Don’t Believe Everything You Read on the Internet
With many millions of thyroid patients around the world struggling to feel well and understand their conditions, you may go online for information.
It’s important to realize, however, that many of the things you read are not true.
A search on “thyroid disease” brings up misrepresented research summaries, misguided advice, and many marketing pitches disguised as blogs, news, or research. There are hundreds of ebooks, books, foods, supplements, videos, webinars, subscription services, and practitioners promising instant cures for thyroid disease and easy solutions to your persistent symptoms, but the truth is, there are no magic cures or easy solutions, so buyer beware.
Don’t Talk to Your Doctor Like He/She Is Your Best Friend
You may walk into the doctor and when he/she says, “so, how are you feeling,” start to complain about your legitimate symptoms. “I can’t lose an ounce…every time I look at a donut I gain five pounds!” Or, “I’m so tired, you can’t believe it, I’m dragging myself around, and it’s just awful…”
This is not an effective approach.
In today’s world, you usually have a very limited amount of time to effectively communicate your symptoms to your doctor. When you express symptoms emotionally, you run the risk of the doctor seeing your symptoms as emotional in nature. The solution? Provide data to your doctor, and quantify your symptoms.
For example: “Doctor, I’ve been doing an intense cardio routine for 3 one-hour sessions a week, and I’m eating a 1,500 calorie a day low-glycemic, low-fat diet, and I’m gaining 2 pounds a week.” Or “I’ve been making sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, and I’m still so tired that I have to take a 30-minute nap before I can even make dinner, and even then, I’m needing a 3-hour nap on Saturdays and Sundays as well, just to function.”
When you don’t feel well, you have a right to whine, complain, feel frustrated, or otherwise discouraged. But those conversations are best to have with sympathetic family and friends.
Don’t Assume All Your Symptoms Are Thyroid-Related
Once diagnosed with a thyroid condition, you may have a tendency to assume that every ache, pain, and symptom is thyroid-related. This can pose two challenges:
First, by assuming every symptom is your thyroid, you may end up erroneously gauging the success of your thyroid treatment based on resolution of symptoms that aren’t related to your thyroid.
Second, you may end up overlooking other conditions that can be diagnosed and treated apart from your thyroid condition.
Even symptoms that can be related to the thyroid may not be a symptom of your thyroid condition, but rather, could show up as separate conditions.
For example, some people have the autoimmune disease alopecia and as a stand-alone condition, it can result in hair loss. While hair loss is a common thyroid symptom, if you also have alopecia, even the best, most optimized thyroid treatment may not impact the alopecia.
Be familiar with the symptoms and conditions that are thyroid-related, but make sure that when you talk with your doctor, you’re leaving open the possibility that they are not a direct result of your thyroid condition.