Monday, March 16, 2009

Thyroid.About.Com, the Source for Dangerous Thyroid Information has Done it Again. Now You Don't Need an Endocrinologist at All!

The website, for alternative medical information has reached a new low. Patients with thyroid disease should NOT see an endocrinologist or thyroidologist. The post claims that "thyroid friendly" alternative types will listen to the patient and give them therapy based on symptoms, rather than hard thyroid hormone blood studies. The patients with cancer or needing radiation for Graves' disease are the exception, and need to see a thyroidologist. This is a very way out idea. Here is why. First, hypothyroid patients need to see a specialist at the first sign of disease. The careful examination of the neck by an expert will be able to feel a firm nodular surface of an early Hashimoto's thyroiditis. That will trigger an ultrasound. The ultrasound done real time by the endocrinologist could reveal a cancer nodule, goiter,or nodular goiter years before it can be troublesome to the patient. Waiting until the patient has cancer,or nodules that can result in a surgery is a poor concept,and is the major reason not to consider anyone other than an endocrinologist. Every patient with subclinical hypothyroidism with TSH >3.0 and slowly climbing yearly needs to see an endocrinologist,or thyroidologist PERIOD. Hashimoto's thyroiditis with progressively increasing TSH from 2.5 to 10 over 10-20 years, or has positive antibodies needs a complete endocrine/thyroid evaluation. TSH is a risk factor for thyroid cancer in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
Also TSH causes nodules to grow that are not cancer but look bad on a thyroid biopsy, and can result is surgery.Early detection of Hashimoto's can save surgeries and find cancer when it is small and curable. Also, in 35 years of practice,I have seen goiters melt away, and the antibodies disappear on T4 therapy. The disease will destroy the thyroid if you prevent the regrowth due to TSH. Failure to visit an endocrinologist to get an early diagnosis of possible troubles is a major mistake that will happen to some of those who read the posts on Finally, that leaves only the few percent of all thyroid patients who are still complaining about symptoms when their T4, and TSH are normal, to seek those physicians, that prey on the patients ignorance and give them Armour, T3, Combo T4/T3, and compounded products, to treat symptoms totally unrelated to the thyroid disease. The impossible dream is that just treating thyroid problems will correct all the symptoms the patient have. That is not only a dream, but a pipe dream. They may feel better for a while due to the effect of T3 on the brain, but will suffer in the long run.

I challenge the website managers to allow comments, without deleting those that have a contrary opinion to it's alternative views. My comments given here in my last few blogs were sent as comments to the website. They were clearly received, but disappeared by the next day. The only comments that were allowed to appear were the "yes, I agree" type. The alternative thyroid audience will not like what I have to say, but there will be a few among them that will rethink their position.
Good Luck,


Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone is recognizing the threat that this kind of misinformation is to millions of thyroid disease sufferers. I, too, frequented the above website but fortunately did not take the advice so freely given.
Severe heart rhythm disturbances and even death can result from too much T3 too soon or a kind of T3 that may not be reliable from dose to dose. Even in the hands of a supposedly trained general internist, I suffered from being given too much T4 replacement too fast and ended up in a coronary ICU overnight. I was never offered an ultrasound by my GP. I had done a lot of reading and insisted that it be done and low and behold: a multi-nodular goiter. I do believe that once a person is evaluated and stabilized by a specialist his or her care can be managed by a GP or internist however. I can't imagine wanting to take ground-up pig thyroid when there are so many prion-based pig illnesses that cannot be killed by the current methods of "natural" thyroid manufacturers. In addition the risks of getting an overdose of T3 is scary as well.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting post. I have been reading from that website with no idea that it was questionable. I will definitely be more careful about what I am reading. I am a 38 year old female who has been tired for years. Last year, my primary doctor prescribed synthroid for sub-clinical hypothyroidism. I took the medication for a while, then stopped, not really believing - since the labs didn't show much - TSH was around 3.8ish - that it was really the problem. Worth noting, though, that those numbers have been sub-clinical for years. Recently, I saw another primary due to lymph nodes being swollen (and again, tired). He was more concerned about a thyroid nodule that he felt and ran blood work. The TSH came back 4.8 this time and he ordered an ultrasound. The nodules look cystic, so I am not concerned. I have an uptake test coming up soon, just to be sure. But, the doctor said that if the uptake showed cold spots, that he would refer me to a general surgen. When I asked why..he said so they could remove my thyroid. I thought it was very extreme and wouldn't dream of letting that happen without seeing an endocronoligist. Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself and say that I am enjoying your blog and am learning a lot. Thanks!

Greg Pep said...

I do not know who to believe any more. I just know that an Endrocronologist by the name of Dr. Belsky who is "old School" reamed out the so called physycians who totally mis-diagnosed me for 5 Long, very hard months focusing on my blood pressure and failing kidney function. Upon my wifes persistance that they provide her with the results of my TSH panel, they said it was normal, she insisted to see the paperwork and they could not produce it. I suffered from every known symptom of Hypothyroid including slurred speech, it was a nightmare!!! Finally they did the test and I was 118.40! During my hospital stay they started me on Synthroid and within 2 weeks my speech started getting better but it has taken 5 long years to finally feel "Normal" again. The physical symptoms were hard to deal with like cramping and swollen ankles and eyes, hard to swallow, slurred speech absolutely no energy, low body temp. etc... BUT the mental symptoms I still have nightmares about... severe anxiety, stress, Headticks, up and down emotions, unable to cope with anything, no MENTAL HORIZONS!!! But the Synthroid has worked for me but I still have energy fluctuations, fatigue ups and downs and hard to keep weight off... My question is whether or not (I am 47) as I get older will the Synthroid be safe for me or is there any other medicine or alternative that would help me and be safer or better? I really feel good now but only compared to how I felt... They told me my anti-bodies were 600 something, they told me I have Hashimoto's and I would always have to rely on Synthroid... I really appreciate your blog, the NUMBER ONE THING FOR US HYPO'S IS FOR SOMEONE TO TALK TO THAT UNDERSTANDS!!! Thankyou So Much!!!

Amber said...

I have had Hashimotos Throid for 11 years and have never had a thyroid scan or ultrasound. I will be asking for one now.

Tera said...

Yikes! I went to that site in 2000 when I had a thyroidectomy for papthyca. At the time, even I (completely new to the situation and information) could see it was filled with misinformation. In fact most of the sites are. I wish they would remove all the websites.

Diana said...

Thanks for the information. I recently discovered that I have a thyroid problem. I'm still learning about it and in fact, I was reading the information provided by thinking that it was reliable.