Have you been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism? How do you know? Did you even know there is a difference? I know I didn’t! To add to the confusion, many healthcare professionals who deal with thyroid disease often interchange the two terms as if they mean the same. They don’t! My daughter, who is a registered nurse, has what she describes as a chronic condition: hypothyroidism. She then describes my condition as a disease: I have Graves’ disease. She has always made that difference clear.
Now, I know from experience that not all doctors know this difference. I also know when the author, Carolyn Todd, states that a doctor will only run a TSH test to check thyroid function, she is correct. However, just running a TSH test is only one piece of the puzzle. If you do actually have an autoimmune disease, your doctor needs to test for elevated levels of antibodies. They also need to test your Free T3 and Free T4 thyroid hormones, as this test tells your doctor how your body is using your thyroid hormone.
The last point I would like to make is on her comments on treatment options: She states the good news is that synthetic hormones will likely resolve your symptoms, however many of us know that is simply not true. Many patients who take levothyroxine suffer with many unresolved symptoms, but getting a doctor to try another form of thyroid hormones (I am referring to natural hormones) is like trying to move the moon and the stars.
The last paragraph of the article states; “Make an appointment to see your doctor, and ask that question directly,” Dr. Weinstein says. “Ask your physician specifically to have your thyroid antibodies checked along with your thyroid function,” adds Dr. Kellis. “Definitely advocate for yourself.” I couldn’t agree more!
Here is an opinion article I found on the price of drugs under Medicare. The author states that her drug prices keep going up, but the current administration does nothing. What this person doesn’t know is that Medicare and The Affordable Care Act does negotiate drug prices and the problem has to do with our rising healthcare costs not just drug costs.
Have a good week!