Finding an awesome thyroid doctor is some tough work! Do you know what I mean? Are you feelin’ my pain?
Doctors who don’t believe you have a thyroid problem
Doctors who only want to test TSH
Doctors who won’t prescribe natural desiccated thyroid
Doctors who don’t want to run the tests you request
Doctors who under-dose
I’ve experienced it all! I’ve experienced the frustration, the disappointment, and the exhaustion of going through doctor after doctor who just does not understand how to treat hypothyroidism.
1. Educate yourself.
Educating yourself is one of the first and most important steps of finding a thyroid doctor. Yes, a doctor is supposed to treat you. No, you can’t just trust that any doctor will know the best way to do that. In fact, it’s been my experience that most doctors don’t have a clue how to treat hypothyroidism. (I don’t say this out of pride, but out of a very real sense of frustration.)
You’ve got to educate yourself. Know what tests are essential for your doctor to run (hint: they don’t always run the right ones). Be sure to know about foods that could be destroying your thyroid. You have to know if your doctor is on the right track, or if it’s time to fire your doctor. Yup, you might have to fire a doctor (don’t forget, he/she works for you).
Learn all you can about hypothyroidism so you can ask questions, understand what the doctor is talking about, and advocate for yourself!
Books to get you started:
Below are some great books that will get you started on your education. Read them. Be informed. Information is truly the first step to finding your doctor.
- Stop the Thyroid Madness, by Janie A. Bowthorpe
- Hypothyroidism: the Unsuspected Illness, by Broda Barnes
- Overcoming Thyroid Disorders, by David Brownstein
- Living Well With Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You, by Mary J. Shomon
2. Start Your Doctor Search
Now that you’ve got some basics under your belt. You know a bit about thyroid disorders yourself, it’s time to find a doctor that (hopefully) knows more than you. If you’re going to find a doctor who will get you on track, you’re going to have to do your research. Here are a few places to start.
Check out Sites with Patient Submitted Doctor
Thyroid Change Patient Recommended Doctors: Listings for US, Canada, and Australia
Look for Doctors who Prescribe Natural Desiccated Thyroid
ThyroidDoctors.com: This site provides listings of doctors in your area that will prescribe NatureThroid and/or Westthroid—natural desiccated thyroid prescriptions.
Search for Doctors who practices: Integrative, Functional, or Holistic Medicine
These doctors are more likely than some doctors to be familiar with treating hypothyroidism.
- American Academy of Naturopathic Physicians
- American Academy of Integrative Holistic Medicine
- The Institute for Functional Medicine
- American Holistic Medical Association
- American College for Advancement of Medicine
Ask Your Friends!
Do you have friends who deal with thyroid disorders? Chances are you do. They may have a doctor that’s been helpful that they could refer you to.
3. Interview your doctor
The next step in finding a new doctor is to interview them. Yup, you heard me correctly. Just because a doctor is listed in one or more of the above places does not mean they’re going to be the doctor for you.
Now’s the time to make sure your doc can answer some questions correctly. Do you know what questions to ask your doctor? If not, be sure to check out these 5 questions to ask your doctor.
This final step in finding your doctor is so important. Now isn’t the time to be timid. If your doctor isn’t willing to be your partner in helping you regain your health, they aren’t the one for you.
Have you found a great doctor to help treat your hypothyroidism? What tips do you have to help others find a great doctor?
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