Do you need to get a new Doctor if yours doesn’t know anything about Hashimoto’s and the newest thyroid treatments? No, you don’t.
Long Time Doctor?
Do you have a family doctor or a physician you have been seeing for a long time? How well do you communicate with each other? Is he open to your individual care or is he set in his ways?
If you have good communication with your doctor, physician, or general practitioner then you should stay with this doctor. He knows a lot about you and how you’ve been for the last…however long. If he only knows about TSH testing but he’s willing to learn with you or allow you to educate yourself and him then you have a GREAT doctor.
If you have been with this doctor for a while but you don’t really communicate well, then you need to ask yourself and him this question – Will he work with you or will he try to just get you in and out and not listen to what you have to say about your healthcare? I’m sure you know where to go from there.
Are you comfortable taking responsibility for your own care and health? Are you wanting to dig in deep and get to the root of your problem and are you willing to learn what testing ranges are? Or do you want to leave that up to a Doctor?
You Can Do This Yourself
In this article I go into more detail about the tests and lab ranges, the value of them and what most peoples ranges should be. If you want to get better whether you are with an already GREAT doctor who knows or is willing to learn with you, then you need to know what your body needs and where it feels best at. Do you know what your body is lacking? That’s one of the first things to figure out, after you find or figure out you have the right doctor.
If you need to find a new doctor, get yourself prepared. Know what you need to ask him to find out if he/she is a good fit for you. Ask him/her if they’re willing to work with you to get your health back on track. Ask him if he has a problem running these tests:
- Free T3 & Free T4
- Reverse T3
- Leptin level (if this applies to you)
- Vitamin/Mineral deficiency tests
- Thyroid Antibody tests (both TPO & TGAb)
- TSH – ask if they’re OK with you getting your level to YOUR optimum level, not just within the reference range
If they are OK with all of that, you have yourself a winner. If they have a problem with some of it then you have to decide if you can deal with that. There are other ways to order the tests yourself, it’s just more expensive than through your doctor and insurance.
If you aren’t comfortable learning all of this and asking for what you want -either because you’re just that way or because you just don’t know what to ask for- then you need to ask the doctor if he is knowledgeable about these tests and what they mean for each person. Find a doctor that fits or is a complement to your level of self care and knowledge.
Finding Your Way Through Together
If you have to find a new doctor then let the office know all of your history. Have your medical records sent to them so they know everything. He is a doctor and may see something you don’t even know to look for. If he’s willing to work with you on testing your Leptin levels if you were one of those chronic dieters or if you just didn’t have an appetite and ate less than 1200 calories a day for a long period of time and then prescribe you the right regimen to get your Leptin under control as well as your Hashimoto’s symptoms to calm down.
To begin with you should expect visits every 6-8 weeks for blood work checks and to just check in on your well-being. Discuss any concerns you have and I personally suggest keeping a journal either in a small notebook, a leather notebook or on you phone in the “Notes” app. Keep jotting down how you feel, rough ideas of what you eat if necessary, any activity, how well you sleep, how you feel when you wake up, how your energy levels are throughout the day, if your memory is getting better/worse/same and even how your bowels are moving. Nothing is unimportant when you are trying to get healthy from an autoimmune disease. A lot of it even ties together.
For women, be sure to keep track of periods, missed periods, pain during cycle, pain during ovulation if it applies, and include your sex drive, or lack of, and if you get energized before your period, or right after you start or if you get energized right before ovulation.
For men, your body goes in cycles too so be sure to note when you have more emotions than other times or if you seem anger quicker than normal throughout the month. How is your sex drive and does it correlate with your emotion/anger times.
Nothing is too sensitive to talk about and I can promise you, that even straight out of college, these doctors and practitioners have heard plenty. You won’t embarrass them, they won’t look at you weird or different. They will want to help you. They still don’t teach mind reading in college, open your mouth. 🙂
Can You Commit
Can you commit to your health plan. Can you commit to doing what is necessary to have a much better quality of life for yourself or is that just too much work right now and you want to just feel marginally better. Either one is fine, this is a personal choice. This is a lifetime condition. You may very well get it into remission but inside of 20 years you will probably have a flare or 2. Stress or illness will be the most likely culprit but maybe you forget that you were once really sick and you start doing the same things that got you here in the first place and your remission ends. You will still know better how to get back healthy and send it back into remission so don’t worry too much. Enjoy life but remember what hurts your body. (Not what hurts everyone else’s body, just yours)
If you can’t commit to getting your Hashi’s in remission then the best you can hope for is making it manageable. You can still get a lot of your energy back and even alleviate some of your symptoms but you will deal with flare-ups and bad days much, much more often.
What do I mean by commit? I mean doing what you need to. All of it. Start simple, that is the perfect and easiest place to start and you will feel better when you see the smallest results. Narrow down your issues and keep working on it after that. Definitely try to eliminate gluten and all soy, but watch your gluten replacements, they can be worse for your blood sugar and weight than the gluten is for your Hashi’s. I would work on getting rid of ALL soy and work relentlessly on getting my gut health back to above par status and just try very hard to stay away from as much gluten as possible.
I’m not a big fan of AIP, I know that I personally cannot commit to that and honestly neither can my wallet. I am doing it my way and it may take me longer to get there but I feel 100 times better than I did just 4 months ago (6 months after my total thyroidectomy). I know that this is a long road and a long process but I am committed to being a better partner, parent for my children and making sure I’m healthy enough to have fun with my grandkids. I want to truly enjoy the rest of my life.
If You Want Your Life Back
If you truly want your life back, if you really want to feel better… You will, if you commit to yourself or to your family. You can even just commit to your aching legs and feet that you will stop the pain. No one likes waking up or standing up and walking like a 100 yr old at 35. Commit. Research. Reach out to other Hashi sufferers. LEARN YOUR BODY, listen to it. Take the time to get yourself healthy. Find a doctor that will work with you and help you get your Hashimoto’s in remission.
I have written other articles here outlining more about dealing with Hashi’s and how to treat it, feel free to read through and use or discard information as it pertains to you. Not everything will work for every one but some of the basics are across the board…a great place to start for all!!
Please let me know what you think or if you have any questions, leave them below in the comments.