Thyroid UK

Doctor is not listening and prescribing anti depressants instead!

Hi all, I'm new to this support site so please do help me out.. I'm 5 months postpartum and have been having symptoms for a while and feel let down by the NHS.

6 weeks after having baby no. 2, I sensed something was wrong and told my health visitor. She said she would be in contact with me and basically, she never did! In the process, my symptoms have got worse. Mood swings, irritability, gaining weight despite

dieting, coarse hair and general confusions. Although postpartum

depression was the first thing that came to mind, I wanted to check other avenues first (esp given the weight gain) so asked GP to

check hormones etc. My results were as follows:

- TSH level 5.25 mu/L "High"

- Serum free T4 level 12.9 pmol/L

GP said (patronisingly) that these results are okay and she will not prescribe me thyroxine as she didn't feel I was hypo (too borderline). What do you all think? I do not want to take unnecessary anti depressants if my symptoms are to do with my thyroid.. Please HELP!

7 Replies

I think you are hypothyroid but I am not a doctor. The thing is most doctors think that you don't need treating until your TSH goes above 10. They are wrong. Your TSH is above the reference range. If you don't need treating until it's even higher than that, why have a reference range that only goes up to 5? I think you need to fight this point with a GP to get a trial of thyroxine.

I agree that the antidepressants are probably not the way to go. They may actually make things worse. You do sound very frustrated and cross, understandably, but you have motivation to get this sorted out which doesn't sound to me like a case for antidepressants (although I am not a medical professional, just speaking from personal experience).

I would ask for a repeat test in 6 weeks or however soon a GP at your practice will repeat the test. Your TSH is high and should be monitored, if not treated. If it is still high, this would suggest you need treating with thyroxine. There are cases where TSH is raised because of viral infection, which is why a repeat test is usually ordered before treating.

One important thing to remember is that your TSH will be highest first thing in the morning so it is best to get your blood test done as soon as possible so your TSH is at it's highest. TSH drops as the day goes on. Hopefully next time either you will be feeling better or your blood test will show you need treatment. If it is still at the high end but not high enough for treatment, do keep fighting and try to persuade your GP for a trial of thyroxine. He may try and tell you that it will give you osteoporosis and heart problems but he is wrong. You are currently in the high risk group for these problems because your TSH is above 5. Your TSH needs to go below 0.03 (or thereabouts) before this becomes a problem. I will see if I can find the research paper saying this to back you up in case you get this misguided argument from your GP.

If you can, please see another GP about this. Your current one seems to be ignorant of thyroid disease and treatment. Postpartum depression is just that, depression. It does not tend to cause weight gain or coarse hair. Those are symptoms of hypothyroidism.

On the main Thyroid UK website is a check-list of symptoms. You may want to tick off all the symptoms you are experiencing and show them to your doctor next time you go in. Have a good look around the site. There is lots of useful information.

I hope you get the treatment you need!

Carolyn x

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Here is the paper I was talking about :)


Good grief, i was diagnosed and treated with a similar tsh level drs are so different would it be possible to get a second opinion with a different gp at your surgery? If not i would definitely insist on a retest in 6 - 8 weeks time.


Thank you Carolyn, I will be reading that paper in detail and hopefully find evidence to back up my diagnosis (surely that is the dr job though)! She mentioned a repeat ths but said she will do it in 8 months!

It is frustrating, the range is 0.3-5 so surely anything above that needs to be investigated! MCoates it is very interesting that your doctor is more proactive than mine - there should be some consistency. Presumably it is because I have just had a baby and it is easier to for them to diagnose postnatal depression than actually investigate anything else. I will call up and speak to another doctor in the same practice on Monday. Fingers crossed they listen! Thank you for your support.


Hi, I am really sorry to hear that you haven't had very good support. I was in a similar boat when my child was 8 months old. I had my bloods done and they came back very similar to yours TSH at 6.2 and T4 was 12ish. The doc said I was borderline and we should just wait and see! I emphasised how bad I felt and then she did a Thyroid antibodies test. It came back at nearly a thousand, which is very high indeed! This is the test to ask for and is indicative of Hashimotos. Having seen that result the doc was more willing to offer me treatment. I am not sure if this will be the case for you and that you have Hashimotos, but it is the most common form of hypothyroidism in postpartum women. Its really worth investigating and then you can seek treatment accordingly. I would see another doc too if you don't feel very supported by the first doctor. You may have read this already but I have also cut out gluten, coffee and most dairy. I also take Selenium, B vits, vit C and zinc. I think they help. Good luck!


Thank you auntbessy, I will do some additional research about the antibodies test and request it. I need to be more assertive (i normally am but in this instance the doctor made me feel like i was a hypercondriac)! And yes, there are definitely some dietary changes I need to make.I eat very little carbs in an attempt to lose weight anyway but really do need to work on my caffeine addiction! I was going to start the B vitamins on Monday anyway and will look in to selenium (never even heard of it). Thank you again.


Hi all, just to update you all that have guided and supported me. I went today to see the GP in charge of the practice who, in not so many words, said the previous doctor should have prescribed the thyroxine in the first instant seeing as though I was not asymptomatic (as she had suggested)! She has prescribed me 25mg of thyroxine - the medicine that starts with the letter L that I can't remember. She has also called me in for repeat blood test in 6 weeks.

So yayy to professional an empathetic doctors! Fingers crossed this will be the start of recovery.

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