According to a 2017 survey of hypothyroid patients, the majority are unhappy with their current treatment – and all of the 12,146 people who completed the survey said there was a definite need for new treatment options.
That's a lot of dissatisfied patients.
Ahead, a look at the reasons for such dissatisfaction and what care providers can do about it.
Dissatisfaction with treatments and doctors
Satisfaction with treatment rates an average of 5 out of 10. Patients who take desiccated animal thyroid (animal-derived natural thyroid preparations) rated their satisfaction the highest, at an average of 7 out of 10. Patients who take synthetic thyroxine (T4) alone have the lowest satisfaction with their treatment (rated at 5). In contrast, patients who take a combination of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) were the median (rated at a 6).
Pure synthetic thyroxine (T4), taken once daily by mouth, is the standard treatment option for hypothyroidism, designed to replace the thyroid gland and treat symptoms adequately. However, many patients are unhappy with this treatment because they still do not feel completely normal with a synthetic preparation of T4 alone. Unfortunately, it's too familiar for doctors to take this one-size-fits-most approach, leaving patients feeling unheard or dismissed.
Ideally, one medication would work perfectly for all of us — but the reality is that we are all unique with individual sensitivities. Our bodies do not all react the same way to a specific medication or dosage. Paloma doctors work closely with patients to determine which treatment option is ideal and what dosage is optimal.
Continued symptoms despite treatment
Many hypothyroidism patients report continued symptoms like sluggishness, memory problems, lethargy, sleepiness, depression, hoarseness, dry skin, cold intolerance, weight gain, and constipation despite treatment. These continued symptoms cause immense amounts of frustration that their treatment plan isn't relieving all their symptoms.
Doctors should consider that these stubborn symptoms may present from sources other than hypothyroidism. Find a doctor who takes a holistic approach to your health beyond medication - from nutrition and lifestyle modifications, to managing stress, to the right exercises to help maintain your best thyroid health.
Impact hypothyroidism has on their life
Most of the study participants rated the impact hypothyroidism has on their life as a 10 out of 10. That's a significant number of people whose daily lives are immensely impacted by their medical condition. With a 10/10 impact on everyday life, it's no wonder that hypothyroidism causes unhappiness.
We believe that doctors need to be sympathetic to the fact that their patients are greatly affected by their symptoms and treatment. A prescription alone is often not enough to improve a hypothyroid patient's quality of life. Dedicating time and energy to understand what's going on in a patient's life helps to take a whole-body approach to treatment.
New treatment options are needed
Every participant in the study agreed that new hypothyroidism treatment options are needed.
Paloma Health offers end-to-end care for hypothyroidism, elevating the care and experience of patients with hypothyroidism. We know that what is currently available is causing dissatisfaction and unhappiness, and we have built Paloma to provide exceptional thyroid care and relieve some of the burden of managing life with hypothyroidism.
Discover how a good thyroid doctor - one who takes the time to understand your symptoms and frustrations - can change your life.
Schedule a free call with a care advisor to get started.