Thyroid patients are increasingly aware that there is a deficiency in thyroid knowledge among endocrinologists. As specialists of the endocrine system, the title, endocrinologist, expresses expertise and richness in experience. Despite the promise of this title, we, the patients with thyroid dysfunction, are still suffering. The quality of our lives is diminished due to the difficulty we have finding doctors who are effective in thyroid management. The patient experience seems to demonstrate that there are large numbers of endocrinologists who are unable to diagnose thyroid disorder and/or have outdated knowledge of treatment methods.
Please sign this petition in an effort to increase awareness of this problem and hopefully, effect change. Then, spread the word for others to join us: e-mail, tweet, post this petition to your support groups and Facebook profile. "Like" us on Facebook. "Follow" us on Twitter. We need a large support base to gain the credibility we deserve. Visit ThyroidChange for further resources and information.
The petition calls for the following actions:
1) Doctors must demonstrate proficiency in diagnosis of and treatments in thyroid disorders BEFORE receiving his/her board certification in Endocrinology. This could be a more comprehensive section of the existing board examination that includes the use of testing Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies along with TSH. Endocrinologists should also be proficient in the use of thyroid treatment which includes the use of natural dessicated thyroid medication, T3-only medication, T4-only medication, as well as combination therapies.
2) Board-certified endocrinologists who treat thyroid disorder must keep up-to-date on current thyroid disorder treatments. Such treatments should be incorporated into the already established continued medical education (CME) programs. Continuing education in this area should be maintained to keep certification in Endocrinology. It is inexcusable that endocrinologists are treating thyroid patients and not reading current practices in that discipline such as the use of natural thyroid, T3-only medication and T3/T4 combination therapies.
Many patients are speaking out about the inadequacy of T4-only synthetic drugs. Patients on natural thyroid typically express the improvement in the quality of their life. Improvements are also reported by patients using T3/T4 treatments or T3-only, as opposed to synthetic T4-only. However, T4 synthetic drugs are usually the only prescriptions considered. The dosage on the prescription is based on TSH level. Patients report that the TSH level does not necessarily correlate with symptoms. Thus, a patient may have a target TSH level, but still be under-treated. New tests, such as Free T3, Reverse T3 and Free T4, tell a revealing story; however, endocrinologists generally are not utilizing these tests. Instead, they test for Total T4 and Total T3, but these do not quantify what hormones are free and useable within the body.
Patients with thyroid dysfunction complain of difficulty with mood management and lethargy. To remedy this, endocrinologists recommend anti-depressants or refer us to psychiatrists. This is a travesty and an oversight. Research demonstrates an improvement of depression using T3 medication. However, thyroid patients find it challenging to find endocrinologists willing to prescribe Cytomel or natural thyroid, which contain T3. The failure of an endocrinologist to correctly attribute the psychological and systemic symptoms of a thyroid patient to thyroid dysfunction perpetuates the patient's illness. This usually leads to the prescription of a pharmaceutical that may alleviate the reported symptoms, but ignores the root cause; the mismanaged thyroid.
Thyroid dysfunction and ineffective treatment of thyroid dysfunction is also correlated with high cholesterol levels. When a patient has high cholesterol, endocrinologists prescribe dangerous statins when T3 supplementation can lower our cholesterol more safely.
Endocrinologists may be skilled in diabetes and innovative in this sub-specialty, but appear to be lacking the knowledge and expertise in thyroid diagnoses and management. This is unacceptable. As a result, patients are forced to self-educate, self-treat or worse, receive inadequate treatment and suffer needlessly. Many patients feel failed by the medical community and are turning to online sources and sharing knowledge. One such online source is the method pioneered by Paul Robinson who has created and published a method of administering thyroid hormone, mainly T3, according to circadian rhythm or T3CM. Patients are finding relief with his T3CM method. Paul Robinson is not a doctor, rather, he is a patient who has suffered over twenty years from inadequate thyroid treatment.
This petition is bringing the underground movement created by thyroid patients the mainstream attention that it deserves. This is an international patient revolution, and we demand change. It is inexcusable that patients continually encounter endocrinologists who perpetuate their illnesses by insufficient or outdated knowledge.
Each signature on this petition represents a patient, or a person who loves a patient who has been misdiagnosed, mistreated or dismissed by their endocrinologist. There must be someone who takes notice and hears our voice. Read our stories. We are collectively asking our endocrinologists to hear our plea. This petition is our initiative to restore our faith in our doctors.We believe that with awareness will come change. Please help us end the unnecessary suffering of thyroid patients worldwide.
Written by: Michelle T. Bickford
Edited by: Denise Fleming