Block and Replace therapy


abstract-prayer-mandala-for-japanAs we all know there are 3 traditional methods for treating Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism. 1.Anti-thyroid drugs (ATDs) (Methimazole or PTU), 2.  RAI treatment and 3. partial or total thyroidectomy. 

I am not a big supporter of neither one of them, but sometimes it happens that we need to “buy some time” in order to apply alternative methods, natural cures and remedies. And I have to admit that most of them will take some time in order for you to see results.

While I agree, that using medication may be helpful for some time, especially if the disease is “just blooming” with all debilitating symptoms, I totally disagree with the last two methods-Radioactive Iodine treatment or surgery. 

Why? Because, I’d like more patients to survive Grave’s disease with their thyroid intact. Destroying any organ should not be taken lightly- we need these organs and they are given to us by Mother Nature for some reason.

Recently I received a lot of emails from Graves’ disease patients who are interested in finding out more about Block and Replace Therapy, as well as long- term anti-thyroid drug treatment, as alternatives to Radioactive Iodine treatment, which seems to be the only option many U.S. doctors understand or are willing to offer. This is really sad.

So this is in short about this Block and Replace therapy, which may, or may not work for some of you, but you need to know that as an option. 

Patients who are difficult to stabilize are sometimes put on a dose of anti- thyroid drugs large enough to (block) all thyroid function, and then given thyroid replacement hormone to normalize thyroid levels such as thyroxine (replace). It is thought that this protocol leads to more stable thyroid levels as well as reducing the chances of you becoming resistant to your medication. Some research also suggests this approach keeps the disease in remission for longer periods than with a single medication.

The major drawback to this method is that the larger doses of anti- thyroid drugs necessary to block thyroid production are more likely to cause side effects- and have a negative effect especially on your liver.

Also, “Block and Replace Therapy” is a method where you and your endocrinologist both have to work on very intensely and you have to be an advocate in this part of your treatment.
What I mean by that is, you have to know your symptoms inside out, know when you are heading hypo or hyper.

But at least, if I made you think once again before going for a RAI or surgery, I did my job.