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Need an Endocrinologist Who Takes AHCCCS, Mercy Care

By June 19, 2009 - 9:07am
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I was diagnosed with hypthothyroidism in October 2008 by my GP. She prescribed 25 mcg of levothyroxine and did bloodwork two months later in December 2008. She did not change my dose then. Recently, however, I had an additional thyroid panel done because of an increase in symptoms. In May, for example, I had a heavy period for three weeks. Shortly thereafter, I had an additional heavy period for a week. I have also been sleeping about 10-12 hours per day, have gained a lot of weight, have gotten a puffy face, have lost hair, have incredibly dry skin, have water retention problems, and have developed other symptoms like short term memory loss. A week ago a full thyroid panel produced the following results: T3 82, T4 .91, and TSH 10.13. A staffer from the doctor's office left a voice mail when the results of this bloodwork came back in which she noted that I should call the doctor's office with a pharmacy number so the doctor could call in a higher dose of levothyroxine. The staffer further noted that I should come back in eight weeks for more bloodwork. I have decided that it is time to get a referral to a good endocrinologist, and need one who takes AHCCCS. I would appreciate doctors' names and any other suggestions.

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I am posting Dr. Friedman's office's contact information for anyone who is interested in seeking his care. The best way to make an appointment is by emailing [email protected][.] His office number is (310) 335-0327.

July 9, 2009 - 10:35am

Whoa...I just looked at my books about the thyroid and about hormones. I was indeed having a brain fart:-) I confused Dr. Friedman for Dr. Arem, who, if memory/anecdotage serves, is, in fact, in Texas:-)

July 7, 2009 - 5:36pm

Tina T: I am thrilled, because I have not even been able to arrange to see quickly a good naturopath/MD much less an endocrinologist in the Phoenix area, and because I have really learned so much from Dr. Friedman's book. Also, I used to live in Los Angeles. A friend from there just spent the holiday weekend with me. He encouraged me to come back to Los Angeles for help. On his suggestion, I was about to explore the possibility of getting my former general practioner there, who is excellent, has a PhD in pharmacology, and who pays attention to one's symptoms and not just to one's lab results, to make the calls necessary to get me in to see an endocrinologist whom he trusts ASAP. Now that Dr. Friedman would take me as a patient, it makes much more sense to see him. Can you please send me a message to let me know whom at his office I should contact about setting up an appointment? The thyroid is the barometer of the body. I can't 'fool around' with bad and/or late treatment. P.S. I thought that Dr. Friedman was in Texas. Was he formerly in Texas or am I in my anecdotage about that because of a hypothyroid-induced brain fart:-)

July 7, 2009 - 5:23pm

Hey Cheryl, we forwarded your question to Dr. Theo Friedman who came back with the following response ...

"Yes-TSH of 10 is quite high and 25 mcg of levothyroxine is a pitling dose.
Probably you need about 100 mcg depending on your weigt. You want to get
thryoid tests every 2 months until your TSH is between .5 and 2. I would
also get a bioavailable and total testosterone levels, but avoid salivary

Im happy to see her if she wants to come to LA"

To find out more about Dr. Friedman, please visit his Web site or his profile page on our Web site.

July 7, 2009 - 2:05pm


Here's an EmpowHer video that tells how to find a naturopath in your area:


And here's the website she refers to, from The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians:


On that page, you'll find a button where it says "Find a doctor." I clicked on it and did it for Phoenix also for Scottsdale and I came up with names both times. You can also search by specialty.

I know that the ideal way to find a doctor is through word of mouth and personal recommendation, so I hope that happens as well. But many of the naturopathic doctors that came up in my search had websites of their own, and you can get a feel for their practice that way.

This one specifically lists thyroid, for instance:


I hope some of this helps! Please let us know. Your sentence, "My first concern is to get well and to not just have my lab numbers treated," is the key. You are going down the right path.

July 6, 2009 - 8:57am

Yesterday I checked out a list of doctors in Arizona from a link on a thyoid patient's advocate's website. I talked to a research doctor for a long time at an MD/naturopath's office, and am now leaning towards going to seeing someone who has an MD, but who has a holistic approach, someone who will treat the whole person. If anyone has any feedback on someone who is excellent with endocrinological issues and who embraces a holistic approach, please let me know. My first concern is to get well and to not just have my lab numbers treated.

Also, I have a urinary tract infection. Can this possibly be linked to hypothyroidism, inasmuch as I have had recently frequent, heavy periods back to back, and dealing with these may have made me more prone to a urinary tract infection?

July 3, 2009 - 10:14am

Hi Cheryl,

What you are saying makes a lot of sense and if possible you definitely want to get your care paid for!! So I'd stick with the list you've been given then too. But maybe keep that "cancellation list" tip in the back of your mind and if you get a lot of "Dr. X. can see you on Halloween," then try asking about it. I just want you to get an appointment really soon so you can start on the road to wellness. I'm sending good thoughts your way and I really hope you can get in soon. Nancy Drew Fan

July 1, 2009 - 10:17pm

Nancy Drew Fan: My GP told me that it is not a good idea for me to get care off of my plan. She said that she has seen insurance not cover care after someone has done that. I appreciate the recommendation to call the doctor that you recommend, but I have to make sure that I stick to doctors who accept my insurance plan. My GP also said that there are not too many endocrinologists in the Phoenix area, so she was not surprised to find out that the quickest Dr. Knecht could get me in was October 21, 2009.

July 1, 2009 - 12:34pm

Hi again Cheryl!

I am so so sorry that you are having these difficulties getting in to see an endocrinologist. I'm glad that Tina was able to send you a list of specialists in the Mercy Care system. I hope one can see you right away!

I have a super dear friend whose Mom had her thyroid out, and she's seen a few endocrinologists in the Phoenix area. She didn't care for 2 of them but I believe this third one was good and came highly recommeded--this is a copy and paste from an email I got from her: Dr. Daniel Duick who practices out of three locations - Phoenix, Chandler and Scottsdale. Phone # is (602) 266-8463.

Maybe try him too if he's not on the Mercy list to see if he can see you sooner rather than later?

As someone who has seen Dr. Bailey several times now, I remember that the first time I called I was also told about the waiting list and that it would take some time to get in as a new patient. I got really perky and chatty with the receptionist and explained how I was really hoping to see her sooner if I could and if they had a cancellation list, and she said that they did and then put my name on it. And I ended up getting in to see her even ahead of the "new patients date" they had given me. You might want to try calling back Drs. Bailey and Matta just to see if they can put you on this list. I think it's sort of an "unadvertised secret" that they have and only bring up if the person on the phone brings it up.

I'm sorry too that your psychologist is giving you grief about your thyroid situation. That is just not cool in my book.

Good luck to you Cheryl--I've been thinking about you a lot lately and I have been following your updates. Please post again and let us know when you have luck finding someone who can see you ASAP!!!

June 30, 2009 - 10:33pm

Hey Cheryl, got off the phone with Mercy Care and forwarded a list of doctors who are at least in the system. The trick is finding someone that can take you sooner than October. Let us know if you need assistance in tracking some of these folks down.

June 30, 2009 - 3:08pm
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