If there’s one thing I’m sensitive to, it’s an incorrect diagnosis.
Think about how many times you’ve been told you have this or that, and think about how much time, effort and money you spent to deal with ‘this or that’ … then think about the side effects from taking the wrong medicine … and everything you did to TRY and get well.
Missed days of work, long nights laying awake uncomfortable.
Maybe you are not frustrated yet, but I am. (Again, I have a heightened sensitivity to this kind of drama), and after hearing your personal stories and living through it with a loved one… I can safely say you’re doctor’s driving ME crazy!
You probably question what diagnosis you’ve been given when the medication you take fails to cure it. This reminds me of the time I got into a verbal fight with a doctor, and it’s truly unusual for me to lose my cool… CLICK HERE if you’re curious and want to read, I Got Into a Fight With a Doctor.
I bet many of you reading this today have spent lots of money over the years, trying to address all the incorrect diagnoses that well-meaning physicians arbitrarily assigned to you. I’ll tell you about Beths’ story right now.
Today’s article is about thyroid because it gets misdiagnosed probably 1,000 times a day or more! Perhaps you’ve been told you have depression, bipolar, heart disease, anxiety, anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic UTIs or Raynaud’s phenomenon.
What if I told you that symptoms like ALL of these conditions could stem from undiagnosed hypothyroidism. And your thyroid labs will show up as normal
Take “Beth” for example. She told her physician about her sudden irrational fears, and mild anxiety about things that never used to bother her before. It was weird for her to suddenly feel this mentally unsettled, and at times shaky. Her physician in Connecticut talked to her for 10 minutes then ordered Alprazolam to be taken throughout the day. This medication is in the category of “benzodiazepines,” and it is a popular anti-anxiety and sleep medication. The problem I have with this is two-fold:
Why would any doctor prescribe an addictive drug as the first-line agent? These drugs have the capacity to change your brain in scary ways over time by down-regulating GABA receptors. Why prescribe a tranquilizer right off the bat, when something more benign could be tried first?
Why didn’t he test her for Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism, when anxiety is often one of the first symptoms? Other symptoms include constipation, dry skin, hair loss, brain fog, and feeling constantly cold. Sudden unexplained anxiety, bipolar or odd mood swings could be a tell-tale sign of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is exactly what Beth had. It was uncovered 2 years later. (If you need help with Hashimoto’s, watch my 2-part video series called, The Secret Poison That Drives Hashimoto’s.
Missing the diagnosis of hypothyroidism, Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s could mean that you continue to feel awful. Not getting the right treatment will cause the crumbling of your job, relationships, financial security (conventional medical labs and treatments are not cheap) and while hard to measure, your personal self-esteem.
Doctors shouldn’t shoot in the dark.
I am worried you’re getting heavily medicated with mind-bending drugs, like Beth was, instead of getting simple thyroid hormone to replace what’s missing! How would you even know? One way is that you’re not feeling better and still having to go to your appointments to try this or that.
What if it’s a “drug mugger” problem? Do you know what that means? It’s when you take one medication, for example, a cholesterol drug, and unbeknownst to you, it blocks formation of natural CoQ10 in your body, so then you become deficient in that vitamin-like compound. Instead of realizing that your sudden onset of memory loss, depression and muscle spasms/cramps is related to the loss of CoQ10, you’re given a few new medications to take care of the mood problems and back pain (or leg cramps). I’ve kind of nutshelled it here, but the drug mugger problem is, in my opinion, the number one cause for getting more diagnoses. It’s not that you’re that sick, it’s that drug #1 or #2, that you started taking a few years ago, has now led to deficiencies of important new vitamins, and you suddenly look sick and frail, and need more drugs. It’s what I call a medication merry-go-round.
If you’re suffering from the drug mugger effect, you’re going to receive an inaccurate diagnosis, possibly several. You may be told that you have restless legs syndrome, when really you have a deficiency of magnesium, iron, folate, CoQ10 or something else. Dozens of popular medications that are sold by the millions cause serious nutrient depletions, leaving your doctor scratching their head, and handing you a new prescription for your disease du jour. Is that diagnosis real? Are you really, honestly that sick with this new thing? I doubt it… but that’s just my opinion. Take 5 minutes to learn more if this concept is new to you. CLICK HERE to read my article, How Drug Muggers Can Slowly Steal the Life Out of You.
You can research on your own or get a second opinion from another physician that is holistic, or heck, just look up “drug nutrient depletion” on Dr. Google, lol! This problem is associated with every medication, it is the clinical basis for side effects. The issue is that these side effects are NOT recognized as such. They’re diagnosed as a new disease, and down the rabbit hole you go! If you take medication on a daily basis, please read my book on the topic called, Drug Muggers – Which Medications Are Robbing Your Body of Essential Nutrients and How to Restore Them.
But you have to remember, you are the one that has to live in your body 24/7, not the doctors who treat you.
* You are the one who might spend holidays in a hospital getting a CT or other test…you are the one getting stuck with needles to get blood work drawn.
* You’re the one spending out-of-pocket money to treat your home for mold (when maybe that’s not even the main driving problem).
* Maybe you’re the one spending money on medications or supplements, only to throw them out when they don’t work. It’s not on the doctor who shoots in the dark, follow me? It’s on YOU!
* It’s exhausting, emotionally and physically, to juggle everything you have to juggle because someone can’t figure out what is wrong with you, regardless of the disease. And then there’s the part about having a confrontation.
* Maybe you’re just too sweet and a little bit afraid of confrontation.
I recall having a conversation with a woman named Frances about this very thing two years ago. She was struggling with her weight and her thyroid, and could not get the physician’s office to test for labs listed in my book. She could not get them to give her a trial of Cytomel (or Compounded T3). This went on for years, all the while she was gaining more weight and feeling awful.
One day I said to her “You’re doctor works for you, if he won’t order these simple lab tests, why don’t you go to someone that will listen to you and actually treat you for your problem? You shouldn’t be this bad after 3 years going to him. These are very basic tests, nothing that any old lab couldn’t order. I don’t understand why his ignorance and stubbornness is acceptable, and for that matter, why you keep paying him and going there when you feel this badly year after year?”
Her response stunned me! She said something along the lines of this, “I like him, he’s a very nice man. He told me none of the tests you suggested will matter. He said that the T4 drug I take is the best on the market. Plus, he is a friend of the family and I don’t want to upset him by pressuring him.”
Blown away, I followed with, “You’re health is at stake, and you NEED a doctor that listens to you, one who is willing to order simple, basic tests and give you plain T3 instead of T4 because this is why you’re not feeling well. You’ll never get your metabolism going until SOMEONE prescribes the T3 for you. I don’t care how nice he is, you’re doctor is driving ME crazy!”
Fast forward 2 years, this woman has lost about 50 pounds because she ultimately faced the confrontation. She changed insurance plans too, and this allowed her to get better care. She finally went to an informed physician who tested the labs I had suggested, and then saw that her conversion from T4 to T3 was slow. He then prescribed her some T3 and suggested a Paleo diet. It’s exactly what I had told her years before, when she wasn’t open-minded about leaving, and didn’t fully grasp the gravity of the situation. Today, she looks fantastic and sleeps well, and feels good, and this is exactly what I want for all of you!
If you’re not getting the help you need, or you feel less than perfect, take a long, hard look at your list of meds, supplements and practitioners. Research on your own. Read books, reach out and take advantage of the resources I offer, most of which are free.
Find out what is really wrong because an incorrect diagnoses means you’ll never get well. Never. Chasing your tail like a lab… You need to shoot in the light.
There are many reasons that your thyroid might be bothering you, and your doctor won’t catch it. The number one reason is that thyroid hormone may be locked outside the cell. It has to get inside your cell to help you. Also, conversion rates to activated T3 go down with stress, pregnancy and grief. Would you like to know all of the reasons? If so…
I also wrote a food guide for people with Hashimoto’s and you can click the image below to get it. It is called Hashi No No’s.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.