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Thyroid Science 3(1):C1-2, 2008 Editorial Dr. Kenneth Blanchard’s
False Beliefs About T Therapy
Dr. John C. Lowe*
*19 Long Springs Place, The Woodlands, TX 77382 USA, Contact: [email protected] Yesterday, January 10, 2008, I received the fol- were the two doctors she heavily quoted. Since read- lowing question from a person expressing concern ing some of his statements in her book, I’ve felt that about his use of T alone. I’m responding to his ques- he is courageous for thinking outside the fault-laden tion in this newsletter because I often receive similar belief-box of conventional endocrinology. Some of emails expressing the same concern. Their concern his beliefs are scientifically sound.
always arises because of an opinion of some doctors That said, I want to emphasize that his statements about the use of T alone. The doctors’ opinion is about using T alone are balderdash. I simply don’t wrong, as I explain in my reply to this troubled gen- understand how he could publicly express such non- Question: I’m a confused thyroid patient. Thy-
Dr. Blanchard refers to Dr. Denis Wilson’s book roid experts say so many things that conflict with containing “glowing testimonials” about T therapy.
what others say that I don’t know who to believe. Ar- I will give you a testimonial of my own, but first let mour and Levoxyl didn’t work for me, so my doctor, me make something clear: In my book The Metabolic who has read your studies on T , has been treating Treatment of Fibromyalgia,[3] I document that some me with Cytomel for several years. It gave my life of Dr. Wilson’s beliefs are so contrary to scientific back. Last night, however, I read Dr. Kenneth Blan- evidence that they are simply nutty—as nutty as Dr.
chard’s answer to a woman named Annie who asked Blanchard’s beliefs about T therapy. Except for Dr.
him how he feels about prescribing T . If he is right, Wilson’s advocacy of T therapy, I adamantly dis- I’m afraid I’m heading for trouble with Cytomel. I agree with many of his views. On the other hand, my am concerned, so I’ll be grateful if you’ll respond to own testimonial about T could fit right into his My testimonial about using T alone makes Dr.
The important thing in prescribing a thyroid Blanchard patently wrong or me psychotically delu- hormone is that you have to attain the right ded. He wrote in his answer to Annie that he doesn’t T in the body. I don't think that anyone is think anyone is well served by using T alone. Des- pite that, we have a massive research literature on patients with thyroid hormone resistance. That liter- Syndrome. This book is interesting in that it ature shows that most of the patients are served well has many pages of glowing testimonial let- by no thyroid hormone therapy other than T alone.
ters. The problem is that T slowly lowers If Dr. Blanchard questions this, he should read my the balance in the body. T levels fall slowly extensive chapter in The Metabolic Treatment of Fi- in the tissues. The patient feels better for a bromyalgia[3] on the science and treatment of thyroid few months but then they [sic] crash. I guar- antee that no one can take only T for very Here, though, I’ll say that T alone has served me very well for twenty-three years. My father and someof his siblings committed suicide, and I’m convinced Dr. Lowe: First I want to say that I admire Dr.
that their deaths were from depression due to thyroid Blanchard, an endocrinologist, for some of his points hormone resistance. He took his own life at age of view. In the first edition of Mary Shomon’s Living twenty-eight only three years after T was discov- Well with Hypothyroidism,[2] Dr. Blanchard and I ered, so the hormone wasn’t available clinically to 2 Lowe, J.C.: Dr. Kenneth Blanchard’s False Beliefs About T Therapy avert his early demise. I have been more fortunate.
some for up to seventeen years. And, of course, I’ve Unlike my father, I had the help of a wise psychi- followed myself for a full twenty three. Have we atrist and the research conducted by psychiatric in- “crashed,” as Dr. Blanchard claims we inevitably vestigators in the 1970s. That research showed the will? Absolutely not! My follow-up of long-term T3 effectiveness of T therapy in relieving many pa- users shows that most are healthier than people in tients’ depression. Because of my long-term use of T general. And this is true of myself now within two alone, I’ve long been free from the desire to exter- minate myself—a desire that dominated half my Dr. Blanchard’s “guarantee that no one can take thoughts from my earliest memories as a boy until I only T for very long” is as concretely false as the claim that the earth is flat. At the time he made his Is Dr. Blanchard right and I psychotically out of should-be-embarrassing statements about T , he ap- touch with reality? Have I not been “well served by parently hadn’t bothered to read the scientific litera- using T only”? I’ll put it this way: Before my use of ture that proves him wrong. But that’s okay; I always T , I was crippled at doing math, as well as most oth- stand ready to show him that my long-term use of T er intellectual tasks. Since using T alone, my major alone has not in the least hampered my health and past time has been the highly technical practice of vigor. I’m always ready to arm wrestle him or take mathematical logic. In this practice, I reduce argu- him on in a long race up the side of any mountain.
ments to symbolic notation using quantifiers and ana- However, rather than arm wrestling or racing, he lyze them for validity using rules of inference. I do would do better to study The Metabolic Treatment this in a quantificational language that would take of Fibromyalgia,[3] or at least the T literature in most highly intelligent people years to learn, as it did PubMed. If he did, he would probably revise his be- me. Dr. Blanchard would undoubtedly argue that my liefs about the use of T . By doing so, he would far long use of T has impaired my mental faculties. But better serve the interests of patients like you. the truth is, T has given me a razor-sharp mind; I At any rate, I hope you don’t let Dr. Blanchard’s know this from the brief times I’ve been off T . Each mistaken beliefs instill you with fear. And I sincerely time, the familiar thick mental fog ensheaths me wish you the very best with the extraordinary health again, causing me to back away from my dry erase you’re likely to enjoy, as I have, through your contin- boards, unable to quantitatively express and analyze arguments. In view of this personal history, I humblycontend that it is Dr. Blanchard who is wrong.
I want to repeat a statement he made in his reply 1. Blanchard, K.: to Annie: “The patient feels better for a few months but then they [sic] crash. I guarantee that no one can 2. Shomon,M .: Living Well with Hypothyroidism. New take only T for very long.” [Italics mine.] As a thy- roid hormone resistance researcher, I have for many 3. Lowe, J.C.: The Metabolic Treatment of Fibromyalgia. years followed patients who have used T alone, Boulder, M cDowell Publishing Co., 2000.


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