My daughter Chloe’s second-grade teacher knew something was wrong. She felt like her whole life was unraveling. All of a sudden, this very intelligent, organized educator couldn’t concentrate anymore. She was experiencing brain fog and couldn’t focus. “This isn’t normal for me,” she said.
Since she had a known thyroid issue and said she had never had her antibodies checked for the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s, I suggested she start there and ask her doctor for a blood test. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve dealt with terrible thyroid issues my whole life, and I know that it can cause a wide range of problems, including fuzzy thinking and an inability to focus.
The next time I saw her I asked about her blood test results. She shook her head and said her physician wouldn’t check her thyroid antibodies. He thought her symptoms were more likely signs of depression or another issue.
I was livid. I have heard from so many of you Warriors that your doctor refuses to give you key medical tests because they dismiss your symptoms as being “all in your head” or because they “know better”. This is especially true for women. In fact, an analysis on women with chronic pain produced by the Campaign to End Chronic Pain in Women showed that doctors were more likely to dismiss female patients’ reports of pain as “emotional, psychogenic, hysterical, or oversensitive.”
This is an outrage! Your doctor isn’t your boss or your parent. They can’t tell you they’re not going to perform a test that you request. I found myself in this situation when I was going through thyroid hell when I was younger. At one point, I thought I was losing my mind. I went from being super depressed to feeling so wired I couldn’t sleep. I felt shaky. And I couldn’t settle down. I felt like my doctor wasn’t listening to me. He was just dismissing my complaints.
That’s when I realized it was time to fire my doctor. I found a new one who listened to the issues I was having and helped me find a solution to treat the problem. Within a few weeks, I was already feeling dramatically better. In fact, I felt like a new person! My new doctor, completely validated my symptoms, and helped treat me in an effective way. That made me more convinced I should have fired that other doctor months earlier. Think of how much time I had wasted feeling bad.
If you want to be a true Warrior for your health, don’t ever let your doctor dismiss your complaints. If s/he does, give them the boot and find a new physician.
With the very direct request from our clinic, Chloe’s teacher finally got the thyroid tests she had requested. She discovered that her TSH and T4 were normal, but her thyroid antibodies were extremely elevated, which meant her body was attacking her thyroid gland. She had Hashimoto’s Disease. With this vital information, her new doctor was able to prescribe the appropriate treatment to help her say goodbye to the brain fog and get back to normal.
You can find out more about Chloe’s teacher’s story in this episode of the Brain Warrior’s Way podcast.