My second alterna-doc disaster

When I was unable to convince my regular alterna-doc that I was hypothyroid, I made the mistake of returning to the only other major alternative medicine practice in town, a Den of Incompetence I had sworn never to visit again. Dr. Dumbass had left the practice and I convinced myself that my earlier experience was just a fluke.

My thyroid symptoms had worsened significantly and I had made the startling discovery that my healthy diet was the culprit. It turns out that drinking raw kale juice every day for a year is a bad idea, even for healthy people. I printed out the articles I had found, including the one from a British running association’s website that said one should only drink raw goitrogens once a week, and went off to my appointment.

The new doctor was a native Korean. I told him my theory, described my symptoms. “No,” he said. “Food has nothing to do with it.” I showed him the articles. He didn’t even look at them. “Put your papers away,” he snapped. “You need to educate yourself.”

Only 15 minutes into the office visit and Snake Oil, Inc. was back on my shit list. Visions of me maligning Dr. Shithole up and down the North Coast danced in my head. And I still had 15 minutes left in the appointment.

The moron began blathering about my older test results and diagramming the pineal gland with arrows and chemical equations. None of it disproved or proved anything thyroid-related. After waxing pompous for a while he said, “I think you have a problem with your thyroid.” He wrote a prescription for 1 grain of Armour, which is a pretty big dose to start a person on. It would have given me heart palpitations, not that I knew it at the time. I discovered later that I could barely handle 1/4 grain.

Then he said, “Why do you not wear makeup? Don’t you want to get married?”

Having never been addressed in this manner in my entire life, I began sputtering. I don’t know what I said. He followed that gem up a few minutes later with “You should not be so choosy. After all, you are not a princess.”

Back I went to my stand-by alterna-doc, determined not to take no for an answer. I probably would have considered taking hostages at that point. When I described the raw veggie juicing debacle and showed her the internet info warning about it, she said, “Really? I didn’t know that!” Which you have probably noticed in your own experience is a rarity among doctors. I left her office with an Rx for 1/4 grain of Armour, and after three weeks I felt much better.

For the next several years no medical practitioner who crossed my path escaped without hearing the story of the Pencil-di$%ed Pseudo-M.D. of Misogyny, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest his armpits. Even the coolest cucumber of them all, the reigning queen of CAM-dom in my area, could not control the skyward lift of her eyebrows after I shared that anecdote. Her nurse practitioner was less restrained and sort of shrieked. Another osteopath, younger and less jaded, actually used the F-word, which I found very satisfying, but I’m that kind of girl, if you haven’t noticed. They all made the whole miserable experience almost worth it.

3 thoughts on “My second alterna-doc disaster

  1. Steph

    I remember an old article on the Weston A. Price society page that said you’d have to boil broccoli for something like a half hour to destroy enough goitrogens to make a difference. I did know that millet’s goitrogens get stronger with cooking – this became an issue because we are mostly gluten-free here and lots of GF breads are millet-heavy. I warned my hypothyroid sister about this, and she eschewed my advice – and her next thyroid check was a wake-up for her. Always listen to your older sister.

    Anyway, I mostly avoid goitrogens except for special dishes – say, if I’m in a Chinese restaurant, I’ll feel free to have the broccoli with garlic sauce, but I don’t generally have a lot of broccoli here at home. This is too bad, as I really like broccoli, but such is life.

    I’ve read that raw carrots are very thyroid positive. This was, I think, on a Ray Peat site? Is it true? I don’t know. But I like carrots, so it works. In general, I’d say I don’t eat “enough” vegetables because so many are goitrogens, so I’ve upped my fruits a little.

    I am highly suspicious of soy. This is based mostly on paranoia and too much Weston A. Price society.

    Reply
  2. Steph

    Oh my. I don’t know what to say about the makeup doctor.

    Re: kale and other goitrogens, I’ve yet to bring the topic up with anyone – medical professional or otherwise – and NOT have it be news to them. Like you, I learned by eating healthy and feeling lousy. I get kinda bugged by vegetable pushers these days. All things (or most things) in moderation, for most of us.

    Reply
    1. Marjorie Post author

      That’s exactly it — “learned by eating healthy and feeling lousy.” Do you eat them cooked? I read that cooking destroys goitrogens, but I was still too skeert to try. I just found this very helpful Chris Masterjohn page that says that cooking makes some goitrogens stronger, and that for others boiling for half an hour is required. Pah. I did find that soy didn’t bother me as much when I was awash in iodine supplements. I really need other vegetable options.

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