Consultant insults

I went to see the thyroid consultant surgeon today and can only say what an arrogant individual he was. "well your blood results are normal so you're fine, your lump is only small (2.75cms last ultrasound) and although your FNA was inconclusive without being able to rule out PTC there is nothing to worry about". When advise it was pushing on my windpipe and I was having trouble swallowing and food getting stuck "well that's all in your head you are panicking and throat spamming, so just stop worrying and you will be fine". This from a man who met me for 10 mins tops and I paid for that! "We'll do another biopsy and see what result we get and if the same we might do a hemilobectomy to look closer but no rush!" I have so many symptoms and I don't panicking when swallowing and my food doesn't go down as it should. I was a nurse so have enough understanding to not be panicking. I am so frustrated and humiliated and angry and desperate to feel better. Hashimoto antibodies 187 but not a problem apparently. Is this the scene of things to come?

50 Replies

  • I am sorry you did not have a good experience with your consultation. Email and pass on his name.

    Especially when you paid for your consultation, expecting maybe a more sympathetic person who is dealing with clinical symptoms and give you reassurance. They make excuses to try to reassure but, in fact, the patient knows full well what's going on with their own bodies.

    I don't have hashi's so I haven't experienced the swings of hormones it produces but have read others' experiences.

    I think he will forward to your GP your blood test results, so ask the surgery for a copy to see what he calls 'normal' and post on a new question.

    Did he prescribe levothyroxine for your antibodies.

    If we want to recover our health I am afraid sometimes we have to read and learn how to overcome it. With hashi's you eventually become hypothyroid. Arrogance seems to be quite common with some consultants (small c) and others are so reassuring. It's as if its all our fault that we are complaining.

  • It is all too common that Endos and GP's seem to have little or no understanding of auto-immune issues. Do you have any blood results you can post ?

    Have your read up on Hashimotos ? Maybe there are some lifestyle changes that could help you to feel better.

    How are your vits and minerals - have they been tested ? B12 - Ferritin - Folate - Iron - VitD All these need to be optimal or near the top of the range. Ferritin around 80/90....

    All my TFT's were in range but the anti-bodies and the scan revealing nodes produced a diagnosis of Hashimotos and treatment began.

    Reading Dr Alexander Haskell's book - Hope for Hashimotos - he does mention that taking T4 does go some way to quelling the anti-body attack. He has a website of the same name so take a look and see what you can find to support your quest for wellbeing....

    Am afraid we have to read and learn as much as possible....

  • Hi Shaws no nothing for the antibodies - should there be? I saw my GP afterwards new surgery to move as we moved house. This one actually listened asked my symptoms and said that we need to investigate more. Got t3 & t4 tests this morning as they have not been done. I have TSH 2.9 - range up to 5 - antibodies 187 think range was up to 20. That's it. Not sure GP knows a lot about Hashimoto but it's a start. Wait for another FNA I guess.

  • Email and ask for a copy of the Pulse Online article. In it you will see the answer to a question re antibodies. Discuss this with your GP, yes you should be on levothyroxine. Doesn't matter if GP says TSH is not high enough yet, there is an attack by the antibodies.

    Also, always get a print-out of your blood tests (we are entitled to them) for your own records and you have to quote the ranges if you post up the results. The reason is that labs differ throughout the country.

  • I to had had the same problem with Endocrine consultants, and ENT surgeon, this is in Peterborough area '!!! I to paid to see both consultant but now £2k out of pocket have got NO where! I have a large Goiter growing in size, for over 5 yrs ( my Gp said 5 yrs ago i didn't have the start of a Goitor now retired, supposed to have specialized in ENT) with nodules now up to my ears and pushing my jaw out of place!!! My Antibodies are 508!!! TSH 2.7 - 2.5 and can change at anytime, as I had been diagnosed Hashimoto's before I went to see either consultant!! The Endo private consultant I saw said my results didn't add up to Hashimoto's, I have a long list of symptoms!!! Now getting fed up!!! The ENT private consultant told me Hashimoto's wasn't very common, Its been round for 102 yrs!!! According to the Private consultant my antibodies are ok!!! I have neck, shoulder arm pains, palpitations, chest tightening, Depression, anxiety, constipation or diarrhoea, dry skin and very dry hair, i also have swollen oedema round my wrists, swollen ankles especially at the end of the day when i have been on them all day!!! Cold below my knees to my toes, when I have to warm them up I can b=feel the heat going up my legs to my knees, My fingers get really cold and hurt. My nose goes very red. I have gum problems and have to now wear an eraizor to stop my teeth from grinding together, I have a poor memory, I have lived in a fog all my life!!! I have a family history of Hashimoto's my father has had it for over 40 yrs!!! as has his 4 sisters!!! My fathers Thyroid has now shrunk to a walnut size , he has been on Levithyroxine and or another one. He has had chest/heart problems which is a cause of only being on either T3 or T4 when research shows should be on both! I am on strong analgesia, Tramadol x 8 a day!! I am also on anti - depressants Citalopram 20 mgs daily which I thought needed to be taken into a/c with my blood results!!! I have now decided to get a second opinion and go to Addenbrooke's hospital to see an endocrine specialist in Thyroid problems!!! Swallowing and eating can be a problem! I also now bite the side of my mouth. I have also in the past been exposed to metals , especially to the metal used in Solder as I worked in an electronics factory without much health and safety for 4 yrs at the Beginning of the 1980's!! I have started cutting out chemicals and feel better for this, but many of my symptoms have eased but are still there . I have changed my diet to Gluten free and going to go totally grain free .

  • Oh my goodness, is this not dreadful? If there was nothing to worry to about, a more reassuring and professional manner would have been more appropriate. It is just appalling to sense the worry and fear someone is experiencing and dismiss it. It is almost as if you have been consigned to puréed soup. I just wish I could offer answers. You might even put up with the rudeness, if you got proper treatment. It is unprofessional.


  • When I hear stories like yours I have to wonder if endocrinologists are the most un-patient friendly doctors around? Or is it just because people using this site use endocrinologists and if we looked on other parts of Health Unlocked would we find lots of other patients who are also being treated with such distain?

    Don't give up hope, with a bit of luck you will be able to find a kind patient friendly consultant from Louise's list plus your new GP listened to you. Stick with this group and you will get loads of helpful information and support

  • ENTs aren't too friendly in my experience! I've seen five and only one was a human being. Some gynocolgists need taking out of the freezer, too. And my cardiologist was just plain barking mad!

  • Come to think of it I saw an ENT doctor a few months back and she didn't have great patient skills, she came into the waiting area shouted my name didn't say hello or anything, she just walked off along a long corridor in total silence with me trotting along behind her. It felt quite strange. On the plus side she fixed my hearing problem that visit and the audiologist I saw was very friendly.

  • The last ENT I saw said that my hearing loss and tinnitus were just down to me being so old. I was 55 and he was about 12.

  • 55 - OLD! What an upstart. Just wait until he gets to be 55 or even older. See how he likes it.

    Actually I was told - or shown on the print out - that my hearing loss was due to age but it was said in such a way by the audiometrician and the ENT doctor that my hearing loss was due to age but it was said very nicely, I was definitely not made to feel older than I am.

  • But they did manage to do something about it? What did they do?

  • Not about the hearing loss it is so slight and at the top of the scale.

    I had gone totally deaf in one ear all of a sudden, I spent a few days self treating then read online you should have it dealt with in something like four days, went to see my doctor who asked questions and when I saw her counting out the days on her fingers I said 'It's too late, I should have come within four days'

    I got an ENT appointment a couple of days later, had the wax sucked out with a little vacuum cleaner then had a hearing test where I could see the top line dropping off a bit nothing too bad and to be expected at my age, saw the doctor again after the hearing test and came home able to hear again. Deafness is so isolating.

  • Oh, tell me about it! When I was taking beta blockers and PPIs and all that crap, I went almost totally deaf, only to be to told there was nothing wrong with y ears.

    When I stopped taking all that rubbish, my hearing came back to the level it was before - which, to be honest, isn't great, but better than on the drugs.

    I've never heard about the four day thing. What's that all about?

  • Sorry, you should see your doctor within a couple of days - it must have been four days by the time I got to the doctor - I just remember her asking what say it happened and her fingers moving as she worked out how long it had taken me to get there

    It was the weirdest thing - my ear just went 'pop' as I was driving home from work one nigh and that was it - totally deaf in that ear.

  • So what caused it then? Just wax?

    Glancing through that article, it appears to be talking about me! I started losing it when I was quite Young - about thirty. I didn't really notice at first but people kept telling me to stop shouting. I guess I was shouting because I was going deaf!

    But I have been to so many doctors, and ENTs and other people about it and they all just shrug, nothing to be done. One person - don't really know what he was in the scheme of things - did syringe my ears, and that made things better. But I asked my GP earlier this year about wax and he looked and said there was some but not enough to worry about. But how could he tell that? I don't know...

    My brother, who's had similar problems, just tells me to put olive oïl in my ears. After all, he says, that's what an ENT will tell you to do. Um... no, I very much doubt it. In France olive oïl if for putting on your salade, not in your ears. lol But I just don't fancy that, anyway. It sounds messy.

  • Impacted wax. For some reason I have very waxy ears and frequently have them syringed but this was different. The vacuum thing they use in the hospital is amazing. So quick and you don't have to mess about softening the wax for a couple of weeks before anyone will syringe them. By which time if you were slightly deaf you have gone completely deaf and in my case lost the will to socialise or even just speak to people, I have SO much sympathy for people who are hard of hearimg.

    Anyway I was told to put a drop of oil in each ear once a week and did it religiously for many months then we went in holiday and all that fell by the wayside with the result I know I need to do something again. You can buy a dinky little bottle of light olive oil with a handy spray nozzle on the top, it's made by Earol and is very good. I've just dug it out to find out what it was called to tell you so I have left it by the bed for tonight - along with my dry eye drops!

    I got mine in Boots in the UK but knowing (and loving) France there is bound to be something similar.

  • Earol! Love that name! lol

    Thank you for the link, I've just found it on and will get some soon. But it's the same brand on the French Amazon, all written in English. I really cannot imagine a Frenchman, as I know them, putting olive oïl in his ears!

    When I had mine done - many moons ago - over thirty years! - I didn't have to soften the wax first, he used a syringe full of water that he injected slowly into my ear, and it all popped out! Wonderful feeling!

    But the 12 year-old that I saw was at the local hospital, and he just wasn't interested. He was far more interested in impressing the gaggle of pretty nurses that were hanging on his every word (I didn't think he was that good looking!) and giggling at everything he said, and I left feeling humiliated and belittled and frustrated.

    I seem to remember, when I was a child, my aunt putting a pickled onion in her ear for earache. My brother said I must have been halucinating. lol And perhaps I was, who knows. Have you ever heard of such a thing?

  • I've heard of onion poultices so perhaps she heated an onion?

    Years ago it used to be almond oil but you don't seem to get that easily these days. I was desperately looking for it when I became under active and my nails disintegrated right down to the quick, they were so painful and I read to massage in almond oil. I couldn't have brought myself to use olive oil though, I used a little bottle of Bio Oil along with an OPI treatment for flaking nails and hey presto back to normal - although the success was probably as much to do with getting into the correct dose of thyroxine as anything else

  • I don't know about the onion, I was very small at the time. Perhaps it was a normal onion and I got confused because of her penchant for pickled onions - there was always a jar on the table for every meal.

    In our house, in the medecine cabinet - which only contain a box of plasters, a bottle of asprin and a thermometre - oh, and the dreaded bottle of cod liver oïl! - there was also a very small bottle of olive oïl. As a child, I had no idea that olive oïl was comestible - we never had any kind of oïl in the kitchen, everything was cooked in lard, or beef fat. In my mind, olive oïl was for medicinal purposes only. Although I never saw it used.

    So, you can imagine my surprise on reading Elizabth David's French cook book to find that olive oïl...

    Later on, a bottle of almond oïl did appear, I have no idea why. I just used it during my Easter-egg making experiments to grease the mold. Always failed miserably, though.

  • I got some almond oil for my nails a couple of years ago but never got round to using it. I bought it from the Body Shop. I find the almond milk I put on my cereals for breakfast are making my nails stronger.

  • My OH drinks almond milk, I only ever have it occasionally if I have a cornflake craving.

    Will check out Bodyshop. It never used to bedifficult to get almond oil and I just can't bring myself to substitute olive oil.

  • I've never seen an endocrinologist so I can't compare from personal experience. But gynaecologists (usually male, but not always) are a real bunch of sadistic bastards, in my experience. I'll give you just one example of many. In the 90s I went through several IVF treatments and got pregnant a few times. One of the times I was pregnant I was in so much pain there was a suspicion that an embryo may have lodged somewhere it shouldn't. During a discussion with a consultant - a senior man with a team of his own - he asked me how many embryos were put back in me. I said "One, it was all there was." His reply? "I'm surprised they bothered." This was at a time when three embryos was considered to give the best chance of pregnancy.

  • Honestly! You do have to wonder why people like that go in for medicine when they could probably find a different but equally high status and well paid career that didn't involve having to be nice to or empathise with people.

  • Like in a slaughter house!

    Human Bean, what a terrible thing to say! I would never go to a male gynacologist if I had the choice, they're so rough for one thing. I want to say : hey, that's not a turkey you're stuffing there! Ham-fisted buggers. They just have no idea!

    Mind you, I did have a female one that wasn't much better. She was so cold and distant. Made me feel like a lump of decaying meat on a slab. She was so concerned about my weight, she told me about her expériences with Weight Watchers (she knew nothing about hypo!!!). She said : you can eat all you want! Last night I ate so many green beans I was sick!

    Well, I would be sick if I ate just one green bean. I loathe them! And that is not my idea of being able to eat 'all you want'. lol

    Oh, and the male gyny I saw on my first hospital visit of my first pregnancy was drunk!

  • I have loads of awful stories about gynaecologists. But I must admit I don't think I've ever come across a drunk one before!

  • And I hope you never do!

  • It is worthwhile, as one 'poster' mentioned to get a list of recommended endos from Louise and never see this toe rag again! As you are paying you have a choice! at least of common courtesy and not to hear that you are imagining this problem!!! Grrrrrh!

  • Bear in mind with the best will in the world, the LIST is just personal opinions.

    My experience:- some on there are only better than bog standard Endo's- but that's saying very little, we know. The main problem,as I see it , is that the Endo world is overtaken with the £!+Billion budget [and ongoing needs] of the Diabetic.

    They see a often hidden illness like UAT as a diversion where feet won't need chopping off etc [Yes, Diabetes is a horrible affliction]

    Their permissive NHS guidelines [not properly updated with latest numbers advice] leads to a cavalier attitude- where bigger TSH numbers tomorrow will guide their further endeavours.

    Guilt also comes into it, as patients are all too aware these days, with help from sites like Thyroid uk that they are not imagining very much, if any UAT symptoms.

    This worsens their denial and they really do want us 'out of the door', as I've experienced 3 times now!

    Final note: Give the Admin feedback on your experiences with this list as I do & help others with up to speed Endos who can & will help.

  • I did speak very frankly anout this to a GP who also takes thyroxine. She said they simply don't talk about Armour because there is little up to date research on it and they fear lawsuits if they prescribe and things go wrong. "We are covering our backs" she said.

  • But that's stupid because very few patients can actually sue a doctor in the UK. And if they did, everyone knows they wouldn't get very far. They all close ranks and protect each other.

    That just seems like an excuse to me. And meantime, they don't give a flying wotsit that patients are suffering and dying of thyroid-related diseases. It beggars belief!

  • Awful to experience this type of attitude.

    I have come across sheer arrogance, inability to listen & plain old horrible consultants (definitely a small c!).

    There also seems to be a pattern in writing frugal information on letters to gp, and when read the true notes on gp's system it states some findings not advised in the letter (cc'd to patient).

    I met two lovely consultants, out of many!

    There is a question very frequently asked as standard by Dr's (especially in CDU, A&E). "What do you feel the problem may be".... answer it & get ignored.

    Law upon themselves!! X

  • It's not funny but your last comment about the frequently asked question really made me laugh. So true. Although I had a GP who once said 'what do you think is wrong with you?' And when I said that I thought it was his job to tell me he said he liked to know what the pationt thought was wrong because it gave him a good starting point. He wasn't sneering or dismissive about it, he was being quite serious.

  • It's been said [from someone on the inside] that if the Dr listens well -the patient may tell them what's wrong!

  • I'm hoping it was a doctor who told you that. There are a lot of lovely, kind doctors around and I'm sure they hate it when they hear how the rude ones treat their patients.

    I know as a former teacher I used to see and hear things that made me absolutely ashamed to be a teacher. I used to work on the principle that no matter how awful and irritating a child had been every child was somebody's much loved child and if they weren't then it was even more important to be kind to them, perhaps every consultant / doctir ought to think 'would I like a doctor to treat my mother / child like this? and act accordingly.

    Saying that I once had a young doctor at my surgery say 'if you were my mum this is what I would hope her doctor would do for her.' You can't ask for more than that can you

  • That was Dr P said that! In one of his books, I think.

  • Gosh, wonder if this girl had ever come across him during her training.

  • I've had a quarter century of failures from GP's, hospital consultants, dentists, alternative/integrative practitioners, nurses and medical admin staff...

    It shouldn't take so long and be so hard to find passionate and competent medical workers. I've lost what should have been the best years of my life. It's affected my health, career and relationships.

    As a result, I have next to no respect left for any of the above.

    The last GP, who I met just once, lied in the notes she made in my medical records - it was a work of pure fiction and nothing in her notes was true. Making a complaint wasted a year or so of my time. The same happened with a complaint at the local major hospital. They just all collude.

    As a result, I've not seen any GP since that lying GP and the lying owner of the GP practice who was offended that I had the audacity to question her - so she lied in my notes as well.

    I should register with a different GP practice, but I've lost faith in these people.

    Apparently, you have to find your own way and keep your distance from all these inept medical workers - of which there are numerous in the UK.

  • Thank you all for your replies - gosh you do feel alone when fighting for someone to hear you. I really appreciate you all listening. I have been and had blood test for blood proteins - not sure why that - t3 & 4, TSH, TRH, antibodies and have to see in a week where that gets me. Cancelling NHS appt with said arrogant consultant - less I have to do with him the better. Wait for biopsy and look on line for vitamins to see if can help myself. Gluten free food bought online last night. Does anyone get a symptom where your eyeballs hurt? Thanks again what wonderful place this is.

  • Yes, for me dry eyes make my eyeballs ache - that can be misleading because dry eyes makes them water too. I use ( or am supposed to use) eye drops/ gel tears formulated for dry eyes. Best if you can get some preservative free drops too. Go and see a decent optician for advice and maybe referral if they think you need that just to be on the safe side but eye ache and thyroid seem to go together. Frequent use of eye drops really does help as does holding a face cloth squeezed out in hot water over your eyes.

  • HI,

    Terrible when so horrid cancel their appointments. I refuse to ever go back to a Neurologist as he is so awful & not just to me, apparently he has a reputation for being awful (nurse told me after!) Disgraceful he gets away with it but the NHS need the consultants so very reluctant to upset them as they can work privately etc easily. However, consultants get an amazing contract from nhs, hence many do nhs & private. Unless extreme provable negligence they are quite safe.

    What a sad situation for sick people.

    Nickinoo....I get pain to the back of my eyeballs & vision variation for short time. Reported, reported & reported but no action other than my high street eye test!

    I refuse to be beaten down by consultants now.


  • Oooo, neurologists! Forgot them! I had a lovely lady one once, but she did love to name drop! Going on and on about all her social engagements and her dazzeling social life whilst examining me. So, finally, I told her I'd met the 'could-have-been-if-it-hadn't-been-for-the-revolution' king of France. Yes, there is one. And his mother. That shut her up. lol I didn't tell her that is was when I was working in a theatre and I showed them to their seats! lol

    Anyway, she moved, and I had to see another 12 year-old at the local hospital. So, he sat there, behind his desk, feet up on it, picking his nose whilst he talked to me. Although, I'm not sure it actually was TO me, because he would ask a question and as soon as I started to answer, he would ask another one. And so on and so on and so on, and I never did actually get to answer a question. Up shot was, he said, yes, I did have a neurological problem, but it wasn't bad enough for him to bother about!!! Pft!

  • I can really sympathise. I saw an ENT consultant with large goitre and same symptoms as you. Was told he sees a lot of older women like me who have nothing better to do but worry about their health! Knew nothing about me or my life! So rude and arrogant and the nurse agreed! As somebody above has said I don't know how they continue to get away with it when others who work with them are aware. I am fortunate to have a really helpful GP who said well you won't want to see him again and referred me to somebody else at another hospital. As others have said do your research and there are some very knowledgeable people on this site. And yes I had the painful eyeballs which also twitched and vibrated but this is subsiding with treatment. Good luck.

  • Hi,

    I've spent years reporting my symptoms. I may as well see a clerk. They've run some tests (begrudgingly sometimes) and noted symptoms and seen odd thyroid results.... And then done absolutely nothing for me.

    Apparently, the Multi nodular goitre doesn't cause problems unless it grows and suffocates me. As far as they're concerned, a Multi nodular goitre will not cause any symptoms of any kind and does not interfere with thyroid/endocrine function at all.

    They're all idiots who don't deserve our respect or patience.

  • Nickinoo, I'm sorry your surgeon was so dismissive.

    My nodule was 2.8cm and hemilobectomy was scheduled because it was compressing my windpipe making breathing and swallowing difficult and it was felt there was no point in repeating the indeterminate FNA.

    When you get Louise's list post a question asking for personal recommendations via private messages and then ask your GP to refer you to one of them.

  • I live in the US and am so glad I came across this site. It seems the US and UK have the same endocrinologists. I have lumps on my thyroid but gave up going to the endo after the time he told me my symptoms were both high and low thyroid therefore he couldn't know what to treat. This was during menopause. He never considered that my symptoms might come from another reason also. I went to a pharmacy that specializes in medical tests. I paid $250 to take the thyroid saliva test. It showed I was extremely low to the point of wondering how I was still moving much less working. I found a Physician's Assistant (not sure you have those, but they are a nurse with qualifications to prescribe meds) who agreed to prescribe Armour Thyroid (T3). It worked. I too would often choke and it seemed to get worse as I got older. The choking problem is gone. I can enjoy getting up in the morning ready to do things. And by the way the thyroid Blood test results for me have been the same for over 10 years. My problem simply doesn't show up in a blood test. Best of luck and I feel your frustration.

  • I believe your Endocrinologists have the same points of view as ours. One of ours was a speaker at the 2013 American Thyroid Association's Conference and we couldn't believe our ears when we listened to the Video talk. We were, to say the least, horrified at what we now have to be diagnosed with. I think it stems from the payments Big Pharmaceutical Companies give to doctors and medical personnel to provide only their products. False statements made about Armour etc which were the original to begin with.

  • Reckon they go to schools of arrogance, not medicine.

    I sometimes think the added stress consultants cause in the way many treat their patients just adds to their feeling unwell.

    I had a near argument with an Endo when he told me I don't half a thyroid as ultra scans are very vague... took me ten minutes to get him to agree it was half a thyroid and I had a specialist thyroid scan to prove it & it was on the screen in front of him..what a fool!

    Thank goodness for this site to share stuff... I'd been blaming myself for encountering horrid consultants (ie I point out symptoms, requests appropriate tests etc).

    Perhaps they should read some of our views, I wonder if they would feel ashamed or laugh (yep, probably the latter).

    I know they aren't all horrid of course.

    Greygoose...fabulous how you dealt with one teehee. Next horrid consultant I see I'm going to try use some dry humour.


  • I wonder if doctors actually get any kind of "non-medical/technical" training. They may know the science (although I am not always convinced of that), but some of them truly need to learn a proper bedside manner.

    I also saw a 12 year old neurologist recently - she was absolutely amazing. She listened, she tested, she has referred me for all sorts of further testing and really seemed to relate to me. She actually told me off for referring to myself as getting old (in my 50s). In fact, most of the non-endocrinologists I have seen recently have not fobbed me off, have not patronised me, and seem to have a better understanding of Hashimoto's than the endocrinologist I was obliged to see.

  • I don't know why I was surprised to be honest as I went from General/ medical nursing to psychiatric because I couldn't stand all the ridiculous hierarchy and bowing and scraping that went on when the consultants were due. In psych the consultants made the tea as much as we did - we were a valued member of a team. I guess I was hoping for similar decision to the one Clutter got - no second FNA - to me to wait for a few weeks for appointment, a few weeks more for results when my nodule COULD be cancerous is just illogical. Whatever it is causing me problems that contrary to popular belief are not in my head.

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