Mary Shomon – thyroid.about.com: Jeff Mason, who runs a health care system in the Green Bay, Wisconsin area, exemplifies the typical uninformed attitude about thyroid disease and the connection to weight loss, in his guest article at the Green Bay Press Gazette, titled “Pay For Nature – Not Nurture”
Mason asserts that “The reality is that very little obesity in the U.S. is actually caused by thyroid or other medical problems.”
Currently, we have an estimated 60 million Americans with thyroid problems. The vast majority of them have yet to be diagnosed, much less treated. Since undiagnosed and untreated thyroid problems can cause weight gain and obesity, to cavalierly dismiss thyroid problems as Mr. Mason has done — not to mention, to oversee health care systems that provide lackluster treatment at best of those thyroid patients who have already been diagnosed — is uninformed and irresponsible — yet far too common.
Last I checked, Mr. Mason’s credentials — FACHE (Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives) — do not qualify him to be diagnosing thyroid conditions, or determining whether thyroid disease is a contributing factor to weight gain.
It’d be interesting to see how quickly Mr. Mason would change his tune if he, like many thyroid patients (not to mention others with metabolic and hormonal issues, including diabetics) found himself working out many hours a week, eating 1,000 calories a day or less, and gaining weight every day.
Sadly, Mr. Mason’s guest column exemplifies the lackadaisical, blame-the-patient attitude that many health care managers and physicians have about diagnosing thyroid problems, especially in people who are overweight. Poor diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease is one direct cause of the nation’s increasing problems with obesity, depression, and heart disease. Mr. Mason should spend more time looking at the implications of failing to diagnose and treat thyroid disease properly, and less time pontificating about personal choice.