And sadly, though thyroid patients can appreciate even getting a reply by the Editors of Good Housekeeping (which is certainly better than the dead silence thyroid patients got from Oprah Winfrey when they emailed numerous times about this horrific thyroid treatment scandal), we certainly are saddened by the continued poor understanding and false suppositions contained in the reply:
We have read your postings and letters with great interest and are moved by the depth of feeling that underlies them. It is obvious that many of you write out of frustration with your own unresolved symptoms, and we are sympathetic to your ongoing difficulties.
Good Housekeeping’s August 2011 article on thyroid disease describes one woman’s quest to understand her own ambiguous diagnosis. As described in the article, there is a great deal of controversy surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of low thyroid disorders — among mainstream physicians as well as those with a more complementary or integrative orientation. We recognize that much of the information on the Internet serves to support patients who haven’t been heard or understood by their own doctors — a terribly disheartening and frustrating experience for anyone. But it is often difficult to discern what’s been scientifically tested and proven versus what is still being explored. That is why this article, like all health articles in GH, drew on research and advice that is evidence-based; typically, such information comes from credentialed doctors working at leading medical and academic centers. A careful reader of our story will see that doctors we consulted acknowledged that low thyroid levels might be treated if a patient has other problems like infertility or depression or if she has Hashimoto antibodies and other factors.
It is our hope that better understanding of the disease will lead to more effective treatment for all. That’s really the goal and the motivation behind all of Good Housekeeping’s health coverage.
We thank you for your valuable feedback and encourage you to continue to send us your thoughts. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And here is my reply to the Editors of Good Housekeeping:
We, as thyroid patients around the world, do appreciate that you took the time to reply. We have been the recipients of dead silence all too often in our quest to inspire and educate the media about this near 60-year thyroid treatment problem. Thank you.
But there are incorrect observations and assumptions in your reply that need clarification and intelligent re-thinking:
- This patient-to-patient movement is far more than ‘frustrations with our own unresolved symptoms’. This is about hundreds of millions of us worldwide who have been subjected to a brainwashed bias by medical professionals in the use of T4-only medications and the TSH lab test (both which have left us with lingering hypothyroid symptoms and denied as such by our physicians).
- What you refer to as “a great deal of controversy surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of low thyroid disorders” is, in our experience and observation, only within the boundaries of a dogmatically-trained medical profession comprised of those who seem to have lost the art of paying attention to CLEAR symptoms of hypothyroidism with a so-called “normal” TSH lab test or with the use of the laughable “gold standard” of thyroid treatment–T4-only.
- This is far more than what is “scientifically tested and proven.” Do you REALLY believe that all scientific testing is unbiased and correct?? Do you not understand that much science has been done quite badly, and the results are often in conjunction to whoever or whatever FUNDED the research? Instead, this is about real live and multiple patient experience and outcome–patient experience where lives are changed due to not going by the TSH but by symptoms; where labwork is used as the cart pulled by the horse of symptoms; where desiccated thyroid has been proven to be far more beneficial in the removal of our symptoms than thyroxine ever was or will be…and more. (And here is science that actually underscores our experience).
- You state that the article “drew on research and advice that is evidence-based.” And what about the evidence of millions of thyroid patients who have endured multiple and clear hypothyroid symptoms for years before the TSH lab test rose high enough to reveal their obvious hypothyroid state? What about all of us who have suffered for years in our own kind and degree while on T4-only meds like Synthroid, levothyroxine, etc? What about the irrefutable evidence of those whose lives have turned completely around thanks to desiccated thyroid and/or T3, especially after they treated the extreme side effects of being undiagnosed or undertreated all these years thanks to a clueless medical profession?
- You refer to “credentialed doctors working at leading medical and academic centers” as your source of information: would it shock you to hear that MANY credentialed doctors are the very ones who have kept us completely sick for nearly sixty years?? Ask thyroid patients about all those doctors they saw over the years who were “credentialed”, and your eyes and ears will burn. And what about all the growing body of “credentialed doctors” who now have the courage to state that the TSH lab test is lousy (except for diagnosing hypopituitary), just as is T4-only treatment? They are many!
- And finally, if your “goal and the motivation behind all of Good Housekeeping’s health coverage” is to find more effective treatment for all, do a follow-up article in an upcoming issue about the scandal of T4-only treatment, the poor use of the TSH lab test (which is measuring a pituitary hormone, not cellular levels of thyroid hormones), the experience of patients worldwide on T4, the experience of patients who lives made a complete turn-around thanks to desiccated thyroid or T3, the experience of patients with “credentialed doctors” who have been nothing more than condescending, ignorant, biased and dogmatically close-minded to our experience and wisdom in our own bodies!
Good Housekeeping do a PATIENT EXPERIENCE article! Let your readers use their own wisdom about the “mass experience of patients worldwide” vs the “dogmatic, pharmaceutically-brainwashed “opinion” of a several misguided and credentialed medical professionals.”