There is so much talk of issues with NDT. And I have already written one post about it. I hope to be a sobering voice. I see a lot of stress and worry created, especially in the US. We take it more easy here in Europe.
Is there any need for worry? No, you don’t need to worry. Only people who do not know anything about their optimal levels, or how to monitor them, need to worry. You will learn how to do these things, if you don’t already know it. I will teach you. Then you just adjust your dose as needed.
Because thyroid meds will continue to fluctuate also in the future. And not only NDT, synthetic meds differ in their hormone levels as well. You can read more about that here.
Synthetic T4 meds like Synthroid and Levo, are legally allowed to vary between 95 and 105 % of the given amount. So your current batch can be 10 % stronger or weaker than your previous batch. NDT and synthetic T3 medicin is allowed to vary between 90 and 110 %. The current recall of Nature Throid and Westhroid is for medicine that might contain 87 % of the given amount. That is 3 % less than what is allowed. OMG!
I started thinking, I wonder if all thyroid issue from pigs is the same. And loe and behold, it is not. Pigs’ thyroid levels vary with age, gender and even breed. So it may be nigh impossible to always guarantee equal hormone content.
This is the world we live in, all thyroid meds vary in hormone content.
What has happened recently?
This summer (2020), NP Acella recalled product due to what they called “super potency”, it could contain 115 % T3 of given amount. That is 5 % over the allowed amount. Super potent? It will make for 1 to 1,5 mcg more T3 pr 60 mg, which normally contains 9 mcg T3. Most people would hardly notice such an increase. NP Acella warns, this could be dangerous to pregnant women. BS, is all I can say.
At present, RLC Labs, the maker of Nature Throid and Westhroid, has recalled almost 500 lots due to sub potency. I don’t know how much is in a lot, but it sounds like a lot 😅 . Like I wrote over, the product might contain 87 % of given amount, link to recall on FDA’ homepage. If it had been 90 %, it would have been ok.
There should never have been a recall. Of neither of these products. Nice if you tell us, the meds are a little stronger or weaker than declared. We can check our levels, and adjust dose. But there is a scarcity of raw material in the world. The pigs suffer, in most instances. And we throw it out, for these minute abbreviations?
This is organic material, there will be varitions.
Do all pigs have the same thyroid levels?
No they don’t. They are like us humans. Their levels vary with age, gender and even breed. I don’t know how this reflects in the actual NDT powder. But we do know the differnt NDT brands vary slightly in hormone content.
These graphs are from this study by Petkov.
Shoumen is a big pig company in Bulgaria. There are even variations between breeds:
What are the consequenses of these recalls?
The consequences are very serious. Patients are becoming scared and worried. This fear goes directly to our adrenals, which are often weak already. Sites like STTM and their corresponding FB groups also stirs up a lot of anger and conspiration theories. Which creates even more turmoil in many people. I don’t think most patients go very deep into this themselves, really look at the numbers and think. But I hope my post will make you do that.
Our NDT will become more expencive. When so much product goes to waste, there is only one person who will pay for that, YOU.
Patients will have to change meds, which is very scary to many. Right now, one can’t get Nature Throid. It can become expencive to change meds. It could entail a visit to the doctor, having to apply for a new licence, having to buy a more expencive brand. Maybe even being without NDT for a periode. Or maybe even switching back to synthetic for good, and doing less well.
STTM rages against the NDT producers. I am becoming more and more pissed at the FDA. I find it very irresponsible what they are doing. I see in US groups, people talking about Big Pharma in this situation. Don’t you see, you are palying into the hands of Big Pharma? NDT producers are not Big Pharma, synthetic T4 producers are Big Pharma.
FDA, I hope you are scrutinizing synthetic thyroid meds as well. I suspect not.
What can WE do?
I don’t know that we can do so much with these variations. We can accept it and monitor our own levels when starting on a new batch. If you follow your pulse and temperature, you will know when to adjust dose. And keep in mind, there are many other reasons for our levels fluctuating besides variations in our meds.
It’s annoying if our NDT is weaker than it should be. As it is very expencive. But it might be difficult to avoid.
I think that the less aggressive we are towards the producers, the more open they will be with us if there are issues. The very aggressive stance that STTM takes actually undermines our medicine supply. The producers are not out to cheat us. I write more about it in this post.
The bad batch of Nature Throid in 2018 came from one plant in China. Turned out, they didn’t test the raw material correctly. RCL labs wasn’t aware of this. Why, even the Chinese might not have been aware. This plant is now banned by the FDA. But is that really the smartest way to solve the issue? Couldn’t one just make sure they tested correctly?
Let us take things down a notch. If it is possible to raise the quality of our NDT, I hope it will be done. But if it is difficult to avoid variations, talk to us, inform us, work with us. We all want the same thing, good and consistent NDT