Being diagnosed with thyroid disease can take a long time (sometimes even years). When the diagnosis is finally made there is a sense of relief – all your symptoms make sense. But there can also be a lot of questions and the whole situation can be overwhelming.
Thankfully, there are others that have been where you are and are willing to share their wisdom. Here seasoned thyroid patients share their advice for the newly diagnosed.
- Educate yourself – Doctors aren’t always aware of the most up-to-date research and can be treating with out-of-date information. It’s best to do your own research and be well-informed.
Learn about how most doctors are treating 17 years behind the research!
- Talk to others who understand what you’re going through – Thyroid disease is just one of the many diseases that have been classified as an “invisible illness”. This means that the symptoms associated with the condition can be hard for others to see – get the full list of thyroid symptoms here. It’s important to form a camaraderie with people that understand what you’re going through and can encourage you, as well as give you advice.
There are a plethora of online communities including our forum.
- Don’t accept adequate in your treatment, insist on optimal – As thyroid patients, we’re all too familiar with the phrase, “Your labs are in range.” Just because your numbers fall within the lab’s ranges doesn’t mean they’re at a number that’s best for you. Your care and treatment should be individualized; you and your healthcare provider should work together to determine your optimal treatment.
- Look at diet and lifestyle changes – In addition to your thyroid hormone replacement treatment, consider discussing dietary changes with your doctor to help better support thyroid function. You should also discuss exercise and fitness routines because if done too soon or too rigorously, physical activity can cause more harm than good – learn more about exercising with a thyroid condition.
- Make sure your doctor listens to you – How you’re feeling and the symptoms you’re experiencing should be a big factor in how the doctor treats you. Additionally, it’s important to have a physician that’s willing to discuss or explore other options when something isn’t working.
Getting the diagnosis of thyroid disease can be frightening, but it’s important to remember you’re not alone!