Recently I was consulting with a patient with Graves’ Disease who told her endocrinologist she was seeking alternative care. Not surprisingly, that endocrinologist wasn’t thrilled to hear this, and went on to criticize this patient, and even threatened to release her from care if the patient continued to pursue a natural treatment approach. This isn’t an isolated incident, as I’ve had other patients tell me similar stories. While every doctor is entitled to their own opinion, what they fail to realize is that the patient hired them, not the other way around. They should be grateful for the opportunity to try to help these people. But of course many let their egos get the best of them, and some doctors think they have the right to boss around their patients.
Perhaps they do have the right to boss their patients around. However, their patients also have the right to find another doctor who will actually listen to them. Even if this means seeing a doctor who might not be happy with a patient of theirs looking into a natural treatment approach, but who nevertheless will be supportive of a patient who chooses to combine medical and alternative treatment options. While it will be a big challenge finding a medical doctor who endorses natural thyroid treatment methods, if you interview enough medical doctors then you should find one who is willing to work with you, even if it means driving an hour or two to see them.
When Should You Fire Your Doctor?
Based on the information I gave, it might seem obvious when one should switch doctors. After all, if you have a medical doctor who won’t work with you with if you choose to follow a natural treatment protocol, doesn’t it make sense to look for a different doctor? Well, I have mixed emotions about this. If you’re dealing with a rude and arrogant doctor who won’t listen to anything you say, then I agree that it’s time to look for another doctor. I realize you might be seeing this doctor because they are on your health insurance plan, and/or they might be located nearby to where you live or work, but the number one reason to choose a doctor isn’t because he or she is on your insurance plan or lives close to you, but instead is because they are a competent doctor who will listen to you and try to do everything they can to help you.
However, even if you find a doctor who has these traits, they still might not be supportive of natural treatment methods. Once again, while it would be nice to find a medical doctor who thinks it’s great that you’re trying to restore your health back to normal, it is extremely difficult to find such a doctor. For this reason, many patients won’t even tell their medical doctors they are trying out alternative methods for their hypothyroid or hyperthyroid condition. And to be honest, in many cases I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to tell your medical doctor this.
However, if you would like to tell them you’re seeking alternative treatment options, before revealing this to them, you might want to ask them the following question:
Question # 1. What do you think about natural treatment options for [Name your condition]?
If they start bickering and criticizing natural treatment methods then it might be a good idea not to tell them you plan on following a natural treatment protocol. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still try looking for a medical doctor who is more receptive to natural treatment options, but if this is his or her only major flaw, then for now you probably should continue seeing the same doctor.
On the other hand, if they don’t react strongly to the first question, then you can go ahead and ask them the following one:
Question # 2. I would like to continue working with you, as I realize the importance of medical treatment for thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions, but how would you feel if I also consulted with a holistic doctor to help treat my condition naturally?
You might decide to word it a little differently than I did, but the point is that you want to get a feeling as to how your medical doctor perceives natural treatment methods. While they might not be thrilled about you looking into natural treatment methods, if they react to the second question by saying “I don’t think natural treatment methods will help you, but you have nothing to lose by giving such methods a try”, then to me this is a positive response. While they still might not be willing to order certain tests for you (i.e. saliva testing), as long as they are a good doctor and respect your choices that’s all you can ask for.
The purpose of this post was to make you realize that ultimately you’re the one in charge when it comes to your health. When you schedule an appointment with a doctor you’re obviously doing so to seek their advice and help, but this doesn’t give them the right to criticize you for looking into different treatment options. Too many people are afraid to stand up to their medical doctor, but if they don’t have your health in their best interest, then you really should try to find another doctor, even if it means paying out of pocket and/or driving a long distance.