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Why The Weirdness with Doctors + Thyroid

Post Published: 15 September 2011
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Category: Guest Bloggers
This post currently has 5 responses. Leave a comment

It happened again yesterday. I saw a patient who is 48 and came to me a few months ago because she felt flat sensually and sexually. Let’s call her Daphne.

As part of our work together, I found she had a Thyroid Stimulating Hormone of 3.1 and a low free T3. In other words, her thyroid needed some tweaking in the direction that provides more energy, better metabolism and dovetails better with adrenal and ovarian function.

She had been on the same dose of thyroid medication (Synthroid) for 25 years. No changes. Ever.

I added a quarter grain of Naturethroid, or 16.25 mg. Simple change with profound results: Her sensuality perked up. Daphne felt more receptive to sex with her husband. She had more energy, for sex but also for living life more fully. She lost a lingering 5 pounds. This all happened in 6 weeks. She came back into the office with a new spring in her step: “I ran up the stairs yesterday, and then realized I haven’t run up the stairs in more than ten years!”

BUT. Her primary care doctor was incensed.

The mainstream doc told my patient, “I can’t support you going up on your thyroid hormones just because you need an easy way to lose weight.”

Excuse me? Is this mic not on?

What’s wrong with mainstream medicine that they are so quick to write off patients as seeking a weight-loss quick-fix when really they just want to feel like themselves again?

Has this happened to you? Or have been dismissed or shamed for wanting to feel better in some other context? Please share your story with me in the comments section.

Let’s band together and stop mainstream medicine from equating a simple request to optimize thyroid into, in their eyes, a shameful search for excuses not to “exercise more and eat less.” Please.

Even celebrities are not immune to the paternalistic (and frankly, misogynistic) way that conventional medicine views this particular cry for help: celebrity Gena Lee Nolin had many years of struggle with baby weight (and having to fit into a Baywatch bathing suit before millions of TV viewers) and blinding fatigue before getting her thyroid sorted out. She was prescribed antidepressants and other poisons she didn’t need. Hear her story live on September 21 at 1130am in a conversation with Thyroid Expert Mary Shomon and me. Register here for our free teleseminar: http://www.saragottfriedmd.com/thyroid/

Written by: Dr. Sara Gottfried

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5 Responses to “Why The Weirdness with Doctors + Thyroid”

  1. Katie says:

    I want some of that!!!
    I had a endocrinologist tell me I was depressed and surely I was because I was tired, in chronic pain and foggy all the time. She put me on an anti-depressant and stupidly I decided she must be right and took it. It was the first time in my life I ever felt like my life could end in an instant and I would not care….it turned into true depression. I went off of the antidepressant and decided to go see a psychologist and try and figure out what was going on in my crazy head. How could depression cause such chronic pain in my flesh? We spoke, and she looked at me and said…you are physically ill and you need to make your doctor listen to you! That was music to my ears, but it took another 8 years to finally find a doctor who diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s.
    I also had a doctor tell me to get gastric bypass and if I didn’t then he cannot help me because I did not want to help myself. Quack quack. He was the biggest quack of all!

  2. Nicolle says:

    Hello, I had a huge nodule removed along with the right side of my thyroid back in 98…fast forward to a year ago, i go to the endo and lo and behold 3 new nodules are just beginning to take form on the left side of my thyroid. I was supposed to return to her a few months later but due to no insurance I could not. Well now I have insurance and she is insisting she needs to see me to biopsy these nodules(thyroid cancer runs in my family) My primary care doctor will not give me a referral!! he instead sent me for blood work and says we will take it from there, i was borderline hypo a year ago and was put on only 25 mcg of synthroid (still on) which i know is nothing. Why is he being so cavalier with my health? I do not understand…and here I sit a week after having my blood tests…with no results to show for it…i just called and left him a message…cant wait to see WHEN he calls me back what HIS plan will be

  3. Jenny says:

    Hear hear, I agree! Bearing in mind that 300 years back people still thought the emotions controlled health and you could only have one emotion at a time…… Do ya THINK that Drs could be a little more open minded about the possibility that all treatment for thyroid problems is not, perhaps, perfected as yet?

    x

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts + stories! It really helps me to hear about all the little and big ways that doctors are undermining – i’m sure there are many ways that I could do better myself. Thank you for keeping me accountable! xo Dr Sara

  5. mike5816 says:

    My sister was on Armour Thyroid for years and was in better health than I was. Then she moved and had to switch doctors, and her new doctor refused to prescribe Armour for her, and put her on Synthroid. She deteriorated and grew miserable, so she was put on an antidepressant/antianxiety drug. She insisted she was neither depressed nor anxious and just need to change back to Armour. Finally, I convinced her to fire her doctor, and she did, and got back on Armour Thyroid, and now she’s back to the way she used to be (well, as much as you can with thyroid disease).

    Because of this, I have requested my own doctor to let me try Armour Thyroid. She won’t do it. I’m torn about this because other than this one thing I really like my doctor. Even the staff in her office, who really sucked, have improved or been replaced. Argh! What do I do? Maybe I should moonlight with a second doctor? Gah!

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