Is it or isn't it?

I'm 83 years old and I've had a bit of a year. Firstly a bladder problem, a catheter, UTIs and a general feeling of being unwell. Between March and September I lost 40 lbs in weight and began to notice a considerable increase in frequency of bowel movements. I started to suffer from breathlessness and palpitations and extreme tiredness. I am diabetic and attend a clinic twice a year. In October I went to one of those and the blood tests revealed that my Thyroid reading was high. I saw first one and then a second Dr who both said that the reading was high but just at the upper end. I accepted their opinions but then had a hernia which necessitated seeing a specialist in that field. Surgery was necessary, he said, but not advisable considering my age and physical condition. I had told him of my physical problems but had not mentioned Thyroid. He immediately commented that he thought that my problems were connected to an over-active Thyroid. Back to my GP who has now reluctantly agreed to refer me to an endocrinologist. Reading all of your stories about the difficulties you have had with your GPs made me realise that, perhaps, I am not getting the best advice from mine. In addition to weight loss, I am having sleep problems, breathlessness, palpitations and severe tiredness. I'm not looking for any advice - just thought I would join the club!!

10 Replies

  • Welcome to the forum, Kolchinsky.

    I'm sorry you've had so many health issues this year and hope next year will be better for you. It's good practice to obtain a printout out of your thyroid results with the lab ref ranges (the figures in brackets after your results) as you can monitor your own thyroid health and can post them in a new question if you do want advice.

    I hope it won't be too long before your endo appointment is due. If your FT4 and FT3 are over range and your TSH is low you may need Carbimazole to regulate your thyroid.

  • Well, first I would ask the docs, to check whether you have antibodies for the thyroid before embarking on meds to slow down the thyroid. It.s most likely, given age and statistics that rather than being hyperthyroid, you could be in a hyperthyroid phase of hashimotos thyroiditus, which is a common auto immune problem. It can cause your thyroid to speed up and then slow down.... if its in a speeded up phase, a beta blocker might help calm things down. When the docs told you your thyrod reading was high, its probably safe to assume they has only tested your tsh. If the tsh was high this could be hashimotos. I do wish the doctors would treat us like intelligent humans rather than idiots. Your thyroid is high is a meaningless phrase unless they tell you exactly what they tested. Grrrrrrr!

    Welcome to the club, and congratulations upon managing to avoid joining until your 80's. :-).

    Xx. G

  • Many thanks for your response. I am very ignorant about all the readings they take but I do have an appointment with an endocrinologist who I hope will be better equipped than my GPs. Actually, I have been prescribed with a beta blocker so maybe I'm being a bit hard on my GP. Some of the medical attendants I have had dealings with keep insisting that my problem is anxiety but the symptoms are too specific for me to believe that.

  • Try and make sure you see the endocrinologist in a reasonable time, don't let it drag on. They will be more informed and can prescribe and monitor you. The guidelines say you should be referred if you have signs of thyroid overactivity. Overactivity is hazardous so they shouldn't delay.

  • Thank you. My appointment is on Jan 16th - I hope that is timely enough!! At least one of the two GPs I saw about this thought that it was necessary.

  • Anxiety is one of a myriad of symptoms, of an over active thyroid.

  • Hi, it does sound like you have an overactive thyroid and you would think that your GP would have referred you the first time - unfortunately they are all rubbish! Your endo is the best person to help your symptoms although it may be a battle - sorry to say! Thus page will help you though

    Hope you feel better soon xx

  • Thanks for your comment. I've assumed that endo is short for endocrinologist - am I right? I shall be seeing one of those soon and I am hoping for some answers.

  • Yeah that's right! Hopefully you'll start to feel better when they get you on the meds, but don't assume that a "normal range" is normal for you, go by how you feel x

  • Is it thought that a Thyroid condition can cause high blood pressure? Also I have finally seen an endo who confirmed the Thyroid problem and prescribed Carbimazole; after only two doses I experienced side effects - sore throat, cough and feeling even worse than before. Any tyhoughts?

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