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Good Housekeeping Magazine’s Disastrous and Dangerous Message to Thyroid Patients

Post Published: 26 July 2011
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Category: Join The Discussion
This post currently has 2 responses. Leave a comment

In response to Good Housekeeping’s, “We Hear You Post”, in response to their misinformed and uneducated article, “Understanding Thyroid Problems”.

An official statement is forthcoming, but many of us have been so outraged, that we’ve had to speak up and share our thoughts. Bravo to everyone who has and continues to speak up! If you’d like to add your comments within this post, send your comment to katie@dearthyroid.org or leave a comment.

You hear us? I’d love to know the filter you use for listening, because you’ve brought selective listening into a new stratosphere that borders, what’s the word, it’ll come to me, hold on, darn thymentia, oh, yes, narcissistic. That’s it! Took me a while, but I got there.

Susan, FYI, as your thyroid disease worsens, so will your memory loss, to a degree that will, in most cases, leave you terrified. I’m sure you’ll find a nifty crossword puzzle to solve that crisis. However, and truth be told, I feel very sad for you. You’re being mistreated and that breaks my heart, especially knowing that you might possibly endure unimaginable pain and sickness. I do hope that you get informed and fast.

I digress.

This article is as disastrous as the first one. Thank you so much. Mad listening skills, HG. I sure would love to see the credentialed physicians’ websites that you spoke with to corroborate Susan’s story.

Oh, and that brings me to another point. Gosh, I almost forgot, can you believe it? This article was not written as an op-ed piece or as, ‘one woman’s journey’. If you’re presenting cold hard facts, woman up – deliver, on a silver platter, the facts you claim to possess.

Another thought, if you really, and I mean REALLY want to help women with thyroid disease, ask Mary Shomon to write an article, so you retract both of these ridiculous excuses for articles. You need the facts. You don’t have them. Here’s a link to THE FACTS: Good Housekeeping Thyroid Article Causes Controversy Among Patients and Practitioners: Nation’s Top Integrative Physicians and Experts Respond.

After all, we want the same thing, right? Getting our houses in order.

Finally, for thyroid cancer, please ask Joanna Isbill to write an article, fact based about the risks of thyroid cancer and the rate of thyroid cancer developing in patients with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Okay, well, I think I’ve said everything I need to say for now. If I think of anything else, I’ll be back.

Thanks SO MUCH for listening, HG. I feel… heard.

Sincerely,
Katie Schwartz
Founder, Dear Thyroid™.

Dear Editors,

If you truly heard us, your response would be one of apology instead of the ignorance you decided to give us. If you truly heard us, you would understand just how dangerous the article written by Ms. Carlton really is. To suggest that we did not read your article carefully is beyond offensive. We read it with a fine tooth comb. A careful reader of the original article, a reader who knows what life is like with thyroid disease or thyroid cancer, knows that the doctors who were consulted and suggested to not treat patients with a TSH between 3.0 and 10.0 are the type of doctors who see their patients as a chart instead of a person. They see numbers, lab values. The danger in treating a number is that the patient gets lost. Symptoms continue to rage and quality of life is extinguished. This is what you are promoting and condoning.

If you truly heard us, you would see that medical professionals are speaking out. You would know that licensed medical physicians who treat patients with thyroid disease are livid at the mockery you’re publishing.

If you truly heard us you would know the suggestion that coffee, crosswords, and spinning class as treatments for thyroid disease is laughable at best. You would know that caffeine only puts further strain on the endocrine system. (In case you’re not aware, the thyroid is part of the endocrine system.) You would know that exercise will not be effective in shedding pounds if the thyroid is not treated first. If you read our comments carefully, you would know this.

As a Facebook commenter said, “Good Housekeeping really needs to stick to commenting on appliances.” At this point, I don’t even want your opinion on appliances because I have no trust in you. Never again will I pick up an issue of Good Housekeeping and I am going to urge everyone I know to do the same. And in case you’re not aware, word of mouth marketing is powerful.

A careful reader,

Joanna Isbill

VP, Business Development & Strategy / Columnist: Life Redefined, Young Adults with Thyroid Cancer

Dear Editors of Good HouseKeeping,

I am responding to the preposterous article written by By Susan Carlton entitled, “Understanding Thyroid Problems.”  If you are going to publish medical information, have someone report correctly and actually be of service to your readership.  As a former medical researcher I could have easily provided you with real data using both international and US, evidence based research and treatments for hypothyroidism, hashimotos, and thyroid cancer.  I could have discussed online support groups, as well as non-profit organizations and the empowered patient movement with you in a way that is far more effective and less belittling and dangerous than the balderdash written by Carlton.

When a journalist or writer prepares an article for readers who may or may not have access to facts and data, that writer has an obligation to provide necessary sources for their readership.  This means having a basic understanding of the information themselves. Secondly, it means providing information that does not endanger the readership by giving them bad medical advice or terrible opinions that sound like “facts.”

Carlton herself does not seem to realize many physicians do not know everything about thyroid disorders and must themselves have specialized training.  It is not enough to simply, “ask your doctor” about one’s thyroid levels.  Getting second and third opinions and being an empowered patient is exactly how many patients have found out about their infertility or their autoimmune diseases.  Going online to support groups is precisely where many connected and supportive physicians interact with patients and everyone educates and learns together.  Carlton does not seem to realize or discuss that some physicians take payment from pharmaceutical companies and do NOT have their patients better interest at heart.  Nor does she take the perspective of patients who can actually discuss what it FEELS LIKE to have a TSH of 10 versus 3.  And the endocrine society has established .3-3 as a basis because it is an optimal level for brains and bodies to function, and any physician who is boarded and licensed to practice should consider offering their patient a second or third opinion if they are choosing not to proceed in this manner.  In addition to the alarming issues she seemed to sweep under the table, heart problems, high cholesterol and high blood pressure often result from untreated endocrine and thyroid problems.

It is clear that Carlton has never been to a supportive community like DearThyroid where thyroid cancer survivors and physicians offering advice and empowered patients come together to discuss and write their stories and share important information and work together.  Instead she suggests exercise, coffee (which is a dangerous stimulant for over taxed endocrine systems), and cross word puzzles for her lack of clarity, which is preposterous.  Why didn’t she didn’t snap a picture of the leach on her arm as well.  How dangerous and wrong to support such abysmal mis-information.  The current medical data is far beyond that and that you ran such an article.  Men and women in need of effective treatment deserve better.

This article should be immediately redacted and your readers should be given clear data more beneficial to their health.

Sincerely,

Melissa Travis, MLS, PhD, ABD

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2 Responses to “Good Housekeeping Magazine’s Disastrous and Dangerous Message to Thyroid Patients”

  1. Cindi Straughn says:

    where’s the “like” button? 🙂

  2. Janice Willingham says:

    I’ll second that LIKE !!
    You tell GH, Dear Thyroid!!

    AND thanks so much for the bracelet. I am trying to get the word out, about you guys and also Mary Shomon, being a recently diagnosed victim of Hashimoto’s myself (and undiagnosed for years as symptoms mounted and doctors ignored me). Thanks to my reading a book by an MD discussing a Type II thyroid condition, I was able to convince my HMO gyno that I needed some kind of test, and he mocked me saying “so you think you have a little thyroid problem based on reading some book? OK you can have a TSH test.” By the time I was able to even get this much, a TEST, that costs under $60 if I pay for it MYSELF, not to mention that the Insurance Co negotiates rates down even lower, I was bleeding gallons constantly (“you’re just peri-menopausal and need antidepressants”). Upshot: TSH was 11.9, resulting in a REFERRAL, amazing (through the HMO) to an HMO endo, who found out that my anti-TPO count (Hashimoto’s antibodies) was 998, on a scale where 37 or something is considered real bad. I was so fatigued I could barely stand up in the shower for 10 minutes at a time, and after all that, I was prescribed some synthetic T-4 and I felt worse and my TSH shot even higher, to 14, despite months of more and more T-4 Rx. Afterword: All HMO drs are now fired by me, my wonderful takes-no-insurance MD endo says go gluten-free, after 3 years on the right treatment I am better than ever before (in my life), TSH is 1.55 and Free T-3 is 2.5 on scale of 2.0 to 4.4!! (and that with taking ONLY generic T-4 these days because I can now make my own T-3, being gluten-free!
    So since I got my endo’s name from Mary Shomon’s site, I owe it all to her from that point, and also found out about this wonderful Dear Thyroid site from her as well. Keep up the great work! Thanks, JW

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