Full history

A question which occurred to me whilst replying to another (my own) thread. But think it's worthy of a whole new one.

When or have you ever had a doctor take a full history from you? Thinking that I've never had that and there are possibly hundreds of little things/niggles which you'd never bother your gp about but which, when taken all together might be more convincing for diagnosing.

Does it ever happen or is that something that only happens on House 😃

Just wondering?

25 Replies

  • If it is nothing to do with thyroid, then I have been asked quite a lot of questions. But nothing that really probes - only broad questions to which it is all too easy to answer without sufficient thought. Memory over decades takes time.

    Otherwise, it does indeed appear to be Hugh Laurie only... :-)

  • I love Hugh Laurie

  • My experience is that doctors aren't interested in a full history. I give a full history to every medical professional I meet but I'm not sure anyone has ever bothered to read it through.

    I wish that GPs and other consultants would look at the whole picture.

  • I gave a full written summary to my Endo on referral, he said this is common. He did read it.

  • functionalmedicine.org/

    Guess this is what we need :-)

  • When I went to see an endo (about 5 weeks ago) I was asked to list all my current problems, when they all started etc. They began over 15 years ago, I told him everything I could think of (a long list) and then he said 'I`m sending you for some blood tests, I`ll see you again but you probably won`t be getting any T3'. What was the point?

  • If the only point is getting T3 then no, there is no point. But maybe, just maybe he'll spot something else. You can always live in hope!

    In my experience the only time a full-ish history has been taken is by a homoeopathic doctor - they are the nearest thing we have here to functional med docs, and tend to take a full history.

  • When I first made an appointment with Dr D in Paris, he sent me a 40 page questionnaire to fill in before I went. It asked all about my childhood illnesses, operations, diet, family history, symptoms, etc. Very thorough. My first appointment lasted 60 mins or so. Full physical examination (down to my Under-pants!). He weighed me, photographed me, checked heart, lungs, pulse, and blood pressure. We chatted for ages about this and that to do with my health and previous treatments. BUT the most impressive was that the instant I walked in the room, he said 'Madame, your thyroid is dead, and your adrenals are on the way out!' just from looking at me. Well, he was only partially right. There's not much left of my thyroid but it can still keep me alive in an emergancy (have had to put it to the test). He then did very thorough blood tests (although not all the vits and mins) : thyroid, adrenals, etc. However, he was so sure of his diagnosis that he prescribed Armour, HC and iron, on the spot.

    I have never had such a thorough examination before anywhere. Although the first endo I saw did feel my neck, but she didn't know what to do with the info when she got it!

  • That sounds wonderful GG.

    I shall be eternally grateful to the late Dr. S. - I accompanied my relative, who was his patient. As we were leaving, he took one look at me, asked if I was already on thyroxine, and advised me to ask my GP to increase my dose to 150 mcg. GP keeps trying to decrease it but I firmly tell her I've only felt well since the increase and stopped needing the drugs for stomach, heart and cholesterol.

    History taking and observational skills are so important and don't seem to be practised these days - it's just test based and a drug for each symptom and generally not getting to the root of the problem.

  • They're not taught these days. Besides, they've all got this idea that thyroid is so easy to diagnose and so easy to treat, they don't need to waste their time on stuff like that! Pft!

  • Oh that cracks me up! I so wish I could find a doctor who would actually do a full exam. Can't remember the last time that was done for me.

  • Didn't do me much good, though, because he insisted Ihad to be on Armour, it was the best, but it didn't suit me.

  • Aha! I see that there are people approved by this organisation in the UK. All private, of course. The NHS seems to be happier to poison or cut than to actually listen and think.

  • Ooh Greygoose! Does Dr D speak English? It might be worth climbing on a plane.....Or maybe a group of us could go over together!

    I haven't even seen an endo (other than Dr Skinner, who was a virologist really), and I don't think I have ever had an antibody test. No point now, after 15 years!

  • Dr D speaks English, yes. He lectures all over the world in English. He's not an endo, he's an anti-aging doctor. They really know their hormones! Plus he has Hashi's himself. But he is very expensive! And difficult to get an appointment with. If you want to know more, you can Google him. He has several videos on YouTube, but they're all in French, I believe.

  • Never, never, never. I wish. My single biggest bugbear with doctors is you can't get their heads out their computers long enough to listen to other things you think might be relevant. My current illnesses have proven to be related and had anyone been paying the slightest bit of attention I wouldn't be where I am today. Doctors treat a symptom, singular, and they get REALLY annoyed with you if you bring in things which they think are irrelevant.

  • I second this too, Chancery.

    The other really infuriating thing I've found is that the people who summarise your health issues and input them into your Summary Care Record are extremely bad at it and if they can't immediately see a single word that summarises a particular issue then they just don't bother. I have had several surgeries that never made it into my SCR, and I didn't know about this until I bought my GP records last year. It explains why doctors have been treating me as a liar when ever I mentioned certain things - it's because they were missing from the SCR. And it goes without saying that the patient must be lying, and the SCR must be infallible.

  • Hi Humanbean, I had been thinking about buying my medical records (assuming you can do that in Scotland!). I'd be very curious to see my childhood records. But I've lived MANY places in the UK. How would they go about getting them? Would I have to list all my doctors and addresses, or what? It just seems so daunting, especially as I can't see the NHS managing to pull such a feat of collation off! As you have found to your cost, they have enough trouble just keeping ordinary records up to date.

  • Your GP records should have followed you - but of course there is room for doubt they have all come together!

    Hospital, specialist and private records (if you have any) could very well be scattered around each and every place you have ever been treated.

    I think you have to make your mind up - and decide if you think it is worth the gamble of whatever the costs are against how much you can find out.

  • Thanks, Helvella. I was fed antibiotics as a child (for tonsillitis), in what felt to me like an endless cycle. I'd really like to know how many I actually had. I'm sure they started a long line of gut problems which has led to other deteriorations with age. Be nice to be vindicated!

  • That is something I too remember! Regular tonsilitis - regular penicillin. In England, Germany and Scotland.

    But I am not really suspecting any connection with any adult health issues. Though I could very well be wrong there! :-)

  • Ah, I was not alone then! I recall winters where every morning I got up and drank sickeningly sweet chalky liquid. I don't know how many winters but I'm pretty sure I must have had no gut flora left by the time I was ten. Or at least the gut flora I did have was so decimated and unbalanced it paved the way for later gut problems, leading to leaky gut, (or perhaps that should be vice versa) leading to nutritional deficit (B12), neurological problems and, potentially, coeliac disease. I think I'll sue!

  • Hello Human Bean. How much was the cost of obtaining your Summary Care Records, or does it vary from surgery to surgery? I gave been thinking of buying mine as I have a comprehensive health form to fill out and in my brain fogged present condition, can't remember all my child hood illnesses.

  • My surgery printed out my Summary Care Record for nothing (I think I was lucky that day). But to get copies of absolutely everything held by my GP surgery it cost me £50.

    One thing I haven't done yet is to get copies of records from some hospitals I was treated at (there have been lots of them). I am still not sure if I have to approach each hospital individually or (particularly for the oldest records) approach some central county-wide records department for each county I was treated in. I intend to look into this problem this year. I am assuming that each repository of records will charge me another £50 so it is going to get very, very expensive.

  • Thank you for info.

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