Natural Desiccated Thyroid?
What is desiccated thyroid? Is it comprised of T4 only, or a combination of T4 and T3? Is this supplement natural thyroid or synthetic? For those suffering from hypothyroidism, these questions may come up often.
Desiccated, meaning dried and often misspelled as desiccated, is a thyroid hormone found in pigs. This contains four types of thyroid hormones including T4, T3, T2, and T1. In the late 1800s people began to dry and powder it for therapeutic uses. Desiccated thyroid extract is a form of thyroid replacement therapy, used to treat hypothyroidism.
How Desiccated Thyroid helps in Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism can occur both in humans and in animals when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. While only about three percent of the population suffers from hypothyroidism, iodine deficiency and exposure to Iodine-131 (I-313) increase the risk of developing this condition. There are many other causes of hypothyroidism, but iodine deficiency is the most common. Throughout history, and in many poor countries today, iodine deficiency is a common ailment.
Desiccated thyroid extract is a porcine-based form of thyroid replacement therapy, comprised of a thyroid hormone from pigs’ thyroids, which also contains natural forms of L-T4 and L-T3. It also contains the main thyroid hormones, T4 and T3, and the less common ones, T2 and T1. T2 and T1 come from the pig thyroid used to make desiccated thyroid. Desiccated thyroid is sometimes referred to as “natural thyroid”, “natural thyroid hormones”, “pork thyroid”, thyroid USP, or thyroid BP. Desiccated thyroid is most commonly found in a pill form. This form of treatment was first discovered in the late 1800s and is still used today and is most commonly recognized by the name “Armour Thyroid,” the best known brand that produces it.
Maintaining Consistent Treatment
Hypothyroidism can be treated with levorotatory forms of thyroxine (L-T4) and triiodothyronine (L-T3). Patients that are still low on thyroid hormone can be prescribed either synthetic or animal-derived thyroid (desiccated) tablets. Thyroid hormone must be taken daily, and doctors monitor the patient’s blood levels to help make sure the patient is taking the correct dosage. Thyroid replacement therapy comes in many forms, but the main treatment for it is via desiccated thyroid extracts.