The Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation’s Board of Directors, four of whom are physicians, put their names behind these forums. In exchange, the Foundation requires that members adhere to a few basic guidelines:
1. If you are having a medical emergency, please call 911. Our facilitators are happy to answer general questions. However, GDATF online forums should NEVER be used as a substitute for proper medical care or medical advice. Always discuss any suggestions received with your own physician prior to making any changes to your own treatment regimen.
2. Prohibition on giving medical advice. Participants are invited to share personal experiences and general information, but are not allowed to give medical advice. “Medical Advice” includes interpreting labs, making a diagnosis, making medication recommendations (dosing, type of med, etc.), or telling another user which treatment option they should select. These are all issues that need to be discussed with each patient’s own medical provider.
3. Posting of Links. Posted links must either come from (a) a well-established, peer-reviewed medical journal (ex: New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Thyroid, etc.) or (b) an established medical association or governmental entity (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American Thyroid Association, National Institutes of Health, etc.) that provides information guided by “evidence-based medicine”. Inappropriate links will be removed, and repeat offenders may be subject to suspension/banning.
4. Discussion of “alternative” therapies. Posters may discuss complementary approaches that are practiced in addition to conventional medical therapy to promote general health and well-being, such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, stress relief, etc.. However, our forums prohibit discussions that promote “alternative” therapies designed to replace conventional medical treatment. At this time, there are no proven safe and effective alternatives to the three available conventional treatment options for hyperthyroidism. Our Board members and volunteers have had contact with patients who became more ill – and even those who died – because they chose to reject conventional medicine in favor of an unproven alternative therapy. Discussion of supplements is limited to those supplements for which there is peer-reviewed research related to Graves’ disease, thyroid eye disease, or thyroid autoimmunity.
5. Debate the Topic, Not the Person. With three different treatment options to choose from – and much about Graves’ disease and autoimmunity that is not yet well understood – disagreements are bound to happen. Please be respectful and civil in stating your position, and do not use derogatory language or otherwise personally attack another poster or moderator.
6. Use of Physician Names. Please do not post negative comments using a physician or medical facility by name.
7. Prohibition on Spamming. Spammers will be banned without warning. Facilitators will also be very aggressive in banning posters believed to be part of “blog commenting services”. (These are posters who make a seemingly legitimate initial post and then later edit the post to include spam).
8. Off-Topic Posts. Please keep posts on topic. The forum does have one “Off Topic – Just for Fun” thread that can be used to discuss hobbies, travel, family, etc.. We do ask that posters on the “Off Topic Thread” please (a) adhere to the Board’s main guidelines, (b) keep it “family friendly”, and (c) be careful with disclosing any details that could help personally identify you.
9. Multiple Postings of the Same Comment. Please post your comment ONE time, using the thread that is most appropriate to the topic (or starting a new one). Posting the same comment on multiple threads clogs up the forum and makes it more difficult for members and facilitators to access information.
Web forum facilitators have the ability to either edit or delete posts that violate the above guidelines and to suspend or ban individual accounts for blatant spam or repeated rule violations.