The growing number of thyroid patients is a big call for thyroid patient advocacy. There is an estimated 20 million Americans who have some sort of thyroid disease and roughly 60% of those are not even aware that they have the disease. So, raising awareness about thyroid health is vital. While this makes thyroid support groups valuable, being an advocate yourself can help not only you in your journey but others as well.
Thyroid Patient Advocacy and How to Start
1. Accept Your Condition
Accept that you have a disease — but it doesn’t have you. Never let a thyroid condition, or any medical challenge, ruin your state of mind or enjoyment of life. At the same time, don’t let anyone belittle your situation either; especially a physician you’re consulting for help, whose job is to listen and treat patients — not just with medications and procedures, but with respect and fairness in equal doses.
2. Start Social Networks with Other Patients
The internet is a fantastic tool; we can stay in touch with old friends via Facebook, and meet new ones via Twitter. It’s a great tool to take advantage of to create your thyroid support group. Forums are also a great place to share information and experiences with other patients.
3. Do Some Internet Research
The internet can also become our virtual study partner if we diligently use it to research our disease to stay on top of the latest medical news. This information is now available to all Internet users, not just those with an MD degree. So do your homework; study up by making use of the Internet. You’ll be surprised at the fascinating things you’ll learn, and how empowering it is when you grow your knowledge.
4. Try Julia Schopick’s Google Tip
Julia Schopick, author of Honest Medicine, explains why it’s time to learn about the better, safer, less… https://t.co/LpFZcDij6q
— Big Blend Magazines (@BigBlendMag) April 13, 2017
When patients are stumped in their online research, they’ll ask Julia Schopick, the author of Honest Medicine, to “Google it up” — and somehow, she’ll manage to unearth something that previously eluded them. One tip from Julia is to vary your search terms — don’t just enter ‘hypothyroidism’ the same way every time. Try ‘hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s,’ then ‘hypothyroidism and nutrition.’ This will increase your odds of finding new and useful nuggets of information each time you surf the Web.
5. Always Ask Questions
Arriving empty-handed for your doctor’s appointment is counterproductive. Be prepared by bringing along a list of questions, but don’t make it too long of a list, and keep the questions short and to-the-point. Do ask the doctor if they will share an email address where you can send follow-up questions.
6. Read Medical Journals and Blogs
Happily, for thyroid patients, we’ve seen many positive changes in the wellness landscape. Doctors like Kent Holtorf share valuable information — in consultations, webinars, and via the Internet — that help patients stay on top of the latest medical and nutritional developments. This enables people to optimize their care, and incorporate lifestyle changes — this ends up with patients actively partnering with their physicians for maximum healing.
7. Try to Maintain a Positive Outlook
It’s never fun to battle an illness, but with the right attitude, you can manage your disease and make surprisingly fascinating discoveries along the road it takes you. So think of getting well as a challenge, and rise to it with the most positive outlook you can muster.
Watch this short video from IamtheFaceof to find out about Mary Shomon, a thyroid patient advocate!
The final responsibility for staying well lies with the patients. Patients may be their own best advocates, and you can be your champion, too! Practice thyroid patient advocacy to help your journey and you’ll be creating support for other patients as well!
When will you start practicing your thyroid patient advocacy? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!