The Nation's Health + [Thyroid health]

Test your own thyroid

134 people responded to the latest Heart Scan Blog poll:

When I ask my doctor to test my thyroid, he/she:

Accommodates me without question 45 (33%)

Questions why, but orders the tests 49 (36%)

Refuses because you seem "healthy" 20 (14%)

Refuses without explanation 4 (2%)

Ridicules your request 16 (11%)

That's better than I anticipated: 69% of physicians complied with this small request. After all, you're not asking for major surgery. You're just asking for a very basic test, as basic as a blood count or electrolytes. 36% of respondents said that their doctor asked why, but still complied; this is simply practicing good medicine--If there is a problem, your doctor would like to know about it.

However, the remainder--31%--were refused in one way or another. Incredibly, 11% were ridiculed.

Although this was not asked in the poll, I believe that it is a safe assumption that you asked with good reason: you're abnormally fatigued, you have been gaining weight for no apparent reason or can't lose weight despite substantial effort, or you feel cold at inappropriate times.

Let's say you're tired. Ever since last summer, you've suffered a gradual decline in energy.

So you ask your doctor to assess your thyroid. He refuses. "You're just fine! There's nothing wrong with you."

You disagree. In fact, you are quite convinced that there is something physically wrong. What do you do?

You could:

--Drink more coffee
--Exercise more in the hopes that it will snap you out of your lethargy
--Sleep more
--Take stimulants of various sorts

Or, you could get your thyroid assessed and settle the issue. But how can you get this done when your doctor won't accommodate you, even though you have perfectly fine health insurance and are simply interested in feeling better and preserving your health?

You could test your thyroid yourself. This is why we're making self-testing kits available. Test kits are available here.

This is yet another facet of the powerful revolution that is emerging: Self-directed health .