Ask the Doctor: ADHD medicine shortage, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, fatigue

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 1:16 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us on 16 News Now at Noon every Tuesday to answer your medical questions.

Question #1: “What has been your experience with the ongoing ADHD medicine shortage?”

DR. BOB: As many people are aware, and especially people who take stimulants to treat ADHD, there is a national shortage of some of these medicines.

This is an incredibly frustrating situation for patients, their families, and health care providers.

In our office, we spend every day dealing with the headache of trying to find medicine for our patients. We send it to their pharmacy to be told they don’t have it. Then, we start a scramble to find a different pharmacy.

Unfortunately, sometimes there just isn’t a pharmacy that we can find that has it. Then, we try to find an alternative, but that means issues with insurance and changing medicines.

To complicate everything, because these medicines are controlled substances, they must be refilled monthly, and the refill process is more involved for us.

It is just a tough situation for everyone. I want patients to know that we are trying to do our best and to bear with us during this process.

Question #2 (from Kelsey): “I have Hashimoto’s disease. Could this be the reason for my weight gain?”

DR. BOB: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks the thyroid gland. This leads to a couple of issues.

Initially it can cause there to be too much thyroid hormone released in the body and patients can have hyperthyroidism. Eventually though, most people end up becoming hypothyroid and need to have thyroid hormone replaced.

People who are low on thyroid can definitely have issues with weight gain and you want to check with your doctor to make sure you thyroid level is good.

At the same time, thyroid is not a complete explanation of weight gain and you also need to make sure you are eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

Question #3 (from Jeff): “I am constantly exhausted, and it seems like the more I sleep, the more tired I am. What could be causing this?”

DR. BOB: Jeff, I am sorry you are feeling so bad.

Fatigue is probably one of the hardest symptoms to evaluate as a family doctor. There are many medical problems that can cause it.

Furthermore, sometimes it is due to a lifestyle problem such as poor diet, too much caffeine, or poor sleep quality.

An increasing common problem is sleep apnea which is where you breath shallowly while you sleep and do not get adequate restful sleep.

I would recommend sitting down for a visit with your doctor to discuss all these issues.

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