Many Could Benefit of Treatment of Low-Normal Thyroid Function
September 10, 2000
Finally, conventional medicine is recognizing
what those of us in "Natural" medicine have known all
A new double-blind placebo-controlled trial has demonstrated that
symptoms of hypothyroidism can be improved in patients receiving
the synthetic thyroid hormone, levothyroxine, despite the fact that
they didn't quite meet the current guidelines to be considered hypothyroid
This may be one of the first studies indicating that thyroid replacement
therapy can benefit patients with subclinical hypothyroidism.
Researchers from Switzerland conducted a 12-month, double-blind,
placebo-controlled study to investigate the clinical and metabolic
effects of levothyroxine replacement in patients with different
degrees of subclinical hypothyroidism.
Sixty-three women (avg. age 57 years) with subclinical hypothyroidism
Patients, having an average TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone)
of 12.7 mcU/mL (range 4.5-50) were randomized to receive either
levothyroxine (mean dose 83 mcg/day) or placebo and TSH levels
In the levothyroxine group, mean TSH decreased to 3 mcU/mL
and total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol
Although the researchers admit that additional studies are needed
in patients with milder hypothyroidism, they feel that in general,
there seems to be increasing evidence towards treating these patients
as well because of possible beneficial effects on cardiovascular
function, lipids, and symptoms.
82nd Annual Meeting of the Endocrine
Society Boston, Mass. August 2000.