The following is a Guest Blog Post by thyroid patient N.P who is active on the main Stop the Thyroid Madness (STTM) Facebook group.
Hi. My name is N.P. In March of 2012, I started a post on the main STTM Facebook group page with the topic “How many doctors have you fired?”. It not only ended up with over 1000 replies, but most were from exasperated and emotional patients about their terrible experiences with doctors. I even had a few who thought it didn’t belong on Janie’s site. I’m thrilled to be known for that, actually. Anything to entertain. Now…if you want my practical editorial of why my post has gone over the 1,000 comment mark, read on.
After 9 long years of a “wrong diagnosis” followed by wrong treatment strategies and all-too-many doctors, it took a psychiatrist to diagnose my Hashimoto’s condition. After going gluten-free to manage the Hashimoto’s disease, the same psychiatrist was the one who suggested I had Celiac Disease as well. What is wrong with this picture? Why did nine years of doctors never do their jobs??? Why did they let me suffer so?
I went through the various stages of emotion over the years, from being frustrated by mainstream medicine’s poor understanding of my health, to the annoyance of not having answers, to the embarrassment of never having good explanations for my friends and loved ones. And when the only way I got answers was through Amazon, STTM/Janie Bowthorpe, Facebook and my psychiatrist, I had finally reached this familiar stage: cynicism. There’s not much left after that except for throwing in some humor. That’s why I started the post.
I sensed when I started the post that I was representative of many. Clearly, the post struck a nerve with a lot of patients and has been a great outlet for people needing to get their horror stories and frustrations off their chests. For those who are feeling desperate, as I have and still sometimes do, there’s always a place for you on my post.
“Yeah, It’s all wrong man…we shouldn’t even be up here!”
The post was originally meant to give people a humorous way to vent their frustrations over the outrageously inept thyroid care that they’ve received. I quickly saw the fun in having it morph into a vehicle to ridicule all doctors who’ve told their thyroid patients “Your labs are normal.” Yes, I have an ax to grind with mainstream medicine and feel my post is fair game.
Mainstream medicine brought it on themselves by the way they’ve conducted themselves. It’s much like the airlines have done the same with seats that force your knees up to your chin and allow the bald head in the seat in front of you to be in your face. They think it is OK but it is NOT OK. The many posts about the experiences of patients with doctors, and being stranger than fiction, proves my point.
In addition, I felt I was representative of many people who’ve gone through what I did over 9 years and just needed a place to vent and release their years of frustration through a little bit of humor. Can you believe that a doctor with 20+ years of education and training on how to heal people, and who literally holds the patient’s life in their hands, would rely solely on a lab report? Then, they send the patient on their way by saying “there’s nothing else to do — it must be in your head.” They call themselves professionals? For shame. They deserve to be ridiculed.
I’m shocked by the frightening, life-altering treatment recommendations from doctors who’ve stopped trying to heal when they say, “Your labs are normal.” If you haven’t read my latest summary, here’s a few. Incompetent doctors have recommended hysterectomies, ECT , surgeries and one patient was told she should check into an in-patient psych facility. The frighteningly outrageous part of this is that these doctors, who lull us into complacency because of their titles and stature in society are in a place in our lives where they can HARM US!!! And they have harmed many. I certainly feel harmed.
And the Band Plays on……………………..
What I always knew, but would never consciously admit until I started the post, was that the “only in America” pop culture bafoonery we read about in the newspaper also existed in the medical profession. The most intelligent people can also be the most dumb. A doctor tells a patient that “your bones are probably dissolving” or that Natural Desiccated Thyroid was “made by a meat company that went out of business 10 – 15 years ago” or that “since a cause of the depression can’t be found , you might as well get a hysterectomy.” Crazier than fiction.
So, the profession that is supposed to heal us is keeping us sick. Rather than letting one of the most basic laws of humanity (which is to help others) to passionately drive them to use their training and common sense to solve our problems, they would rather dismiss any other proposed treatment strategies that might work and let us stay miserable until someone in an ivory tower tells them to do otherwise.
You’d think I’d be done after the statement above, but it gets worse.
Not only is mainstream medicine keeping us sick, but many doctors are insulting us as they do so. For example, the complexities of thyroid problems and its related conditions cause many patients to gain weight. What do many doctors do? They blame the victim. “It’s your fault you are fat “ is what they mean when they tell you to go to Weight Watchers or to start eating spinach (It’s true, a doc actually said that to a patient). They are thinking that the patient is not educated in how to eat right or just doesn’t have the motivation. I’m one who has heard a variation of this before. Outrageous. The one person you would expect some empathy and compassion from does more harm and their attitude keeps us sick.
Some of you have decided to do something constructive with the problem, and through different initiatives, are demanding of the institutions that oversee thyroid treatment better care. I applaud you for that. Me, I’m the one who will keep insisting on firing doctors until we get well, get their attention, or both.
Fire a bad doctor for me. Add it to my post on the main STTM Facebook page!
*To read Janie’s 20-year agony thanks to uninformed doctors, read the detailed Introduction in the revised STTM book.
* See a collection of what many misguided doctors have said to patients over the years.
P.S. And thank you to the growing body of doctors who are LISTENING to ten years of patient experience as outlined on the STTM website and with more detail in the STTM book, all which underscores that
- The TSH lab test should ONLY be used to discern pituitary function (NOT to diagnose or treat by)
- There are far better labs that need attention.
- It’s “where” a lab result falls that counts, not the fact that it comes within a so-called normal range
- Natural Desiccated Thyroid changes lives.
- Sluggish adrenal function is very real and needs the right treatment.
- The patient-to-patient Stop the Thyroid Madness book needs to be in every doctor’s office for reference. Patients really DO know what they are talking about.
Write a new comment below
24 Responses to “Why I insist we need to fire most of our doctors! i.e. mainstream medicine is keeping us sick!”
Lucky me, I was raised by a Mama that didn’t believe in doctors, so we ook care of everything ourselves. It is only when I need blood tests to see what is going on, that I went to the doctor, and then chose my own nutritional path to solve any issues. Then, when the adrenal and thyroid ave out and I had to go to a hospital, they wouldn’t let me have my records unless I had a regular doctor. THEN I went to a natural doctor. And he gives me free reign to try what I want, and he does one thing I can’t- prescribe. And i have to have his RX for my natural thyroid. And the insurance companies evidently are giving him a harder and harder rtime, as they recently required him to sign the Rx bottle label- so i can only get my thyroid when he is at the office-so he can sign the bottle. Can you imagine a regular pharmacy at Walmart having to do that?
The squeeze on freedom of chioce goes on and gets tighter every year.
There’s gold in them thar patients! Make the suckers suffer…
yes Yes YES!!!! Thank you to Jane, Nick and everyone who has the COURAGE to share their battles with us.
I love the activist vibe here!
I am still fighting the good fight, I appreciate all of you so much. Thank you thank you thank you.
Not only was I the victim of medical malpractice (non-thyroid related; after being diagnosed with thyroid disease I saw 4 different endocrinologists, whom I refer to as dumb, dumber, super dumb, and dumbest. I lost so much of my life to thyroid disease! So I use Med Grades or yelp and give the bad docs very, very bad reviews so that other thyroid patients won’t waste their time. It’s the least I can do to help someone else avoid years of suffering needlessly.
Medical profession, yuk. Low thyroid was only the beginning of severe ill health, still unresolved. BUT it started even earlier, with quitting smoking 1984 age 40 then everything went to hell. Now I learn this is not uncommon. And it has been suggested I try Nicotine Gum to see if it will up my dopamine and improve my health. Has anyone tried this or heard about a connection with low thyroid starting after quitting smoking?
Not the first time I’ve seen this mentioned. Not sure what the connection was postulated to be.
Possibly a general reduction in stress limits damage to the hormone system that can lead to Wilsons’ syndrome.
This is a long term process and can be related to extended childhood trauma- Hope this helps.
Finally! The problem is worse here in South Africa. People die in hospitals because a Doctor cannot come to terms with the fact that he has made a wrong diagnosis.My mom works in a government hospital and tells me that if a nurse even picks up that the doctor has somehow missed something and he/she is giving the wrong treatment, thatwould be the end of that patient. How dare a nurse question his ‘intelligence and knowledge’ after all his seven years of studying? I personally,spent thousands of rands for four years and ten different doctors trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I was told that I am a ‘perfectly, young, healthy female’, and if I feel otherwise, it must be in my head. One physician even admitted me in a hospital and told me what it is that I must tell other specialists ‘exactly’. He was certain with his 30 years of experience that I had epilepsy, even though I had never had a seizure. When the brain scan came out negative, he told me that I must be imagining the pain, and as such it then manifest itself in my body(I had no idea my mind was that powerful as to want to destroy its body). Needless to say I came across an article with a woman with similar symptoms and that is how I found out what was wrong with me. It is Fibromyalgia. And, no, it is not in my head. I found only 2 doctors who seem to care about my well being and to them I am not just another. Rand. These people need to be more professional like the rest of us. We do not have to beg people to do their job or provide a service, especially if they are being paid for an hour consultaion(well, here its 5 minutes)…Now, I feel so much better because I thought I was alone…
(From Jane: P.S. Fibromyalagia is usually a symptom of undiagnosed or undertreated hypothyroidism!!)
It’s always a relief for me to know that I’m not crazy & not alone! I’ve been to 4 diff Dr.s in the past 8yrs. & have never been told that cutting gluten out of my diet would help with my Hashimoto’s! Unbelievable! I can’t wait to adjust my diet, & hopefully relieve some symptoms. And perhaps lose some weight! That would be a bonus.
I have fired 4 “specialists” so far & have become resigned to the fact that I would just have to suffer through as best I can. This article has offered me some hope & I thank you for that.I also wish the best to all others suffering with their thyroid.
When we stop making excuses for these charlatans we will begin to heal. They are lining their pockets with ill (literally) gotten gain and have no souls-if they did would our children suffer? They are a pretty closed bunch and will do everything in their power to keep us fat and stupid and hopped up on dangerous drugs. How better to control the masses? The Hippocratic Oath is dead. Keep firing them and maybe one day before we are too old to care they will listen. I pray everyday for their deliverance.
I am currently at a crossroads. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroid disease about 10 years ago. I have been on levothyroxin .100 mcg for at least the last seven years and continuously develop other symptoms that I believe are attributed to the thyroid disease. I am also 52 and in peri-menopause.
muscle and joint aches
to name a few. My doctor keeps telling me my labs are normal and keeps writing new prescriptions to relieve the symptoms. Most recent being a sleep-aid and anti-depressant. Now he is diagnosing my muscle and joint pain as Fibromyalgia! I am so done with prescription after prescription! I am afraid I am going to rattle when I walk. Time to find a new physician I know but financially I am very tight right now. I do not want to take any more medications. Hopefully soon I will be able to find a real doctor who cares and knows what he is doing. I just wanted to vent a little. I hate being sick but perhaps I will be able to get some real help soon.
P.s. I never hesitate to fire a bad doctor. I don’t put up with ignorance or holier-than-thou attitudes. I have said, you are a doctor – not a god. Your specialty is NOT thyroid. You can not possibly read every new paper that comes out about thryoid and keep up with what is happening. There simply are not enough hours in the day. Tell me – when did you last read an update on thyroid? I read one last week. I think I know more than you do on thsi subject. Plus, I am in the unenviable position of having a thyroid issue. You do not know what you taling about.
Because it’s not enough to simply not return. They need to know why you are not coming back. Not that I really think it will get through their ego infused selves… but… eventually thyroid will be one of the FIRST things they check AND treat with proper T3/T4.
I trained in Natural Medicine a long time ago and my tutor Maureen O’Brien said she used to get the rotten tomatoes (quite literally) thrown at her for suggesting that dairy products might be causing problems for people. By the time I was at school (25 odd years ago) People listened politely and thought you were a bit odd but interesting. And the ones that DID come off dairy were flabbergasted at the change in their skin, their sinus headaches, their stomaches. Nowadays, we KNOW about dairy. On a national TV show a character has lactose intolerance. Everyone thinks this is everyday.
One day… one day…. 🙂
In the meantime, we fight the good fight and don’t enable Hellopathic medicine in their world view.
Luckily here in the States, we have lists of Good Docs that means these days I rarely go to someone who is awful. Thank you wonderful people.
In New Zealand my native country – there are lots of dreadful doctors. I finally found a wonderful guy for my husband, who reminds me of my Grandfather and actually cares and listens. Thank you Ric.
Don’t be bullied. Just say no.
Thank you Nick and everyone for remaining outraged and furious with Hellopathic medicine!
I have also been sick most of my life, feeling intuitively that it was my thryoid, only to be told over and over and over again that it was ‘all normal.’ It would have helped if they had tested for anti-bodies and oh… you know… done a ‘outmoded’ ‘old fastioned’ clinical on me. Imagine that – listening to the how the patient is feeling???! What would the world of Hellopathic medicine come to?
FINALLY – I went to a therapist here in the States and she said, ‘Well, the first thing we need to do is get you well, you’re really sick.” Aha, no kidding Sherlock I wanted to say. She said, “I have a friend who I think can help you, would you be willing to go to him.” Sure, I’ll try anything. Thank you Phillip Lee!
He said, you seem like low thyroid to me, let’s start you on Synthroid and see how you go. Horrible. I insisted after a short period of time we try something else. He said, you know, let’s try you on an ‘old fashioned’ one – it has T4 and T3 in it. That might work for you. They don’t prescribe it much anymore. (Fools) It was Thyrolar and OMG… what a difference.
From then on, I made it my business to know all there was to know about thyroid. I also came from a Hellopathic medicine family. My Grandfather however thought it was just plain wrong. He was a maverick in his time and wanted to bring down the ‘medical’ establishment.
So, back in the 1940’s when he was practising – he thought it was not designed for health. He was FURIOUS.
That is why I too, will NEVER be accepting of ignorant, stupid, naive, egotistical hellopathic medicine personnel who think they are gods. Thanks all for being here and being angry! (Amazing in our condition we can do that… 🙂 )
I had to fire my endocrinologist, L.S., when she would not prescribe dessicated thyroid hormone for me even though I had been on it successfully for ten years in the U.S.. I have already written about her on Rate Your MD. http://www.ratemds.com/index.jsp.
Some of my symptoms go back to childhood. I was told it was all in my head, even the hair loss and early greying- over and over until finally I went to a doctor outside of my insurance and he noticed the low temps and all the other symptoms. He put me on Naturethroid and suddenly things improved. But of course he was a good doc who ended up leaving the practice and my script ran out and I moved. The new doc dismissed all my symptoms, the script ran out and now things are worse than ever. All those symptoms are back with a vengeance. So I keep trying to find a new one. I’ve already been through five here. Until doctors stop being so condescending and absurd people like me will continue to suffer. The patient lives in their body. I’ve followed their useless advice over the years and all it’s done is made things worse for me. (With the exception of that one good doctor!) I know there are good doctors out there, willing to listen to their patients, willing to learn what we’ve learned, willing to open their minds and stop being so arrogant but they seem few and far between. And for those of us stuck with what our insurance will bear… it’s even trickier.
Well said, Nick! Your ivory tower comment is classic. I’ve followed your FB post since its inception, and you have helped so many take off their blinders to the mistreatment they are receiving and proclaim “no mas!” Blessings to you and all patients.
I totally relate to all of the comments posted here. My story is the same old song and I feel just as frustrated. On a different note, I want to ask a question about menopause and thyroid a topic I have not noticed on here. I am currently using the Vivelle patch for hot flashes, etc. I just started the patch a month ago. I am experiencing hypothyroid symptoms again. Has anyone else had this problem? I read that estrogen can affect your thyroid meds and you have to adjust the dose, but my current medical person already is urging me to reduce my dose since my TSH level is really low. I know. I need to fire her and find another doctor, but where I live there is hardly any doctors to be had. Any helpful suggestions?
The only doc I’ve ever fired was my endo. I fortunately have a friend who is an integrative medicine doc, who is helping me make the transition to NDT. He’s pretty much letting me direct it myself, with some check ins.
Oh my gooodness. This is such an excellent concept. Mainstream doctors have not been trained well. I fired 4 doctors: 3 mainstream M.D’s and 1 naturopath. They were clueless. One doctor told me that my hypothyroid symptoms stemmed from lack of exercise and loneliness. Worthless.
As far as acceptance—I can accept that most doctors have been poorly trained. But, this poor training has kept their patients ill for decades. How do we get mainstream medicine to “wake up and smell the coffee”? (most doctors, in my experience, won’t admit they are wrong, even when you place labs results and myxedema under their noses!!!)
In the UK it’s hard to change practice. Though the right to do so is there, the receptionists apply area limits and force you to make complaints the only route and most don’t like to do this.
A setup as usual!
ThyroidUK have a list of friendly Endos who will listen -but it’s informal and I wasted one visit with a Professor.[Since removed from the list- but I didn’t learn this soon enough!]
Still trying- but it is a struggle fighting the pill pushing medics posing as Doctors, nowadays.
This really struck a chord with me. Before my celiac, etc. diagnosis, a condescending doctor gave me the infamous “psychiatrist” line too. My story is at http://wildninja.wordpress.com/2010/04/14/from-the-gut/.
Mainstream medicine not only kept me sick, it put me on the disability rolls! I feel more than half of my best years on this planet were taken from me thanks to misdiagnosis of thyroid disease and what led to the thyroid disease in the first place. I am so angry that insurances will not cover the nutritionists or Naturopathic doctors, because they are the ones who were able to point me to the real causes of my problems. But I have to say, it wasn’t until I had nearly died (literally, in the ER with life threatening health problems) 3 times over 25 years that the problems associated with Celiac Disease were found. By then, I had had my thyroid killed with radioactive iodine at 35 (making me hypothyroid for life)and a total hysterectomy before the age of 47. So much misery in between all of it and so much of a life wasted. NDT is changing my life! I probably don’t have a lot of it left, but at least what I do have left will not be as miserable as the life I had before NDT. I will always be cranky about doctors after what so many have put me through. Telling me that I wouldn’t be so fat (40 pounds overweight) if I would just “push myself away from the table once in awhile”, and that all I really needed to feel better was to “go on the duct tape diet”. So many doctors haven’t a clue how to help people. Nor do they care to help people because they are in it for the money, and until we get to where the outrageous amounts of money that are being made in the health (non) care industry are illegal, it will just continue. People should go into professions where the primary goal of the profession is (supposed to be) to help people because they want to help people, not to make a ton of money. I have to say that a lot of my trust issues with people have mostly come from the treatment I have received from people in the health industry. You go to them vulnerable and in pain and looking for answers and they flick you away as if you are a flea on their back. If they act badly with you, FIRE THEM! Your life isn’t worth being held hostage to a health insurance plan that employs horrible doctors who refuse to do nothing but give you more drugs to cover up what is really wrong.
AK, I hope there is never an acceptance phase. Okay, maybe AFTER we’re healthy we can shrug and accept.
I have fired so many doctors over the last 30 years I have lost count. Even before I eventually confirmed on my own that I have thyroid issues, I was convinced taking a doctor’s advice was not in my best interests. Not a one of them will talk to you like you have more than 2 brain cells and all of them are convinced that you need drugs for whatever your complaint may be. I don’t know about anyone else, but I do have better things to do than doctor shop every time my insurance changes.
For YEARS I knew that I might have had something going on with my thyroid but was always told I was normal or, at worst, borderline. (“You don’t LOOK like you have thyroid issues but, if it’ll make you happy, I can give you a low dose prescription for SynCrap, and maybe some Elavil.” Make me HAPPY, you A-hole?!)
Finally, at 60 years old and uninsured, I have taken the control out of the doctors’ hands and am handling it myself. I started with reading STTM (and several other books) taking all the temperatures for adrenal and thyroid (uh,97.2 may be a clue), had labs ordered from the internet run, ordered NDT from overseas and am going to start on it as soon as it arrives.
I am so sick and tired of doctors not running the correct tests and giving crappy advice. (That degree hanging on your wall, Doc, does NOT make you smarter than me!) Knowing my body and myself better than you makes me much more qualified to handle my health! If I break a bone, I’ll be in to see you asap.
P.S. . . This is just my own personal rant because I know there are good doctors out there; just not enough of them to go around. Maybe after taking NDT for a while, I won’t be so cranky about doctors! 😉
I am one who has been sick since birth with adrenal issues stemming from a very stressed birth mother (single in 1953 and abandoned). I was a 6 lb 3 oz baby that ballooned quickly and in my first photos of myself at 3 months after adoption I look bloated (in 1953 large babies were considered healthy). I was fed with a formula containing corn syrup, so I gained weight very rapidly. I have been overweight for most of my life. I craved carbs as a child, ate bread like crazy, candy as much as I could get, etc. I was exhausted all the time, had NO concentration and memory was not great. I slept poorly even as an infant, accoording to my AMom; this has continued to date, and I am now 58. I was not diagnosed with adrenal insufficienty utnil I was almost 50, and my Hashimoto’s was not diagnosed until my mid-30’s, despite having seen several doctors for my multiple issues (that were related to my thyroid!). I was given syntroid and then levoxyl when finally diagnosed (TSH alone was above 10!), which helped at first, then deteriorated after that. I was so tired and desperate and non-functioning in my 20’s I tried suicide and wanted to die. My life has been a non-functioning nightmare for most of my adulthood. I remember very little of my children’s youngest times; I was not there except physically. When the internet came out I started to do research; I had had it. I found other patients as fed up as I was, found out about adrenal insufficiency on my own after doing copious & painstaking research. I had to self teat because no physician would help me. I got adrenal meds and carefully treated and then added NTH, and found out about RT3 and got treated for that, and started feeling better and HUMAN for the first time in my life. It has been an arduous journey. STTM and Janie is my hero. Now that my children (and that is another story!) are grown and gone, maybe now I can be there for my grandchildren and actually have a life – at 58! If there was a class action lawsuit going against mainstream medicine, I would sign on in a heartbeat. I have been angry; so very angry, at the non-treatment and sub-par treatment I received at the hands of mainstream doctors. I did a better job on my own than ANY doctor has ever done – barring one, whom the medical establishment has now destroyed. He was a good doc and also teachable and has joined a long line of good docs who have been destroyed by our truly horrendous mainstream medical institution – ones who truly cared about their patients and wanted to make a difference, and DID, until mainstream medicine and insurance went after them.
OMG Thank you for this post!!! So TRUE!!!!! How do we get to the acceptance phase?? I’m still stuck in the ANGRY-as-hell phase.