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From: ((Steven B. Harris))
Subject: Re: Grave's Disease
Date: 27 Apr 1995

In <> (diana)

>> In <3ni39a$> (CraigRL) writes:
>> >I am looking for alternative treatments for Grave's Disease, an
>> >autoimmune problem which leads to hyperthyroidism. "Traditional"
>> >medicine treats the symptoms, but has no real cure.
>> >
>> >Any leads are appreciated.
>> >Craig Lawson
>> >
>> >
>> Traditional medicine has cures, all right (radio-iodine or surgery),
>> but you just don't want to take them. You'll probably suffer until you
>> do, though, as the standard suppressive drugs are not that great. I
>> suggest you bite the bullet and get the definitive treatment over with.
>> Radio-iodine is painless and the risks are relatively small.
>>                                         Steve Harris, M.D.
>I think, perhaps, what is meant by saying traditional (or modern)
>medicine has no cure for hyperthyroidism, is that killing the thyroid
>doesn't solve the problem of 'why' the thyroid became diseased in the
>first place. Besides, after destroying the hyperactive thyroid, wouldn't
>the patient become hypothyroid? Wouldn't that mean a lifetime of taking
>Synthroid (spelling might be wrong)? I guess at this point I can still
>see a little light at the end of the tunnel; but I think once I destroy
>or remove my thyroid, then, well -- that's it. The decision whether or
>not to kill off my thyroid is a big deal for me, and right now I'm happy
>with the choice I've made not to rush into anything. My endocrinologist
>doesn't seem to mind (too much :-)).
> opinions expressed are my own -- not my employer's

   Comment:  You do often wind up on synthroid for the rest of your
life.  However, this is a pill with no side effects which is dirt cheap
in bulk.  You can store five years worth in your fridge, and take one a
day with your vitamins, and never worry again (if there was one
endocrine gland in the body I'd choose to have quit, if one of them had
to, it would be the thyroid).  So your choice is not between synthroid
or nothing, but between synthroid and what you're on NOW, which cannot
be that easy, that side-effect free, or that cheap.

   But nobody will twist your arm.  Maybe they will find out what causes
Graves and figure out how to shut it off with no fuss and no muss.
Don't hold your breath on this for the near future, however.
Meanwhile, you can stay on the PTU or whatever until you get tired of

                                            Steve Harris, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Hypothyroidic, but unable to continue to continue with doctor
Date: 8 Jun 1998 09:14:27 GMT

In <6lakai$6bo$> writes:

    So?  Maybe somebody other than you is interested in the answer.

>I have fairly recently (Oct. 97) been diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
>After extensive testing to get accurate bloodlevels, we began treatment
>with synthroid in Feb. 98 - It has made a wonderful difference.
>Now, due to loss of insurance coverage and being saddled with over $1000
>of outstanding lab bills that the insurance company is refusing to pay, I
>am no longer able to continue seeing my current endocrinologist (one of
>the best in Houston, TX). I need to continue treatment, and can pay some
>money, but cannot afford $100-250/visit for several visits/month, or
>$300-800/lab test, for a lab test every other month. As I have mentioned,
>I am in the Houston area. Does anyone have suggestions, or know of a
>reputable endocrinologist that can work with non-insured patients?


    You don't need a weatherman to tell you when it's raining.  And you
don't need an endocrinologist to give you the right dose of synthroid
for hypothyroidism, and test you to see if it's right.  Any family
physician or internist will do just fine.  Tell them you want to pay
cash for visits up front, with each visit, and you want it as cheap as
the lack of paperwork and instant payment can make it.  Synthroid is
cheap, and the generics, which are just as good* (are cheaper).  A
simple TSH at the right lab is cheap also.

                                      Steve Harris, M.D.

* We know now that the company that makes Synthroid (Boots
Pharmaceuticals) withheld this information for many years, and simply
lied.  To punish Boots for this unethical behavior, I never prescribe
Synthroid for new users of thyroid these days, and never will again (in
this I'm following a general boycott of the product among physicians).
Levothroid and Levoxyl are fine.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Herbs work! No they don't.
Date: 4 Oct 1998 04:04:29 GMT

In <> (Don Harouff)

>In a settlement reached Aug. 1, Knoll   Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay
>up $135 million to settle more than 60 class action suits seeking
>monetary compensation for the suppression of research relevant to
>their thyroid condition.
>Geee....I thought only alternative med people were ripping of people.
>Hummm.. $135 million to clients.

   Nobody said that drug companies couldn't be dishonest, and the Knoll
reports were a real betrayal.  FYI, the doctors are just as angry as
the patients for being misled all these years by false bioavailability
results. Doctors do NOT like to be made fools of, and for years we told
our patients and each other with straight faces that Synthroid was one
of the few cases where name brand was no equalivalent to generics. The
data was simply lies.  I know some endocrinologists who've vowed never
to prescribe Synthroid again, just on principle.  And are switching
every patient they can from Synthroid to other brands.  I do this

                                       Steve Harris, M.D.

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