A little Anecdote About Annual Health Checks

So my husband went for his annual health check today, one of the perks of his job. I sent him armed with a list of tests he should make sure were included; after all, if we know what our levels are when we are well, then it makes it much easier for us to know when we are actually ill, doesn't it? And yes, he does think I'm mental but he humours me, bless him.

So the list was TSH (he's had this the past 2 years and has always been midway between 1 and 2), B12, folate, iron, ferritin and vit D. I should point out his mother is hypo, her father had type 1 diabetes, and my husband does have rosacea (for which he periodically takes tetracycline, an antibiotic known to deplete certain vits and minerals). Other than that he's disgustingly healthy and reasonably fit.

So, he has the medical and gives the doc the list of extra tests. She practically laughed in his face, "why would you want these done? They have absolutely no relevance to you." And my favourite comment: "men don't get thyroid problems." Any men out there who would like to comment on that one? Answers on a postcard please!!!

Anyway she did order them, since he was paying of course, and sent him on his way with the rather uninspiring advice of "eat breakfast and drink a bit less alcohol." Nice.

I thought the idea of an annual health screen was actually to, well, screen?

13 Replies

  • If only women get thyroid disorders, the continuing difficulty in getting diagnosed is even worse than it seems. For the implication of that is it would be twice as common in women as in the population. So they have already shortened the odds substantially.

    Maybe doctors should have ordinary dice? For each women, they roll one, and if it is a 6, they diagnose a thyroid disorder. For men, they declare no thyroid disorder without even rolling.

    Now how much would that save?


  • You know, I'm entitled to one of these screens as well, and to it's credit it's how my Graves Disease was discovered last year (it was run by a different outfit last year, and they did automatically do the TSH test). I wasn't going to go this year because I have so much monitoring done anyway by my (private) Endo. But I don't know, I think I've changed my mind (said with a glint in the eye). I reckon I could give them a run for their money. I'll be sure and take a dice with me ;-)

  • Men don't get thyroid problems

    Next time, arm your husband with a list of males in the public eye that have / had thyroid disorder of one sort or another. e.g. Marty Feldman and Ted Heath and various sports personalities just for starters. No doubt someone will be able to add the ones I can't bring to mind at the moment.

    Oh and tell that doc to read the short story 'Cold Storage' by Oliver Sacks.

    And then there's this:

    First links between normal thyroid hormone and mortality

    DATA from The Health In Men Study (HIMS) has revealed a link between thyroid hormones and mortality in older men, revealing the first-ever association between high thyroxine levels within the normal range with all-cause mortality.


  • My ongoing list of famous thyroid sufferers continues to grow, albeit rather slowly, with additions of both males and females:



  • I've got someone else for your list, I'll send you a PM.

  • Some Graves buddies......... JFK jr, I think one of the girls had an autoimmune too. The great Dame Maggie Smith, Wendy Williams.

    Some report that Billy Joel has Graves but he calls it Billy Joel Disease........ hmmm......

  • Thanks shambles - added some of them. JFK already in list!


  • No problem. I think you have JFK president who was hypo but his son JFK jnr had Graves. There you go, another chap to keep the numbers up :-)

  • That's really interesting, I wonder what range they are basing that on, i.e. at what number does the top 25% start at?

  • Well there's Gail Devers for one who some years ago was Olympic and World Champion at 100 metres and 100 metre hurdles. Skeptics might suggest she was on steroids at the time, but I prefer to think she wasn't. However, even if she was, her levels were maybe normal because she actually needed them which would make a total nonsense of drug testing in sport. Jane x

  • Hmm - men don't get Thyroid problems? here's another Rod

  • GP's - if you suggest something that may/could be wrong (particularly if something runs in the family)- they are very dismissive as if you have hypo(chondria). Sometimes you have so many clinical symptoms but they don't join them up or send you off with a flea in your ear. (I have had that experience re my daughter who is now so severely disabled).

  • Shaun Ryder from Happy Mondays has spoken about his thyroid disorder in the press and in his autobiography. He takes levo and also has testosterone injections. (And to me, he still has quite a hypo look - puffy face with sparse eyebrows...) Doesn't it make sense that if you have a thyroid, you could get a thyroid disorder?

    Edit - he's already been mentioned, but your husband could pick up a paperback copy of his autobiography and take it along to his next appointment!

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