Functional medicine draws primarily women. Why? Chronic health symptoms affect more women than men and the treatment of women in the standard health care model often ranges from disappointing to dehumanizing.
We hear this over and over from our patients who come to our offices with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Conventional medicine lets down women with Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Women seeking treatment for chronic health symptoms with no easy answers often left feeling demoralized and broken from how they are treated.
What are some of ways the standard health care model fails women with Hashimoto’s low thyroid?
Hashimoto’s low thyroid symptoms are dismissed as “in your head” or complaining. Autoimmune disease affects more women than men and can cause years and decades of symptoms before diagnosis. Many women with Hashimoto’s low thyroid are told to exercise more, meditate, or take anti-depressants but given no real answers or solutions. They also are labeled as problem patients.
Women with chronic fatigue told to exercise more. Chronic fatigue affects four times as many women as men. However, doctors tell these exhausted women to exercise as many think women are making up their symptoms of chronic fatigue, even though it is now medically recognized. This advice often makes women feel worse as chronic fatigue is often a neurological or mitochondrial issue. Hashimoto’s low thyroid is also a common cause of fatigue.
Studies show doctors under treat pain in women. Doctors are slower to treat pain in female patients in emergency rooms and generally under treat women for pain due to a belief childbirth makes women more resilient to pain than men.
Fibromyalgia, a disorder of chronic pain, also affects mostly women and is often regarded as complaining.
In fact, some believe fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and Hashimoto’s are so often belittled and dismissed because they affect mostly women.
Inadequate response to female heart disease. Women have poorer outcomes from heart attacks because of male-based heart symptoms; many women do not have chest pain. As a result, treatment is often less comprehensive than needed.
Hospital childbirth practices cause trauma. If there is one place where many women lose their hope for medicine, it is during childbirth. Women are frequently pressured into unnecessary procedures or emotionally abandoned in the event of a problem or emergency during a profoundly vulnerable time. Many women leave the hospital with postpartum PTSD as a result.
Female sexual abuse survivors particularly experience worse outcomes in these scenarios.
Most studies are male-based studies and don’t always translate to female patients
The majority of medical models are built around male physiology. Thus many signs and symptoms present differently in women and doctors misdiagnose or dismiss them. Autism and heart attacks are two examples.
Functional medicine for women with Hashimoto’s low thyroid
In functional medicine our patients undergo comprehensive history intakes, examinations, and testing regardless of whether they are men and women. We never dismiss women’s symptom complaints as whining, complaining, or being “all in your head.”
Instead, we specialize in working with chronic symptoms and disorders such as Hashimoto’s low that primarily affect women.
Our patients frequently tell us how good it feels to finally be heard and how it completely transforms their ability to feel confident about improving their quality of life. Being heard and believed is extremely validating and helps patients feel understood and more confident.
Ask my office how we can help you with your Hashimoto’s low thyroid — we will listen.
How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact my office.
About Dr. Josh Redd, Chiropractic Physician — Utah, Arizona, New Mexico functional medicine
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto’s disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto’s, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here.