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If there’s one thing I hear a lot from thyroid patients, it’s that they feel as if their doctor just doesn’t understand. Many people with hypothyroidism feel as if they’re banging their head against a brick wall when trying to form a relationship with their doctor that sees them work in partnership and allows the thyroid patient to be an active participant in their own healthcare.
I asked my thyroid community to fill in the end of this sentence:
“I wish my doctor would…”
Here are just a few of the responses (I received almost 150).
Names have been left out to keep people anonymous.
- I wish my doctor would understand the need for a full thyroid panel of bloods instead of just TSH.
- I wish my doctor understood that being ‘in range’ doesn’t mean I feel well.
- I wish my doctor understood that I’m not unwell because I have depression. I have depression because I’m constantly unwell.
- I wish my doctor would speak to me as an equal.
- I wish my doctor treated me in the context of life, not in the context of a textbook.
- I wish my doctor would see me as the expert on me.
- I wish my doctor would take responsibility for my care.
- I wish my doctor was looked after better by the NHS.
- I wish my doctor had been trained by an institution that took thyroid problems seriously.
- I wish my doctor hadn’t offered me a diet pill, but instead checked my Free T3, low ferritin, and low cortisol.
- I wish my doctor would be concerned with quality of life as well as quantity.
- I wish that my doctor would go by how I feel instead of going by the results from the tests. Just because the tests show normal doesn’t mean that I feel my best.
- I wish my doctor would run the proper tests to give me a definite answer to on whether I have Hashimoto’s.
- I wish my doctor would not tell me to “stay off the internet” when I try to be my own health and thyroid advocate.
- I wish my doctor would not laugh at me when I tell him that the AIP diet really helped my symptoms.
- I wish my doctor would listen to my list of symptoms, instead of rushing me out the door.
- I wish my doctor would treat me as seriously as she would if she was the one with Hashimoto’s.
- I wish my doctor would give me more options of treatment as there is more than just Synthroid.
- I wish my doctor would consider other medications besides Levothyroxine.
- I wish my doctor would talk about lifestyle changes that can be made, diet, exercise, supplements not just prescribe Synthroid.
- I wish my doctor would accept and support my choice to take NDT instead of thyroxin.
- I wish my doctor would look at me rather than her laptop.
- I wish my doctor would test regularly instead of yearly.
- I wish my female internal medicine doctor of 15 years would have said “I’m not qualified for this.” According to my records, I had a TSH of 105 in April 2014 and 101 August 2014, but it wasn’t picked up.
- I wish my doctor would take the time to educate himself on how to treat the thyroid – using a functional approach.
- I wish my doctor would see that this is not about them. I have to live with and through this and I have the most to lose here.
- I wish my doctor walked in my shoes and lived my life with this disease for a month.
- I wish my doctor had asked more questions and tested me instead of treating just one symptom or else saying that menopausal women just had to get used to it.
- I wish my doctor wouldn’t make me beg for a full thyroid panel or to try something other than T4-only meds but instead encourage it!
- I wish my Doctor would prescribe me a T3 medication.
- I wish my doctor would read all the blogs by The Invisible Hypothyroidism and learn what we go through. (this one made me smile!)
- I wish my doctor would realise I am not trying to undermine her when I have done my own research and go to discuss it with her so that we can find a way forwards – because I am sick of being sick.
- I wish my doctor had dissuade me from removing half my thyroid and explore all options with me first.
- I wish my doctor would stop telling me to wait 3 months to see what happens and consider my quality of life now!
- I wish my doctor would not make feel like a hypochondriac.
- I wish my doctor would treat me as an individual and not try to fit me into a ‘one size fits all‘ box.
- I wish my doctor communicated with me. He just sends me to have blood drawn then the nurse calls to say up the meds. That’s it. I have no idea why or what my levels are. It’s ins and outs and they don’t have time to answer my questions.
Add your own in the comments section below.
Read other blogs in the ‘Thyroid Patients Explain’ format here.
If you are on thyroid medication and still having symptoms e.g. fatigue and others, you are likely not optimally treated, or have other problems you need to address. A properly treated thyroid condition should have no or very few symptoms. Of course, other illness, conditions and deficiencies can cause problems too, so explore them all if possible.
You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.
The online thyroid course ‘Freedom From Thyroid Fatigue’, which walks you through how to overcome thyroid fatigue and flare up days with a personalised approach.
Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes authoring books, writing articles, blogging and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a board member for The American College of Thyroidology and The WEGO Health Patient Leader Advisory Board. Rachel has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, The BBC, The Mighty, Yahoo, MSN, ThyroidChange and many more. She is well-recognised as a useful contributor to the thyroid community and has received multiple awards and recognitions for her work and dedication. She has authored two books: ‘Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate‘ and ‘You, Me and Hypothyroidism‘. Rachel is British, but advocates for thyroid patients on a global scale.