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What type of specialist treats your Hashimoto's?

missypiemissypie Posts: 16,868Registered User Senior Member
edited January 2011 in Parent Cafe
I've been seeing an endocrinologist, who diagnosed my Hashimoto's disease. I have blood tests and see the doc every six months. As time goes on, I am realizing that I have more and more of the symptoms, but the endocrinologist apparently sees her sole function as prerscribing synthroid. Would an immunologist be able to treat all of my symptoms, or do I need to keep going to multiple doctors to treat everything? (I have a very high insuance deductible, so all of these multiple doctors visits are out of pocket).
Post edited by missypie on
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Replies to: What type of specialist treats your Hashimoto's?

  • Nrdsb4Nrdsb4 Posts: 8,164Registered User Senior Member
    Have you brought up the subject of alternative therapies with your doctor?

    My sister has Hashimoto's and sees an endocrinologist. Maybe you just need to find another one who is more open to exploring other options.
  • zoosermomzoosermom Posts: 23,750Registered User Senior Member
    I see an endocrinologist (I was diagnosed at age 9 and have had all sorts of attendant problems because of going through puberty, pregnancies and now beginning menopause) and couldn't be happier. Respectfully, the problem might be your doctor rather than the specialty.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Posts: 11,360Registered User Senior Member
    I have Hashi's and have had for over thirty years. My family physician handles my treatment. I prefer that because he tends to look at everything holistically and not just from the endocrine perspective. For instance, I also tend toward anemia and sometimes my fatigue is not the Hashi's but my non-related anemia kicking in, sometimes it is related and I need a dose adjustment of Synthroid. Another example is my aging, balancing the inverse relationship that low thyroid has with other physical issues that are known to be related to Hashi's. Perhaps you should talk to your physician about your other symptoms and see if he/she takes a different perspective? That way you maintain your endo specialist relationship but you might get a different perspective. Sometimes it is difficult to separate out stuff as time goes on.
  • missypiemissypie Posts: 16,868Registered User Senior Member
    But for the ever worsening dry eyes, I still need to go to the ophthalmologist, psych for the depression, starve myself for the weight gain?
  • somemomsomemom Posts: 9,216Registered User Senior Member
    You might also look for an online forum, like Yahoo's health forums, where you can read a vast array of people's symptoms and ways to deal with them; this can give you solid ideas to take to your physician and/or give you the conviction to require the doctor address the issue.
  • missypiemissypie Posts: 16,868Registered User Senior Member
    You might also look for an online forum, like Yahoo's health forums, where you can read a vast array of people's symptoms and ways to deal with them;

    Trust me, I've read a lot. And it just seems ridiculous to go to four different doctors to just treat the symptoms. My dry eyes are so bad that the next step is insertion of tear duct plugs. That seems like a silly thing to do, as it would be unnecessary if my Hashi's was under control.
    give you the conviction to require the doctor address the issue.

    I guess I need tips on how to require the doctor to do anything.
  • scout59scout59 Posts: 1,931Registered User Senior Member
    I practically live at my endocrinologist's office - 22 years with hashimoto's and 5 years with Type 1.5 diabetes. (No kidding - I'm there every 3 months.) I've been going to the same endo practive the whole time, but "my" endo has varied as different doctors have left/arrived. I've noticed quite a difference in attitude and bedside manner among them; they've all been great doctors, medically-speaking, but some have been less attuned to my "other "problems over the years. I agree with whoever said it's probably a doctor problem and not a specialist problem. Are there other doctors in the same practice? Is it possible to speak with one of them?

    Speaking of depression: I discussed this with my favorite endo once, and he immediately said not to start taking antidepressants unless and until I had a full thyroid screen and an adjustment of meds first. His concern was that depression is so common among those who were hypothyroid, it paid to look at the thyroid issues first. He was the BEST doctor (very holisitc); my current endo is okay, but she reminds me too much of Doogie Howser.

    I rarely go to my primary care doctor any more, although I do go to the gyn and the opthamologist once a year. Good grief - no wonder I'm always on the way to an appointment.
  • mythmommythmom Posts: 8,305Registered User Senior Member
    Have not found the need of a doctor's services much. However a big change came years ago when I sought treatment for severe hypochondria.

    The psychiatrist insisted I medicate both thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. The hypochondria went away in a week.

    I still take both meds, syntroid (generic one) and cytomel for the two different hormones.
  • missypiemissypie Posts: 16,868Registered User Senior Member
    I discussed this with my favorite endo once, and he immediately said not to start taking antidepressants unless and until I had a full thyroid screen and an adjustment of meds first. His concern was that depression is so common among those who were hypothyroid, it paid to look at the thyroid issues first.

    That's the thing. I'm on the verge of seeing a psych for depression and anxiety but I KNOW those are symptoms of Hashimoto's that could go away if the disease was treated correctly.

    I do think my current endo is strictly a lab numbers person. I think I could be bald and weigh 400 lbs but if my lab results were in the low normal range, she'd send me away. (The other docs in the practice won't take my insurance, which is infurating in itself, because I have a high deductible, so I pay out of pocket anyway.)

    I've also read that lots of Hashimoto's patients are gluten intolerant. I've certainly never had any of the digestive issues associated with gluten intolerance, so I hate to undergo a bunch of expensive tests.
  • somemomsomemom Posts: 9,216Registered User Senior Member
    Hmmm, I don't have Hashimotos, I have no thyroid at all (removed 40+ years ago) and my numbers are always weird, I take a very high dose, but am almost never running high. Once when I bought some Rx online and got a brand made by a different company (so different fillers, differently metabolised, etc) I was hyper and my, I was pretty itchy, but that was it, still cold, still low energy, etc.

    If you are having to manage symptoms and getting no empathy, what about a naturopath? I would say what about paying cash to other docs, but if you do end up with an exciting medical event then none of that would apply to your deductible and OOP
  • missypiemissypie Posts: 16,868Registered User Senior Member
    naturopath

    I had to look up what that was. CC teaches me so many new things!
  • zoosermomzoosermom Posts: 23,750Registered User Senior Member
    Missy, it seems that you are with the wrong doctor. If you were being treated appropriately, you wouldn't still be having such symptoms. For me, personally, the first way I know that my dosage is off is the particular feeling of hopelessness. I have gone through periods in which my dosage was changed every three months to find the right balance. I'm currently alternating two doses from one day to the next and I'm doing well. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Are you taking the medication properly? that was a big issue for me. I am also severely anemic (and my doc thinks it is not unrelated but can't prove it) and had to learn to time the synthroid and iron preparation, as well as balance my passion for tea because Synthroid, iron and tea are not buddies!
  • HugcheckHugcheck Posts: 1,029Registered User Senior Member
    Find a doc who will add a second perscription in addition to Synthroid. Synthroid replaces T4. The second perscription would be for T3. The currently accepted standard of care for Hashi's is T4 with the assumption that the T4 will metabolize to T3. But in some (many) Hashi's patients, something is haywire with the T4 to T3 metabolism also. Some doc's monitor T3 as well as T4 but standard care does not require that. Check out the books by Mary Shomon Amazon.com: Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know (Revised Edition) (9780060740955): Mary J. Shomon: Books: Reviews, Prices & more and/or Dr. Blanchard Amazon.com: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Hypothyroidism: A Simple Plan for Extraordinary Results (9780446690614): Ken Blanchard, Marietta Abrams Brill: Books

    T3 made a huge difference to my H's health and well being. He's sort of kind of back to himself (he says 85%). Pretty good compared to the depressed, itchy, vacant, cold, constipated guy who lived in my house for a couple years. I am so very grateful for good medical care. I feel blessed to have my DH and lovely father to our lucky boys back in fine form. It was a rough go for an extended period.
  • missypiemissypie Posts: 16,868Registered User Senior Member
    depressed, itchy, vacant, cold, constipated guy who lived in my house

    Four out of five (she says while scratching absently.) I guess the large amounts of flaxseed oil I take to deal with the attendant dry eyes keeps me from having the last symptom. Yay for something!

    But just so I'm clear...a good endocrinologist SHOULD be able to treat Hashimoto's and not just prescribe Synthroid, right? I do have an appointment on Friday. The nurse called me after this morning's not very sweet voice mail. "Oh, the doctor didn't know you had symptoms...." I guess telling the nurse and two other people in the office wasn't enough; I told the nurse that if they would give me a number to call the doctor directly, then the doctor would know I have symptoms. Hey, is b**chiness a symptom?
  • somemomsomemom Posts: 9,216Registered User Senior Member
    Zooser, I have never heard that tea conflicts with absorbtion, but having been on thyroid meds since the 1960s I learned only this year that taking it with no food for a few hours is recommended. I have changed from taking it randomly to taking it at bedtime.

    b**chiness is a lifestyle not a symptom :D

    I have seen a lot of people online complain about needing the T3/T4 Rx (Armour thyroxin, etc) and been frustrated with physician's not being willing to address their symptoms. I wonder if thyroid is a bit like HRT, they really ought to go by symptoms not official levels???
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