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Readers Respond: What Not to Say to Thyroid Patients

Responses: 74

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Updated May 20, 2011

Stop Sucking it In

My teen daughter has Hashi's and has had a very hard time coping with her weight issues (high school girls can be VERY mean...need i say more?). We went to see her endo for a checkup - with her boyfriend there, mind you. Endo decides that NOW she will put her on a scale to check her weight. They hadn't done that since the first visit some 2 yrs before. Daughter asked to do it at the next appointment. Then, then endo grabs her around the waist, tells her to "stop sucking it in" and that she is too fat. My daughter was humiliated and devastated. One very angry email from me immediately afterwards was the last time we had any contact with that doctor.
—Guest Guest124

We All Get Old

I was in my twenties and really ill. He was in his late sixties, nearing retirement. When I told him how exhausted and ill I felt he said "we all get old".
—Escribe101

Naturopathic Doctor

I have been strugging with my hypothyroidism for 20 yrs. It seems to be getting worse the older I get. I have had 17 miscarriages before they would diagnose something wrong. Since then every time I see a doctor they tell me I am obese with no answer or help. Just you are overweight you need to eat better & excerise. I excercise everyday and eat only 1200 calories. My weight still goes up every year. Anyway I finally felt like I was at the end of my rope. and went to a Naturopathic doctor!! To my surprise this old wacky looking guy has helped me!! I now take a herbal thyroid pill instead of Synthroid. He diagnosed that I am allergic to dairy. I dont process protien properly. I need an adrenal boost. Now with all that he has done with me I have unlimited energy I feel wonderful! My hair no longer falls out. I am starting to lose some weight. 20lbs so far!! So I say check out a naturopathic doctor in your area if your doctors are making you feelin like you are lazy!
—Guest Sherri

Boob Reduction=Weight Loss?

I have hypo on my 1st visit to the endo he told me if I had a boob reduction that would could be at least a 10lb weight loss right there. So I asked him if he had a wife, he said yes and several children. So I said, "she must have a big a**". He looked up from his tape recorder with this how dare you look, and then I said "it's obvious your not a boob man."- Needless to say I don't see that jerk any more.
—Guest Patti

Hypothyroid would be "Easier"

My Dr. told me I was never going to go into remission with Graves disease, and it would be so much easier for him if I was hypo instead of hyper. I am looking for another Dr. The blood work came back normal on everthing. I have been gaining weight. He still insists that I have RAI .
—4281

"Just Lose the Weight"

Wow! It never fails to amaze me how callous a doctor or nurse can be. I am 51 years old and cancer free for six years. I have steadily gained 10-12 lbs. a year since diagnosis in 2004. I fight it and I fight it. After years of complaining to my Endo about no energy, losing hair, etc. I suggested she check my iron and discovered I have low iron; from all of the non-stop bleeding I have done in the past year due to an irregular period that is blamed on my weight which is a result of my inability to lose weight. And yet every time I see my doctors: Endo, OBGYN, Primary (all women, all svelt), they tell me to lose weight. They give helpful pamphlets and exercise suggestions and tell me I have to try harder. They act unaware of what I am dealing with every day. Before I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, I had already been diagnosed with arthritis in my back, legs and feet; making exercise difficult. I now have knee problems which slow down any progress I make at exercise.
—Guest Sharon

Never, Never Say This!

Never tell a thyroid cancer patient that they have the "Good" cancer. First, no cancer is good. Secondly, there is nothing more maddening than hearing that this disease that you were just diagnosed with and will alter your life from now on is good. It's only "good" if you like blood tests, doctors, ingesting radioactive material, scans, surgery, very restricting diets, and a regimen of pills. I really don't think anyone would like a lifetime filled with all of these. A more friendly phrase would be, "An easily treatable cancer (if it's the papillary kind)."
—Guest PAP

Lucky

My boss told me I was lucky that my only problem was that I was hypothyroid! All I had to do is take a little pill and everything was fine. okay....
—GuestD

Get on Thyroid Meds, Weight Drops Off

I hate it when the doctors and everyone else says "Get on thyroid medicine and the weight will come right off. The symptoms will be gone." I'm here to tell you that after 10 years on the meds, watching my diet and exercising that is total bull. The meds stopped me from gaining anymore but isn't helping one bit to get rid of the 100 lbs I gained while they tried to figure out what was wrong with me. It doesn't help with my exhaustion. I'm sure it probably helped someone but that someone isn't me. It doesn't sound like it was a lot of people on here either.
—Guest Jay

Hashimoto /Hypo/Hyper

Most of my life I was thin. For all I know I could have been hyperthyroid turned hypo with Hashimoto. I've been told to eat less. When I am below any calorie allowance. Then I'm told I don't eat enough. Should exercise more with weights. Conflicting advice all the time. Still not regulated because of breathing disorder, but still have to take insults. Very depressing
—Guest dn

Gaining weight/told to stop eating

I have been hypothyroid since 1994. In 2000 I started to gain weight and had not changed my eating or become less active. I saw 2 endo doc's, months apart, and was told I was eating too much/not exercising enough and I would die soon if I did not change my ways. They tested me and had to up my dose, but both of them did not wish to see me back and blamed me for the weight gain. I have always had an irregular period, but in 2008 I bled for 1 full year and my FP and an OB doc blamed my weight and scolded me about this. I had questioned if my thyroid was ever completely under control after the second endo visit. I had a D&C and they found nothing wrong. I finally did research on my own and found it could be my thyroid - I presented my research to FP and she finally sent me to a third endo doc and he listened and my weight gain stabilized and my bleeding stopped. Now I find losing weight impossible, have very little trust in doctor's, and have other health issues now. I'm angry!
—Guest Lorlyn

What the Doctor told me

I was 19 when I started getting sick and feeling horrible all the time. It took four years, four doctors and one shrink to figure out I was hypothyroid. The first three doctors thought I was a hypochondriac or just wanted attention. One of them never even looked up from his PDA. They sent me to the shrink for depression who said I just needed to do self-affirmation with a mirror. "I am beautiful. I feel great. I am worthy." As you can guess, that didn't help at all and neither did the pills they gave me. Finally the fourth doctor I saw, took one look at me and ordered a blood work-up. Thank goodness for him.
—Guest MamaBug

No, it's not age!

My mother was diagnosed with Grave's. While doing research online for her, I found the answer to my steady weight gain, hair loss, extreme fatigue, etc. My Dr insisted that it was "getting old and being menopausal" that was causing all my problems as well as overeating. I never weighed more than 130lbs in my life and had ballooned to almost 200-I ate very little and struggled to exercise for an hour every day after which I'd collapse in fatigue. She finally relented and did one basic test and told me I was fine. I persisted and demanded natural thyroid. She relented and after beginning my treatment, I improved. After giving me the name of an endocrinologist she thought I'd like since I was into "natural" things, I was given a full blood workup and found to have Hashimoto's. She never did apologize for being wrong.
—Guest AyUpPetal

" You Bake, Don't You? "

I was at my quarterly appointment. My weight is a sensitive issue with me. Lately, my doctor has been lowering my synthroid medicine and my weight has gone up slowly about 20 pounds over 18 months. It makes you feel that this is another failure about yourself. My trick is that I will bake cookies for my doctors appointment, therefore, they won't mention my weight gain. This last appointment he asked me if I had any problems, so I mentioned my weight gain. The endocrinolgist says, "You bake don't you." Hinting my baking was causing my weight gain. I thought he was a nice guy.
—Guest Mega Purplette

CoWorkers

I have Hashi's and went from hypo to hyper last week. My symptoms were extreme so didn't go to work. My coworker advised me over the phone to turn on some soothing music and relax and I'd instantly be okay!! Seriously??? I don't think so!! That comment only made my heart race even faster, especially as I've tried to explain the symptoms to him in the past. I think half of my coworkers think I'm simply making it up.
—Guest Avvocado

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What Not to Say to Thyroid Patients

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