Locating an effective and knowledgeable physician can seem like an unending quest. It can be particularly difficult for those looking for a doctor that is well acquainted with the thyroid. Many practitioners have a severe lack of understanding regarding thyroid health and proper treatment of it. Therefore, it is not surprising to hear that nearly half of thyroid disease sufferers are undiagnosed or undertreated. Unfortunately, this can leave some patients feeling trapped in a world of unsatisfactory treatment. Rather than relying solely on their physicians, many patients look elsewhere for thyroid information. Due to the influx of information sharing and individual study, many patients have become more knowledgeable on the topic of thyroid conditions than their physician!
Unfortunately, the severe lack of knowledge regarding thyroid health and treatment has made it increasingly difficult to find a properly trained and thyroid-literate medical practitioner. Recognizing the signs of a poorly equipped thyroid specialist, knowing the marks of a high-quality practitioner, and utilizing resources to find the best doctor available can help one find the medical practitioner that is right for them.
Signs of Thyroid Ignorance
Because of the significant lack of awareness regarding the thyroid, many physicians are ignorant on how to effectively test and treat those with thyroid conditions. Some patients have lost hope because their doctor knows less about thyroid health than they do. This is only one of the many indicators that it is time to look for another thyroid doctor. The following attributes are red flags that one’s medical practitioner is not well-informed or equipped to treat thyroid conditions:
- They rely solely on TSH as a metric for thyroid health and are focused on simply moving it into the “normal” range.
- They are unwilling to test Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies, and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).
- They don’t respond to patient symptoms or complaints and disregard symptoms such as low energy, headaches, weight fluctuations, mental haziness and other thyroid-related discomforts.
- They only prescribe T4 medications such as levothyroxine and are unwilling to consider other treatments such as T3 or natural desiccated hormone.
- They ignore or discount the significant impact of thyroid malfunction which can disrupt the adrenals, sex hormones, iron and ferritin levels, induce food sensitivities, inflammation, leaky gut, and other conditions.
If one’s physician falls into these categories, it is time to find a new practitioner. One of the most liberating and wellness boosting experiences one can have is realizing that they are able to leave their unsatisfactory physician.
Identifying a Good Thyroid Doctor
There are several practices that act as identifiers of a quality thyroid doctor. Those who only prescribe T4 medications are overlooking impressively effective treatment methods. Be on the lookout for practitioners who are willing to prescribe thyroid treatment options other than T4. Natural desiccated hormone, T3, and dual T4 and T3 treatments have shown to be effective for many individuals. Furthermore, physicians should focus on treatment directed at optimizing health and not simply returning TSH to “normal” ranges.
Thyroid doctors should always be willing to test the various factors associated with thyroid health. Testing options should include Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies, sex hormone binding globulin, leptin, BMR (basal metabolic rate), and TSH. Without a willingness to investigate the situation fully a doctor is not able to effectively treat one’s condition. They should also be willing to explore medical history, familial trends, and physical symptoms. Furthermore, doctors who use test results in addition to patient symptoms are likely to be more effective at providing quality treatment.
A doctor who is receptive to research and studies you have found is also a resource that should not be taken for granted. Many physicians are unable to keep up with the multitude of research that is done on the thyroid. If a patient is particularly well-read, there is a fair chance that they know more than their practitioner regarding their individual thyroid health. This is not an automatic deal breaker. If one’s practitioner is willing to listen to suggestions and do their own research to verify patient findings, there is opportunity for better care.
Where Are all the Thyroid Doctors?
Some fear the prospect of finding a new practitioner, specifically one who is thyroid literate. This should not deter one from looking for those with greater thyroid knowledge who can provide quality care. Finding a doctor that appropriately respects their patients and is knowledgeable of their medical conditions is a priceless treasure. The following resources can help one find thyroid care that best suits their needs.
Bioidentical Hormone Doctors Directory
Bioidentical hormone therapy has provided impressive results when treating thyroid conditions. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find physicians and medical practitioners who are not only knowledgeable on the subject but willing to prescribe them. The Bioidentical Hormone Doctors Directory allows one to search by city, state, or zip code within the U.S. These doctors are primarily focused on preventative care against adrenal fatigue, menopause, perimenopause, and andropause. Even though their site does not directly state they treat thyroid conditions, hormone optimization through bioidentical hormone treatment can provide greater optimization of thyroid function.
Mary Shomon’s Top Thyroid Doctors Directory
Mary Shomon is an internationally recognized and best-selling author who provides an impressive amount of useful and helpful information regarding thyroid health. Her Top Thyroid Doctors Directory contains an impressive list of doctors within the U.S. and abroad that are highly recommended by their patients. The professionals included in the directory encompass a variety of practices including endocrinologists, thyroid specialists, thyroid surgeons, thyroidologists, integrative physicians, and others.
ThryoidChange is a resource that offers recommendations from patients in the United States, Australia, Canada, and other international locations. All noted practitioners are willing to do appropriate and necessary tests including Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, TSH, and thyroid antibodies. Another exceptional attribute of these professionals is that they respond to their patient’s symptoms and experiences. Furthermore, they are also willing to prescribe alternatives to T4 only medications. This is highly beneficial as natural desiccated thyroid, T3 only medication, or combination treatments of T3 and T4 have shown to be effective in many cases.
Successfully Finding the Thyroid Care You Need
Many are not aware that their doctor may be remarkably ignorant of the thyroid or unwilling to utilize better treatment options. It is critical that one examines their practitioner’s understanding of thyroid health and treatment. If their practice is not satisfactory, do not be scared to look elsewhere. Being aware of the signs of a poor practitioner, knowing the indicators of quality care, and having access to various resources to help find appropriate thyroid professionals allows one to locate a doctor that not only treats their thyroid but optimizes it.