What’s in NDT?

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Originally published on 25th March 2016
Last updated on 3rd December 2018

Natural desiccated thyroid, real thyroid gland from pigs, is controversial. Very few thyroid patients are lucky enough to get it prescribed and some, like me, even have to self-source it. 

But what is actually in NDT?

Unlike synthetic T4-only medicine such as Levothyroxine,  NDT is natural and gives you all the hormones your own thyroid (if it was healthy) would be giving you. These are the hormones: T1, T2, T3, T4 and Calcitonin.

According to a few books, like those by Stop The Thyroid Madness and Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield (The Great Thyroid Scandal..)the below are roles played by each of those five components of NDT mentioned above. I strongly suggest you get both books to learn about them in even more depth.

T1

(also called iodothyronamine) is produced by the breakdown of the metabolites of T3 and T4. This hormone is thought to play a role in keeping your thyroid function in check and is believed to influence the heart by placing downward pressure on body temperature and cardiac output.

T2

(also called diiodothyronine)likely plays a role in converting T4 to T3, which is very important. It has an impact on the metabolism, influencing the burning fat and body temperature, and is effective in increasing liver metabolism and that of the heart.  It can also suppress TSH, which in tuen reduces the production of T3 and T4 by the thyroid.

T3

(also called triiodothyronine) is referred to as the ‘active hormone’ and has the greatest effect on the body’s energy levels and overall health and well-being. This is because it is needed for growth, brain health and development, metabolism, energy, body temperature and brain development. It is more active that T4. T3 is said to be linked to mental health, ability to coping with stress and emotional stability.

T4

(also called thyroxine) is the ‘storage hormone’. T4’s main function is to convert to both active T3 and reverse T3. T4 is involved in brain function.

Calcitonin

Calcitonin is secreted from the thyroid when blood levels are high in Calcium. It acts to lower levels of Calcium in the blood and stops the release of more Calcium from your bones in to the blood. Because of this, it’s said to be effective in the prevention of osteoporosis.

All NDT brands will contain the above five components, but there are many different brands to choose from, and many also contain fillers in addition to the above. Stop The Thyroid Madness have compiled  a list of brands and what each contain. You can see this here.

***

It’s hard to know which brand is for you, so have a good research and maybe reach out to patients who have tried different brands to get a feel for them. I would always suggest working with a doctor to make any change to your health regime, like switching to NDT. You may need to try quite a few doctors until you find one who is willing prescribe this medication, though.

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given, but more info can be found on these links:

What is NDT?

How Do I Know How Much NDT to Take/How Do I Dose NDT?

If you found this article beneficial, please take a moment to share it so we can help others get better with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's, whilst also raising awareness. "Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate."

Written by Rachel, The Invisible Hypothyroidism

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Rachel Hill, Thyroid Patient Advocate, blogger and author, has Six 2018 WEGO Health Award Nominations. She is a highly ranked writer appearing in the Top Hypothyroidism Websites and Top Thyroid Websites and has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, The BBC, The Mighty, Yahoo, MSN and ThyroidChange, to name just a few. She is well-recognised as a useful contributor to the thyroid community and also contributed the foreword to Emily Kyle’s The 30-Minute Thyroid Cookbook.

One thought on “What’s in NDT?

  1. I wish you were a few years ago when I was looking into treatment options and learning about thyroid issues, this is fantastic! It’s so important to arm yourself with knowledge. Stuff like NDT is not given much/any airtime by docs & specialists, and yet it’s key to know what it does & what’s in it, and what the T3, T4, calcitonin aspects are all about.x

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