Monday, July 16, 2012

If You Think You Have Thyroid Disease

I'm adding this in here because I see it all the time in those thyroid groups. Someone comes in who insists they have thyroid disease and it's their doctor who refuses to give them a proper diagnosis. They post their labs and ask "what do I do?".  Well, the problem I see, is that they have test results all within range with a TSH that is a little bit high. But it's evident from the rest of their labs that they either have poor eating habits or they need some vitamin supplements. Low vitamin D, iron, ferritin, B12. Being low in all of those will make you feel terrible and have very little energy. Now, in all these groups, they say TSH is virtually meaningless, yet they will push someone to "fire" their doctor and find a new one who will give them thyroid meds based solely on that slightly high TSH. Hmmm...that doesn't sound quite right to me. Wouldn't it be better to work on the low vitamins before jumping to the conclusion it's a thyroid problem? Of course the TSH is a little high - with the body in such short supply of all those necessary vitamins, what could you expect?

It's great to help people who have thyroid disease, but it's better to not push thyroid medication until the vitamin deficiency is taken care of first. Taking thyroid medication when you don't need it can do the thyroid harm, make it sluggish. In a healthy person, the body will adapt and slow down it's own production of the thyroid hormones, so there would actually be no purpose to taking it. Plus, keep in mind that there are side effects to all medications. Why give yourself those side effects when you don't have to?

Even though it is never the intention of those groups to cause harm, sometimes I feel the overzealous members get out of hand and people need to take a step back to get a better look at the whole picture. Find out more information before jumping to the conclusion that person has a bad doctor. Chances are, we aren't getting the whole story. If we don't ask, of course, how would we know? Making the assumption that the doctors are at fault may not always be what's in the best interest of the patient. We do have some really great doctors, and sometimes I think those groups are very judgmental. I think it's unfair to label a doctor a jerk, or out of touch, when they've probably been given much more information than what's been posted in the group pages. Perhaps that doctor is thinking along a step by step process. Fix the vitamin deficiency, and if symptoms persist, THEN check the thyroid again. It's a logical way of doing things. We don't just jump into surgery because we have a tummy ache. It may not be the appendix. Maybe it's just gas. Perhaps doctors need to be given a little more credit. Dealing with thyroid disease is not an overnight quick fix thing anyways, so slow down, and take things one step at a time.

No comments:

Post a Comment