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Reader's view: Too many thyroid patients treated rudely

Has your doctor ever explained symptoms of hypothyroidism? There are numerous books, such as, "Thyroid for Dummies," that describe the thyroid as "a unique gland (in your neck) that affects every part of your body by making hormones and sending them to your bloodstream, which carries them to every cell and organ." Another book, "Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests are Normal," describes the thyroid as "the spark plug for energy production." It maintains body temperature. "It basically manages our physical, mental and emotional well-being."

Symptoms of hypothyroidism, per, "Living Well With Hypothyroidism," are tiredness, slowed reflexes and achilles heel, feeling cold, a slow heartbeat, constipation, dry skin, pins-and-needles feelings, paleness, slow speech, hoarse voice, and neuropathy. Also, fatigue, weight gain (the thyroid controls metabolism), morning headaches, hypersensitivity to cold, poor circulation and numbness in hands and feet, muscle cramps, itchy dry skin, and more. Also, excessive amounts of sleep, causing sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, thyroid paralysis, catalepsy, and cataplexy (unresponsiveness) can lead to thyroid storm, a myxedema coma that's rare but can be fatal..

"Living Well" writes: "If you mention your symptoms to your MD you often get an unsympathetic response, saying you are suffering from depression, stress, PMS, menopause, old age, or simply, 'It must be in your head.'" Some doctors fail to give thyroid replacement pills. Most doctors rely on numbers on a page, ignoring common sense, direct examination, and overwhelming symptomatic evidence. Thyroid patients find themselves going from doctor to doctor, which should not happen in this day and age.

Thyroid patients often are treated very rudely. They are very sick but are not believed. This can be changed if we speak up.

How does your doctor treat you?

Rosemarie Mitchell