Desperately need advice - what tests should I be pushing for, if any?!

I'm 24 years old and over the past 4 years my health has steadily declined. My GP has treated me with depression and anxiety over the years (with no improvement) and has seemingly ignored my concerns that my mental health was a symptom, not the cause. I have gained roughly 6 st in this time, developed echzema, my hair has thinned, my menstral cycle has gone completely awry, loss of libido, aching all over like I have run a marathon, inability to focus and crippling tiredness that has taken over my life. Recently they investigated PCOS but this doesn't look like the case. Type 1 diabetes, Graves and auto immune conditions run in my family. Problem is the GP did a 'standard screen' as he put it and said this was within normal ranges. I think he said it was a TSH test? Is it possible to have a thyroid issue that doesn't show up through this? He also did a 'smooth muscle antibody' test which he said was to investigate my aching, and this DID come back abnormal. but they've said for now tgey are just going to keep an eye on this. I'm at my wits end!

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  • Lchal,

    The range for thyroid testing is quite wide and normal can mean you are bumping along the bottom or at the top of the range. Can you request a printout of your thyroid results from your GP.

    Hashimoto's (autoimmune thyroid disease) can present normal TSH but swing between hyper and hypo. The symptoms you describe are consistent with hypothyroidism and it is not uncommon for people to be misdiagnosed with depression, psychosis and bipolar when they are suffering from undiagnosed hypothyroidism.

    Ask your GP for a full thyroid panel if your previous tests were more than 3 months ago and ask for ferritin, vitaminD, B12 and folate to be tested. Make sure to ask for a printout with ranges as these vtamins and minerals need to be high in range to feel well.

  • Thank you. I have an appointment this week so will ask for all of this. I may actually ask for a different GP, he seems to have pegged me as a whinger with anxiety and just keeps throwing handfuls of anti depressants at me. Ironically, him constantly reinforcing the idea that I'm mentally unwell is starting to make me feel a little like I'm losing my mind! I will post back when I've got my results and ranges. Thanks :-)

  • Tell him that antidepressants aren't helping you. Loss of libido is one of the more common side effects.

    I've taken antidepressants on and off most of my life to manage bipolar depression but I wish GPs weren't allowed to prescribe them for more than a couple of weeks without doing a full panel of tests to rule out physical illness first. GPs seem to decide illness is psychosomatic when they can't reach a diagnosis. If they really think that they should refer patients to psychiatrists because GPs are not qualified to treat mental illness :(

  • Absolutely find another GP or even an Endo. I can't believe they have allowed you to deteriorate as it seems you have. You should be running marathons at 24, not 30 pounds overweight. You most certainly have metabolic condition and probably Hashimotos. You have to start reading about it. The doctors of course will tell you NOT TO but once you become more enlightened you will probably be very angry about your treatment.

    These are some of the tests you need.

    Here's a short video that explains how the thyroid works. I urge you to do something right away.

    stopthethyroidmadness.com/l...

  • You can certainly be hypo and yet in what most GPs call the normal range on blood test. There is a list of better Doctors you could see available via this website. I am now paying to see someone and am starting to feel better with some extra thyroid hormones prescribed after 30 years and a 12 stone weight gain in a year, all the time being told by drs it is not my thyroid

  • Thank you so much for the advice all. I think part of the problem is that the onset of my symptoms began at a point in my life where I experienced several very distressing events. It seemed obvious that I would have been depressed. I work in mental health and so was perfectly accepting of how severly a mental health problem can affect your physical health. But I have taken every anti depressant he has wanted me to take and attended several years of private therapy. CBT until I'm blue in the face! It wasn't until I saw a new therapist this year who pointed out to me that my misery is largely to do with how awful I feel and the impact my health has had on my relationship with my partner. My head is so sluggish sometimes that it's like wading through porridge, and I think I became so down trodden by all the 'normal' test results that I lost the will to fight with the gp. I just started to believe that it must be a serious psychological illness. But working with people who have serious psychological illness every day has shown me that I'm not classically depressed. I'm just completely fed up with feeling like I'm going mad and that doctors don't care. I'm seeing a specialist to finish my PCOS investigation soon, and he had mentioned a colleague of his who is an Endo. I trust him more than the GP so will discuss a referral with him as well :-)

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