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Old 08-23-2010, 10:38 AM
10 posts, read 27,533 times
Reputation: 12


okie dokie, it looks like I need to post a reply

(1) thanks to Karuna for clarification, I can appreciate that your caution is warranted in a forum such as this, and given the range of motives that adults often have. Being trained as a scientist, I have been taught, that if I give a balanced perspective, this will establish my credential as an objective, and, therefore, honest reviewer, hence my response. And, by the way, hence my response about Hotze as well, since his sites looked like complete propaganda to me, with the ridiculous statistics of 100% on - time appointments and the like. That is what a patient would love to hear, but how many doctors can pull this off? Only ones that never have an emergency, or any change to their schedule, and that never over-book. Hah.
(2) Also, to Karuna and others, Ridha Arem is not associated with MD Anderson, nor has he been. He was on staff at Baylor COM. MD Anderson is a UT teaching hospital, not Baylor COM.
(3) to Garza, I think that each treatment plan has to be individualized somewhat, and I do not know how the environment and other health factors affect the thyroid. For instance, my sister has problems too. She was up to 200 mcg / day, then added some other meds, including metformin, ofr other medical problems. Then she went down in her thyroid dose, when she had always been increasing it before.
Personally, I have stayed stable for years @ a time, then had my doses increased 2 separate times, and now I am near 200 mcg / day Synthroid. Ridha also explained to me that most of his patients do not need supplemental T3, because the body can adjust the ratios of T3 and T4, but that some people do show improvement on supplemental T3, as well as T4. I have the auto-immune thyroid disease, so, one presumes that my dose gets increased when I have had more destruction of my thyroid gland in some way.
My loyalty to Dr. Arem, comes from my 1st diagnosis. I heard him speak, realized I had most of the signs and symptoms and approached him after his talk. He did a physical exam right then and there, and thought that he felt an abnormal gland. I then had blood tests to allow the diagnosis to be made. The crazy part was that I had been treated for infertility for 4 years by that point. Hypothyroid disease is a classic cause for infertility and no-one had caught it, even the specialists in that field who should have known what to look for. Also, I had a family history - 4 out of 6 members of my biological family, including me. R. Arem said that the hormone release is pulsatile, meaning that the levels are not steady in the blood. So, we took a few blood samples, @ different times of the month, and the day for them to find it. By the time it was found out, my levels were very far off. Also, I was having work problems by then, and I talked to him about whether he would testify for me, that the thyroid problems might be part of the problem, and he was very honest with me about what that might look like and whether it would work or not.
Since that time, I have taken notice about how other doctors do the thyroid physical exam, and I have noticed that most of them do a quick hand swipe across the general area of the gland in the neck, and move on. It is quite superficial, and mostly useless, I think. I suppose that they are relying on the "hard" numbers of the blood test, but, as I posted above, apparently that is not always reliable either.
So, this is the basis of my belief that RA really knows what he is talking about, and that he is particularly good w/ thyroid diseases. Also, I have seen the gist of his diet that he describes in his book, in a number of other reputable diet books. So, in my opinion, he is the real deal or better.

And this post have gotten quite long enough!
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:54 AM
10 posts, read 27,533 times
Reputation: 12
ok, Garza, I realize that I did not give a direct answer to your question. I have not been to him for 5 years, since leaving Baylor, and the incredible health plan that I had there. But, generally, his path, then, was to start with just Synthroid, then add on other supplements as needed to tweak the numbers and the patient response about how he or she felt. The main assessment is the blood test, plus a thyroid scan, if warranted. The blood test is used for diagnosis and assessment of treatment - whether it is working or not, as well as the patient feedback.
Again, I can not speak to all of the vitamins and such. Personally, I am conservative about all of the extras. However, I myself just had both thumbs lock up with something called synovitis, and the problem was cured by the addition of a good multi-vitamin. I am stumped as to the reason for this, but it absolutely made a difference.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:36 AM
Location: Houston, TX
17,032 posts, read 26,230,027 times
Reputation: 16182
This is the only thread that Ms Strang has posted on. Take under consideration.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:47 PM
10 posts, read 27,533 times
Reputation: 12
Right, because I do not go spewing my opinion on random subjects, for lack of time and knowledge. I have better things to do. Also, mentioned that I am a scientist, and, as it turns out, I am a medical researcher, so I only post where I have personal experience or first hand knowledge, or both.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:48 PM
10 posts, read 27,533 times
Reputation: 12
Google me, and you will see my name elsewhere, on lists like "biomedical experts", and as an author on legitimate scientific publications in the medical field, on stroke, inflammation and the like. This is not my normal route of written communication, absolutely.

Dr. Candace Strang

Last edited by Candace Strang; 08-23-2010 at 12:52 PM.. Reason: adding signature
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:49 AM
1 posts, read 2,629 times
Reputation: 11
Default Dr. Arem

I was a patient of Dr. Arem back in 2006 and here are my observations:

The Good:

1) He was thorough and was the only doctor of about 8 across the country that I went to who correctly diagnosed my thyroid issue.

2) you do not need a referral.

The Bad:

1) He is pricey and you have to be pay upfront and bill your own insurance

2) Since he was "discovered" by Oprah, his office is extremely busy which is where the weakness lies. His front office made numerous mistakes while I was seeing him and 2 of them were enough to send me somewhere else for treatment (i eventually went to the Mayo Clinic for treatment which was the most incredible experience of my life and would recommend to anyone).

3) He was not happy that I went someplace else for a second opinion and treatment which is absolutely my right and something that everyone should do.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:25 AM
10 posts, read 27,533 times
Reputation: 12
I concur w/ the above. Haven't been to Mayo Clinic myself, but my brother-in-law goes, is completely sold on the notion of everyone being under one roof, and in good communication w/one another.

Did not know about the Oprah connection.

Likely will not be back myself, also for $ and time.

Still say, as does above, that he was invaluable @ the time for his talents, thoroughness.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:57 PM
2 posts, read 5,241 times
Reputation: 10
Hi Candace Strang, I am searching for a doctor that knows his or her stuff about thyroid, adrenal, and so forth. My husband needs a good doctor who actually wants to find out what the problem is, most just want to run the usual test and give you a pill to see if it helps. You know, give it about 3 month and let us know if you improve. We are in the Dallas area, would love to find someone good here. But we are willing to go see Dr. Arem. I am just searching for someone who can offer some insight. You sound like you have experienced some of the thyroid issues. My husband is pretty severe at this point and I really want to find a great doctor who can get him on the road to recovery. Your feedback would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:09 PM
2 posts, read 5,241 times
Reputation: 10
My last post to Candace is for everyone also. Just looking for insight to find a great thyroid doctor.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:39 PM
10 posts, read 27,533 times
Reputation: 12
Default rebuttal to deletion

I went back to Dr. Arem today, and I am glad that I did. For any further questions, discussion w/ me, please contact me directly @ cstrang1@gmail.com. This forum is not my cup of tea.

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