10 Ways to Be a Smart Thyroid Patient

Doctor using ultrasound of patient's thyroid gland
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Part of getting well and living well is taking charge of your health. Here are ten key ways that you can be a smart, empowered and proactive thyroid patient, and maximize your own efforts to have better health, vitality, and wellness. 

10. Learn, Learn, Learn!
It's crucial that you learn everything you possibly can about your condition. Start here at the site, visit other sites I've linked to, or read one of the five key books most thyroid patients will find useful.

9. Get Diagnosed!
Your first step is getting diagnosed. These checklists can help you document your risks and symptoms. In fact, print out two copies, and bring one filled out to your doctor! Hypothyroidism Checklist | Hyperthyroidism Checklist

8. Take Your Medication Properly
Many people don't know how to take thyroid hormone replacement drugs properly, and make mistakes like drinking coffee with thyroid medication, or eating too soon after taking their medication. Find out the important do's and don'ts about how to take your thyroid meds that will help ensure that nothing gets in the way of your medication working.

7. Understand Your Lab Values
The issue of lab tests for thyroid disease can be confusing, but it's truly CRITICAL that you understand what these tests are evaluating, what they mean. Before you can do this, you need to get copies of your own lab test results. It's not enough to get a phone call saying "they're normal." You need to see them, and understand them.

One key article to help... " Why Low TSH means Less Medicine and Other Confusing Issues.

6. Understand Autoimmune Disease
Most thyroid conditions in the United States are the result of autoimmune disease -- where the immune system gets confused and attacks your thyroid, causing it to become underactive -- Hashimoto's - or overactive - Graves' disease.

Learn more about autoimmune disease, and learn about your risks for other autoimmune conditions.

5. Find a GREAT Doctor
It's essential to have a terrific doctor to partner with on your path to wellness. Here are some resources that can help.

4. Understand the Drugs You Take

Whether it's the latest study of T4/T3, the news on Synthroid or Thyrogen, or FDA reports, keep current on the news about the thyroid drugs you take. Check out some of the recent stories about drugs you take.

3. Understand Your Alternatives
There are alternatives, integrative options, and holistic approaches that may be useful to you in your thyroid health. Read Can Your Hypothyroidism Be Treated Naturally?

2. Manage Your Weight
Many thyroid patients end up struggling with weight. Even people who start out hyperthyroid eventually, after antithyroid treatment, radioactive iodine, or surgery, end up hypothyroid and overweight. Learn real-life techniques for thyroid patients on how to successfully fight the weight loss battle. Here are some other resources to help:

1. Be Healed, Vs. Cured
You need to know when it's time to stop looking for cures and start focusing on healing. Being healed means first accepting yourself as you are, refusing to live in the past, learning how to value yourself, and above all, finding the positive effects that thyroid disease has had on your life. Read Being Healed Versus Being Cured: A Thyroid Patient's Perspective

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