Yesterday I was reduced to numbers:
- TSH – 1.65 (within range)
- Free T3 – 2.09 (within range)
- Free T4 – 1.01 (within range)
- TG Antibodies – >800 (way out of range)
- TPO Antibodies – 45.5 (way out of range)
- A1c – 11.4 (so far out of range the doctor is panicking)
The first 5 numbers relate to my thyroid. This is yet another set of lab results that confirm the diagnosis of autoimmune thyroiditis (a.k.a. Hashimoto’s) (that’s the antibodies – shows they’re there to attack the thyroid). However, the rest of my thyroid numbers are within the “normal” range. So yet again, the endocrinologist won’t put me on a thyroid medication. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard it from him and also not the first time I’ve heard it from an endocrinologist. They’ve all said it.
I know what you’re thinking. If they’ve ALL said it, they must be right, right? Au contraire, mon ami! I told the doctor yesterday that I’d done research and found studies that confirm that treating Hashimoto’s patients with thyroid medication can slow the progression of the disease and alleviate symptoms, even if the rest of the labs are in the normal range. When I mentioned that though, he said there were no such studies.
He was more concerned about my A1c, which is a number that reflects my blood sugar over the past 2-3 months. I knew that number would be high. I stopped taking the diabetes medications because they were causing diarrhea that was preventing me from getting an uninterrupted night of sleep (which is crucial for my overall health, I’ve learned).
My complaints to him are that I’m constantly fatigued, that I have trouble focusing and concentrating (brain fog), and that my menstrual cycles are all messed up. All of those are symptoms of thyroid problems.
He chooses to focus only on the fatigue – which can be caused by poorly/uncontrolled diabetes. I have repeatedly told him that even when my diabetes was controlled, I suffered from fatigue. Also, uncontrolled diabetes doesn’t explain irregular menstrual cycles. I’d already had an appointment with a doctor to examine my lady garden, and there’s nothing there that would cause problems with my cycles. In the past I’ve had hormone testing done and it was always normal. So gee, what might it be?
He said that there are 7 causes of chronic fatigue – diabetes, thyroid, PSYCHIATRIC, adrenal issues, and some others I can’t remember. I’ve had adrenal testing done by the second endocrinologist I saw, who also decided my thyroid was not an issue. What this doctor seems to be missing is that depression is a symptom of Hashimoto’s. I’ve never heard it as a symptom of diabetes though. Wonder why that is.
I am tired of going to the doctor and not being listened to. Having my symptoms ignored. Having the doctor completely discount my telling of my history. It’s bullshit. I know that I don’t have a medical degree. However, I am an intelligent human being capable of doing research. If what I’ve found isn’t legitimate, the doctor should tell me that she or he has seen the study I’m referring to and explain WHY it’s not legitimate. That’s the professional thing to do.
What also floors me is that they don’t ask about any of my other medical history. I find it a bit ridiculous that the chronic pain and inflammation from my back and leg/foot don’t have an effect on the rest of my body. Given that we know that chronic pain changes brain wiring, it seems likely that it affects a lot of other things as well. Of course, this doctor is clearly uninterested since he actually tried to do a reflex test on my bad Achilles tendon. I’m not sure why the inflammation and scarring on it didn’t put him off, but whatever. Thanks, dude.
What happened to practicing holistic medicine? I totally understand the need for specialization, but it seems like it’s better placed in research, rather than clinical practice. There needs to be some kind of feedback loop on this – someone researches, using data provided by clinicians, and then the two work together to figure out what’s best for patients.
There are doctors who treat patients and their symptoms, rather than just the lab results. When it comes to patients with Hashimoto’s, the numbers don’t often tell the whole story. This is why there are boards, websites, and books dedicated to people like me, who leave their doctors feeling like they’ve lost their minds. We go from doctor to doctor, until we find someone who will listens to us and our symptoms, rather than relying solely on labs for answers.
I know I didn’t help myself by going off my diabetes meds, but when you’ve hit the point I have, it feels better to do it that way. The meds were causing massive stomach upset and ruining my sleep. Past experience taught me I wasn’t going to feel good even staying on them, so why feel worse?
Perhaps I should have gone to medical school instead of law school.