This morning, I received an email from a friend with a link to a Medscape article by A.P. Weetman , titled “Whose Thyroid Hormone Replacement is it Anyway?” Professor Weetman is the Dean of the School of Medicine, University of Sheffield in the UK.
And as I started the read, my internal warning bells sounded immediately with the second sentence: “We have robust assays to diagnose the condition and an effective replacement in the form of synthetic thyroxine.”
OK, this is going to be an article full of delusional hot air, I concluded. But I was wrong. The information in this article proceeded to turn into nothing less than condescending and arrogant medical bullcrap. In other words, it not only stunk, it REEKED.
Granted, the article starts off well-informed about the brilliant 4-point petition being lodged by patients in the UK: 1) Over-reliance on thyroid blood tests and a total lack of reliance on signs, symptoms, history of the patient and a clinical appraisal.
2)The emotional abuse and blatant disregard by the majority of general practitioners and endocrinologists over the suffering experienced by untreated/incorrectly treated thyroid patients and their lack of compassion over the fate of these patients.
3) Stubbornness of general practitioners and endocrinologists to treat patients suffering from hypothyroidism with a level of medication that returns the patient to optimum health. In addition the unwillingness to prescribe alternate thyroid treatment for patients on individual grounds… such as Armour thyroid.
4) The ongoing reluctance to encourage debate or further research on hypothyroidism.’
It continues with awareness of Broda Barnes and Durrant-Peatfield, and mentions that “access to information by patients has increased vastly due to the Internet.”
But once the article moves beyond the above, it takes a steep downward dive into condescending pig slop. Why do some patients feel so dissatisfied with and so mistrustful of standard medical advice, it asks? Because we have “functional somatoform disorders” (i.e. DSM-IV code number 300.81). In other words, we are mentally ill, folks. We are totally and completely delusional and the symptoms we have ALL experienced, either from being untreated, or while on T4-only medications, are all in our heads.
And it’s all part of what is known as the “healthism phenomenon”–the latter which it described into ad nauseum detail, and is followed by an ignorant analysis of the TSH.
The article then concludes that physicians, especially Endocrinologists, need to avoid “thyroid hormone treatment of euthyroid individuals”, and continue with “replacement with synthetic thyroxine as the standard, rather than Armour thyroid extract.”
Let me explain what this site is about. It is a compilation of the experience of thousands upon thousands of thyroid patients who HAD ALL THE DELUSIONAL, SOMATIC SYMPTOMS that Weetman claims we experienced, BUT who had those same DELUSIONAL, SOMATIC SYMPTOMS totally erased when we switched to Armour and ignored the TSH. Hmmm. Anyone laughing yet?
Because though this patronizing article is frighteningly narrow minded and downright stupid, and though we all know there are Endocrinologists who do and will take the same stance, this mental posture only serves to reveal the high-minded, cowardly failure to really LISTEN to patients. And that, my friends, is why you can only LAUGH at articles like this.
Because thankfully, there IS a growing body of courageous and inwardly secure physicians and medical professionals who treat the PATIENT, not ink marks on a piece of paper. They have no need to see patients as psychiatric half-wits in order to exalt their position.
And the bottom line is this: WE know the difference. WE have lived it. WE are patients who have figured it out ON OUR OWN, and it’s time for doctors who take this stance and any like-minded colleagues to have the courage to consider that patients JUST MAY HAVE WISDOM about their own bodies that your lab tests, your medical school education, and your dogmatic pontifications do not.
STOP the thyroid madness!!