Thyroid disorders such as hypothyrodism are not easy to treat, despite what many physicians are still being taught. Even the endocrinology community is not on board with many new approaches to treatment, making it difficult for you to find someone who will take you seriously and listen to you, rather than only look at lab values.
Your healthcare practitioner is the most important person who can help you get better, but it is important to choose wisely. Here are some tips on finding a doctor who can help you improve your well-being.
1. You want a doctor who does not get defensive when you want to discuss things
The internet has provided many people with a way to research their own symptoms, and come up with their own diagnoses. Understandably, this can often be frustrating for physicians, as they are still responsible for performing the testing to come up with a diagnosis. There are many other reasons you could be experiencing symptoms, and it is up to them to consider all the options.
When it comes to your thyroid, however, you know how you have been feeling. You want to find a doctor who will listen to you, and does not get defensive when you bring your own ideas to the table. You need to find someone who will partner up with you, and who will take action to help you figure out what is happening.
You also want to find a doctor who does not get defensive when you ask for a copy of your lab results, and any other test results.
2. You want to find a doctor who is open to new treatment options
If you are told that the TSH test is “the test” that will determine if you are hypothyroid or not, and refuses to do any other testing, that is definitely not the right doctor for you. As you may already know, the Total T4, Total T3, Free T3, Free T4, and thyroid antibodies tests can provide much more valuable information.
Doctors like to see research, as their practice is evidence based. So, if you can bring in any research or information that your doctor is willing to review, that can be helpful. Of course, if your doctor gets defensive and refuses to look at the information, then that is a red flag to find someone else. You are looking for a doctor who is on the cutting edge of new research and methods.
3. Your doctor listens to you, not just the lab results
Lab results may indicate that you fall within the normal range, but they may not be optimal (or normal) for you. As well, lab values can fluctuate from lab to lab. Some labs are more antiquated, and are still using wider lab range values. If your doctor recognizes this and that you are still not feeling normal and he is willing to continue working with you to tweak things, then you know that you have found a good partner in care.
In summary, three tips have been outlined to help you in choosing the right doctor who can help you with your thyroid condition so that you can start feeling better again.