Fifteen Most Annoying Phrases ever to come out of a doctor’s mouth

In honor of 2009, a year we hope to see bold changes in the medical system, Stop the Thyroid Madness presents the Fifteen Most Annoying Phrases From the Mouths of Doctors. (Note that the word “Armour” has been used for simplicity sake; any prescription-grade desiccated thyroid product can be inserted there.)

Here’s raising our New Year’s stemmed glasses to change!

15) I’ll see you in eight weeks.
14) Here’s a script for [insert any non-thyroid medication to bandaid continuing hypo symptom]
13) The free T3 lab test is not necessary.
12) Your symptoms do not warrant a thyroid medication.
11) You’re tired because you are [insert any label like “a mother” “menopausal”, etc]
10) That has nothing to do with your thyroid.
9) I can find nothing wrong with you.
8 ) You need to eat less and exercise more.
7) Your TSH is too low.
6) The TSH test is [insert any positive description, like “a reliable marker” or “sensitive measure”]
5) I do not believe in Armour.
4) Armour is [insert any negative adjective/description like “unstable” or “hard to regulate”]
3) You’re depressed.
2) You are hyper.

….and tah-dah, the #1 most annoying phrase that comes out of the mouth of a doctor:

1) You are normal.

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25 Responses to “Fifteen Most Annoying Phrases ever to come out of a doctor’s mouth”

  1. Trisha

    For Number 4: Endocrinologist said desiccated thyroid comes from a pig and is good only for a PIG! How ignorant can they be?

  2. Jessica

    Make apt with new Endo. Wait 4 months. She walks in, starts flipping through my chart. See’s I’m on levoxyl & cytomel and pregnant.

    “No patient of mine can be on cytomel, it is extremely dangerous and will probably kill your baby.”

    I smile, stand up and cheerfully say “well, I guess I won’t be able to be your patient then.” And started walking to the door. I’d done a pregnancy on levoxyl only, and it just about killed both of us. Adding cytomel allowed me to function.

    To her credit, she didn’t charge me for the visit.


    Now I’m on dessicated & Iodoral. I could just about cry, I feel so good. I’ve never felt like this in my LIFE.

  3. Joe

    My personally most annoying comment from a doctor (after I commented at how horrible I felt): “life’s not perfect.”

    Haha-and I’m not kidding. Just lovely.

  4. Sam

    After me listing my long list of symptoms; fatigue, anxiety, foggy brain, unable to concentrate, dry skin, peeling nails, huge dark bags under my eyes, irritability, weight gain after 6 months of walking at least 3 miles/day, and eating healthier, my endo simply tells me “you are completely fine, no need to come and see me for 2 more years, whatever is wrong is definitely NOT your thyroid, it must be all in your head, have you tried a psychologist?” Needless to say, I will NEVER walk back into his door again. I have found a naturopathic Dr. and will be seeing him soon. When will these Docs finally get a clue?

  5. Laurie

    I was told recently that I am obsessed with this. That my levels are “normal” (went from 1.0 to now well beyond 4.0 in three years) and that I need better COPING SKILLS.
    Yeah? Cope with me not paying that office call bill, buddy.
    ::mutter, mutter:: so of course I was given yet another prescription for an antidepressant. Of course, it’s all in my head that I can’t function. Of course it is. That I have several other autoimmune issues couldn’t possibly be it. Let’s just say any M.D. that have my file, are now fired and I am finding a naturopath.

  6. Arielle

    I was diagnosed in March of 2008 with Graves. One horrible endo later… thought I found myself in the capable hands of my new doc. At the end of September 2008, had RAI for Graves. Within just a couple months I am hypo. She walked in, shook my hand, and said congratulations!! Synthroid 100 mcg daily. Fast forward to a few weeks ago. seem to be experiencing lactation though not pregnant or nursing. That went away after a couple of weeks. Heart rate and blood pressure down to normal. Weaned off of beta blockers. (Mind you I was on a staggering dose of Lopressor while hyper with Graves. 75mg, three times daily.) Being new to being hypo, I can’t say I was exactly thrilled with all the new and “improved” symptoms that I was so warmly congratulated on. (Now, I know that the point of RAI is to make you hypo). Anyway, a great number of new aches and pains have set up shop. By the way, I think the Charlie Horses are the best!!! Anyway, what I really want to talk about is blood pressure. The other night, out of the blue, it goes up. I mean up. 180/?? (can’t remember the bottom number). Still had some Lopressor so I took some. Well, I ended up in the ER all night thinking Im gonna die. They fix me up send me on my way. Oh! Called my endo to tell her what was going on and she looked at my labs and said it was nothing on her end, that my labs look GREAT!!! Anyway,I am going on and on. Does anyone else have probs with high bp? I thought you had low bp when you were hypo. I was normal for 2 months. Why the sudden change?

  7. Sarah

    After explaining how exhausted I was to my GP recently, and suspecting my thyroid was to blame (I have Hashimoto’s disease) he said ‘Well, how old are you now, hmmm, nearly 40? You’re bound to feel tired as you get older, it’s probably some kind of mid-life crisis’

    If it wasn’t for the fact that I have felt like I’m carrying a dead horse around on my back I would have convinced myself he was!

  8. Mazzy

    My doctor told me that if he could choose any illness to have, it would be hypothyroidism and I quote “All you have to do is take a pill and it goes away, just like that! In fact it doesn’t even matter if you forget your pill for a few days” What a complete pillock!!

  9. Sharon

    Been going to the same Endo for almost 2 years have seen him personally a handful of times and still feel awful even though my levels are “normal”.
    Endo: you need to work harder than the normal person to lose weight. Eat less work out more buy a bike.
    Me: I have several ruptured disks in my back I have a hard time with excercise can I walk?
    Endo: walking wouldn’t be enough for you. Buy a recumbent bike.
    I can’t afford that. I am glad I found this website, now I have info I need to find another dr that will pay attention to me and when I have an appt I will actually see the dr instead of different nurses every time.

  10. Adele

    Me: “I have done some reading about hypothyroidism. I have all the classic symptoms.”
    Doc: “We sometimes do too much reading on the internet and convince ourselves that something is wrong with us.”
    Me: “Why do I continue to have the symptoms after some of the things you have prescribed for me… and I have taken them for almost a year? Is there some kind of tests?”
    Doc: “You still haven’t lost weight and you have had kids. You are just going to have to learn to deal with some of this.”

    I resisted the urge to strangle him and found another doctor.

    New doctor (after really listening intently to my symptoms and doing an exam): “I’d like to send you for some tests. Does that sound ok?”
    Me:(crying-tears of relief) “Yes, it sounds great.”

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease a few weeks later.

  11. Lauren Middleton S.C. Ontario

    I’m sure everyone’s heard this one, if you have a doc like mine.
    Me: “I’ve had the test done over eight times and I keep going back and forth from hyper to hypo (originally hypo)…I think my dosage needs to be changed.”
    Doc: “Come back in two months.”
    Me: ARRRRRRRG! (two months later) “Hi, I’m calling to make an appointment to get my thyroid levels checked.”
    Receptionist: “Well, you’ve been going over the usual 15 minutes, so I’ll make you an appointment with the nurse practitioner.”
    Me: (thought to self) “I need to find a better doctor!”

  12. Alison Baird

    This site and ones like it may have saved my life, although I can never get back the 25+ years I lost being diagnosed and treated for everything from severe depression to Fibromyalgia. I still haven’t found a way to get T3 covered by insurance so I still suffer alot but now I know it’s my thyroid….not that I’m lazy, or unorganized, or out of shape, etc. All the meds I took for nothing…a marriage distroyed….I could write a book but I’m just trying to think possitive now and look to the future and the new life I will have once I can find the right help. I am talking to some charities to try to get help for the cost of meds my insurance won’t cover. I’m just glad I didn’t kill myself all those times I thought about it. It WAS NOT in my head Doc!
    Alison 38
    single parent.
    Emails welcome….have NO support goup except reading on the internet that I’m not alone!

  13. Nicole

    After going through the litany of symptoms I was experiencing, even though my TSH was below .1 and my Free T3 was above 4, my doctor (who had been better than all the other docs I’ve had over the years up to that point) said “Well, maybe that’s just the way you are. If you were 5’6″, I would say you were 5’6″. Maybe you’re just a person who is always cold and tired and has a hard time losing weight.” With that, I decided it was time to find another doctor. I’m still searching, but I’m glad to have found this site. Thanks!

  14. Elizabeth

    My doctor: “Well, your labs (TSH, Free T3) look normal. I’d like to start you on Wellbutrin.”
    Me: “But I told you, I’ve tried EVERY anti-depressant there is, and I’ve had horrible side effects on every one of them. Plus, none of them worked. And of all the ones I’ve tried, Wellbutrin was the worst…I couldn’t even move for the nausea and migraines it gave me. Why do you keep pushing Wellbutrin if my body can’t tolerate it?”
    Doc: “But you DO agree the problem is in your mind, don’t you?”
    Endocrinologist: “Well, the labs look fine. Let’s look at the labs from last year of the female hormones…those look great…..”
    Me interrupting: “But I didn’t have my period that entire year!!!!” (and I wasn’t pregnant)
    Endo: “um, eh, um…..”
    Endo, after me asking if I could tape our conversation so that I could have a record of what was said, since I have such poor concentration and foggy head: “No! Absolutely NOT! I’m not THAT kind of doctor!” (and what kind is that???)
    Endo, after seeing the cover of the book “ADRENAL FATIGUE” that I’d brought along: “That’s PSUEDO-SCIENCE! It’s NONSENSE! Adrenal fatigue does not exist.”
    Endo, after me asking about getting a saliva cortisol test:”Saliva cortisol tests don’t tell you anything.”
    Endo, about thyroid tests other than TSH: “They don’t tell you anything.”
    Enlightened Naturopathic Doctor: “This is obviously adrenal fatigue. I’m suprised you can even walk.”
    Me: “I can’t.”
    Naturopath: “I can’t believe no one has diagnosed this. And your Vitamin D levels are too low.” (the endo had said they were normal.”)

    The naturopath is currently treating me for severe adrenal fatigue (which was also proven by a saliva cortisol test) and hypothyroidism. I highly recommend going to a naturopathic medical doctor…they are trained to treat sub-clinical (means “doesn’t show up on labtests”) thyroid and adrenal conditions. They can prescribe medication, and they prescribe “natural” first, which means I was started on Armour. Naturopathy isn’t currently federally regulated, but a true naturopath is licensed and has attended one of the six medical schools for naturopathy in North America, and has passed rigorous medical licensing exams. They are legally allowed to prescribe medication. Some people trained in naturopathy call themselves doctors, but aren’t licensed to prescribe medications, so they are not true naturopaths. If you can’t find a naturopathic doctor in your area, call around to find a doctor who is trained to treat SUBCLINICAL THYROID AND ADRENAL PROBLEMS (that’s the lingo you need to know.)

  15. Heather

    “This is what happens as you get older. You just have to accept it. ” (I was 30 years old a the time.)

  16. Sarah

    Raain, I think we must have the same doctor!

  17. mary__

    Yeah that comment from Oprah’s doctor that she should “embrace hunger” and she pretty much would be sentenced to being fat. That would make the list.

  18. Amy Hobitz

    I have heard the most annoying thing a doctor/nutritionist/guru said, and it wasn’t to me, it was to Oprah. That her low thyroid issue was really a ‘love issue.’ It’s really because she never ‘learned how to be happy.’ Anyone see the new New Year’s resolution episode? She just looks so tired and puffy, skin looks unhealthy, and she is eating absolutely no fat and not even enough healthy carbs, which will make her switch into even lower gear. I just want to give her a big, exhausted hug because I know how she feels! But learning how to be happy and addressing actual thyroid disease are two different things!!!

  19. Jennifer

    How about when you present your ten-mile-long list of symptoms…”Are you you trying to diagnose yourself?” – two Doctors asked that. One continued…”What do you need me for, then?” Duh! Both times my labs came back “borderline” or “low-grade” HUH? Still have no meds because I need to lose weight. AND If I lose weight maybe I won’t be depressed. And of course, I’ll have “normal” thought patterns once I’m not depressed anymore. Genius! Why didn’t I think of that in the last ten years? I’ve given up. I’ll try the natural stuff, even though it’s weaker. What else can I do?

  20. Raain

    My conversation with my Doctor for over year:
    Me: Doc I think something is not right, I remember feeling this way when I had Graves
    Dr: Your labs are normal, no medication needed.
    Me: Doc I think something is not right, I remember feeling this way I was Hyper
    Dr: Your labs are good, no medication needed.
    Me: Doc I think something is not right, I remember feeling this way before I had my surgery.
    Dr: Your labs are normal; I don’t see any problem here… try this antidepressant.

    Phone rings (after labs) Nurse: Raain, you are taking way to much thyroid medication.
    Me: Ummm what? I’ve never taken thyroid medication.
    Nurse: Ummm ok, let me call ya back. (Schedules an appointment)

    *after labs, thyroid scan, bells/whistles In the Dr’s office*

    Dr: Well Raain it would seem that you are hyper again, you have full blown graves again and your thyroid had grown back… almost completely.
    Me: *cocks gun*

  21. Loretta

    Your levels are all in the “normal” range. It can’t be your thyroid.

  22. Kristi

    SCREAM!!! My Dr. told me my TSH was too low and that meant I HAD to be in a hyperthyroid state and perhaps in danger of ‘thyroid storm’ which could…. gasp…. lead to death. Okay, Dr. Drama-Queen…. then, why,
    your high-ness have I gone from 115 lbs. to 135 lbs, in 3 mos.? And why are my eyes so puffy that I look like I have been crying myself to sleep for nights on end? Why are my periods ten days of very heavy bleeding? Why is my brain full of fog and why is my hair falling out???

    The answer is not from being hyperthyroid!!! Quite the opposite, my dear. Pardon the venting, but I am simply exhausted. Uggh.

  23. Kristina

    Even though, there is a family history of post partum hypothyroidism (that stays for good), my doctors still didn’t recognise that I had the same thing. “Your just suffering post natal depression” **would write a script for anti anxietal and anti depressant medications**. Even when I was waking up feeling hung over, foggy and slurring my words (I never drink alcohol) because I had been soooo ill for 4 years, they still couldn’t see the woods for the trees.

  24. Catherine Clark

    There is another stupid saying: “It’s all in your head.” I may lay flat any doctor that dares to say that one to me again.

  25. Louise

    “It’s easy to blame all your symptoms on one thing.”

    [after presenting a long written list of hypo symptoms including severe fatigue and clumsiness] “The thing I’m most concerned about is your obesity. You should exercise more.”

    “Your hormones don’t have that much effect on your health.”


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