Utter frustration with GP - where to now?

I had a GP appointment yesterday to discuss my "chronic fatigue" being hypothyroidism. I presented private blood tests which showed TSH of 4.73 (0.2 - 4.2) and thyroglobulin antibodies, basal temp. record averaging 36.1, TUK hypo checklist with 80% + ticked, and NICE guidelines. The net result was that my research was dismissed, my checklist symptoms deemed as being indicative of many things (though no further testing was offered to reach a conclusive diagnosis), and it being outwith my GP's control to offer any help beyond further TSH monitoring. I then pointed out my imminent IVF treatment was now postponed by my current state of health, and that ideally my TSH should be between 0.5 to 2. To obtain any treatment, my IVF clinic would have to write to my GP and, even then, treatment could be provided only for the duration of IVF/pregnancy! It is doubtful that my IVF clinic will do that as it is also NHS and apparently not particularly pro-active on thyroid/immunology issues. I have now paid £150 to have a private consultation at my NHS clinic, but, even if I do obtain a letter, it seems the solution would be temporary. My frustration is huge. Today my acupuncturist told me that several people she treats have had thyroid treatment stopped as their bloods were never outwith the normal range, but had sympathetic GPs. It seems as though there is a crackdown in the area.

Where do I go from here?

If I have to self-medicate I will. One ex-doctor mother (hypo) and this forum are so much more helpful than the NHS. I'm guessing a saliva adrenal test and ferritin test would be a good place to start to make sure all is well?

10 Replies

Kayaktime, I'd see another more clued up GP at the practice and if necessary, change GP. Your TSH is above the reference range so it's hard to see why a hypothyroid diagnosis hasn't been made. The NICE guideline is quite clear that Levothyroxine should be administered to bring TSH into the low normal range for women trying to conceive and throughout the pregnancy.

Clutter, thank you. I was so surprised by my GP's reaction as I was above the range. But she looked at my test and then referred to the nhs range which meant I was still in range! I even handed over the NICE guidelines on planning pregnancy. I'm going to change GP because I've just had so many bad experiences with that practice. But I'm not sure I'll fare better anywhere else! I just can't get my head around doctors who ignore clinical symptoms and focus on tests. Like my vit D being in range at 53, so I couldn't possibly be feeling a little ill from low d because I'm a whole 3 points in range!!!! Know that numerous people on this forum have been through this too, so know I'm not alone. I'm sure my anger will subside soon!

Kayaktime, you could complain to the practice manager. That sometimes engenders a change in attitude but you need to find a GP you have confidence in particularly as you are planning a pregnancy which will need careful monitoring.

I don't blame GPs for not prescribing supplements when bloods are in range but you think they'd have the wit to suggest self-supplementing would be beneficial when results are low in range. That does presuppose that GPs are au fait with nutrition and vitamins though.

Clutter, am researching new GP practices today! I absolutely agree - I have no problem paying for supplements but would like some gp acknowledgement/ guidance. I think free prescriptions in Scotland has not helped anyone's cause. GPS are reluctant to prescribe anything bar anti-ds! Wish we could go back to means tested prescriptions and a little less worry for gps about budgets.

Kayaktime, I don't think it's anything to do with free prescriptions. Scrips aren't free in England and problems are the same. IMO it's lack of knowledge about the importance of vitamins and minerals. Good luck with finding a better GP.

This link may interest you. The links within it may not work as Dr Lowe died last year and the site is archived at present.


Very interesting, Shaws. Thank you.

I was told by a very helpful NHS Sister this week that we patients should complain more often as they're there to provide a service - good job I was sitting down when this was said !!

Good luck xx

Thank you Halifaxlass! Isn't it ridiculous that complaints are the only way to receive adequate care? Imagine if all organisations worked that way.

Well, fertility clinic is highly sympathetic. My doc is writing to my new GP to get treatment started ASAP. Absolutely delighted. Thanks again everyone for your help.

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