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Combo Hormone Therapy Doesn't Help Hypothyroidism

Single treatment works better for depression, study finds

FRIDAY, Oct. 3, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Combination hormone therapy to treat the psychological effects of hypothyroidism doesn't seem to benefit patients, say new studies in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The studies found a combination of thyroxine (T4) and T3 doesn't provide more benefit to people with hypothyroidism than T4 alone.

About 5 percent to 10 percent of Americans have hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient thyroid hormone. Symptoms may include weight gain, fatigue, thinned hair, decreased cardiac function, sluggishness, dry skin, menstrual irregularities and constipation.

In one study, researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, focused on whether a combination of T4 and T3 therapy improved mood and sense of well being in hypothyroid patients who had depressive symptoms.

Compared to T4 alone, the combination therapy didn't improve either mood or sense of well-being in the patients.

In the second study, Australian scientists compared the impact of the T4 therapy alone and the combination therapy on quality of life, cognitive function and subjective satisfaction in 110 people with hypothyroidism.

Again, the scientists found the combination therapy offered no significant benefits compared to the T4 alone. But they did find patients on the combination therapy suffered much worse anxiety and nausea than patients receiving only T4.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about your thyroid gland.

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, news release, Oct. 3, 2003
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