I’ve been through 7 doctors since getting my Hashimoto’s diagnosis in late 2014. Some of those changes were forced due to cross country relocations, and others were by choice.
Here’s how I knew when it was time to move on, and what I looked for when I did.
Each of my doctors has been helpful in their own way, and each has helped me understand more about my health. However, just as there is value in having a doctor who has known your full health history, there is also value in recruiting a fresh pair of eyes! As I have partnered with each of these doctors over the years, they have been able to recruit their own professional experience to see my story with a unique lens.
Even so, there have been a couple of times in recent years where I have found myself stuck, and my doctor didn’t really know what to look for or recommend next. The reality is, in healing, there are sometimes plateau periods like this. However, seeking out the root cause and optimizing health should still be the priority, rather than just sitting back and “waiting things out.”
Remember, your doctor is working for you. You should feel free to ask questions, request tests, propose alternative treatments, and more. Your doctor is the expert in medicine, but you are the expert on your body. You should feel like your he/she is on your side, supporting you with your best interest at heart. Even if you’re not actively seeing progress, your doctor should be able to explain why this is and what exactly you are waiting on before making another change. If this is not the case, consider looking elsewhere!
When I’m looking for a new doctor, here are a few things I consider:
-This relationship is a partnership. I am knowledgable about my body, my symptoms, and my health. It is important to me that my provider welcome my questions, input, and suggestions.
-What is his/her practice philosophy? Will they be seeing out the root cause or just treating symptoms? What do they believe about the value of diet and lifestyle in healing? (These are foundational concepts in the naturopathic approach to medicine.)
-Do they have experience in treating autoimmunity?
-Do they offer alternative treatments, such as IV therapy, sauna, acupuncture, etc?
-Is this person covered by my insurance? If not, do they offer a free meet and greet so that I can see if I feel comfortable with them before moving forward?
-When I share a brief overview of my health history with them, are they able to respond in a way that inspires confidence? Have they worked with patients with my particular health issues before?
-Is there anyone who has seen this doctor before of whom I could ask questions?
Medical care is expensive, and when it comes to health, it truly is important that we have our best interests at heart. One of the most important pieces of my healing has been to take the initiative and be my own advocate. When I reflect back on the early days of my journey, I was so desperate to feel better that I took anything that my doctors said as truth, and I didn’t know how to do my own research. Had I been better equipped from the beginning, and known what to look for in a provider partnership, my journey might have been quite different!
This concept of how to be an empowered patient and partner well with your provider is one of the topics that we explore in depth in my Healing Hashimoto’s course. We also discuss topics such as optimizing your lab work, different types of practitioners, how to make the most out of your appointments, and much more!
If you’re ready to understand your Hashimoto’s so that you can heal your Hashimoto’s and take back control of your health, you can start by downloading my free PDF on the Top 5 Things That Have Helped Heal My Hashimoto’s Naturally!
I hope you feel empowered by this information! I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments below!