Friday, February 27, 2009

Mary Shomon, and the Medical Review Board of, on their Opinion on the Top Thyroid Websites: Pros and Cons

The last newsletter from Mary Shomon has her company's opinion on the top thyroid websites. I am honored to be listed alongside the Endocrine Society, and the American Thyroid Association. She has cleverly added a medical review board, since her last top websites list, probably paid by her corporation, which has 12 physicians, who are evaluating the top sites. It should be noted that not a single endocrinologists is on the panel. The way Mary Shomon and her bosses treat top level endocrinologists, as bag men and women for the drug companies, there is no wonder why she can not get a real qualified expert clinical endocrinologist to be on the panel. Headed by an internist, and without a single physician board certification in endocrinology among them, they are asked to judge the top thyroid websites. The last "top" site they reviewed was her own site, That shows the panel's level of objectivity. The panel appears to be just a rubber stamp for all the slanted views presented on their website. What was the review panel doing allowing Mary to blow her own horn, calling it a a top site. Not only did she include on the list of top sites, but plugged her book, Living Well with Hypothyroidism, and even worse plugged another of her books on an unrelated subject. The panel mentioned the slanted, and biased qualities of the other top sites toward evidenced based conventional medicine, because of corporate money funding the sites, but failed to mention that Mary's site was extremely outside the range of objective thyroid medical opinion. There was no mention that this approach was considered by the vast majority of physicians and patients to be beyond any reasonable credible concepts of thyroid patient care. The problem with The American Thyroid Association website, was according to the panel that it was in the pocket of drug companies, that is why they only mentioned mainstream medicine, and did not cater to alternative medicine. Similar knocks on other top thyroid sites, such as the Endocrine Society, were made by the panel. Finally, let me look at the comments made about my site,, which was founded by me personally in 1997. This was the first private thyroid website, and except for a short partnering deal with Amazon, we have never accepted ads. Most endocrinologists and clinical thyroidologists will not waste their breath to respond to things listed on her website as it is considered a "way out" site. Let me take a moment to respond to the inaccurate comments made about my site.
1. The concept of virtual second opinions on the web did not start with me. Her site stated that I charge excessive fees for those opinions. The Cleveland Clinic had one before me and charged more than I do. A fee of $400-500 to review all the records, actual thyroid scans, ultrasounds, pathology materials and give the patient valuable advice is not excessive. 2. The few complaints they said they received are out of thousands of thyroid patients I have treated in 35 years. The patients who are unhappy with me are the ones who are told they are properly treated and need to look elsewhere for the cause of their symptoms. I am not an internist, or even an endocrinologist, but a clinical thyroidologist. I refer them to others but many insist, after reading the slanted stories on, that it is the thyroid causing the symptoms and I, as a mainstream physician, am not treating the symptoms only the numbers. 3. My Blog,, is my personal diary about my experiences in 35 years practicing in the thyroid field. I do not have a paid corporate spell checker or any Grey Flannel Suits with lawyers packed inside them to correct my grammar or tell me not to write things that could hurt the image of the corporation, decrease the ad revenue from the Grapefruit therapy for Graves' disease suppliers and other alternative types. I do not want anyone telling me how to inform by readers. 4. As for bedside manner, I have plenty of that. Name five other endocrine physicians in the country that see thyroid patients 5 days a week, giving me a following of 3-5,000 patients from around the world. 5. As a test, please look at and then look at I think you will see who is full of corporate cash from ads on the site. Why should patients be worried about the educational grants that keep excellent thyroid websites, such as the Endocrine Society, working, but do not also question the funding of which takes all comers as long as they have ad dollars to spend. Every page is clean of ads, and no money changes hands to support my website. I have turned down all ad revenue, and refuse to be a paid hack fishing for ads to pay the bills and make a profit for myself. I have turned down 5 figure offers to buy by corporations eager to take it and ruin it. I have refused to sell out to drug companies.

Thank you, and keep looking for excellent endocrinologists, with good records, to care for you.
Good Luck,

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Brits are Half Right, and Mary Shomon is as Usual All Wrong

The national health service NHS, of the United Kingdom, has banned the use of Armour thyroid, compounded combination thyroid preparations, Cytomel, and other products with anything but LT4 in them for treatment of hypothyroidism for all patients treated by the NHS. This is a good step by the NHS to get rid of these second tier drugs that cause more harm than good. The recent story by Ms. Shomon on was off base as usual, and aimed again at the fringe patients who feel they are not "doing well" on T4 alone, even though all the proven tests of T4, and TSH are completely normal. They are not hypothyroid, but are truly not feeling well, but for other reasons, not thyroid. As an expert in thyroid disease for 35 years, I am glad that we are finally seeing the beginning of the end of these drugs. To all the thyroid patients in the NHS, and the USA, do not pay any attention to doomsayers like Ms. Shomon, as she is not a physician, and as a hired gun for a large corporation, has an interest in appealing to the patients who are unhappy with the results of their thyroid therapy, even though it is properly treated with thyroid hormone of the T4 type. However, there are problems with the other part of the NHS guidelines. Although a TSH less than 10 is rarely associated with symptoms, as they correctly state,therefore, therapy for pure hypothyroidism is rarely needed when a TSH is less than 10. However, the problem is more complicated than that. TSH values between 2.5-10 are abnormal,and are associated with other problems than symptomatic hypothyroidism. As the TSH rises there is a increased risk of cancer of the thyroid, nodules, and goiter formation. If the NHS mandates ultrasounds for all patients with elevations of TSH above 2.5 and there is no goiter, or nodules, then follow up without thyroid therapy is reasonable. Also if the patient does not have heart disease or lipid abnormalities, then the use of TSH > 10 is a reasonable choice for symptomatic hypothyroidism for therapy. Remember, by the time the TSH rises it may be already the cause of significant nodule formation,and increased risk of thyroid cancer.