Private Endocrinologist?

Hi folks,

I posted a couple of weeks ago for advice & encouragement & was spurred on when I saw my GP last week to insist I got more tests done, despite him making me feel like I was wasting his time. I almost shouted at him at one point, he was so unsympathetic & completely uninterested in my list of symptoms I'd printed off & taken with me.

Anyway, he finally agreed to another round of blood tests - thyroid, Vit D, iron & cortisol. I don't have the full results yet but the receptionist called me today & told me the doctor had written me up a script for Vit D (I was on it for a couple of months from December after first round of tests. She also told me my TSH level was 8.3 (range was 0.5-5.5 last time), but that the doctor didn't need to see me again just retest in 3 month. She said I could book a phone appointment with the doctor if I wanted to talk through my results with him. Great, so another 3 months of waiting & feeling rubbish?

I will go down tomorrow & pick up the script & ask for a full print out of all the results & post tomorrow for review (along with the past couple from Dec & April), but my question for now is...

I took out private medical insurance a few months ago, adding myself to my partners company policy, I am already seeing a private Physio for back/neck/shoulder pain - I was recently diagnosed with a mild scoliosis & osteo arthritis & the NHS physio signed me off after 3 sessions without really helping. I seem to be a subclinical case of hypo & the GP I guess isn't interested in treating til I hit 10, but I feel it's probably adding or responsible for a good portion of my back pain. Would a private referral to an Endo be any more fruitful, are they more likely to medicate with levels less than 10?! Or will they just make me wait another 3 months too? This is my third blood test since December & my highest TSH reading yet... It seems ridiculous to have to wait again, for what? They still won't medicate?

Any thoughts from anyone with Endo/private Endo experience would be much appreciated.


8 Replies

  • If anyone has the name of a good Endocrinologist, please send a private message to Pawnstar.

    Email for a copy of her list of doctors.

  • Hi Pawnstar,

    I have looked at your profile but you don't give any medical history. Are you having clinical symptoms. I assume you are not on medication but with a TSH of 8.3 plus symptoms, your GP should be prescribing levo for you.

    In the USA the prescribe if your TSH is 3. Many doctors will prescribe in the UK around a TSH of 5 with symptoms.

    You cannot possibly wait another 3 months with deteriorating health. A link for info.

  • Sorry, no not on medication... Test in December TSH was 7.5, April it was 5.12 so just within "normal" range. Hence they took no further action... But I insisted last week & lo it was 8.3.

    Symptoms - tiredness, mornings are such a struggle, feel hungover most of the time, back/neck/shoulder pain, although some of that due to scoliosis/arthritis I guess, strange glandy feeling in throat, like something's clicking when I yawn/swallow, thinning hair at temples, no sex drive, feeling low, no motivation, really dry skin (although much better lately using hemp cream!). Probably more that I can't think of right now!

  • Pawnstarr, See another GP at your practice for a second opinion. You can ask for a letter of referral to a private endocrinologist at the same time.

    The 'UK Guidelines for the Use of Thyroid Function Tests' state that, "There is no evidence to support the benefit of routine early treatment with thyroxine in non-pregnant patients with a serum TSH above the reference range but <10mU/L (II,B). Physicians may wish to consider the suitability of a therapeutic trial of thyroxine on an individual patient basis." If your TSH is above the range but less than 10, discuss a therapeutic trial of thyroxine with your doctor.

  • Many thanks to both of you for taking the time to reply...

    I'm not sure whether it was the same doctor that I saw that reviewed the results, I'll check tomorrow & post the full results.

    Is a private Endo more likely to try medication?

  • You can email and ask for a list of private doctors. I think they would be more likely to prescribe.

  • It is ridiculous that you should have to go private to get treatment. With a TSH of 8.3 you are hypothyroid not sub-clinical and you must be feeling absolutely dreadful. I thought that they had changed the normal levels these days as it is now known that even 3 is too high!

    Have you had an ultrasound of your thyroid to see if you have nodules or if it has atrophied?

    I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing good news for you.

  • No ultrasound... No anything really, just vitamin D tablets & told to retest in 3 months (again!). I'm starting to feel like a pin cushion

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