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.

Learn, Learn, Learn

It's crucial that you learn everything you possibly can about your condition. Start here at the site or read one of the five key books most thyroid patients will find useful.

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.

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 tips on how to take your thyroid meds that will help ensure that nothing gets in the way of your medication working.

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 and 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.

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.

Find a Great Doctor

It's essential to have a terrific doctor to partner with on your path to wellness. Learn what you should know about thyroid doctors, if you really need an endocrinologist, and how to know if it's time to find a new doctor.

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.

Understand Your Alternatives

There are alternatives, integrative options, and holistic approaches that may be useful to you in your thyroid health. Learn more about treating your hypothyroidism naturally.

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 techniques for thyroid patients on how to successfully fight the weight loss battle.

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.