Hello all!

It’s the holidays and what better time to read about some of the patients that have had some extraordinary health successes at the Doctor’s House?

At The Doctor’s House we strive to make patients feel welcome and safe. And we are passionately committed to working with our patients to find out the root cause of their problems. Please take the time to read two of our success stories that show how our patients benefit from our philosophy.  

Our patients know that they have a strong health advocate at TDH. Our “health problem-solving” is what truly brings us joy not only during this season but throughout the year. We hope you enjoy these two stories. Happy holidays to you and your families!

“W” is now tumor-free

“W” is a 26-year-old woman who came to see me with symptoms of fatigue and anxiety. She had a history of thyroid disease and was taking medication to treat hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). She also mentioned that other family members suffered from similar issues.

“W” complained that when she was on the prescribed thyroid hormone medication, she felt “weird”. She also suffered from a lack of energy and said she just wasn’t “feeling good”.

She was looking for a doctor online and found that I was featured on the Blue Cross Blue Shield website. “W” clicked the link to my practice and read my reviews online.

“When I read your reviews, something inside me told me that you were the doctor that I needed to see,” she said.

Initially, during the first exam, she was very nervous, but I assured her that she was in a very safe place and that together we would figure out what was going on with her.

When I first examined “W”, she kept saying “I just don’t feel right”. I carefully felt her thyroid, and her initial exam was normal, but I still had a nagging feeling that I needed to carefully re-examine her thyroid. Eventually I did feel a very tiny lump.

I then ordered a thyroid ultrasound which was read as abnormal. There was a nodule (abnormal growth) that was just barely big enough to biopsy. When the result of the biopsy was received, the report stated that the pathology of the nodule was abnormal and had a 10% - 30% chance that it may be cancerous.

The recommendation was to either observe it and get a repeat ultrasound in three to six months or have surgery to get it removed immediately.

Acting on my intuition, and because I felt that this could be serious and I told “W” ”Let’s get this thing out. I’m going to refer you to a thyroid surgeon right away.”

Having a good network of physicians that I can refer to is an integral part of my practice. And because of this I was able to refer her to a renowned thyroid surgeon in the Twin Cities who was kind enough to quickly fit “W” into her schedule.

“W” went into surgery and had the nodule removed. The sample was sent to be examined for cancer while she was still in the operating room. The suspicion for cancer was very low because of her age and the surgeon proceeded with the operation. Just as they were about to close her up, the report came back that the nodule was indeed cancerous!

This report immediately changed the course of treatment and “W” had to have her entire thyroid gland removed. When the whole gland was examined, they discovered that there was also a secondary cancer in the other lobe of the thyroid gland!

Needless to say, this was a Wow! Wow!! Wow!!! moment and a great medical “catch”.

“W” recovered from the surgery very well and is now on thyroid supplement.

I believe that because of the nature of our interaction, coupled with what I call ’intuitive medicine’, and the fact that we were very proactive, this young woman was quickly diagnosed with stage 0 thyroid cancer. This early diagnosis meant that apart from the surgery, she would not need further treatments for cancer. It was done and gone!

As a result, “W” now only needs to have regular follow-up to address treatment of hypothyroidism which she had initially been dealing with anyway.

The additional symptoms that “W” had originally presented with including hair loss, anxiety, etc. have also pretty much resolved at this time. Her story is a true testament to the fact that the practice of medicine is not all about assembly-line pass-throughs. Instead it’s about science, about hearts, about compassion, and about caring for and about our patients.

The last time “W” came to see me she looked so well that I told her; “You are glowing because now instead of merely surviving, you are thriving!”

Solving a thyroid mystery for patient “B”

A patient who I will refer to as “B”, is a 50 year-old woman who had thyroid issues. She came to see me because she was referred by a friend who had been my patient for over a decade. This woman needed my help because she had a thyroid condition that none of the medical providers she had previously seen had been able to “figure out”.

“B” was taking her thyroid medication as prescribed but still felt very fatigued. Her thyroid hormone levels were very confusing and indicated that she was overcorrected. The actual circulating thyroid hormones in her body continued to be low even though it seemed like if she was getting too much thyroid medication. It was a true medical mystery just waiting for me to solve.

As part of her initial evaluation, I checked her vitamin levels and some of them were found to be low. Because this could result in hormonal imbalance, I started her on a regimen of vitamin supplements. “B” started to feel better, but continued to complain of fatigue and her thyroid numbers were still very abnormal.

Because I like to approach medical problems from a holistic standpoint, I continued to try to find the cause of “B’s” symptoms, especially her very unusual and abnormal thyroid lab values.

One day while she was in the office for another evaluation, we were talking and she gave me some new information that was the key to discovering the real problem with her thyroid gland issues. She had asked me if there was a reason why she had to urinate so frequently even though she does not drink a lot of water during the day. I then asked her if she eats a lot of salt. She said she didn't usually season her food with salt, but if and when she did, she would use sea salt. I said “What? You use pink sea salt? That has no iodine in it! I bet the answer to your thyroid puzzle is that you are iodine insufficient!”

Mystery solved! The fact of the matter was that my salt theory was correct! We were treating “B’s” underactive thyroid by giving her the correct type of thyroid medication but there was no iodine in her system for it to work on!

After this discovery I immediately ran a check of her iodine level, and it was indeed low and was just over half of what it should be. I then started her on an oral iodine supplement, and when she came back in to recheck her thyroid labs, for the first time, her thyroid-stimulating hormone level was normal!

Her actual thyroid hormone levels were still on the low end, but her numbers now made sense. And “B” was feeling a lot less tired and achy.

The result was so wonderful that “B” and I were literally dancing in the office!

We are currently working on finding her ideal thyroid medication dosage, but overall she is doing so much better. She now has more energy and is working towards incorporating more natural iodine into her diet.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO ON HOW DR. OKULAJA’S PATIENTS
FEEL ABOUT HER PERSONAL CARE

If these stories resonate with you and you’d like to schedule an appointment please call our office at 952-999-4049 talk to Allison.

Or feel free to send me a message or ask me a question at any time using the form on this page: www.thedrshouse.com/contact-us