The article “Understanding Thyroid Problems” which was posted on Good Housekeeping’s website caused an uproar amongst thyroid disease sufferers and doctors alike. The author Susan Carlton described her own symptoms and when her gynecologist suggested testing for her thyroid she thought, ”My eyes lit up. Could the problems I’d assumed were inevitable be blamed on the tiny thyroid gland — and be reversed with a tinier pill?” This quote shows to me that this person is completely ignorant about thyroid disease and Hashimoto’s. Why would you be happy if you have thyroid disease? The tiny pill she refers to (levothyroxine) does not reverse Hashimoto’s, it only treats some of the symptoms associated with insufficient hormone production and does not treat the auto-immune aspect of the disease.
It should have been titled “Misunderstanding Thyroid Problems.”
The worst part of the article was at the end, ”So here it is: Six months later and after a retest, I find my TSH is…exactly the same. Given my family history, my doctor recommends I check again next year. With all I’d learned about hypothyroidism, I had already decided that even if my levels had nudged up a bit, I would opt out of treatment. In the meantime, I’m drinking more java (for energy) and honing my crossword skills (for focus). As for the unwanted pounds, there’s a spinning class on Saturday with my name on it.”
OK, I only have this to say to you, Sara Carlton, you are well on your way to becoming very sick if you don’t address this very serious disease. It happened to me, not because I “opted out” of treatment but because of careless doctors who didn’t think of testing my thyroid for years and who kept telling me it was all in my head. I became so sick I couldn’t get out of bed.
Drinking more “java (for energy)” is actually the worst thing you can do for your adrenals and thyroid. Coffee does not give you energy, it gives you the illusion of energy, puts more strain on your adrenal glands and depletes the body of essential B vitamins. “Honing my crossword skills (for focus)” won’t take care of the brain fog because this is mostly caused by the auto-immune processes in your body. As for that spinning class on Saturday, I’m glad you can still do it. I surely couldn’t even think of exercise when I got sick, I had no energy whatsoever. The chance that the weight will come off is highly unlikely even with lots of exercise. So all the things you’re doing are totally useless. We’ll see what you think about all this in a few months’ or a year’s time because thyroid destruction caused by untreated Hashimot’s does not stop. I’m sorry to say this but your symptoms will only get worse. I’m speaking from personal experience and my advice to you is take care of this while you’re still not too sick.
As for your advice to avoid “questionable websites” I can tell you that there are many forums and websites out there that have more essential information than your average doctor would ever give you. You should do research, you should be proactive, you should learn everything you can. I made this website to help thyroid patients because I’ve been through it all and I don’t want other people to suffer needlessly like I did. Your article is quite misleading to patients who are not very well-informed on the subject, I hope nobody takes it as advice.
Filed in: hashimoto’s disease, thyroid disease, Good Housekeeping Understanding Thyroid Problems