In part one, I shared just how easy it was to complete Paloma’s at-home blood test kit. The process was quick, painless and I didn’t even need to leave my house. In this post, I go through what it was like to review my lab results and schedule my doctor’s appointment.
Paloma makes reviewing lab results extremely easy and super convenient. Approximately a week after mailing in my lab test, the results were uploaded to my personalized online dashboard. I simply went to www.palomahealth.com and from the main menu clicked on the blue sign-in button. After signing in, I accessed my lab results from my main dashboard. From this page, I could view my blood test results for each hormone checked. Being able to easily access my fT3, fT4, TSH, and TPO levels I was able to quickly and easily see if I was suffering from hypothyroidism.
Even more helpful is that my results contained my levels of each biomarker tested so I could see how they compare to appropriate standards. For example, for fT4, the page educated me that, “Thyroxine is the biologically inactive form of thyroid hormone in your blood and is responsible for digestion, heart rate, muscle formation, brain development, and healthy bones. T4 is produced by the pituitary gland. It is transformed into T3 by organs including the liver and kidneys.” It was great to not only see my results laid out in a clear, concise, and easy to understand way, but also better understand why each of these hormones is important to my health.
Having my lab report before even scheduling my appointment with a doctor made me feel like I was in charge of my own health. The experience didn’t require a doctor’s visit before I was able to view my results, which allowed me to schedule a doctor’s appointment at my convenience and communicate confidently with my physician.
My results showed that I do in fact have hypothyroidism and needed an appointment with a doctor who specializes in thyroid care. For years, I had been misdiagnosed and I believe that this was due to the fact that I was primarily seeing general practitioners who had been taught to check TSH levels, only.
Previously, my levels always came back as borderline hypothyroid so no intervention was taken. However, what I didn’t understand was that more lab work was actually needed to clearly understand my thyroid function.
Paloma believes it’s important to measure FreeTriiodothyronine (fT3), free Thyroxine (fT4), and Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO antibodies) in addition to TSH in order to deliver an accurate diagnosis. This was true in my case. What was previously missed by my PCP, and now discovered through Paloma’s at-home test, is that I am not only hypothyroid, I also suffer from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, as well.
Right in my dashboard, I have the option to “book a consultation” at the press of a button, enter my insurance information, and book my appointment with a thyroid specialist. Simple as that!
Paloma Health’s intake form is similar to the stack of new patient forms you complete at the doctor’s office, without the receptionist staring at you while you juggle a clipboard full of papers. From the comfort of my home, I shared information on other health conditions, current prescriptions and vitamins, past medical history, and family health concerns. The secure website made me feel confident that none of my information was being shared and I could complete the form at my convenience.
Another advantage of completing this intake form before my scheduled doctor appointment is that it gave my thyroid doctor a chance to go over my information well before diving into my current health concerns. I later learned that the Paloma intake form adjusts as you enter information, personalizing the questions to my specific symptoms. The algorithm got rid of all the extraneous stuff and it felt like they really cared about me as a person and patient.
While I waited for the day of my doctor’s appointment, I explored the Paloma website to learn more about how Paloma Health approaches thyroid care and the science behind hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease. The community section of the Paloma Health site is full of valuable articles and information on the thyroid. Topics like understanding thyroid terminology, dealing with symptoms, and exercises are covered. There are even nutritional articles dedicated specifically to thyroid health like top foods to avoid with hypothyroidism and healthy recipe articles such as gluten-free chocolate mug cake and thyroid friendly dessert options.
Paloma Health has made my thyroid care experience hassle-free, easy to access, and they offered thorough and convenient lab testing. Stay tuned for part 3, where I talk about my experience seeing a doctor, developing a treatment plan, and moving forward with a prescription for medication.
Find inspiration for a healthy way to support your thyroid