First, my opinion is that I am always happy for anything that helps people. Hence there are a broad variety of things that may help one person but may not be enough for the next, or may not be preferred. I tend to prefer a holistic approach, but some people get well using other approaches. Whatever works!
Second, I feel very strongly that if a doctor is not able to help you, that you really need to move on in order to get well if it is at all possible. Sometimes people stay with docs because they are nice, want to "give them another chance", educate them, etc. The more sick you are, the more you will benefit from finding someone really excellent to help you. In fact, I think it's worth moving, selling your cat, or whatever it takes.
The practitioner should give you reasonable estimates on how long it will take to accomplish things, cost, etc, and then these things should pan out. If any practitioner's suggestions do not match up with reasonable information on the internet, you should be very cautious. Please don't stay with someone who doesn't have a clue and is taking all your money running tons of tests. This demoralizes you and leaves you with less resources to be able to pursue healing when you finally find someone good.
Chiropractors I have several concerns about going to a chiro for basic thyroid and adrenal help (feel free to disagree). Chiropractors: 1)can't prescribe prescription thyroid meds that people need (sometimes they go in together with an MD or DO so that the patient gets the best of both worlds, and I think this is great); 2)may not know enough about the overall situation in order to be able to effectively help a person with extensive, systemic problems; 3)don't possess the tools that are necessary to completely help certain people (for instance they can't do IV's for chelation); 4)may keep people from moving on to better help because people like the chiro and the chiro seems nice and appears knowledgable.
Some people in certain situations have been helped greatly by chiros, but I've also had people who spent long periods of time with them, plunked down lots of money, and still aren't well. Please be careful in this. As with all practitioners, if their suggestions don't sound reasonable, they don't seem to be able to help you, MOVE ON. It's not enough to go to a nice doctor of any kind if you aren't getting well!
Holistic MD's and DO's I think it's great when a person can find a holistic MD or DO because they have more extensive tools available to them to effectively help the very messed up(us). Naturopaths and nurse-practitioners or PA's would apply where they are licensed as well. The advantages of them are that they have been trained in overall medical analysis and have the tools available to them that are necessary for healing (prescription meds, IV's, etc.). Alas, these critters are sometimes hard to find. And even then they can be very expensive.
I will give you some links below, but now a word about money. Sometimes holistic care can get very expensive. But costs definitely vary with the practitioner. My doctor sells all the supplements at discount (25-30%) which helps you feel like he's not gouging you so bad. Not every holistic practitioner requires extensive supplement use, so it's definitely wise to check around. I know people are on MEDICAID, etc. and struggle with finding a good doctor to help them and wish they could afford the holistic. For these people, I'm suggesting that you keep looking as you may be able to find someone who is more accessible. Also, sometimes doctors have a buffer fund where they can take patients who cannot afford to pay. If not, maybe you can find a doc who is at least OPEN to prescribing armour, cortef, or whatever you need, and then finding a more skillful doc for finetuning later as the money allows.
BTW, not everyone needs the hyper-radical holistic doctor who puts you on tons of vitamins every month. Some people will be fine with just some armour and a little cortef. On the other hand, I've talked with some people whom it seemed like were paying an exorbitant amount of money for supplements. It's common for them to be expensive, but when I start hearing things like $500/month for basic vitamins (nothing special), I cringe. Once again, be careful. If my doctor can get me well for $250/month, yours can to. (gasp, you all probably think that is a lot!)
TCM, other specialty alternative therapies There are many therapies that can be of great value to hypothyroidism, adrenal problems, candida, leaky gut, and the accompanying problems. People's severity varies, but they should not be considered a substitute for adequate medical provision. If you need thyroid meds, you need thyroid meds. Some people are very mildly hypothyroid and respond well to glandulars, herbs, etc. My concerns with glandulars are: 1)insufficient pharmacologic effect for the severely hypothyroid; 2)inconsistent dose; 3)risk of mad cow. As for kelp, iodine, etc., there has been discussion that these things can aggravate autoimmune problems, so it would pay to research this and proceed with caution. If it works for you, great. If not, you probably need the better help of a prescription med and then you can combine the traditional with the holistic.
***If any of my links don't work, please E-MAIL ME!***
Dottye has kindly sent me her extensive listing of doctor search links so that you can do searching yourself.
A listing of site addresses for checking on doctor's credentials:
Some of these sites were garnered from other people's posts (a thank you to those who contributed) and I use some more than others. Can't vouch for all of them personally. Here we go
basic info on schooling, specialty, etc.
American Osteopathic Association
American Medical Association DocFinder
American Holistic Medicine Association
a listing of state licensing boards that have websites
the about.com Thyroid Top Docs list
The Broda Barnes Research Foundation (no listing of doctors, fee for list of practitioners in a specific area)
specific to New York area
Association of State Medical Board Executive Directors DocFinder
Remember also that many insurance carriers list their participating doctors on their website and you can find detailed info about the doctor's education and associations.
Thank you Dottye!!