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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stupid crap my doctor says

I've said before that when it comes to getting my thyroid problems sorted out, my doctor's not too bad. He was totally open to me going to Armour Thyroid, hasn't said anything really objectionable and doesn't treat me like I'm crazy, which is a plus. Apparently, I'm really lucky in that department, though, because some people have an insanely hard time connecting with a doctor who knows what the hell they're doing.

"What the heck does the
thyroid gland do? Most physicians
will tell you 'it controls metabolism,'
which is what we all learned in
medical school. That statement is
basically the same as saying, 'It's
really complicated and I don't
understand it.'" - Dr. Rob Lamberts
A friend of mine is 43 and exhibits a ton of symptoms: facial swelling, celiac disease, tiredness and a bunch of other stuff. I told him to switch doctors, and he said he already had - five times. His regular physician told him, "Well, you're getting old...."

When I first went to my OB for bloodwork, I knew something was wrong but wasn't sure what. After my results came back, he simply stated, "Your antibodies are elevated." When I asked him what that meant, he said, "It just means you'll eventually have to go on medication." Thanks for elaborating!

I've mentioned several times in past posts how a friend was told to "fake it" by her doctor when she was concerned about low sex drive and her thyroid function. He also told her to stop drinking pop (even though she doesn't) and to 'get off the couch.' Why, I'd love to, if only I wasn't so tired all I wanted to do was sleep. All. day. long.

I once got into a rather heated Facebook debate with a nurse practitioner who, along with her physician husband, thinks many of the people in her practice use it as an excuse. She went on about the TSH, and eventually changed her tune and shut up when I told her you can have high antibodies, hypo symptoms and a totally normal TSH, all at the same time.

I asked others and they told me this:

Amber: "The old "eat less, move more" mantra. I've eaten 900-1200 calories a day and exercised for 10-12 hours a week for months on end, and have still, little by little, kept gaining weight."

Beth: "That none of my symptoms...PMS, depression, weight gain, insomnia, anxiety - were thyroid-related. This was the same guy who said that a TSH of 9 was within normal limits and that Armour is unreliable."

LynnSue: "'You have Hashimoto's, but we don't keep track of your antibodies because it doesn't really mean anything and there is nothing we can do about it.' I was told this by SEVERAL doctors, most of them endocrinologists....My highly esteemed endocrinologist told me that my slow, steady weight gain was "middle age" (I'm 51) and that many of her female patients have chosen to get liposuction. 'I'm telling you that off the record,' she said. She never, ever tested by B-12 in the 15 years I was with her, even though Hashi's patients are often deficient in it. When I got it tested on my own (through my GP) and showed her the deficient results, she said, 'Well, I guess that one slipped under the radar.'"

Jessica: "I had the opposite of LynnSue. 'You have crazy high antibodies and 'normal' numbers otherwise. Go see a rheumatologist. I can't help you.'"

Rebecca: "'What you had before your thyroid was removed was Grave's Disease, but now it's called Hoshimoto's.' Seriously! 'All your levels are checking out fine so its not anything to do with your endocrine system. It's something else and nothing I can help you with further."

(Note: I've heard some people speculate that endocrinologists no longer know how to deal with thyroid problems because they're all seeing diabetes cases - which is a complication from hypothyroidism, by the way....)

Lisa: "'Eat 500 calories a day and try to work out more.' Keep in mind I was already lifting weights five times a week and going bald....Two of the four morons told me to eat 500 calories. I also was an anorexic/bulimic for years who recovered with Atkins. The others just thought I was tired from being a mom. Grrr..."

Terah: "'You have Hashimoto's, your TSH is below 2. Let's wait and see what happens.'" (And in the meantime, it's totally okay for you to feel like crap... we'll just wait for you to continue to fall apart, 'k?)

Michele: "'Thyroid problem? What thyroid problem? Your TSH is fine.'"

Kira: "'Here...take this will raise your serotonin and make you feel way's not your thyroid.' Four days later, had a grand mal seizure and lost my four front teeth and developed a systemic blood poisoning from the infection that set in...Yeah, thanks, doc."

Pamela: "I was also told that my complete and total exhaustion, muscle pain, ataxia and weight gain was because I was a mom with a four-month-old...(ring a bell?) By the time my doc agreed to test me, my T3 and T4 levels were ZERO. He said he'd never seen numbers that low. This was 17 years ago. It's been a long, wild ride since then."

Lorrie: "I suffered 'tonsilitus' every year of my life until I finally found a doctor who knew the minute he saw me that I had Graves Disease (at age 43)... Then there was the cardiologist my doctor sent me to for a stress test... without even looking at my folder announced the reason I was sent to see her was because I was 'lazy.' (after two surgeries and gaining 60 pounds)

Suzie: "Me: 'Could your numbers be normal, but you still have symptoms?' Endo: 'No, that's impossible!' followed by a condescending head shake....'It's functional. Here is 7 mgs of Xanax. Also, here is Abilify, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, Risperdal, Ambien, Adderall, Ritalin, etc. and an application for SSI!"

Nadia: "'People's bodies change a lot as they get older; it's normal that you're putting on weight and feeling tired - just eat less and exercise more!' At the time, I was 23, eating vegetarian and mostly raw food, working as a waitress and going to the gym 2-3 times a week!"

Yvonne: "'Your symptoms have nothing to do with you being hypothyroid; I want you to see a psychiatrist,' who consequently diagnosed me with somatization disorder (all in my head syndrome). My GP ate his words last month when he said, 'Your remarkable improvement on NDT can no longer be ignored.'" (emphasis mine)

Terah: "My first endo said, 'So you have a few symptoms. You don't need medicine for something that is going to slowly kill off your thyroid anyway.' (Hashi's) Then she went on to say since I was getting older that there was no need to have sex so the lack of sex drive was a benefit. I could not have made that one up!"

Dear Lordy be. I'm not even sure what to say about that one.

If this is your doctor's approach to treating your symptoms, run, run, far away! 

More reading:
Why an endocrinologist or thyroidologist should probably not be your thyroid doctor
The many myths of hypothyroidism - Dr. Kenneth Blanchard 
What's wrong with these doctors? 


Zombiemommy said...

Enjoyed the post!