Ask Dr. Orloff

When should you use traditional medicine versus alternative medicine?

I have just recently been diagnosed with a thyroid nodule that requires biopsy as it is a solid mass found on ultrasound. This has come upon suddenly. I am going through many life changes -- I am in a second career and working towards a master's degree at 46 years old; my teenage son has chosen to live with his father 2500 miles away; I am in the 4th year of a wonderful new marriage yet I feel like a duck out of water many days in my world. This thyroid issue has me in a mess of depression, doubt and feeling "mortal". Next step: biopsy and likely surgery and/or meds that I don't want. Please give me some direction. All of my healthy choices (diet, exercise, vitamins) have me feeling like they are for naught. Where to go from here?

Thank you,

Dear Hilary,
I believe it's important to use traditional medicine when it's appropriate and alternative medicine when it's appropriate. Here, it sounds like you've taken the right steps to heal the thyroid problem. Healing comes in all forms--sometimes through surgery and medications. Don't look at this as a failure in any way. You are doing what's necessary and smart to help yourself. We are all mortals---it's important to get used to that. Be kind to yourself in the healing process.


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