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, though that’s about the extent of her treatment plan for me.
I don’t want to be that person who goes online, reads a bunch of blogs and articles, and then believes they know more than a medical professional. I don’t want to claim that I’ve earned my MD from Google university, but I also 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 an improper diet. Clogged arteries can lead to heart attacks – stuff like that. So, why shouldn’t we consider how the foods we eat and the things we do each day affect our health?
And I’m not just referring to exercise or the foods we eat, I’m referring to our mental state as well. There are studies that have shown that a positive outlook can influence a patient’s recovery from an illness or injury, and I’m pretty sure I’ve read that stress can cause all sorts of illnesses, so isn’t it possible that our mental health could impact our physical health in other ways too?
I don’t intend to stop taking my medication or stop going to my doctor. But I do intend to take ownership of my health. I have full control over all of the lifestyle stuff. I don’t need my doctor in order 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 overall 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 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, I don’t know how to ask her, and possibly convince her, to run these additional tests without coming off as a wannabe “Google MD.” It should be as easy as just asking, but for some reason, it feels way harder. I’m not sure where to go from here.