I was sharing with some friends the other day about a new regimen my doctor has me on for extreme tiredness.
One mentioned that she was so glad my doctor was really listening to me and helping me!
Me too!! Because unfortunately, that's not the case with a lot of women who have hashimotoes. And was my case for a while, until I learned to stand up for myself and for my health!
I believe that your healthcare team is just that... a team! You should all work together to help find answers!
In terms of finding healthcare, there isn't a one size fits all. I've worked with primary care physicians, specialists, an autoimmune coach and functional medical doctors. Each one of them has helped in different areas.
Here is my best advice when it comes to picking out a healthcare provider-if you know something is not right with your body, fight for answers. Search until you find someone who will listen to you and your concerns. Find someone who will help you find the root cause of your illness. Look for a doctor who is open minded, who doesn't focus solely on lab work, but take into consideration how you are feeling. You are the best advocate for your health, and you know your body better than most.
Here are some examples when it may be best to get up and look for a different doctor:
- When you're told it's "all in your head".
- When you're told no lab work is needed.
- When you're told "I'm the doctor, I make the decision on what test you need". Continue to ask for the labs you want until the doctor says Yes. If they won't budge, it may be time to find another doctor.
- If your doctor won't show you your lab results before your follow up appointment ( this is just a personal one for me. I like walking into my appointments with knowledge, so I can join the discussion on what the next steps should be and not just told). But if they won't let you leave the office without a copy of your lab results after the follow up, that is defiantly a sign to find a new doctor.
You have to what is best for your health and I know that can look different for each person. If you are interested in finding a functional medical doctor in your area, here is a great place to start looking: https://ifm.org/
Once you have an appointment, here are a few things to take with you to your appointment or ask during your appointment:
- Document your family's medical history, especially if someone has an autoimmune disease
- Keep a symptom list
- Ask the doctor about his/her experience treating autoimmune diseases.
If you are looking from some great resources, check out this PDF from Autoimmune Disease Related Disease Association: https://www.aarda.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/PatientResourcesDownload-1.pdf