I’m so glad I wasn’t yet into hypothyroidism when I was a child. I had a doctor named Dr. Roach. Yes. Really. And he was quite tall and very serious. Not the kind of guy who should have been a pediatrician. So when my mother took me into the office for my required childhood vaccinations, I was SCARED…TO…DEATH…of him. I would hide behind the chairs as if I could really escape this nightmare. It didn’t work…lol.
So IF I had to see Dr. very-tall-very-serious-Roach for hypothyroidism, I shudder to think how it would have gone. lol.
As adults, we have somewhat more choices on who we see. And even so, it’s not always an easy issue. Thyroid patients report far too many doctors who they feel are missing the mark in their thyroid disease treatment.
And I get that!! When I was on Synthroid and later Levoxyl and suffering miserably, I remember going to at LEAST 20 doctors over those years, trying desperately to get help for what was debilitating me…and failing!
And boy oh boy, are there some bad memories. One doctor decided to use me for his “experiments” and I was put on a medication which really had nothing to do with what I went in there for. In retrospect, I think he was using me for a medical article he wanted to write, which he did then and still does today.
Another doctor put his foot down in arrogance when I asked if I could please get my potassium, sodium and magnesium tested to see why I was getting blood pressure problems. “That’s not your problem”, he swiftly said. i.e. he came across as “I’m the doctor; you are not. Don’t ask for anything”.
And there were many doctors who, in light of my hypothyroid-caused depression due to being inadequately treated thanks to T4-only, told me I need to see a psychologist or get on anti-depressants. NOT the right answer when natural desiccated thyroid would have ended that depression!
Yes, I finally found a couple of medical professionals who have been wonderful! And that’s because they have started listening to our experiences, and are willing to learn from me, as well.
A better direction
Today, patients have a lot more help and a sense of proactivity in their treatment thanks to the education and support that Stop the Thyroid Madness offers. Here are pages related to doctors that may help:
- TAKE A SURVEY as to your experiences with the majority of your doctors over the years. This will become important information which STTM will use in the future. Please contribute by answering the five questions!
- Here’s where you can see how patients find a good doctor. It can take a little work, but the end results will be much better.
- Don’t know how to say things to your doctor? Here’s a letter to your doctor which can help.
- And of course, YOU need to become informed somewhat ahead of time, because there will probably be some areas you’ll need to guide your doctor about. Here’s a summary of what patients have learned.
- Also helpful is to take a copy of the revised STTM book with you. You can have it bookmarked and read to open, if needed, in the discussion with your doctor.
- What if your doctor is the kind that needs research proof? STTM has a medical research page you can print out and hand to him.
- And to make you feel empowered, here is a page which outlines the areas doctors need to change in their thinking.
- Finally, get support from patients.
Bottom line about working with your doctor
Yes, thyroid patients may be disgusted and angry about the lack of good care they’ve received, but it still helps to to interact respectfully and tactfully. And definitely be INFORMED. That will give you the edge and your doctor’s respect in return. If not, move on to much better doctor! Be our OWN best advocate!
- Want to receive these blog posts right in your email?? Sign up to the left of this blog post on the STTM blog page.
- Take the Survey Monkey STTM SURVEY as to your experiences with the majority of the doctors you have seen.
- Want to talk to Janie and learn about patient experiences and wisdom concerning your issues? Go to the Talk to Others page.
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2 Responses to “Thyroid Patients and their Doctors: all the information you need”
In 5-1/2 years since discovering hypothyroid with stage 7 adrenal fatigue, I have seen 4-M.D’s and a naturopath. One M.D. was an endocrinologist. None were able to accurately interpret my blood tests; and none of them “believed in” using saliva tests for diagnostic info. Consequently, I am still as sick as I was 5-1/2 years ago. I think there is a functional-medicine doc in my city who is my last resort. We’ll see what happens.
It’s not just doctors. Yesterday my husband received information from his office about next year’s health plan. The ONLY thyroid covered by this insurance —- one run by CVS, by the way —– is synthroid and levoxyl. They don’t cover armour (which is the only dessicated thyroid they mention) and they said synthroid is an appropriate substitution!!! On another note, I have found an amazing doctor. She is part of the Holtorf medical Group and doesn’t take insurance but is worth every penny. She ran labwork that nobody has ever done before and found me low in most every hormone. My TSH was almost nonexistent but, unlike most doctors, she added T3 and also increased Cortef. This is the kind of doctor I wish everybody could see.