Thursday, April 5, 2012

Desiccated Thyroid Review – Thyro-Gold

Natural Thyroid Solutions
Format: Powder in gelcaps
Source: Bovine (Cow)
Active Ingredients: 300mg freeze-dried NZ bovine thyroid powder, 100mg L-Aspartic Acid, 25mg coleus forskohlii

Thyro-Gold was formulated by the late Dr. John C. Lowe as an alternative treatment for hypothyroid and fibromyalgia patients. Dr. Lowe’s theory was that fibro and hypothyroidism are both caused by low thyroid levels, and patients would best benefit from thyroid supplementation instead of pain killers, antidepressants, and other therapies.
As a hypothyroid patient who has experienced fibromyalgia symptoms, I find his research intriguing. If you want to know more about Dr. Lowe’s research, check out his website.

I first started using Thyro-Gold around Christmas 2011. At the time I was using a different product and, while I was happy with that product, it was getting too expensive. Like the other product, Thyro-Gold came in 90-capsule bottles, but each Thyro-Gold capsule was 300mg vs. the other product at 130mg. 

Thyro-Gold cost $49.95 but with shipping the total cost was about $61.45. You do get discounts for buying in bulk, and the shipping stays the same, so it’s actually a better deal to buy two or more bottles. I ordered the product around 8AM Eastern time on a Monday and received it within two days.  

Thyro-Gold is potent and that means I need fewer capsules to achieve therapeutic effects. Where I was taking five of the other product I only needed two, at most, of the Thyro-Gold. One bottle lasted me at least 45 days (vs. 18 with the other). 

I also lost 10 lbs while taking the Thyro-Gold, with no changes to my diet or exercise patterns. I’m not actively trying to lose weight, and I don’t recommend taking thyroid hormones to do it, but I’m not crying myself to sleep over the loss.

On the down side, Thyro-Gold only comes in capsule form, which makes tweaking the dosage difficult. I found that taking two 300-mg capsules a day was too much for me, and one capsule was not enough. If I went for a week on just 300/day, my fibro symptoms flared. When I did 600/day, I had shortness of breath, loss of appetite, chest pains, and shortness of breath. When I tried to alternate days (300/600), I was in this weird mixed state where I had hypo and hyper symptoms, and never really felt right.

If you need a smaller dose, Dr. Lowe's suggestion was to open the capsule and release some of the powder. At $50 a bottle, plus shipping, that seems like a waste of money. Plus, even if you reuse the released powder, you have no way to know how many milligrams you have released, or how much is in the capsule.  

Ultimately, I didn’t hate Thyro-Gold, but it wasn’t my favorite. Since it seemed my best, and most cost-effective, hope of treating my condition with NDT, I really wanted it to work out. Alas, not being able to tweak the dosage the way I needed was the deal breaker.

I would only suggest this product under the following circumstances:
You have upwards of $50 to spare;
You are comfortable with opening the capsules, and messing with the powder, to tweak your dosage; and
A backup plan for easing your symptoms while you experiment.

If any of these don’t apply, I suggest trying an OTC product that comes in tablet form, or in smaller measurements, so you can play with the dosage better.

Edited for accuracy:

*Dr. Lowe passed away in early 2012 and, as of this writing, Thyro-Gold is hard to procure. It used to be available through Thyroidscience.us but now you can order the product from a new site created by Tammy Carter Lowe. Unfortunately, you can’t order through the PayPal link on the site; instead you have to call the distribution center to place your order at 1-316-351-7795. You can also contact Tammy Carter Lowe via the email address at the Natural Thyroid Solutions site to get that information. Tammy Carter Lowe is aware that the number is not on the website and is working to update the site.

Have you used Thyro-Gold? What is your experience?