Toledo Talk

Who manages your thyroid disorder?

Recently diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease (my immune system is attacking my thyroid gland). It causes a lot of the same symptoms as hypothyroidism, even though lab work suggests my thyroid is -- for now -- working OK. I am currently awaiting the results of an ultrasound that will show how damaged my thyroid has become.

In the meantime, I am thinking about jumping ship on my primary care doctor. The fact that she should've caught this much earlier is only one of the reasons.

I am looking for recommendations on either/or/both an endocrinologist and a new primary care doctor with a lot of experience with thyroid problems. Specifically, I'm looking for someone who is open-minded about treating me based not only on lab work but also based on how I am feeling. Not sure I want to wait to start synthetic thyroid medication until my thyroid is damaged beyond function -- which will happen inevitably.

So, if you have a thyroid disorder, who do you see for monitoring and medication, and are you satisfied with the care you're getting? Thank you for any suggestions!

created by jmleong on Jun 26, 2014 at 02:32:52 pm     Health     Comments: 22

source      versions

Comments ... #

jmleong, sorry to hear about your diagnosis.

I am hypothyroid, and I am still letting my primary care doc treat it, mainly because it seems to be controlled well with medication for now.

But, I have had several people (who have thyroid disorders also) tell me that the absolute best doc in town for thyroid disorders is Dr. Richard Beham, at the Endocrine/Diabetes Care Center, over at Westgate.

Hope that helps.

posted by foodie88 on Jun 26, 2014 at 02:58:33 pm     #   1 person liked this

It does help, thank you!

posted by jmleong on Jun 26, 2014 at 03:09:46 pm     #  

I have no thyroid related info but I can tell you that the Endo/Diabetes Care Center moved down the street into the new ProMedica office building on the corner of Central and ProMedica Pkwy, across from Toledo Hospital.

posted by idinspired on Jun 26, 2014 at 03:34:35 pm     #   1 person liked this

Hypothyroidism here, and my primary care physician treats my condition. Levothyroxine keeps me level.

posted by historymike on Jun 26, 2014 at 03:57:43 pm     #   2 people liked this

^^^ Woodley Park Internal Medicine
3909 Woodley Rd # 300, Toledo, OH 43606
(419) 291-6720

posted by historymike on Jun 26, 2014 at 03:59:18 pm     #   1 person liked this

My mother has Hashimoto's. She sees an endocrinologist on Laskey just east of Wernert's Corners. Dr. L Bhandaru

posted by tk29 on Jun 26, 2014 at 05:59:40 pm     #   1 person liked this

Dr. Beham

posted by gunz1 on Jun 26, 2014 at 06:29:54 pm     #   1 person liked this

Thanks you guys!

Tk29, has your mom's Hashimoto's turned into hypothyroidism yet? And if not, is she medicated now before her TSH goes too high, and her T3/T4 goes too low?

posted by jmleong on Jun 26, 2014 at 06:32:18 pm     #  

Jmleong, yes it has turned to hypothyroidism already.

posted by tk29 on Jun 26, 2014 at 07:59:53 pm     #  

Jmleong, yes it has turned to hypothyroidism already.

posted by tk29 on Jun 26, 2014 at 07:59:54 pm     #   1 person liked this

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's in 1996, after I lost my sense of humor, my sense of direction, my long-term memory, and I was crawling up the stairs at 8:30pm to go to bed, exhausted from the anemia. By that time, I had no thyroid function left, an iodine scan proved it. oddly, I had only a small goiter. My family doc started me on 125mcg Synthroid and in 2 weeks I was back to normal. I have gained a little weight since then, so 5 years ago we changed it to 137mcg and I have never had a problem with any of it. I asked him early on if I need to see an endocrinologist and he said, "I'll let you know when.", lol, and I have never had to, blood work once a year says we are doing fine. I don't understand the panic, but maybe that's because I was so far gone, I was too out of it to be scared. I was so relieved that all I had to do was take a tiny pill once a day and get better, it was awesome!!!! Hope you get the help you need, jm, so glad I did! :)

posted by nana on Jun 26, 2014 at 10:36:17 pm     #   1 person liked this

I was sick for a long time(2005), numerous doctor's visits and was told "Lose weight, you'll feel better". Five different doctors, five same answers. My 6th doctor, ran all sorts of test and one was for my thyroid. That was nov '09, dec '09 came back something wrong and more test, jan '10 I needed a biopsy, feb '10 my thyroid was removed because I had cancer. I have been on Levothyroxine ever since. Although I have different problems now, the ones that I had experienced before have been rectified with the med. My primary doctor handles my medicine now.
I hope you feel better jmlelong

posted by ToledoLatina on Jun 26, 2014 at 10:55:12 pm     #   1 person liked this

Thank you nana and Toledolatina for sharing your stories here -- I have heard from others that once you start the medicine, things get so much better! I am not "panicked," but I am concerned that I will need to sit around feeling shitty and tired and unlike myself until my T3 and T4 numbers say I feel "shitty enough." My mom is hypo, my maternal grandmother is hypo, and my great-grandmother is hypo. My diagnosis merely confirms that I am headed that way, myself. I think I've decided that I don't want to wait; I'd like to start on a low dose of synthetic hormone. Why should I have to plunge to rock bottom before getting treatment?

May I ask who each of you see for primary care?

posted by jmleong on Jun 26, 2014 at 11:15:30 pm     #  

(Correction; my great-grandmother WAS hypo, as she's no longer with us!)

For frame of reference, while my hormone levels are within the acceptable ranges, though lower than they were six months ago, my anti-TPO antibodies are 925! That's on a normal scale of 0-35, if you've never had your own antibodies tested.

posted by jmleong on Jun 26, 2014 at 11:20:44 pm     #  

My PCP, Lisa Burke, DO, manages the med. She is a former resident of the doc who diagnosed me, now retired. He told me a story of a woman whose family brought her in for a physical before they put her in a nursing home for dementia. Tests showed she was athyroid, like me (not just hypo, function was totally gone). Needless to say, she did not need a nursing home. :)

Maybe its easier to manage and balance the med once all function is gone, I don't know, I really never researched it once I got on the net the following year. Hope you find someone to trust soon! :)

posted by nana on Jun 27, 2014 at 07:25:57 am     #   1 person liked this

jmleong, I've had Hashimoto's disease for almost 20 years. I see Dr. Brunner at Endocrine & Diabetes Care Center, in the new ProMedica building. He won't win any awards for personality, but he knows what he's doing. I'd rather have a specialist monitoring the situation than a family doctor. He sees me twice a year, monitors my meds and does ultrasounds of my thyroid every year to ensure that there are no major changes. If you have insurance, seeing the specialist is worth it.

posted by WordsRUs on Jun 27, 2014 at 08:02:48 am     #   1 person liked this

My boyfriend sees Dr. Beham, primarily because he's Type 1 diabetic, but he was also recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I'm also hypo, but my primary care physician monitors mine.

In my experience, it comes down to the relationship you have with the doc. After being on levothyroxine for about a year, I started feeling like crap. My labs came back within the normal range, but my TSH was slightly higher than it had been. I was initially dismissed by my doc's staff when they called me with the results. I pushed the issue, though, and my doc ended up increasing my dosage. Now, he looks at which direction the numbers are going and listens to what I say about how I'm feeling. I'd highly recommend him, but he's not taking new patients.

My cousin and I had a conversation about this when her son was diagnosed. She mentioned doing some research into various labs, and I swear she said that not every lab has the same "normal" ranges. That might be something to keep in mind when trying to deal with your doc. I sent her a text and if I find out anything more that might help, I'll post it here, if you're interested.

posted by valbee on Jun 27, 2014 at 08:14:52 am     #   1 person liked this

I see Dr Brunner - not the best bedside manner, I think he is good at what he does. He is hard to get appts with though. I go yearly and have to schedule out about 3 months. Had a thyroidectomy in 2005.

posted by ajm00733 on Jun 27, 2014 at 10:50:55 am     #   1 person liked this

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I also recommend the endocrine and diabetes center at Promedica.

I am a type I diabetic, and have been going to Dr. Brunner since 1990 when he was at the old Mercy hospital on Jefferson. For diabetes care they are top notch as far as treatment and technology goes and their new office building is really nice. There is a pharmacy county in the building and promedica has an outpatient lab there as well in addition to the lab the medical practice has in house.

I really like their website, they have a website where you can get your lab results online (I had an email that they were available within a few hours of having blood drawn at the promedica lab in his building-his lab tech was off that day) and I can review my medications.

I've never had any problem with his bedside manner other than a lot of times he is running behind. Like AJM said sometimes you have to schedule pretty far in advance (I see him every four months and they just schedule my next appt when I am in for my routine visit). There have been a couple times where I have had stuff come up and needed to reschedule and if he couldn't fit me in, he has two nurse practioners that are great and they just schedule me with Patty who is great.

One of my best friends is also a type I diabetic and has been seeing Dr. Beeham for years and has nothing but good things to say about him as well

posted by jamesteroh on Jun 27, 2014 at 12:08:59 pm     #   1 person liked this

You all are incredibly helpful!

Thank you so much for your recommendations and for sharing the encouraging stories about how you are doing with good medical care. I truly appreciate it!

posted by jmleong on Jun 27, 2014 at 01:26:31 pm     #  

I am going to go against the tide here and not recommend Dr. Brunner or Dr. Beeham. I have been a patient of both and never got the care or attention that actually helped me to feel "better"
I did online searches for months and finally found Dr. Walter Woodhouse in Temperance,MI. He put me on a natural thyroid and I am now feeling the best I have in years. He listens to how you are feeling and does not just go by what the average person blood levels should be. He gives very individualized care and is nationally known for treating thyroid issues and is one of the best. He is also my primary care doctor. I urge anyone who has a thyroid problem and does not feel "normal" to see Dr. Woodhouse. He will truly help.

posted by lisalouuu on Jun 28, 2014 at 06:17:53 pm     #   1 person liked this

Thank you lisalouuu! Some of these thyroid issues can't be treated with a one-size-fits-all approach, and I appreciate you sharing the name of a doc who treats you as an individual. Important to know!

posted by jmleong on Jun 28, 2014 at 11:41:17 pm     #