First I talked to the medical assistant, who moaned and said, “Iodine deficiency? Aargh. There’s no such thing…hold on…”
Then I got put on hold and I actually got transferred to my diabetes doc! That was a surprise. After my brief intro explanation, he responded with, “There’s no such thing as an iodine deficiency; there’s no such thing in the United States. There’s people all over Florida trying to tell people this and they don’t have medical degrees and they think they know what they are talking about. They give people iodine who don’t need it and it brings on Hashimoto’s Disease and autoimmune thyroid disorders. It’s great for bringing me business, but don’t let anyone tell you you are iodine deficient and try to give you iodine. It’s OK if they are helping you with your diet, but don’t let them start diagnosing you with things. I tested your thyroid back in July when we did blood tests and it was fine.”
So I got out my lab results and I see my TSH was 1.42. That is the only thyroid test I see. (Interestingly, I read just a few moments ago that fasting readings are lower than non-fasting readings in 97% of people. Mine was a fasting reading.)
So I did a web search to see which tests should be on a full thyroid panel and found an interesting article by a gal about why hypothyroidism is so often misdiagnosed. Really quite interesting, and the #1 reason was that mainstream doctors often rely only on TSH, and if TSH looks normal, they overlook any symptoms without doing further testing.
I continued reading til I found the tests she said are the minimum needed for a full thyroid panel: TSH, Total T4, Free T4, Total T3, Free T3, Reverse T3 and Thyroid Antibodies.
So, scared to death, I called my doctor’s office back and told the medical assistant that I had a follow-up question for the doctor; should I ask her or did she want to put him on the phone again? So she put him on the phone again.
I told my doc that I had looked at the July lab result and that the only test done was TSH. I informed him that I had been doing some reading on thyroid and found that often, problems get overlooked because TSH is the only test done; that more tests need to be done to see the full picture. I read him the names of the tests in the full thyroid panel, and said I would like to get a full thyroid panel done. That was scary. Then I waited, and those ten seconds felt like an eternity.
His unexpected answer: “…Ok. We can do that. But I doubt anything will show up; I’m sure it will still be just fine. But we can do that. I will put the order in right now and we can somehow get the requisition form to you.” So I said, “Awesome, thanks!" and we hung up. I was still shaking from fear when I hung up the phone...the fear of being bold with my doctor and asking for what I want/need.
I had been thinking (before calling my diabetes doc back) that I should become a patient at my hubby's doctor, who is known for doing tons of tests. I don’t have a primary care doc. I got turned down by the one I sought out; she wouldn't see me unless I would see a neurologist. (My last neurologist refused to see me once I told him that I would no longer take epilepsy medication, so I didn't expect a new neurologist would be any different.)
Anyway it sure was interesting to hear my diabetes doc's response to my request for a thyroid panel. He seems to very much dislike people who are not trained MDs (it pops up all the time in our conversations). Today, though, he reached new heights with his proclamations. I was thinking (but not saying) as he was talking, “Hmmm. The non-doctors have helped me turn my health around. You think I am crazy with just about everything I am doing, and regularly tell me so, but my lab results and health results doing things the way the non-docs say amazes you. Why would I listen to you now, instead of to those who have already helped me so much?”
By the way, I called my doctor's office back one more time to follow up, and see how soon I would be able to go in for my thyroid tests. The medical assistant told me the orders are at the lab now, and I can go anytime. I asked which ones he ordered; was it the full list I requested? And she said, "looks like pretty much all of them." So we'll see...
Since I ate an out-of-the-ordinary meal yesterday and don't know all the ingredients I ate, I would prefer to wait until Monday to get my blood drawn. Then I can make sure I am clear of anything abnormal that might skew the results. :)