Improve thyroid treatment for millions of people. Stop the withdrawal of T3
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The current guidance from the BTA (British Thyroid Association) is completely failing hypothyroid suffers. This is due to poor and inappropriate diagnosis, testing, and treatment protocols. These failings are leaving many people undiagnosed when ill, and leaving many patients under-medicated when diagnosed and in need of additional/alternative medication.
This is a shocking failure in duty of care to a growing part of the population, is ruining peoples lives and driving some towards suicide.
A leading UK endocrinologist recently admitted "the current guidelines are not fit for purpose."
It is thought that nearly 3 million people in the UK suffer from a thyroid problem. One in 10 women will be diagnosed with a thyroid problem at some point in their lives.
Hypothyroidism is a cruel and crippling illness and can continue to be so, even after diagnosis, due to poor care and medical ignorance. Currently, many, many 1000s of people, particularly men, are struggling to get a diagnosis.
In the US, a thyroid problem is treated when the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone, revealed by blood testing) is above 3. In the UK, patients have to wait until it is above 10. This can take years if the illness progresses slowly and leaves many struggling with debilitating symptoms and desperate for treatment.
Once diagnosed, the current guidelines use a TSH range of up to 5.9 but this does not restore a patient to health. Some specialists and medical evidence recommend the TSH should be no more than 1 and this is usually where a patient feels well. However, doctors are unaware of this due to such poor guidance from the BTA. Therefore, many, many 1000s of people that could be well, indeed that should be well, are not.
Current BTA and RCP (Royal College of Physicians) guidance states that levothyroxine treats everyone satisfactorily and that the TSH blood test adequately monitors the needed dose of levothyroxine. However, it does not, it leaves a large number of patients with prominent and often life limiting symptoms. They need to test the blood levels of T4 and T3, but this doesn't always happen. Also, the ranges used for these blood tests often do not restore a patient to health.
It also means that other thyroid hormone treatments such as liothyronine (T3), and NDT (natural desiccated thyroid), are rarely offered. This is despite the fact that there are many thousands of people/patients that are doing very well on T3. However, due to the guidelines and the extortionate cost of T3, it is threatened with removal from the prescribable medicines list and is already being denied to patients.
In France, 100 T3 tablets cost £9.83 (€11.60). In the UK, 100 tablets can cost up to £854. The only company in the UK who have the licence to produce T3 are ripping off the NHS. However, rather than the NHS source T3 from elsewhere, patients are already having it withdrawn and being left ill.
- The BTA and RCP to change the ranges used to diagnose and treat hypothyroidism.
- The BTA and RCP to change their treatment protocols, for all prescribing doctors, to include as standard T3 and NDT, as well as levothyroxine.
- To stop T3 from being withdrawn.
- To educate health care professionals on how to deliver better and more effective treatment for hypothyroidism.
The current guidelines, protocols, and treatment are having a massive negative effect on many, many 1000s of people's lives. ITT believes that by adopting the suggested changes there will be a positive effect on many, many 1000s of people's lives.
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