One of the most frustrating things I’ve encountered since being diagnosed with hypothyroidism is how my doctors have chosen to treat it (or not treat it). My care has been limited to just enough medication to get my TSH, T4, and T3 in the “normal range,” without regard to whether or not my symptoms are actually improving.
My current doctor has been a welcome change to that sort of previous care. She believes in ensuring I am taking enough medication to reduce my symptoms, regardless of where on the range I am. Unfortunately, like other doctors, that’s about the extent of her treatment plan for me.
I don’t want to be that person who goes online, reads blogs and articles, and then believes they know more than a professional. I don’t want to claim that I’ve earned my MD from Google university, but I can’t help but wonder if there truly is a knowledge gap in conventional medicine when it comes to basic lifestyle changes and how that influences the body.
We know the foods we eat can make us sick. Overeating can lead to obesity which can result in all sorts of health conditions. Diabetes can be caused by improper diet. Heart attacks by clogged arteries, stuff like that. So, why wouldn’t we consider how the foods we eat and our activity levels affect our health?
The same goes for our mental health. There are studies that have shown that a positive outlook can influence a patient’s recovery from an illness or injury. Couldn’t our mental state have an impact on our health as well then? I’m pretty sure it’s been confirmed that stress can cause illness.
I don’t intend to stop taking my medication or stop going to my doctor. The truth is, all the lifestyle stuff is up to me, so I don’t really need her to try to eat better and be more active. As long as I’m not going against her guidance (which is to keep taking my medication) there’s no harm in trying to make positive lifestyle changes in hopes of improving my health.
That being said, I would like her to run a few additional tests for me, just to see if I have any of the nutrient deficiencies associated with Hashimoto’s. I don’t want to supplement recklessly and make myself worse by taking stuff I don’t need. I do want to be able to make educated decisions on what supplements to take, if any, and for that I need her help.
Therein lies the problem though, how do I ask her, and possibly convince her, to run these additional tests without coming off as “I know more than you do because I know how to Google?” We have the same goals, which are to make me feel better, so that’s a positive start, but I don’t know where to go from there.