MEDICALLY REVIEWED

Deceptive Goiter “Treatment” on Facebook in The Philippines

gouter enlarged thyroid gland

A concerning trend has emerged on Facebook pages in the Philippines, where misleading information about a supposed “treatment” for goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) was disseminated. 

These promotions are characterised by altered news footage and baseless claims of approval from the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, a thorough investigation reveals a stark disparity: the product in question is notably absent from the FDA’s databases. Additionally, the “license to operate” prominently featured on the product’s website can be traced back to an entirely unrelated company. These discrepancies therefore underscore the urgent need for consumers to exercise caution. Patients should also seek guidance from medical professionals when addressing thyroid-related issues.

Raising Concerns Over Dubious Product Endorsements

A video shared across multiple Facebook pages accompanies a Tagalog-language caption boldly proclaiming it as the “#1 medicine for goiter”. This has sparked considerable interest among viewers. Goiter is characterised by the enlargement of the thyroid gland, leading to visible swelling in the neck. It can stem from various factors, including iodine deficiency or disruptions in thyroid hormone production.

False Claims of FDA Approval

The ad touts the promoted product, Thyroid Aid, as “safe to use” and sources it from manufacturing facilities in the United States. It also purportedly claims FDA approval backs it. Alongside the video is footage from a news segment discussing thyroid cancer aired by the Philippine television channel UNTV. Overlays of images and text laud the purported benefits of Thyroid Aid.

However, a meticulous examination of the FDA’s database yields no registration for Thyroid Aid. Furthermore, the FDA license prominently displayed on the product’s official website originates from Life Prolong Natural Supplements, Inc. This company vehemently denies any affiliation with Thyroid Aid. Clarification from Life Prolong asserts that their licenses specifically pertain to distributing cosmetics, drugs, and food items—not health products or supplements.

Uncovering Manipulated Media Content

Further scrutiny of the news footage featured in the promotional material exposes significant alterations to the original report aired by UNTV, which focused on thyroid cancer. Beth Lamodo, a segment producer for UNTV, has confirmed that her original voiceover had been tampered with. She also disassociated herself from any endorsement of Thyroid Aid or similar products.

Tailored Treatment Approaches for Goiter

The multifaceted nature of goiter demands a personalised treatment approach, considering individual patient needs and the specific underlying causes. Hormone supplementation, iodine therapy, and surgical intervention are among the diverse strategies to manage this condition effectively.

Navigating the Complexities of Goiter Management

Dr Daryl Dagang, a distinguished endocrinology consultant renowned for his expertise in thyroid disorders, explained the crucial role of seeking guidance from qualified medical professionals. Consequently, he explained that with their specialised knowledge and experience, healthcare providers can offer accurate diagnoses and develop personalised treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique circumstances.

Exploring Emerging Treatment Frontiers

In addition to conventional methods, ongoing research offers promising avenues for innovative therapies and complementary approaches to goiter management. New solutions range from dietary modifications to cutting-edge pharmaceutical developments. The evolving landscape of treatment options brings new hope to individuals grappling with this challenging condition.

Navigating Misinformation Through Vigilance

This serves as a stark reminder of the pivotal role of healthcare professionals in providing accurate guidance. The prevalence of misleading information surrounding healthcare products, particularly within digital platforms like social media, underscores consumers’ need to exercise discernment and verify claims through reliable sources. 

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