Review of Medical Treatment (Hypothyroidism Symptoms) 1996 2010
On every visit to my G.P. I tried to be respectful, diplomatic and trusting of their wisdom. However, it seems that G.P’s soon tire of patients with chronic illnesses for which they can find no explanation or remedy. It started off well enough when I presented with the few most distressing symptoms looking for some help in keeping these at a manageable level, but it was obvious that I quickly became a “heartsink” case in their eyes. With more than 50 physical symptoms, it was impossible to explain in a 10 or 20 min. appointment and it was obviously not possible to write a prescription to sort all that out! So I came away frustrated, angry and depressed having been treated like a child and made to feel that I was a hypochondriac. Not surprising then that I only visited my G.P. when each particular symptom became unbearable. Also, I felt that one visit per 4 months was not unreasonable for someone who was in constant pain and at several points suicidally depressed about the deterioration in my quality of life. It felt as if, once diagnosed with CFS/M.E., I was no more than an irritation to be fobbed off with symptomatic treatment.
Having been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, I am now looking for a doctor who will treat me as an intelligent woman with a good understanding of Human Biology and Biochemistry and as a partner in seeking better health for myself and others. While I am more than happy to continue seeing Dr Skinner privately in Birmingham, it would please me to continue to be monitored and have my medication prescribed at my local N********* surgery. Cost is not a consideration for me in this matterit’s a matter of principle and I would like my experience to benefit other chronically ill people by improving the care they receive in their local community.
THE TROUBLE WITH BLOOD TESTS
- Over the last 4 years my thyroid ( TSH only ) has been tested on 5 occasions.
- Every result has been considered “within normal limits”and “no action required”
- 2 years ago at 2.7 mU/l I was told this was “right in the middle of the normal range”and nothing to worry about.
- Recently I was told at 3.6 mU/l I was still well under the upper limit of the range i.e.5.5.
- Having recognised that many clinically Hypothyroid patients have TSH levels well below 5.5 Australia has reduced the upper limit to 3.5 and the USA to 2.5. Anyone outside these parameters is treated with Thyroxine supplements.
- TSH test is used as a “screening” test for thyroid problems but it only measures the output of the Pituitary Gland rather than the direct output of the Thyroid Gland. Therefore, please do not base diagnosis on this as the only biochemical measurement of thyroid function. A full panel of tests i.e.TSH, Thyroglobulin, Free and bound T3 and T4 should be considered when a patient presents with history, signs and symptoms.