Hashimoto’s Treatment at Kaiser

Open enrollment is quickly approaching and my family is thinking of switching to Kaiser. 

I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (hypothyroid) and I have heard anecdotally that Kaiser’s treatment of Hypo/Hashi is based on blood work and that people have not been able to have their symptoms addressed if their blood work shows minimal disease (as mine does). Obviously if Kaiser does indeed have a limiting treatment protocol that would keep me sick we will not be switching!

Does anyone have experience about having Hashimotos at Kaiser and how their symptoms are/were managed?  Any recommendations for an endocrinologist that has knowledge/experience in this area?  

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts and experiences!

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Hey there!

I am a Kaiser patient who was diagnosed with Hashimoto's when I was 19 (now 40). When I was 19 I presented with a goiter, sleeping all the time, and weight gain. I saw an endocrinologist for the initial diagnosis and treatment (beta blockers, radioactive iodine) and was prescribed Levothroid. For the last twenty years I have been on different versions of Levothroid at different dosage levels. I see a general practitioner who reminds me to take blood tests every 6-8 weeks (or when I complain about changes in energy levels and weight). From there we tweak the medication. I have not seen an endocrinologist since I was about 22. 

I am not unhappy, but I would say that Hashimoto's has not had a significant impact on my life and that I feel good about my current management system. I imagine that everyone has different needs. The best feedback that I could give you about Kaiser is that it requires you to be your own advocate and to be an informed patient. If at any time you have a doctor who is not responding to your needs, get another one. 

My doctor is Lesley Sternberg-Pierce (general practitioner) and I think she's pretty responsive and great. She is not an endocrinologist, and I don't know that once you're in the treatment stage that they would recommend one. I would think you would need to advocate for that. My original endocrinologist is retired (I'm pretty sure). 

Hi!  I don’t have hashimoto’s but I do have a thyroid condition (post ablative hypothyroid,  Graves) and Kaiser.  For me, I am monitored through bloodwork with my primary care dr (I think they may consult endocrine behind the scenes?).  I used to have a PPO plan and I could/would see my endocrine dr in person and she would look at my bloodwork.  I have not physically seen an endocrine dr since I got on a Kaiser plan in 2015 but I have communicated through phone and email.  At first it seemed kind of odd but I guess now I’m used to it.  I don’t not like Kaiser but it just seems like it’s more difficult to physically see this kind of specialist there.  Same with a dermatologist- it has been difficult for me to see one at kaiser.  Hope this helps!  

I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto's through Kaiser and have been told by two doctors that there is nothing I can do about it. Both doctors were OB/Gyns, but when I consulted with an endocrinologist last year about my hypothyroidism and asked to be tested for Hashimoto's, they downplayed its usefulness and did not recommend that I get tested. So based on my experience, I would say Kaiser is NOT helpful or effective in dealing with Hashimoto's. But hopefully someone else will have had a different experience and be able to recommend specific doctors who are more open.