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Dr. Richard Guttler and the Real Thyroid Experts Addenda

Introduction:Dr. Richard Guttler and the “Real Thyroid Experts”:
Their False and Potentially Harmful Beliefs


by Dr. John C. Lowe
Diplomate: American Academy of Pain Management
Director of Research: Fibromyalgia Research Foundation


1800 30th St., Suite 216 Boulder, CO 80031 USA | | 603-391-6061


Introduction | Full Paper | Addenda | Errors in Quotations from Dr. Guttler
Clarifications | Selected Response Letters |pdf format

Early this year, Dr. Richard Guttler, thyroid surgeon and self-proclaimed “real thyroid expert,” repeatedly attacked the worlds foremost thyroid-patient advocate and best-selling author Mary Shomon. He attacked her partly because her beliefs about hypothyroidism differ from his own. In his attacks, he made clear what his beliefs are, and Ive written a critique of the beliefs showing that science has proven them false.

I also show, in chorus with Mary, that Dr. Guttlers false beliefs represent those of other “real thyroid experts,” such as conventional endocrinologists and thyroidologists. Some of these “experts” espouse the beliefs quietly; others, boisterously. Most, however, do so dogmatically. But to my knowledge, none espouse the beliefs with the brusk pomposity of Dr. Guttler.

At dissenters like Mary and her supporters, Guttler barks out his beliefs like a testy omniscient. In debating scientific issues, I prefer civil, give-and-take dialogue. But in this debate, perhaps Guttlers brusk, pompous, commanding way is best. After all, it has forced the false beliefs of his “real thyroid experts” directly into a critical analysts line of fire. Readers can judge for themselves whether, as a result, those beliefs lie dead on the ground.
Professional scientists resist changing their cherished scientific beliefs, often slowing the advancement of science. In principle, though, when enough evidence shows their beliefs to be false, they change them to concur with the evidence. The old beliefs are, so to speak, laid to rest.

Dr. Guttler and his “real thyroid experts,” however, fail to comply with the professional scientists principle of evidence-driven burial of refuted beliefs. As I show in this critique and a previous one,[1] these “experts” continue to argue that their beliefs about hypothyroidism are true. The evidence shows, however, that their beliefs arent just dead, theyre in rigor mortismainly, I contend, from the belief-stiffening effect of financial incentives from corporations. Their rigid beliefs, long debunked by the evidence, have the repugnant qualities of other decayed things kept too long before ones eyes and nose.

Because Dr. Guttler pronounces the refuted beliefs true, we can classify them as unscientific dogma. Medical regulatory boards, however, impose this dogma on doctors as the “standard of practice” for diagnosing and treating hypothyroid patients. That standard of practice, based on the false beliefs, has profound implications for the health and welfare of hypothyroid patients. Studies show that for many, the false beliefs lead to three potentially-tragic outcomes for patients: chronic suffering from hypothyroid symptoms, increased risk of potentially-fatal diseases associated with untreated or under-treated hypothyroidism, and increased use of prescription drugs.

But if youre a hypothyroid patient, you dont have to put yourself in harms way. You can avoid potential risk by doing the following:

(1) Read widely about hypothyroidism and its diagnosis and treatmentbut always with a skeptical mind. Read informational websites such as Mary Shomons, Thyroid UK,, and, yes, even Dr. Guttlers As you do, accept only the beliefs that you yourself based on your wide and skeptical readingtentatively judge to be true: they should make sense to you.

(2) Refuse to be harmed by T4-replacement. If your doctor shares Dr. Guttlers beliefs about hypothyroidism, hell probably give you no other option. If you complain of continued suffering, hes likely to parrot the “real thyroid experts”explaining that hypothyroidism cant be causing your suffering; its impossible since youre on “adequate” T4-replacement. Despite the doctors reassurances, you may gain weight, become depressed, or no longer think clearly. You may develop chronic aches, pains, and burdensome fatigue that your doctor will diagnosis as fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome. If this happens to you, consider that the most likely antidote to your suffering will be “alternative” thyroid treatment offered by doctors given voice at websites like Mary Shomons.

(3) If T4-replacement is harming you, and your doctor denies you alternative treatment, find another doctor. Make sure your new doctor has your best interests at heart and will help you get well by treating you, not your blood tests. With every passing week, your chances of finding this type of doctor get better; ever increasing numbers of doctors are expanding their knowledge and skills beyond what conventional (corporation-dominated) medicine has imposed on them. So persist, and youll find a doctor wholl treat you with a safer and more effective therapy than T4-replacement.

I now invite you to read my critique (see links above) of Dr. Guttlers beliefs, where I justify the comments Ive made here. Dr. John C. Lowe


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