I have dealt with hypothyroidism for over thirty years of my life, so you can imagine the surprise and delight* I felt when I learned that famed endocrinologist, Gwyneth Paltrow, decided to share her knowledge on the subject. Now, you would think that means she consulted experts or read several studies on the subject, right? Ha, nope. Scientific data is for nerds, yo, and we all know Gwyneth is too cool for school. She doesn’t need to talk to an actual doctor on the subject. Why should she when she has the Medical Medium, Anthony William, to tell her all she needs to know on the subject? You think I kid? I do not. He is a man who claims to have access to a high-level spirit** who disperses medical knowledge that will stun and amaze you! For only five payments of $29.99 each, you, too, can have the secrets to eternal li–oh, sorry. Something about him just brings out the huckster in me. I’m sure it’s not related to him being a snake oil salesman. Anyway, his solution to hypothyroidism is to take iodine supplements, and he has a lot of gobbledy-gook to back up his claim. No actual studies, mind you, but plenty of gibberish that sounds as if it might be plausible. Did I mention he’s not an actual doctor? No? Well, he’s not, but I guess when you have a high-level spirit on your side, who needs a measly piece of paper that says MD on it? Not Anthony William!
I’ve decided to talk to my own high-level spirit, my great-great-great-great (pauses, counts, adds one more great) aunt whose name translates as She Who Causes Cherry Blossoms to Swirl Around Your House in English, but I call her Auntie Cherry Blossom because who’s got time to say all that? I pull out my crystal ball and focus all my energy on the astral plane. Not the Serengeti Plains, by the way, which is what happened last time, and wherever my honorable ancestors may be, that ain’t it. I chant her name softly while I play a recording of a pipa playing in the background. I make sure my phone has the Taiwanese-ghost-to-English translation app (ghosttoenglishtranslator.com) installed so I can actually understand what my Auntie Cherry Blossom is saying to me. I wait impatiently, but she’s running on Taiwanese time, which means she shows up twenty minutes after I called upon her. She’s a tiny, ancient Taiwanese woman with her snowy white hair bundled on top of her head. She’s staring at me with a gimlet eye because I woke her up from her sleep. I’ve always been shitty with time zones, especially when they are thirteen hours apart, or is it fourteen? And, why do ghosts need sleep, anyway? I dismiss this as unimportant because I don’t want to waste Auntie Cherry Blossom’s endless supply of time.
“Hi, Auntie. I have a medical question to ask you,” I begin, but she cuts me off impatiently.
“Do I look like a doctor to you? Do I? Because I’m not.” She pauses and adds, “You woke me up for this?”
“Auntie, listen. Gwyneth Paltrow has a ‘medical expert’ who relies on a high-level spirit, and he insists we should take iodine supplements to ward off hypothyroidism. What do you think about that?” The connection between us is wavering, but I manage to keep it intact.
“Pfffawpaw!” Auntie Cherry Blossom scoffs, pursing her lips in disgust. “I know who you’re talking about, and she doesn’t know her head from her ass.” She pauses and adds, “She also cheats at Mahjongg.”
“So, you don’t think we should listen to this man or his medium?” Privately, I’m thinking that she doesn’t sound like any Taiwanese elderly woman I know–in fact, she sounds a lot like me. I chalk it up to genetics and shrug it off.
“No! Hell no! You’re better off listening to Dr. Seuss when it comes to medicine!” She lights a cigarette, sucks hard on it, then adds, “Also, your taste in music sucks. Next time, play this.” The sound of Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child O Mine as played on a guzheng comes blaring out, making me choke on my laughter. “Now that’s a girl after my own heart. I’m late for Mahjongg. Later.” With that, she vanishes, and I respectfully usher her back into the ethers. I close out my session and go eat a ham sandwich because scrying*** is hard work, and I’m fucking hungry.
“Minna,” I can hear you say. “You can’t just use the specter of your Auntie Cherry Blossom to validate your point of view.” Why the hell not? That’s exactly what Gwyneth is doing by propping up this so-called Medical Medium and treating him as if his ideas are as valid as a medical doctor’s.
But, don’t take my word for it. I’m not a doctor, either. Instead, I’ll hand it over to the beleaguered Gwyneth whisperer, Dr. Jen Gunter, who is an actual doctor (it’s in her name) and who consulted an actual endocrinologist, Dr. Elena A Christofides, who knows a little something about hypothyroidism. Much to my surprise, iodine actually is necessary for the thyroid, but it’s not something we Westerners have much trouble consuming. If there’s one thing we (except me) like, it’s salt. We put salt on nearly everything, so chances are, if you’re an American, you don’t have an iodine-deficiency. Secondly, if you consume too much of it, it actually causes hypothyroidism. This I know because when I was fourteen, I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, more commonly known as hyperthyroidism. They tried antithyroid therapy which meant I took twenty-seven pills a day (nine pills, three times a day), but it didn’t work. The only other solution at the time was radioactive iodine treatment, which destroys the thyroid. So, yeah, too much iodine is not good for your thyroid. At all.
The thing that kills me the most about this is the quote by Gwyneth that Dr. Gunter included in the link above. She said:
While there is most definitely an element of otherworldly mystery to the work he does, much of what Anthony Willam shines a spotlight on–particularly around autoimmunedisease (sic)–feels inherently right and true. What’s better is that the protocols he recommends are natural, accessible, and easy to do.”
Are you kidding me, Gwyneth Paltrow? Just because something’s natural, it doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Mercury is natural, but I don’t think you’d want to drink a gallon of it. The Death Cap and the Destroying Angel are both natural mushrooms that grow in California. Wanna eat a plateful of those? Asbestos is natural, but I bet you wouldn’t want your daughter to go to school in a building filled with it. Mother Nature is a right bitch who would kill you as soon as look at you, and just because something is natural, it doesn’t make it good. In addition, just because something feels right, doesn’t mean it is. I feel it’s right to punch you in the nose if I ever see you, but that doesn’t mean it’s what I should do if we were ever, perchance, to meet. I feel it’s right to lie on my couch all day long, but I doubt it would be beneficial to my health. I feel it’s right to have Mads Mikkelsen pour chocolate all over my body me before slowly licking it off, but I think it’s safe to say that he wouldn’t agree.
Bottom line: If you think you might be suffering from hypothyroidism, consult your doctor, not a spirit–except my Auntie Cherry Blossom who will also tell you to go to your doctor. It’s much better advice than listening to anything the Medical Medium or his spirit has to say.
*Horror and disgust would be more accurate.
**How does one become high level, I wonder. Maybe by grinding it out in dungeons and getting enough XP to LEVEL UP.
***This is actually true. I used to scry and read tarot cards, so I am not hostile to the idea of paranormal energies around us. What I am hostile to, however, is pretending it’s a substitute for actual medical knowledge.