Sunday, July 31, 2011

Medical Advice. Huh?
Good Housekeeping Magazine Owes it to Millions of Thyroid Patients to Get the Story Right

Wednesday July 27, 2011.

It appears that Good Housekeeping published a misleading article. Or did it? That's the problem with medical commentary these days. The experts don't always agree. Sometimes they rarely agree. I learned this firsthand in my life. I discovered that I couldn't always believe what I was reading or what a doctor told me.
The topic of the article cited above is hypothyroidism. There is disagreement among medical professionals about treatment and drugs for hypothyroidism and other medical conditions including cancer, heart disease prevention, diabetes and others.
Once upon a time I went to a doctor, who correctly told me that I had (and still have) hypothyroidism. She prescribed a drug, levothyroxine, to treat it. So far so good. At that time I still believed in advice from the conventional medical people.
Some years later, I was advised that my blood sugar was getting high, but not given advice. Later, I was told that my cholesterol was high, but not given advice. So far no advice, no drugs. Later still, a doctor strongly recommended that I take a drug to lower my cholesterol.  At that point I started to do research. Yikes and hoity toity, had I ever been fooled. I discovered that conventional doctors' opinions are not the only ones out there. I learned that eating the "healthy" American typical diet is an invitation to disease, especially diabetes. I learned that there is a large group of people who have written intelligently about the dangers of taking drugs to lower cholesterol, and that high cholesterol isn't the cause of heart disease in most cases. I learned that I might have better outcomes if I changed my thyroid medication to bio-identical. Then I discussed these things with my doctor. And my next doctor. And my next doctor. We weren't on the same planet.  Then I read about cancer treatment that didn't include chemotherapy. I'm glad I don't have cancer.
The article cited above points to (but doesn't actually say) the need for us to do our own research on conditions we are told we have. We also need to weed out the quackery if we can discover it, or embrace what a conventional doctor might call quackery. The citation above is from a website dedicated to information about thyroid conditions, operated by a woman who is not a doctor, and who did her own research. She has published books.
I'm not taking the drugs the doctors recommended, other than one for hypothyroidism. It took me about ten years and several doctors to finally locate a doctor who would go beyond what she had learned in medical school or from seminars presented by drug companies. I'm a lucky one.
I believe that people should be able to trust the medical advice they are given, and that that advice is likely to improve their health. (I am not optimistic about advice from doctors at this point.) I have several books about statin drugs that are very informative. After reading them and other information, I wouldn't touch a statin drug. I have several books on diabetes, which interest me because I have been trying for several years with success to keep my blood sugar under control without drugs. It amazes me that there are plenty of contradictory books about diabetes, some suggesting low to no carb diets, others recommending low glycemic raw vegetable vegan diets, and one promoting a high carb diet. They all explain the science. Even Dr. Robert Atkins explained the science. The doctors laughted at him too.
I'm glad to get advice from doctors when emergencies come up. They're very good with emergencies. But let's treat chronic conditions with open minds.

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