Thyroid medication does not treat your thyroid

One of the biggest misconceptions in many hypothyroid patients that I have come across is that thyroid medication treats the thyroid gland. 

I too had this misconception for many years.  I thought, as per other medications, that you take it and it will treat the problem, fix it, sort it out.  But with thyroid medication, this is not the case. 

Thyroid medication to treat hypothyroidism is either T4 medication (called levothyroxine), T3 medication (called triiodothyronine) or natural desiccated thyroid (called NDT, which contains both T4 and T4 hormones from bovine or porcine sources).   

But none of these are actual medication.  It does not “treat” the thyroid gland.  So what do these “medications” do?

Simply, it is hormone replacement.

If you take T4, T3 or NDT, you are simply giving the body the hormones that your thyroid gland cannot produce anymore.

And I believe it is important to understand that these are thyroid hormone replacement therapy.  It is not treating the thyroid gland.  It is not addressing the underlying reason why your thyroid is hypo or underactive in the first place.

Sadly, in the allopathic medical model, many doctors will simply test your thyroid function based on TSH and T4 levels, and if your thyroid function worsens, will prescribe you more and more thyroid hormones.  They typically do not try to find out the underlying reason why your thyroid is underactive.  And not that it is their fault, it is what they have been taught in medical school.

I believe you must find out the reason why your thyroid is underactive.  And take action to address it, so that you can preserve your thyroid gland function.

What worked for me, is to take a functional medicine approach to my health. In 2019, I saw a functional medicine doctor to help get my thyroid hormones optimised. I then decided to educate myself on all matters relating to the thyroid gland and go on a journey to figure out what my triggers are.  I made lifestyle changes to determine what triggered my autoimmunity and then took action. I made changes! And it showed in my thyroid lab numbers. My thyroid antibodies have continued to decline since 2019, I feel great, I can exercise again and I have my life back.


It can be done!  And it starts by understanding that thyroid hormones does not treat the reason why your thyroid is underactive.  

Ps. If you are still struggling with hypothyroid symptoms even though you are taking thyroid hormones and need some guidance, assistance, or accountability, you can book a consultation with me here. 

Adele du Rand

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