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Thyroid Patients Worldwide Paint Facebook Light Blue to Raise Awareness for the Undiagnosed and the Undertreated

Hawthorne, NJ, January 08, 2013 --( Thyroid patients worldwide gave their Facebook profiles the blue ribbon treatment this week to showcase that January is Thyroid Awareness month, a project initiated by the thyroid patient advocacy group, ThyroidChange. May 2011, the group launched a petition as an international protest against the current endocrinology recommendations for the treatment of thyroid disease. The petition has united more than 7500 patients worldwide, to date, as proof that current treatment guidelines are not only ineffective, but also cost our healthcare systems billions of dollars treating the diseases and symptoms caused by mistreated thyroid disease.

Current guidelines encourage the over reliance on outdated laboratory tests and ranges, as well as the prescription of synthetic thyroid hormone replacement, which is not effective in all patients. Many endocrinologists unjustifiably discourage the use of T3-containing preparations that bring relief to many suffering patients.

“For twenty-four years, synthetic levothyroxine (T4) left me with lingering symptoms,” said Michelle T. Bickford, ThyroidChange co-founder. “My physician said it wasn’t from my thyroid disease, but natural desiccated thyroid has changed my life. No patient should be denied access to effective treatment by their own physician.”

Current research[1] suggests that it is “time to consider a personalized regimen of thyroid hormone replacement therapy in hypothyroid patients,” which in this case is referring to the use of T4/T3 combination therapy. However, the 2012 Clinical Practice Guidelines of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association encourage the exclusive use of T4-only medications. Patients’ experiences show that these guidelines make it difficult and often impossible for treatment-resistant thyroid patients to find effective relief, thus perpetuating their suffering.

ThyroidChange seeks to unite patient advocacy groups in an effort to gain better care for thyroid disease patients and to raise awareness of this widespread problem.

[1] Biondi, B. and Wartofsky, L. (2012). Combination treatment with T4 and T3: toward personalized replacement therapy in hypothyroidism? From
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Michelle Bickford

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