Never Order Thyroid Medication On Your Own
Here is how bad it is for some women suffering with low thyroid symptoms. One of my long time patients brought her daughter in to see me this morning. Actually, her daughter brought her in. Betty is 87 years young. It had been years since I saw her daughter and she just wanted checked out for some musculoskeletal complaints. As I was doing a consultation and examination with her, I noticed she was presenting with symptoms and neurological signs that were consistent with hypothyroidism. I was able to uncover complaints of being tired all the time, fatigue, cold all the time, some weight gain, tingling in the hands, and joint pain. As I dug a little deeper I told her she needed to get her thyroid checked out because it sounded like she had low thyroid or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
She told me she thought she had thyroid problems for years and was checked out for it last summer. She had asked her doctor for years and he finally did a blood test and told her she was fine. She was told not to worry about the symptoms she was having and that they were not related to her thyroid and she should just learn to live with them.
She didn’t like his response. She had done some reading in the net and knew she had almost all the signs of hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. She had also read that your TSH could be in the “normal” limits and you could still feel cruddy.
Unfortunately she had not told me anything that I don’t already hear on a daily basis. But what she said next nearly floored me. She said:
“I ordered some thyroid medication from Canada and I am going to try them out to see if I feel better.”
Of course I told her that under no circumstance should she do that. I don’t make blanket statements often, but I don’t think anyone should order any medication, let alone thyroid medication without a prescription from a doctor.
Now this lady is a smart, educated woman. I would have never expected her to do such a thing. It just shows how desperate she is to be able to feel normal again. How frustrated she is with the type of care that she had received. She feels jaded and doesn’t know what to do. The place that she trusts with her health has told her to just live with it.
Her statement made me realize that more women must be out there feeling the same way. So if this has happened to you, don’t take matters into your own hand and order up thyroid medication off of the net or anywhere else. This is something that has to be monitored by your physician.
Part of the problem for this woman was that she only had her TSH tested. I have talked in other posts how important it is to get not only the TSH tested, but also the rest of a thyroid panel. And you can’t just stop there if you want to find out what is contributing to the thyroid not working properly. You have to look at what the rest of the non-thyroid blood markers are, like blood sugar, adrenals, liver, etc. You have to look at the thyroid antibodies. You also have to look and see what other factors can be contributing to inflammation in your system and how the immune system is working. So in essence you have to look at the health of the patient, not just their thyroid.
Why? For starters, every cell in the body has a thyroid receptor site. That means that you can have all type of symptoms from thyroid dysfunction. Also, almost every system in the body has a direct or indirect feedback loop with the thyroid. That means a problem with the adrenals, for example, can cause the thyroid to look bad, even if the thyroid isn’t the problem. It can get pretty complicated when you look at all the factors that contribute to the thyroid functioning properly.
You should not have to scour the net to try to learn all of this information. You doctor should know this.
It boils down to finding a doctor that knows what we just talked about and understands that you can still feel crummy, even though you don’t have a high TSH on your labs. Find a doctor that knows there are many other factors that play into the health of your thyroid. One who is willing to examine you, look at all your health factors, and help you get your body to heal itself back up the way it was designed too.