/T3 combination therapy, there are several other strategies you can adopt to help improve your well-being and alleviate your symptoms during an NDT shortage:
Implementing a healthy lifestyle can help manage your hypothyroidism. Focus on consuming a well-rounded diet rich in nutrients that support thyroid health, such as iodine, selenium, and zinc. Incorporate whole foods, lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables into your meals.
Moreover, be sure to engage in regular physical activity to help boost your energy levels, improve your mood, and maintain a healthy weight. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy and can easily incorporate into your routine, such as walking, swimming, or yoga.
Incorporating various supplements may also help improve your medical conditions. However, it is essential to discuss with your doctor before taking any supplements as they may interact with your thyroid medication or other medications you may be taking.
Some supplements that may be beneficial for hypothyroid patients include:
Selenium is a mineral important to improve your body's thyroid hormone levels.
Iodine helps your thyroid to produce T3 and T4 hormones.
Guggul extract will boost your thyroid function and reduce the symptoms of hypothyroidism by increasing T3 and T4 hormone levels in your body.
Vitamin D and calcium supplements may also help. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to an increased risk of hypothyroidism. Additionally, people with hypothyroidism may have low bone density and are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Therefore, combining calcium and vitamin D is important to help you maintain strong bones.
Zinc is an essential mineral that is vital in supporting the thyroid gland's function. Zinc deficiency may lead to hypothyroidism, and studies have shown that taking zinc supplements can improve thyroid function in people with hypothyroidism.
Taking iron and calcium supplements simultaneously with your thyroid medication can affect the absorption of the medication. Taking these supplements at least three hours apart from your thyroid medication is recommended to avoid any interference.
Regular monitoring of your hypothyroid condition is crucial to ensure that your thyroid issues are always in check and that your hormone replacement therapy works effectively, especially if you're taking combination therapy. This is typically done through routine blood tests to measure your TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) levels.
Your doctor will likely recommend regular TSH testing every six to 12 months to assess the effectiveness of your thyroid medication dosage. Depending on your situation, your doctor may also check other thyroid hormone levels, such as T4 and T3.
It's important to keep up with these routine blood tests even if you're feeling well and your symptoms have improved. This is because TSH levels can fluctuate, and your medication dosage may need to be adjusted to keep your thyroid hormone levels within a healthy range.
In addition to routine blood tests, it's important to let your doctor know if you experience any changes in symptoms, such as body weight gain or loss, fatigue, energy level fluctuation, or mood changes.
Make sure you get adequate rest each night, as sleep plays a critical role in maintaining overall health and well-being. Establish a consistent sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine to improve your sleep quality.
Keep yourself updated on the latest news and developments regarding NDT shortages. Join support groups, follow reputable sources, and stay in touch with your healthcare provider to stay informed and prepared for any changes in medication availability.
Coping with the shortage of natural thyroid medication can indeed be a daunting challenge for those living with hypothyroidism. Nevertheless, there are several strategies and alternatives at your disposal to help you manage your condition effectively. A great alternative is to buy desiccated thyroid online, such as VitaliThy.
Despite any obstacles you may encounter regarding your health, always remember that you possess the strength and resilience to overcome them. Prioritize self-care, both physically and mentally, and don't hesitate to seek support from your loved ones and healthcare professionals when necessary. You're more than capable of triumphing over these challenges—you've got this!
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