My Autoimmune Diagnosis – A Dark Comedy. Part 4

My Doctors Said There's No Point Trying To Improve My Condition; I Got Second Opinions

Test tube with blood for Thyroid test.

This story is continued from here.

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My endocrinologist said she expected me to continue to see her or another doctor ongoing. I told her I’d received a referral to someone who specializes in this area. She asked who, I told her, and her immediate response was that’s the only doctor she’d allow me to see aside from herself.

My new doctor was well-regarded as a progressive, well-informed practitioner. The staff prides themselves on long visits and really getting to the bottom of conversations and issues. I’ve been very happy.

Treatment Based On Research

The doctor told me, at Harvard, where she studied, they only rely on large-scale, proven research. Sounded more like a brag than useful information at the time, but I accepted her credibility and her reputation. I don’t have a medical degree or license, and I appreciate the time she and her staff spend (and charge for), often going directly to search research databases while we’re in session.

At the same time, as a male with autoimmune condition, I’m a statistical outlier. The office is all female employees, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen another man in the waiting area.

No Research

Over time, we’ve discussed more and more of the details of my condition, my highly active lifestyle, and the possibility of modifying diet to reduce inflammation and immune response. My doctor said those are all great ideas, if only there was good, statistically valid research in those areas. I asked her what incentive exists in the medical and pharmaceutical establishment to prove drugs aren’t necessary and healthy food is “medicine”. She shrugged her shoulders, agreed, and smiled, apparently seeing the irony herself.

One Script For The Future: You’re Sick

After 5 years as their patient, they have declined to test all my thyroid numbers as suggested by more progressive practitioners. Furthermore, they’ve declined to retest my antibody counts. “Once you’re autoimmune, you’ll always be autoimmune. There’s no point testing those.”

For a “healer” to be so committed there’s no cure or hope (do you see the same trend I see?) is unacceptable to me.

My new doctor agreed to test for those antibodies, and he ordered a more complete thyroid panel.

Progress?

Fantastic news!

My thyroid peroxidase antibody count fell by 2/3, from the “Out Of Range” level to the “Equivocal” level. A drop of 5 more puts me in the “Normal” range.

My new doctor says these numbers can fluctuate, so it’s not certain, and we’ll have to see future test results. He also confirms he’s seen numbers as high as 900, so my low-double-digit scores are as good as it gets while still having a diagnosis.

I know:

  • gluten, dairy, and soy are implicated in autoimmunity,
  • I have a diagnosis, which is nothing more than a name they give a set of symptoms,
  • I’ve always had digestive issues,
  • when I avoid certain ingredients I don’t have digestive symptoms,
  • eating these ingredients reliably causes issues.
  • I decline to further inflict on myself ingredients that have bothered me since childhood.

What Now?

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