A Distressing Phenomenon...

Today’s topic is something that I’ve wanted to write about for a while, but I’ve been sitting on my hands about it. One of my friends and colleagues, Dr. Anna Garrett, has paved the way with a recent blog post. And I’ve talked with a few of my other fellow coaches and colleagues about this phenomenon—they’re equally bewildered.

Why have I been hesitant? I’ve been afraid that I’ll hurt feelings, that it will come off as harsh, and that it will be seen as some kind of marketing ploy to draw in clients.

It’s not a ploy—I can only work with so many private coaching clients, I often have a waiting list, and when I feel that I may not be the best fit for a potential client, I refer them out to a respected colleague.

Today’s topic is serious stuff. 

It’s this—it’s making lab results public and asking members in online forums, like Facebook groups, for advice and input that borders on making medical claims and diagnoses.

As Dr. Anna said, “Are you kidding me?” (You can read her rant here.)

Offering health advice when you’re not a professional is risky business. And in many cases, illegal.

And for the recipient of the advice, it’s outright dangerous. And potentially expensive. 

Why (why?!) would anyone allow a non-professional who knows nothing about the finer points and nuance of looking at lab values—or the profound influence of your unique history (which, if they’re not a professional, they wouldn’t know what to do with anyway)—to weigh in on your unique situation?

And why would anyone take action based on random input from random people who happen to think they’re an expert because of their own unique experience?

It’s a foregone conclusion that you’ll get wildly contradictory advice because everyone’s situation—and therefore perspective—is unique. Hello, overwhelm!

“I’ll figure it out on my own…”
People are often drawn to these groups because they don’t want to engage in individualized care and think that a “free,” patchwork method will get them well. This scattershot, non-credible, unprofessional approach will add to the overwhelm, stress, and confusion. Not to mention, the imbalance that you went seeking help with will likely worsen.

I feel that this is a big waste of time and energy. I don’t know how anyone could expect to piece together a “health program” in this manner.

Once again, as Dr. Anna said, “Are you kidding me?”

Over the years, people have asked me why I don’t post autoimmunity/hormone/Hashimoto’s/alopecia advice in Facebook groups—why I don’t comment or offer input. I get it—I know that this is a marketing strategy for some coaches (although this kind of “marketing” is strictly off limits in most groups). Posting as an expert and then pointing people to your website or one of your blog posts is a way to get more eyes on your business. I get it.

But to that I say, “Are you kidding me?”

Firstly, it’s disingenuous and unprofessional. Secondly, I don’t have time! And thirdly, outside of an official coach/client relationship or the agreement that I have in place with people who schedule Jumpstart/introductory sessions with us, it’s bad business all around.

As Dr. Anna says, “Find one person to help guide you, then pick a lane and stay in it for at least 3-6 months.”

We couldn’t agree more.

When you hire a coach, you get: 

  • Results, not random (and often dangerous) information
  • Sequencing and structure – e.g., “Try this first, then this.”
  • Accountability and motivation
  • Education and again, results

As Marie Forleo said, “Information may be free, but an education is priceless.” 

Look, I understand that individualized coaching is out of reach for some people. I totally understand that. If this is your situation, you’re better off—way better off—reading books by professionals than getting advice from random people in online forums.

Here are some of my recommendations:

The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution by Dr. Aviva Romm
The Autoimmune Epidemic by Donna Jackson Nakazawa
An Epidemic of Absence by Moises Velasquez-Manoff
Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life by Dr. Claudia Welch
The Immune System Recovery Plan by Dr. Susan Blum
The Essential Thyroid Cookbook by me and Lisa Markley, MS, RDN (In addition to the killer recipes, it’s PACKED with thyroid health information.)
Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests are Normal? by Dr. Datis Kharrazian
The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman

[These are affiliate links.]

For more suggestions, go here for a bibliography of favorite books I complied. (There is a little overlap in the list above and the books you’ll see at this link.)

You can go here for a chart on our areas of expertise and also a link to schedule a Jumpstart session, which IS a coaching session. It’s not us simply asking, “Okay, and how does that make you feel?” and then explaining our different program options. Rest assured, we’ll get as nitty gritty as we can in the time allowed!

We’d love to help educate you. 

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