Am I a hypochondriac?

Please, can someone answer me this before I think about leaving:

Am I a hypochondriac?

The reason I ask is:

- I told someone about my ultrasound report and they said that the things in the report suggest I could have cancer. This person is a cancer survivor.

- I have elevated Anti-TPO and fluctuating TSH despite taking Levo and I do not feel any better. I also take iron supplements and Vitamin B12 supplements and now someone else is saying I don't need to take Vitamin D supplements as my levels are ok.

- I have posted 1 or 2 questions (may have been posts) and deleted them because I was worried about being prejudged and also I didn't think anyone would want to reply to them. I mean, cancer is a heavy word and I was in shock for most of the day.

- People tell me I look ok when in actual fact I feel awful.

Whatever offense I have caused through deleting these posts/questions, I am sorry. There was no harm meant, but I honestly thought people would not reply to them. I mean, why would anyone want to reply to a hypochondriac, right?

There is nothing wrong with me. I think my previous GP practice was right in refusing to test my thyroid anymore.


Jo xxx

50 Replies

  • How can you possibly be a hypochondriac? You have been diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis/Hashimoto's and are now getting treatment which may take up to a year to optimise if you do well on levothyroxine, longer if you have to fiddle around finding suitable meds.

    You're supplementing to put right deficiencies caused by Hashi's and this takes time too. Your VitD may be better now but is it good enough for Hashi patients?

    I'm a cancer survivor too and told you cancer is not diagnosed by ultrasound alone, FNA and core biopsies are required IF the scan points towards it x

  • Hi Clutter, thanks for your reply.

    I wasn't insinuating that you were the one who told me it was cancer as I know you have said the only way to be absolutely sure is through biopsy and FNA. So it's not you who has said it. :)

    Sorry, I don't quite understand why my Vitamin D may be better now. My GP told me it was low in December! :o

    Jo xxx

  • Hey Jo, I know you weren't insinuating I was the fool who scared you about cancer :)

    Got it into my head you'd been supplementing vitD and GP told you it was now in range. Crossed wires, sorry.

  • Hi Clutter, no worries, honestly. Sorry for any misunderstanding. :)

    Jo xxx

  • Hashimotos is a roller coaster disease autoimmune that causes not only you to feel physically sick but also confusion, brain fog and loads of other symptoms, in my case it has affected my cholesterol and my heart and I have had two heart attacks and a stent put in and my BP is very unstable. So you are not a hypochondriac. You should post your questions and let this forum support you through what is a very worrying time for you.

  • Life was never meant to be easy and it certainly isn't for many with a thyroid problem but stick with us. There is always someone reading who will come up with some helpful and/or reassuring advice and support which is a lot more than many of us get from our medics. Just remember there is often no quick fix so we have to be patient and also we all can react differently and present different symptoms so often a bit of a minefield to sort out. Stick with us.

  • Dear Jo, the state of mind you are in is typical of the kind of effect that thyroid problems can have on the mind,

    Don't walk away from the best place you can find for emotional support and practical advice. It IS true that some people might not be able to handle what you are going through because they are in a particularly dark place themselves at the moment, but there will always be someone who can listen.

    You know your own body and you know in your heart of hearts that there IS something wrong with you. Don't let your self-doubt stop your knowing that. Keep posting and reading and never give up, Don't leave, you will find answers if you stay, if you go where will you go to? The very doctors and so-called specialists who are fobbing you off and telling you anything just to shut you up?

    Remember we are all here in the first place because the answers were not out there. Some take longer to find the answers because the answers, for them, might be more complex, especially if it's more than one thing causing the problems.

    Don't leave us, Jo, you are just as important as anyone else and have the right to find your solutions to your problems.

    Marie XX

  • Here Here!

  • Hi Marram, thanks for your reply.

    I've decided to stay - I have no one else to turn to in my family or social circle where I live so this is the closest unit I have.

    I knew something was wrong back in January 2012 because the front of my neck swelled up. I took Lemsip and Strepsils for 6 weeks, thinking it was a throat infection. My voice went hoarse. It was painful to breathe and swallow. GP kept running blood tests and they were normal.

    7 months later my leg was cramping rather badly. I spoke to a nurse at a walk-in centre. She said my blood pressure was low, I was pale and tired and had a goitre. She sent a letter to my GP saying to run more tests on me. They ignored this letter.

    I left for a smaller practice. I was tested for Antibodies and they were found to be high. 4 months later I'm told I'm hypothyroid. 8 months after that I'm told I have Hashimoto's.

    I still feel new to this and I can't get my head round it at all - I feel daft saying that but I really can't get used to the idea.

    Jo xxx

  • May I make a suggestion? I have followed your posts and answered wherever I felt I had something to offer but I am now thoroughly confused about what has been said and done by GP's, hospital and Endos. Also, not sure of your symptoms, except I remember Raynaud's disease and Hashis diagnosis and suspected Addison's.

    Could you perhaps start again with a clear record of what has happened and been diagnosed?

    Thanks Jo! Stick with it! x

  • Hi Hennerton, thanks for your reply.

    I've decided to stay. I've posted everything up for everyone to see. Sorry if it's a long post.

    Jo xxx

  • Hi karisma853, I suffered for 17 years until I found this site. I always thought doctors were right and that I was a hypochondriac. I will be eternally grateful for the knowledge and support I have been given from thyroid uk and it's members! Bev x

  • Hi Jo

    I replied to one of your posts a few weeks ago. I have only been reading in the pst few weeks as I have been feeling very poorly, but you have been getting some really helpful advice - keep asking for it and I am sure you will keep getting it. This an amazingly supportive place :-)

    You have high and fluctuating antibodies. You have been diagnosed with hashimoto's. You are clearly ill and not a hypochondriac. However, if someone suggested the possibility of cancer from only an ultrasound scan then I believe that there are wrong to have worried you. I didn't see your post about this, but the only thing that an ultrasound would indicate are any nodules or areas that need to be investigated further and that is usually done by fine needle aspiration.

    Take care and stay for the help that you can get here. God knows there isn't much help for most on the NHS!


  • Hi Parksie, thanks for your reply.

    No, I deleted this post as the majority of the replies said the possibility of me having cancer from an ultrasound with no nodules is unlikely. So I then deleted it. Sorry if you've been trying to find it but I didn't want to mislead anyone by saying I could have cancer if there's no clear evidence that says I do.

    I've decided to stay.

    Jo xxx

  • Hi Jo

    I wasn't looking for your other post - just trying to help you to see that an ultrasound is not how cancer would be diagnosed.

    It is hard when you feel rubbish and the health(!) system isn't helping you, but try not to worry and get as much help on here as you can.

    Take care.


  • Thanks L!!!

    I'll try not to worry now. :)

    Jo xxx

  • Don' t think any one on here is going to be judgmental. We have all suffered poor health and many of us had had the hypochondriac label attached !!! That simply means ...when your doc gives you a senseless, irrelevant and obviously wrong diagnosis - you disagree and correct them, trying to make them understand your symptoms better!!! You are immediately HYPOCHONDRAIC !!!!! Guilty of googling and inventing your symptoms, accessing information docs do not think you should have and obviously you are not a doctor so .....Can't possibly understand said information or make judgments about your own health !!!! Sorry I am in Rant mode again !

  • I agree! No rant there that doesn't reflect what every one else is thinking !! :-)

  • Hi Linnet!! Thanks for your reply.

    Yes, one of the GPs at my practice made fun of me googling symptoms and refused to believe they were thyroid-related. At the end of the appointment he said "good luck with investigating your symptoms and let me know what you find." Cheeky so and so, I thought. LOL.

    Jo xxx

  • Hi Jo,

    I used to feel like that too, I was afraid to say anything but I was feeling so awful and no one would listen and all they would say is my TSH levels are fine, there was nothing wrong with me, oh how wrong they were.

    I went to see Dr Peatfield in Crawley and he put a perspective on everything. He helped me to understand what was happening and once I understood everything else fell into place. Now I still have bad days but the good days far outweigh the bad.

    You live in your body you know when something is wrong, it's just really hard work getting someone to listen.

    I know where you are coming from and NO you are not a hypochondriac!



  • Hi Plumfairy!! Thanks for your reply!! I've decided to stay!

    I'd love to go to Dr P but I have no income and jobseek. If I won the lottery I would waste no time in going to see him so he could see for himself.

    Jo xxx

  • Hi Jo cancer survivor here too although not thyroid related. There really is no way an ultrasound shows anything clear enough alone for any cancer diagnoses.should there have been any question of a cancer,which obviously appears not in your case, then you would without doubt have been requested to take further tests,and there are several required, all to be done within a 2 week period of any suspicions.its a bit like saying a toothache could be an abscess or a simple tooth that needs filling,both on the surface give similar pain etc. Please try not to dwell on what anyone told you.If you have not been called back to oncology depts pretty smart ish,then you are working on that score needlessly.

  • Hi cupi, thanks for your reply.

    I doubt the report even made it beyond the hospital records. I think as soon as the scan was done it was put onto the system and just left. Previous GP had no record of it and neither did my current GP up to now.

    Jo xxx

  • You sound very frightened confused and worried my lovely, thyroid is a difficult illness and so many symptoms, I remember in early days I thought similar to you , that I was a hypochondriac as nothing made sense and I felt so ill.

    Don't leave we do understand and can help you through this chic

  • You sound very frightened confused my lovely, thyroid is confusing and many symptoms. I thought similar to you no one listened and I was going crackers until I found people and this site.

    Don't leave we understand and can help chic

  • Hi Twinks, thanks for your reply.

    Yes, most of the time I still feel like I'm going crazy. For a while I thought I had bipolar disorder as I would swing in and out of being happy to sad to angry and back again. At least I know the thyroid might have something to do with it.

    I've decided to stay.

    Jo xxx

  • Hi Jo no you are not a hypochondriac you are ill and it it is tough. But please keep going you will get there. I think many people know how you feel thy will have been where you are, so you are not alone. Will be thinking of you, you are a strong woman you can do it. Lots of love x Dorax

  • Hi Dora, thanks for your reply.

    I've decided to stay. :)

    Jo xxx

  • Hi Jo, You are getting some very confusing information from your GP and endo because they truly don't understand the nature of your thyroid problem. That is a fact. You are an individual and need to be treated as such. That's not how they work however. For them you have to fit into their preconceived pattern of thyroid illness. Don't keep going back to your GP unless he has something positive to offer - some means of making you better. In our experience you will NOT change how they think and, yes, you will be labelled by them as a hypochondriac, depressive etc. etc. because they don't have a clue what to do with you. In my family we've been there, done that and got the T shirt.

    You have to take charge of your own health, and that begins with knowledge. PLEASE do get the book I recommended to you a while back by Dr. Nathan: Healing Is Possible: New Hope for Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Persistent Pain, and Other Chronic Illnesses, and check some of the websites I referred you to.

    You are, of course, NOT a hypochondriac, but I really think you need to change course. We had to step away from the NHS and all its preconceived notions before we found help for my daughter. They can

    help some people with thyroid illness, but many others (like my daughter) are thrown on the scrapheap because of the doctors' narrow minds.

    Jane x

  • Hi Jane!! Thanks for your reply.

    I have a telephone consultation with my GP tomorrow about the ultrasound report as the receptionist I spoke to thought it was important that they know.

    I would step away from the NHS if I could but I can't at the moment as I'm unemployed and cannot afford private treatment.

    Jo xxx

  • Hi Jo - I so agree with Janes post above. Taking control of your health is so difficult when you have so many conflicting sources of guidance. When I saw Dr P a couple of years ago - I had to complete weekly charts for six weeks - of pulse, temperature and how I felt. These were then sent to him and he would write back with advice and more forms to complete. This went on for six months I seem to remember. This procedure - in a very subtle way taught me to read and understand my thyroid body. It also gave me the confidence to take control of my health. With the advice on this forum as well I have made huge progress. Have a look at my Profile and you will see a history of poorliness over the last 50 - mostly caused by mis-diagnosis until there was a crisis.

    So as many others have said we are here for you with all our individual health stories and will help as much as possible. My hubby has a great saying - Only worry about the things you CAN do something about . And mine is - Listen to your body - handle it with care - step inside it with your mind - and then you're almost there :-)

    Try drawing up a Shopping List or Action Plan based on the advice you respect from people on this are doing so many good things for yourself - however I am just wondering if you had ever considered practising yoga. The mind body connection is HUGE and I am happy to help if appropriate.... I practice/guide 3 classes a week - could have more if my back allowed ! I find it a healing practice and after an hour the relaxation brings complete stillness to the mind and to the body....and the stimulation of the chakras brings balance to the hormones as each chakra resonates on or near an endocrine gland. Now those yogis knew a thing or two all those thousands of years ago....

    M x

  • Hi Marz! Thanks for your reply.

    I think the health park I go to for reflexology does yoga classes. I'll look into that Tuesday when I go, thanks for the tip. :)

    I track my BBT and pulse every day and I've done this for 2 weeks now. I don't think it's something my GP will accept but I'm wondering if my Endo might?

    Jo xxx

  • it just for YOU Jo - so that you can see patterns emerging. It will help you to understand the workings of your body and how simple things may just upset the rhythm.

    Do hope you can find a yoga class to suit you - I really think the breathing practices will be so beneficial for you .... There are also many useful videos on YouTube if you cannot find a class to suit.

    Thank you for replying at a difficult time - hope you have a good week.... M x

  • Thanks Marz. :) It was no problem for me to reply.

    Hope you have a good week too.

    Jo xxx

  • With all due respect, has this person actually seen your scan results and do they have the necessary medical knowledge to be able to interpret them? If not, IGNORE THEM!!! If there is any chance of anything showing cancer on your scan, they will get you back in for further tests very quickly. The fact that you're being medicated with levothyroxine and still feeling like sh*t just makes you part of a very large club, along with most of the rest of us. That is not down to hypochondria, that is down to the medical profession making 100% decisions on 10% knowledge... This website has been a God-send to most of us here, I know it has to me. It gave me the knowledge to argue my own case with the endos and has resulted in my being treated with T3 as well as T4 which has given me back my life. You can do this too, but you won't do it by leaving... Stay and learn to empower yourself! Nobody else is going to do it for you! :-)

  • Hi, thanks for your reply.

    I've decided to stay. :)

    Jo xxx

  • Big hug Jo!

    No, you're not a hypochondriac. Hashimoto's is such a misunderstood disease - well, let's make that thyroid disorders in general. Thyroid problems do a number on just about every bodily function there is - and emotional functions too. I can always tell when my OH's medication needs a tweak because she becomes increasingly paranoid - the world and his wife is out to get her. I think it's probably part of the disease. You can understand why some many doctors simply want to throw antidepressants at you. But the very fact that you're feeling like a hypochondriac, that you're feeling like a nuisance etc shows that your treatment isn't optimal yet.

    Please keep posting - and please don't give up on ever feeling well again.

  • Hi LilyMay!! Thanks for the hug! Big hug back! :)

    I've had anti-depressants thrown at me twice unfortunately. I was put on Temazepam when I had PTSD and Sertraline when my previous GP thought I had depression from the swallowing problems.

    I always feel like a nuisance when I post on here. I don't want people to think "it's her again, what does she want?" "what is she complaining about now?" I hope people don't think that of me.

    Jo xxx

  • Hi Jo,

    I'm sorry to hear that you are feeling so bad. I don't think you are being a hypochondriac as I believe if something Is bothering you its best to share it and get support for it regardless of what it is! It probably doesn't help that somebody has mentioned the word cancer to you, as that is bound to make anyone feel anxious. I think it would be a good idea to go back to your doctor's and discuss everything with them as they may be able to help you feel a bit easier about things. I'm sorry that i don't know much about the ultra sound results; so am no help there! But I hope that you can give yourself a break, as it sound like you are really putting yourself down, which doesn't help with your general well-being. You deserve answers as much as everyone else.


  • Hi Jenzy!! Thanks for your reply.

    My doctor is calling me Monday as the receptionist felt that this ultrasound report suddenly appearing after 2 years was important. I'm not 100% sure I'll get the answers I want but I'd like to think that a periodic ultrasound is fair.

    Jo xxx

  • Hello Jo,

    I think most people using this website could relate to what your saying. I know you are not a Hybrochondriac - I have been in a simillar situation to you. My docs are not interested either and when I go back (however Ill I am or look) I am told all that is wrong with me is a slight underactive thyroid & more recently crohns diease and fibromyalgia ( all things that require no treatment ) - I used to be a bit of a wall flower but now they get both barrells blazing. If T4 isn't working for you, then maybe you could considered T3, or Natural T4. Levo ruined my health and now I won't ever even consider taking it again. If it isn't working for you then maybe adrenals are not working properly or maybe stomach problems etc. The GP's don't know how to treat us so we are labelled with horrible things so they don't have to treat us.

    I hope things improve for you - this is a great site and we care - stuff the docs they don't have a clue x

  • Hi Kitten-whiskers, thanks for your reply.

    I've decided to stay.

    I don't think GP will put me on NDT or T3. They know what T3 is in terms of hormones, but that's as far as the conversation goes, unfortunately.

    I have an adrenal saliva test kit I'm going to use Tuesday and send it off to see what comes back for that.

    GP is calling me Monday to discuss this ultrasound report but I'm not expecting any joy from the phone call.

    Jo xxx

  • Do request to have a copy of the radiologist's report as regards your ultrasound (you are entitled to have it). take care of yourself, x

  • Hi Kummitati, thanks for your reply.

    The only copy of the radiologist's report with regards to my ultrasound that I have is the one done in 2012.

    If the GP refers me to have another ultrasound how soon is it that I can ask for a copy of the report? I don't want a second one to go missing!!

    Jo xxx

  • If you get another US done, I'd ask the radiologist to send you a copy as well as your GP, if s/he says they'll only send to GP, then ring say end of that week/following week and ask surgery receptionist to print out a copy for you. If not agreeing then ask your GP to print it out for your when you see him/her. x

  • Ok, will do. Thanks for your help. :)

    Jo xxx

  • Hello Jo,

    So glad to hear you are staying - you can find lots of helpful info on here.

    I have completely given up on docs and can't say I am surprised that the doc is only going to provide Levo. I have changed surgeries three times and found a doc that has prescribed T3 - That is as far as it goes though - No help with my Adrenals and Stomach Issues though - as long as I am in the range who cares how I feel, they don't. Once I came to terms with that and started researching and reading books I have improved greatly, still poorly and have off days but at least I am now on the right path. Never give up because it does get better, and we are always hear for help and support.

    Best wishes

    Debs x

  • Hi Jo

    Don't assume the GP surgery will get back to you if there is a problem. Always chase, chase and chase some more to get results. I had the same experience as you with my doc telling me for months I was a hypochondriac but I insisted on him sending me for a thyroid ultrasound because I knew I could feel something in my neck that was getting worse and worse. He sent me for the ultrasound in Aug 2013, they told me at the time all looked fine and if there was a problem that they would contact my doctor who would contact me. I rang the surgery the following wk and they said no results yet but don't keep calling, they would contact me if there was a problem.

    Fast fwd to 23 December, I was at the Surgery for the first time and just happened to mention that I assumed all was okay with ultrasound as I had heard nothing. 27 dec I get a call from surgery can you come in immediately and discuss results. So 5 months ago, the results had been sent from the hospital to the surgery saying that a thyroid nodule with microcalcification had bn sent marked 'for urgent specialist referral' and my GP had missed it. So I then had to wait 2 wks to see specialist, another 2 wks for biopsy, then another wk for results which thankfully were benign! In the 5 wks of stress I have developed an anxiety disorder and keep getting severe panic attacks. Not helped by the fact that in between the 5 wks my chest consultant called me and said she had looked at my chest X-ray and it looks like something sinister going on so she wants to make sure the cancer hadn't spread. I didn't know at that point that I don't have thyroid cancer so my anxiety attacks went to a whole new level. Now I have to wait til next tues for a CT scan of lungs and 2 more wks for the results. Needless to say I hate the NHS at the moment not just for their lack of care for thyroid patients but also for the flippant comments they impart to patients without a thought for the impact it has on them!

    Don't rely on the GP to look out for you or get back to you. Just keep pushing for results til you get them! I used to think that no news is good news but have changed my thinking as a result of this recent experience!

  • Hi Camilla thanks for your reply.

    Yes, I've changed my way of thinking that no news is good news. When my TSH was first known to be high I contacted the practice and they told me everything was fine.

    2 months later my neck swelled up and I took goodness only knows how much Lemsip and Strepsils as I thought it was a throat infection. I guess I should have known something else was going on as it took over a month to reduce in size.

    I then saw my GP who told me my thyroid hormones were high - not the TSH. So it's been one mistake after another with them, hence why I moved GPs.

    Yes, I too hate the NHS and would dearly love to go private if I had the money.

    Jo xxx

  • Yeah, look, if you feel unwell, you feel unwell, and that must mean that something isn't quite right inside you. I've been treated like a hypochondriac, too, and that got me down, not because I believed that there was nothing wrong but because it made me feel like there was no one who could help me. Maybe you should request the list of "good" doctors from the site admin people and see if there's one near you. All it takes to make you feel hopeful again is one doctor who cares enough to listen to you and then say, let's find out what's wrong! ... Best of luck with everything!

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