pills. One thing to be said for desiccated thyroid is that it does contain some T3, which most synthetic hormone replacements don’t have. However, a synthetic preparation of T3 does exist, and it’s far superior to the mixture in desiccated thyroid. Synthetic thyroxine is currently the medication of choice in the treatment of hypothyroidism. In the future, a combination of T4 and T3 in the exact ratio that it leaves the thyroid may replace T4 alone.
Conducting proper medical studies Scientists who conducted studies using control groups (people who didn’t get active medicine or treatment but thought they did) and treatment groups (people who got the active medicine or treatment but weren’t certain that they did) have found the myths in this chapter to be just that — myths. In studies using control and treatment groups, even the doctors administering the treatment or medicine don’t know who is getting real treatment and who isn’t. Only by conducting studies this way can scientists make a fair comparison between groups. This is the famous double blind placebo–controlled study, and scientists arrange it in the following manner: No patient knows what he or she is getting, nor does the doctor, but all patients get something — either real treatment or a placebo. The benefits for the patient getting the real treatment must be significantly better than those for the patient getting a placebo to prove the treatment’s value. The side effects for each group should be about equal so the patient with the disease isn’t having many more side effects than the person serving as a control.
Thyroid Disease Is Contagious Understanding why this myth has become so entrenched in the minds of the public isn’t hard. Most thyroid disease is hereditary; so the likelihood of finding the same disease in two sisters or a mother and her daughter is relatively high, potentially suggesting that their physical closeness to one another causes them to have the same disease. Furthermore, in areas where people don’t consume enough iodine, practically everyone has thyroid disease — again seeming to suggest that it may be catching.