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SHEBE100's Photo SHEBE100 SparkPoints: (37,033)
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1/31/10 5:15 P

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I found it very important that I went with an endo. the GP only wanted to treat one thing at a time. As it turned out, I had a couple of endo issues going on and without fixing the first one, we were spinning our wheels on the thyroid issue. I have steadily improved over the last year. I'm leaps and bounds away from where I was a year ago. I attribute that all to my endo, his knowing where to look, and his listening to me when I explained something to him. Without him looking at the whole endo system, I think I would still be in a "fog" and lethargic no matter how much medicine I was taking, or how much I was exercising.

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PMCGALL64 Posts: 5
1/31/10 2:26 P

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I have not found a dr period that is able to help me. I had adrenal shut down from increasing the armour to fast. It appears the drs don't know you are supposed to check adrenals BEFORE starting thyroid therapy. I am going to see one in b-ham from the thyroid info top doc list. Hopefully, he will be able to get me some help.
Because of past experiences with drs, I really hate to even go to one. Most don't know anything about treatment, and instead of saying that, they just put you off,

YIGOBUTTERFLY's Photo YIGOBUTTERFLY SparkPoints: (253,922)
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1/24/10 6:46 A

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I go to a general practitioner as there are no endo's on Guam!

Jane



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TLK203 Posts: 4
1/19/10 1:03 P

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I finally went to a Endocrin after 4 years of my doctor telling me my tests were okay. I started on Synthroid for 4 years, then levoxy(I think that is the spelling) for a year and still always tired no matter how much I execrcised or my diet, and many other symptoms that wouldd't go away(including my weight going up and down). Then April 2009 I went in to my Endocrin with a ton of knowledge and went in like I had to fight to be heard. Discovered that he was not so bad and really listened to what I had to say and I showed him what I found and that this had to do with my Thyroid. I also told him I wanted to try Armour and finally after almost 5 1/2 years I am on track and feel great, with the right diet and exercise I feel like my self. I too take my meds right away in the moring around 5:30am and don't eat until 7:30-8am.

UTMANARE1's Photo UTMANARE1 Posts: 6
12/14/09 2:58 A

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I am new to SP but saw your post and wanted to share my experience with you. I was diagnosed with graves in 2006 by an endo. By the time I was diagnosed it had done quite a bit of damage to my body. My 1st endo started me on Synthroid and we just could not get things regulated. I moved and she referred to me an endo in another state. My experience with this endo was HORRIBLE. I found the name of a DR on "Stop the thyroid madness" and went to her. She is a reg GP and found that after 3 yrs my body was not responding to the synthroid. She changed my meds to armour - the difference was amazing! While I have some small issues with her as a DR she is very knowledgeable and works with me.
I think what I have learned over the past 4 years is that you have to go to a dr you have faith in and someone who is willing to listen. They would need to think beyond just your "numbers & tests" and find out how you really feel.
Unfortunately, I recently moved about 2 hrs away from my dr. I will start looking for a new one and will ask a lot of questions about their belief's/knowledge - whether they are an endo or GP. I know this doesn't answer your question but I think you can find good GP's and bad endo's.....

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WANNALEARNTORUN's Photo WANNALEARNTORUN Posts: 778
11/29/09 8:46 P

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my hubby wants me to go to an endo but we are on a HMO, so I would need my GP to refer me. I've not asked yet as I feel like I should give him a chance first. He upped my dose, so now it's time to try round two, but I don't think an Endo would have done anything different. My levels hadn't dropped low enough that any Dr. would have started me on anything but the low level. If in a few months he can't get the level right I'll ask for a referal.

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HEALERSHANDS's Photo HEALERSHANDS Posts: 111
11/22/09 2:47 A

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I thought until recently saying you have a thyroid problem was an excuse for gaining weight. I found out now that is not true and only recently learned just how serious it can be. This particular discussion here opened my eyes even more. I thought I had became really lazy or even depressed with the way I was feeling. I realize now that my thyroid is affecting me now. I felt so guilty. thanks everyone for your input.

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IRUNBIKE2BFIT's Photo IRUNBIKE2BFIT Posts: 1,185
10/12/09 4:14 P

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I just learned recently the Opposite on Endo's, It would be nice to have one that is open minded, understanding. Not one who critizizes you or your doctor for helping you find out what's wrong?

It's one thing to try to get additonal help from someone who is suppose to know more about the Thyroid Disorders and what is on the market to treat your specific condition. But when the Endo is so close minded and won't listen to your side of the story on how you feel, nor do they answer any of your list of questions and seems to dismiss you as nuts or crazy? Then my advise is don't go back to them again.

Yes I too thought that having anditional support of someone who is a specialist would understand and know about why everyone has problems with their Thyroid and Thyroid Meds? but they don't seem to go by that. They just expect you to take your meds and go on with out any problmes but when you do,they don't know how to handle it. That seems to be the case of the one I saw. It was still very frustrating.

Peggy


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GOANNA2's Photo GOANNA2 Posts: 23,961
8/1/09 6:45 P

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I would love to go to an endo for a second opinion but my GP says I am fine, even though Iknow my meds are making me tired and not losing any weight. emoticon

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MINIME1222's Photo MINIME1222 Posts: 12
7/9/09 12:31 A

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I would say it is very important to have an endo as well as family physician just because endo are specialized in looking at all the facts and symptoms around your condition and are more likely to spot any potential problems ... for example it was my endo that discovered that I was also sufferingfrom PCOS which has a lot of the same symptoms of hypothyroid. I know some doctors can be arrogant think they know it all pricks(sorry for the language) I've experienced a few of those myself but if and when you find a good endo trust me it wil be well worth it in the end!!

Take each day as it comes and never take any moment for granted you never know how many you'll get!!


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SARAH548's Photo SARAH548 Posts: 3,093
8/17/07 6:08 P

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I don't notice any smell in the Armour thyroid and my sense of smell is pretty sensitive. Some smell of some vitamins puts me off, too.

T2 diabetic; diagnosed 1/2007. Maintaining A1c of 5.1% - 5.4% for past 3+ years. No diabetic medication at this time; managing diabetes through carb restriction (40-50 grams carbohydrate per day) and moderate exercise.
"Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast." - Thomas Jefferson


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UPIRYGIRL's Photo UPIRYGIRL Posts: 332
8/17/07 4:31 P

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I think I actually have that book, but never had a chance to read it. I'm sure it's in a box somewhere. (We're thinking about moving again, so are packing up anything we can live without for a while.)

I'm trying to get an appointment with an endocrinologist that I've heard good things about (ok, on the internet, but good references are hard to come by!). His assistant said he isn't accepting new patients though... however, she was going to ask him anyway and get back to me.

You mentioned in your SparkMail to me that Armour smells bad. How bad? Is it the type of smell that you can taste as you are taking it? I have that problem with vitamins and it makes it really hard for me to take 'em.

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LYNNOLIVER Posts: 3
8/17/07 4:27 P

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The best site for information, for me at least, was www.thyroid-info.com.

I checked out Mary Shomon's book "Living Well with Hypothyroidism" from the library, and was incredibly grateful for all the research she did.

I highly recommend it.

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LYNNOLIVER Posts: 3
8/17/07 4:22 P

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The best site for information, for me at least, was www.thyroid-info.com.

I checked out Mary Shomon's book "Living Well with Hypothyroidism" from the library, and was incredibly grateful for all the research she did.

I highly recommend it.

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UPIRYGIRL's Photo UPIRYGIRL Posts: 332
8/12/07 4:48 P

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I've never even heard of Armour! I am more out of the loop than I thought.

I'm going to have to do some WebMD research tonight. I'm due for a blood test within the next month, so I want to read up and be prepared to talk to my doctor.

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SARAH548's Photo SARAH548 Posts: 3,093
8/12/07 3:10 P

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I'll echo GCFROMSC - if your doctor won't discuss using Armour thyroid and a full thyroid panel I'd find another doctor. I can't believe the difference in my health now that I am off Synthroid and on Armour.

T2 diabetic; diagnosed 1/2007. Maintaining A1c of 5.1% - 5.4% for past 3+ years. No diabetic medication at this time; managing diabetes through carb restriction (40-50 grams carbohydrate per day) and moderate exercise.
"Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast." - Thomas Jefferson


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UPIRYGIRL's Photo UPIRYGIRL Posts: 332
8/11/07 9:46 P

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Thank you everyone for responding. I think I maybe need to start with having a more indepth conversation with my primary. When I lived in NJ, I was right on top of everything, got copies of my results, etc. Since I've moved to Vermont, I've been lax... my doctor gives me a hard time - she's a nice lady but she tells me I "read too much" about the medications I'm on. (Although I think she thinks I'm neurotic... maybe I am a little...)

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GCFROMSC Posts: 52
8/11/07 9:36 P

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It doesn't matter what type of doctor treats your hypothyroidism as long as he/she test the FREE T3 and FREE T4 too (& not just the TSH).

And that person realizes that there is a big difference between being any where "in range" and optimal range!

Optimal TSH is low, around 1.0 or at least below 2.0

Optimal FREE T3 and FREE T4 is in the middle to upper part of the "normal range" and NOT in the lower part of "normal range".

Most people need more than Synthroid to get their Free T3 off the bottom of the range. It can take a while for the free T3 to get low & it should be tested when the TSH is tested.

Also, get a ferritin level done. Ferritin is iron stores and is NOT the same as hemeglobin. Hypothyroid people often have low ferritin and it will make your symptoms worse and keep the thyroid med from working it's best. Optimal ferritin is between 70 & 90 (although the lab report will call as low as 10 "normal", it's NOT).

So, any doctor who will test your free T3 and prescribe either Cytomel or Armour THyroid when it is low will be helpful.

DDWDAT's Photo DDWDAT Posts: 104
8/11/07 5:30 P

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The important things is the relationship between YOU and YOUR DOCTOR. An endo should be used if you have a brittle hypo condition that requires frequent changes to your medication so that a baseline of test can be run other than just a TSH which is what most GP Family Doctors use to measure where you are related to being adequately controlled and on the right dose of medicine. Your family doctor can do everything the Endo does but the Endo is more familiar with the other test and conditions that can throw the thyroid off such as having an auto immune disease (Lupus for one)or blood test (Free T3 and the Free T4). If either of these test are out of range,
or if other conditions complicate your history, the endo does the primary workup and your family doctor follows up. He will usually send you back to the endo whenever problems arise.
Hope this helps and good luck with your weight loss and the goals you have set to move you toward being a healthier YOU..... emoticon

The butterfly represent freedom - freedom to be, freedom to do, freedom to change.


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SARAH548's Photo SARAH548 Posts: 3,093
8/11/07 3:51 P

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The most important thing is to find a doctor who keeps an open mind and respects that it's a partnership between patient and physician that gets results. Power struggles lead to a poor outcome in my opinion.

If you have a complicated case in terms of differential diagnosis or management of an illness, it does make sense to get a consultation from an endocrinologist. Arrogance (except in the case of a surgeon) is usually a front for a fragile ego and less than top notch skills in patient care.



Edited by: SARAH548 at: 8/11/2007 (15:52)
T2 diabetic; diagnosed 1/2007. Maintaining A1c of 5.1% - 5.4% for past 3+ years. No diabetic medication at this time; managing diabetes through carb restriction (40-50 grams carbohydrate per day) and moderate exercise.
"Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast." - Thomas Jefferson


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UPIRYGIRL's Photo UPIRYGIRL Posts: 332
8/11/07 3:19 P

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How important is it to be treated by an actual endocrinologist? I have always been treated by my regular family physician.

The ONE time she sent me to an endocrinologist, the endo. made me SO MAD that I swore I'd never see another one. I know it's wrong to stereotype, but I don't like doctors to begin with - I particularly dislike arrogant doctors who don't listen.

Is it worth trying to find one?


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