Why don't doctors listen

For almost 20 years I have had symptoms of under-active thyroid. The main ones being inability to lose weight and depression. I was finally put on thyroxine 2 weeks ago.

Last year I fractured my pelvis and it has been very slow in healing almost 18 mths, I saw the consultant last week, he was very blunt and told me to lose weight, he was not interested in my thyroid and said anybody can use that excuse. I left the hospital feeling very suicidal.

This morning I received a copy of the letter he sent to my G.P. and again he has reiterated that I should lose weight before any other doctor sees me.

This has left me extremely distressed and with all the medication I am on I feel that I cannot carry on any longer battling with this disease.

I have taken numerous tablets to help me sleep tonight but they have not had any effect at all I cannot live with these feelings any longer.

31 Replies

  • Hello sugar lugs, just wanted to say hi and say snap for being another one who is very often pacing around most of the night! it is so very hard to get such dismissive comments from people who should know better and treat you with respect and kindness,not to mention correct treatment.Do you know what your blood test results were? It's always a good starting place to have the actual figures.What dose of thyroxine are you now taking? It does all take a while to come together and may well need to be increased again soon for you to start noticing a difference in how you feel.I hope you get some,albeit not much now, sleep tonight eventually It really doesn't help us to be so deprived of some rest does it? I so hope that very soon you will begin to improve but now you are on the road to getting some medication for thyroid this can so easily happen in many many cases. Just sending a hug to you from me for now xx

  • Thks. My G.P. just said that I had a reading of 15 but didn't explain anything else so i was left in the dark.

  • Hi sugar lugs Guess that the 15 relates to TSH level- which at 15 is pretty high- mine was 5 something when I was diagnosed and treatment started,only 25mcg and only 3 months ago,I am now on 50mcg and TSH has gone down to 1.2 as of this week.just shows how this stuff can work when treatment is started.you need to get another blood test done in 6 weeks,I just booked mine myself,didn't need gp appointment to ok it -please be sure to get yours retested in say 4weeks time,with FT4 and FT3 which gives more detail as to what's happening. Things will surely start to improve for you soon now you have been given a start but I would think you will need increases in dose to reach optimal level. Be strong and push for all this it does make a difference- take no more bullshit,and nicely push to regain good health.

  • Keep your chin up you have loads of people that know what you are going through the depression especially is awful. I get that &its so hard to cope with

  • Hiya.

    Sorry your doctor is such an @rse. Bullies can turn up anywhere and unfortunately you've been put in a vulnerable position with this one 'in charge'. He doesn't sound like he should be permitted to interact with patients in a professional role. Please try not to take it personally. You're worth more than that.

    I hope as I write that you're getting some sleep and that things look a bit better for you when you've rested. I can get behind what cupi said. Bring your test results and meds here and someone will have a look.

    Stay in touch here. People can help you. xx

  • Hi Sugarlugs,

    So many of them have this idiotic, set way of thinking, doling out useless one size fits all advice then blaming and belittling the patient when, unsurprisingly, it doesn't work. (And heaven forbid you go to them armed with any actual knowledge or research. They hate it when you have the temerity to tell them what might be wrong with you!) Physical trauma like a severe fracture can leave even a healthy person feeling emotionally and mentally low, so when you're factoring in the problems you're already coping with, no wonder you feel so lousy. Hang on in there and do post your test results if you can. Sending you a virtual hug too. xx

  • These doctor's have no idea about the metabolism, thyroid gland, weight gain or anything else to do with thyroid gland problems. In fact I would say they are ignorant.

    25mcg levothyroxine is very, very low and hopefully your GP will increase it in about 4 to 6 weeks.

    It would be nice if you could send this video to both medical personnel.


    Definitely send them these two scientific article about weight gain and the TSH which has referenced scientific research.



    an excerpt

    This clinician uses thyroid

    function test results as an aid to clinical judg-

    ment—an aid that is integrated with other aids, such

    as objective measures of tissue response to thyroid

    hormone. Thyroid function test results help this clin-

    ician form an opinion as to the patient’s pre-treatment

    thyroid status. After he establishes the patient’s thy-

    roid status, however, he seldom uses thyroid function

    test results to reach treatment decisions. His reason

    for not using them to titrate dosage is that most of his

    patients have previously failed to benefit from T4 - or T4/T3

    -replacement therapies, in which, of course,

    physicians adjusted dosages according to the patients’

    TSH and/or thyroid hormone levels. Only by this clin-

    ician not using the replacement method for titrating

    dosage are most of these patients able to recover from

    their symptoms, signs, and objective measures of tis-

    sue hypometabolism

  • Sugarlugs, too many of us have been treated as you were, start feeling anger and contempt for such a bully, get energised, that should help! Think "nil carborundum illegitimo" (don't let the b******* grind you down). Get your blood test results (entitled to have them) post results with ranges here, you will get help.

    Main site has loads of information: advice, books, lists of private doctors, what to avoid to maximise thyroid function, what to take to maximise function, importance of B12, iron, folates, Vit d - if you have not been there then please arm yourself with knowledge for it is power:


    "Stop the thyroid Madness" by Janie Bowthorpe is very valuable reading. Or site is:


    Also "Understanding Thyroid disorders" by Dr A Toft about £5, from Amazon and Thyroid UK gives good basic understanding plus info re hypothyroidism treatment that goes further than many doctors' understanding.

    It is horrifying it took 20 years to diagnosis, but you are on the way now. You should expect another blood test in about 6 weeks then a dose increase, gradually it is raised until optimal treatment is achieved. Many doctors are not well trained in hypothyroidism but expected to treat it, but you will get help here

  • Don't give up, that's the main thing. You are being treated by an idiot doctor and there are many of them about. Perhaps you could change him? or even better change practices as you will probably find one doctor will not challenge another in the same practice.

    If that's not possible then follow the advice of "nostoneunturned" and "shaws" and start educating yourself about what is going on in your body. Doctors can be real bullies when they are dealing with someone much weaker than themselves but someone who can fight back with a good knowledge of their problem...well that's a different matter.

    There is a lot of help out there, books, this list and other Internet sites. You only have to read some of the terrible experiences with doctors that have ended up crying for help on this site to know that you are by no means alone.

    "nil carborundum illegitimo" love it!

    Today is a new day, make it the first step towards your good health. All on this list are behind you and you have a lot of reading to get through. make sure that by the time you are through devouring all this knowledge that your doctor will be the one cowering when he sees your name on the list! It can happen...been there....done that...must get a t-shirt made :)

    Be brave and carry on!


  • Try melatonin for your sleep. I order mine online and have used it for 13 years now. It works a treat and you only need a tiny dose. Don't feel bad feel mad about that so called consultant. He wants striking off for treating you like that. You should demand an apology and say his attitude clearly shows he knows zero about thyroidism. I am four and a half stone overweight and made sure my GP wrote it on my records that I have myxoedema which is clearly what you have as well. They get paid handsomely for supposedly helping us back to good health again. Make them earn it. Can you go privately to see a consultant? Even if its a one off appt? It might help you get some of your confidence back to have someone else on your side tell your GP you have mxyodema.

    Also I agree with the others you are on a very low dose so it may take a few months before you see any improvement. Definitely get your vitamin levels checked as well. Your life, and physical and mental health is far too precious to leave it to the doctors to sort it out. Start taking charge yourself then you will get your life and health back again. Remember don't dont feel sad or bad - feel mad and start taking charge !!

  • Sugarlugs

    (Hugs) to you

    I am also just starting this journey of taking care of "me"

    I am taking in all of the information like a sponge. I have learnt so much from this forum and it's "guardian angel" members.

    I have experienced similar trauma from the medical profession and can fully empathise with you about how some in the healthcare can make you feel like what is the point. I have decided they will not affect me any more with their budget controls,excuses and blame shifting.

    I have had some very caring people help and guide me, as they will do for you. We are in this boat together.


  • xxx

  • Sugarlugs

    Just a thought are you on meds for depression ? they can have some severe side effects which may need looking at by your GP. I have had horrific side effects when they had me on some !!!

    I have seen many posts advising you to request copies of your blood test results with ranges and post them on here for guidance. You will be told the real picture here not just the NICE guidelines which to me are for budget controls. Your GP may say no but you are by law entitled to them "freedom of information act"

    From posting my results a few days ago I have so much insight into a lot of my symptoms and probable causes being linked to low B12.

    Blood results for me were the boost I needed so please ask for copies.


  • Sending you a hug sugerlugs, and like others have said, try to stay strong ( easier said than done !).

    Could you write to the consultant and gp, ask for your results in writing and ask for a reply in wrting as to why you are not being taken seriously. Then you are armed with written proof if they still refuse to give you the help you need, and you can go further by writing a letter of complaint to the relevant bodies, with copies of their answers.

    It really is appalling, the way some of these medical people treat patients. If you don`t feel strong enough to talk to them in person, a letter would be much easier. Put down all your symptoms, a record of what you are actually eating and tell them that it is probably your illness that is making you depressed and If you were given the correct treatment for your illness, you would probably not be having to take antidepressants! Ask them to explain in writing what is going on.

    Please try to take one day at a time.

    Take care of yourself and don`t give up.

    Warmest regards,



  • Oh dear, Sugarlugs, I know just how you feel but don't give up.

    I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes nearly 5 years ago after getting persistent thrush and my GP was exactly the same with me. Her exact words were, "You're fat and need to lose weight" and then she gave me a prescription for a drug that will suppress my appetite and make me lose weight. I explained that I wanted to do it with diet and exercise and would appreciate her help with that. She flatly refused and just shouted at me. I was so upset I took the prescription and never cashed it in.

    I have struggled with getting my blood sugars down, lost weight and changed my already healthy low fat diet (due to having been diagnosed with a gall stone 19 yrs ago) to even healthier and did more exercise and my blood sugars got worse. All my blood tests showed raised blood sugar and nothing else wrong. I started seeing a different doctor in my GP practice after avoiding the surgery for 18 months following diagnosis. This doctor was the same, take the meds and go away. I refused but kept seeing him and arguing my case that it could be something else. He checked all my blood tests/function tests last August and said, "Your function tests are excellent, better than someone without diabetes," and I replied, "Then I'm not a diabetic, could it be my hormones?" He said my hormones were normal and he'd never told me that these were part of my diabetes blood tests.

    Needless to say my diabetes journey did not end there. I was complaining of pains in my left side and the GP's I saw kept saying it's diabetic nerve pain. I insisted on checks and had an x-ray and an ultrasound and the only doctor that listened to me was the doctor doing the ultrasound. He said that my x-ray was all clear and I was wasting his time having an ultrasound. I explained my symptoms and that I thought I could feel a lump and was concerned that it was linked to when I had pleurisy 4 years ago. He did an urgent referral to my GP for a CT Scan. This showed a calcified nodule on my thyroid (right lobe) and a goitre on my left lobe. Investigations and surgery 2 months down the line and I was diagnosed with follicular variant papillary cancer in the right lobe, the left side was untouched. I am now hypothyroid but I suspected this all the time before I was told I had a calcified nodule. I have battled with weight gain and menstrual problems ever since having my daughter 21 years ago. I was even told I had a slight hormone imbalance 17 years ago but they refused to treat it and instead they did an operation to "cure" my periods. It never worked and I gave up chasing them to sort things out because I was hitting a brick wall.

    Since my cancer diagnosis I have requested my medical papers from the various hospitals to get to the bottom on things. I am still awaiting some paperwork but from what I can gather my thyroid blood tests have been bordering on the high end of the range for a long time. I don't mind paying for my records, I cannot afford it, but I need to maximise my changes of getting better. Being hypothyroid is horrible and I've been told by my endocrine surgeon at one consultation that I am hypothyroid and he prescribed 75mcg T4 and then when I saw him last Tuesday he said I couldn't be hypothyroid because I still have my left thyroid lobe. I broke down in tears and told him that if I'd known I was going to be so ill without the cancer inside me then I could never have had it removed. He then decided to refer me to an endocrinologist because he could only give me T4 and having the cancer removed has reignited my menstrual cycle, I'd not had a period for nearly 9 months, plus the periods are irregular and very heavy.

    Anyway, it's a case of watch this space for me but whatever you do, DON'T GIVE UP!!! Get your blood results and ranges and keep chipping away at them. As my friend says, "The wagon with squeaky wheel gets oiled."

  • What you say is interesting I have also had cancer ie non Hodgkin's lymphoma &I have also had a hormone in balance in 2010 I got necrotising fascititis ie the flesh eating disease which was the most terrifying thing to happen to me. Luckily they were able to save my leg but I was very ill & needed massive skin grafts.

  • What a brute! Stinging words and so uncalled for. If they only knew that their neglect is part of the reason you cannot lose weight. So you do have your thyroxine now? Be sure to avoid your medication for twelve hours before a blood test and take blood early in the morning so as not to look overmedicated which is the next insult they will attempt. Now that you know the "attitude" try to toughen up. I'm sure they expected you to do johnny jump-ups with a broken pelvis as well. Their ignorance is a disgrace.

  • Sugarlugs - don't give up... this consultant is a disgrace and so wrong.

    You've been through so much and now you're on thyroid treatment, many things will improve. There's some great advice in the comments above so I'll just add that my sleep improved (I sleep through the night again) once my body had got used to having thyroid hormone again and my dose of levo was correct and my TSH level low. It can take a while - but stick with it!

    Heloise is right; their neglect is part of the reason you cannot lose weight and had your thyroid condition been picked up and treated earlier you would probably not have put on the weight in the first place.

    Hang on in there. Wishing you well.


  • Thank you all for your letters of encouragement, they have helped me cope much better. I expect life will be a bit of a roller coaster for a few months but am now clearer as to how much the thyroid affects your body

    Thanks again


  • Sugerlugs, (( hugs )), that consultant should learn some manners and his chosen profession. We don't ask to be ill or insulted, get angry not upset, if you click on my name you can read my post, re fibro, consultant recently said similar to me.

    It upset me deeply like you, after a few weeks angry, and my symptoms were same when 6st lighter, he wouldn't listen. So he was no help at all.

    I put on 2st, on one lot of meds, and another 3st when they messed thyroid meds around, till they had to put them back again.

    You know yourself better than him.

    We've all met one like him too so really understand. X

  • Absolutely disgusted that you have been treated like this. Firstly you cannot exercise with a broken pelvis and even without a thyroid condition would gain weight. How can any doctor not know that a symptom of hypothyroidism is weight gain/ difficulty managing weight?

    I can't imagine how awful it must have been to wait that long for your pelvis to heal.

  • I agree with all the other members that you should ask for your Blood Results and post them on here. Your GP's receptionist should print them out for you if you ask, remember you are entitled to them. I spent 5 years trying to get a formal diagnosis and have got a print out of every single blood test that I have had, if you don't ask you don't get. I would also ditch that GP and go to see another one, who may with a bit of luck be more understanding of your health problems. How you can be expected to exercise when you have had a pelvis operation and also have hypothyroidism is beyond me, I'd like to see your GP, in fact I'd like to see how any GP managed on a day to day basis with hypothyroidism let alone a pelvis op aswell - my bet is they wouldn't. Don't let idiots like the GP get you down, he doesn't know you, you are just a statistic to him, if you feel down and fed up speak to us, WE ALL KNOW HOW YOU FEEL. Good luck and BIG HUGS XXX

  • Really sad to see another experience like this I actually had a doctor who said I would always have trouble losing weight even though my consultant when I had my partial thyroidectomy said let's look over the mountain meaning my big tum! Please remember doctors are not without flaws and also not renowned for being sensitive so please please do not let this this person sap your remaining energy and focus on your health and you not a medical numpty and also change your gp if you are not getting the service that is your right!

  • It seems a lot of us have found ourselves in your position, me included. I am still in an ongoing battle with my GP but have used my frustration in a positive way to keep me chipping away at him. At times he's been blunt, insensitive and lacked compassion and empathy for my situation. Having spent many hours reading others posts on here I know what questions I need to ask and what tests to ask for. A recent blood test indicated I was very deficient in Vit D so that is now being treated and I've recently got a referral to an endo but I've had to push all the way for everything. I too had the you've got to lose weight conversation, he said it would be hard being hypo-T and it was, I've lost 78lbs in the last 17 months (no surgery or pills just hard work) and still have a way to go but I've tried to turn every unproductive GP visit into a positive and it's made me even more determined to get the answers I need. I've got an "I'll show you" type attitude now so he can't use my weight as an excuse not to treat me. Hang in there, change to a different GP and get the answers you're entitled to.

  • I have been in your position. I would not waste any more time . Get a referral for Dr Skinner or see Dr P. Life is too short. These Drs or even endocrinologists have appalling knowledege of the endocrine system and it is like getting blood out of a stone getting them to listen. Good luck.

  • How do I get a referral to Dr. Skinner?

  • you are not alone--its a them and us situation instead of how it should be and thats a careing profession now like any busines you are a product i mean without you they would not have a job and make money they get paid nomatter what and 10 minute consult is all we get -dont get depressed thats what they want you to be so they can push more drugs on you just like shop does when you buy food -you go in for pint of milk and come out with trolly load-its you that matters -tell yourself -heal yourself -love yourself-control yourself and dont rely on outside of youself to damage you listen to that little voice of the good you -you know what to do and it is not give up never give up xxx

  • DON'T EVER let a stupid prat of a doctor get you so down - you are better than that, and better than they are.

    You know you struggle with a combination of this illness and doctors' ignorance/indifference as do most people in our position.

    I've been the same for about 30 yrs and somedays are blacker than others. I became overweight because the quacks love to hand out steroids like they're sweets. They "said" my asthma was steroid dependent but never did any tests to prove it. My weight ballooned from 11 stone to 20, and it has been a constant, constant struggle to lose that weight- one which I have not yet won. I worked in the health service all my life and I can say from experience that most doctors today are complete rubbish and unworthy of the huge salaries thay are paid. Send a copy of this abusive man's letter to the hospital's chief executive, along with a copy of your thyroid prescription, and request an apology and a change to a different consultant. xx

  • Hi sugarlugs

    I feel for you, its just an uphill battle, I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to thyroid problems we could all teach the doctors a thing or two, I don't know why they won't listen to us, just know that we are here for you, I am in a similar place and I want to scream at them I just wish I was that kind of person who could do that, keep your chin up and don't stop fighting xxx

  • Hi Everybody.

    I would like to identify that the most important hormone is Free Triiodothyronine (FT3).

    Many of you will find that the "Normal Reference Range" used in the UK is 3.55-->5.44 pmol/l as set by Bayer-Centaur.

    The real range should officially be 3.5-->7.8 pmol/l

    The real nasty is that research proves that an FT3 below 5.4 pmol/l causes Dilated Cardiomyopathy (Congestive Heart Disease)

    It is strange how the FT3 "Normal" Range relied upon by the UK sits over the Danger-Zone for DCMP

    I could continue to list a large number of conditions caused by "Low FT3" but space being at a premium.

    Low Free Triiodothyronine (FT3) does cause diabetes mellitus type 1 & 2. Low T3 encourages apoptosis (premature programmed pancreatic beta-cell death) and inhibits beta cell proliferation.

    Low T3 also prevents Dendritic Cell maturation inhibiting their unique ability to direct naive "T" cells> In English that means your immune system will be screwed. It has consequences with regard to cancer, thyroid autoimmune disease just to mention a few conditions.

  • Incidentally Glaxo-Smith-Kline's Avandia Diabetes Pill has been withdrawn from the market by Europe. Apparently it is linked to double the incidence of Heart Failure.

    One has to question why the UK medical profession now refuses to treat hypothyroid patient's until their TSH is greater than 10.0 mIU/l, when that relates to an FT3 lower than 4.0 pmol/l and definitely in the danger-zone for causing diabetes and congestive heart failure.

    More interestingly Glaxo-Smith-Kline was fined $3.0 Billion last year for illegal marketing of its diabetes pill Avandia (and some other stuff).

    I do not like coincidences. Low T3 causes Diabetes, The UK medical profession ensures that Hypothyroid patients have low T3, and GSK illegally markets its Avandia Diabetes Pill, which just happens to be associated with double the risk of heart failure, which is also caused by Low T3.

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