How To Find a Good Health Professional For Your Thyroid Disease – Part 2

Having healthcare providers who are aligned with your goals and truly want to support is a key factor in promoting and advancing your health when you have a chronic illness. Part 1 of this series focused on some questions to ask your healthcare provider regarding their approach to treating and supporting someone living with a chronic illness.

This post focuses on how and where to find someone who can treat your thyroid condition.

I have gone through three endocrinologists so far and am on my fourth. The one I am currently seeing was a referral through another endocrinologist because of the added complexity of my thyroid cancer and so I am being seen by someone at a top cancer center.

Important Points When Looking For a Good Healthcare Professional: 

  • Think about what type of healthcare approach you are looking for. 
    • Conventional Medicine. A conventional health care provider includes a family doctor or general physician (GP), endocrinologists and oncologists.
    • Integrative Medicine is a medical approach that is holistic and takes into account lifestyle factors of a patient. A more integrative medicine practitioner can include naturopaths, registered dietitians, social workers and acupuncturists for example.
    • Functional Medicine embraces principles of integrative medicine while also taking a systems-oriented approach to identifying underlying root causes of disease. This is a personalised approach to medicine. Functional practitioners include functional doctors and other functional practitioners who have completed additional training including naturopathic doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dietitians, occupational therapists and other licensed healthcare professionals.
  • You might need/want to consider balancing a conventional practitioner with an integrative and/or functional health practitioner. You might need a multi-pronged approach to your healthcare depending on your thyroid condition. For example with thyroid cancer treatment, you will need an endocrinologist to monitor you and your treatment as well as a surgeon if you are having a thyroidectomy. Your endocrinologist will also be your go-to point of contact for radioactive iodine treatment (RAI). You might want to further support your health with a functional medicine practitioner who can work on any symptoms you are having, minimize the stress on your body through treatment and address any underlying root issues.
  • Look at their thyroid-specific approach and experience. It might be worth looking at experience with a specific health issue like the thyroid. Although many functions in our body are connected, it is helpful to ask about their approach to thyroid health issues and diagnoses. If you are looking for someone to consider issues like thyroid hormone conversion or potentially looking at natural dessicated thyroid (NDT), or taking T3 this is worth knowing.
  • Consider your budget and pricing. While some practitioners are covered depending on where you live, others may not be covered either through publicly-funded health insurance (like the NHS or in Canada). Especially if you are looking into private providers, you may want to look at a few different providers and figure out your options.

Where to Find a Good Healthcare Professional for your Thyroid Condition: 

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Nadha Hassen

Founder at Thyroid Transitions
Nadha is a health researcher and chronic illness advocate based in Toronto. A "thyroidless thriver", she strives to support people at all stages of their thyroid process. She is currently a PhD student and received her Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of Toronto, specializing in Health Promotion.
Posted in Thyroid Health Info, Tips, Strategies and Resources.

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