Thyroid UK
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One must not Google - unless you are a GP?!

Hi all

Just seen a GP about a lump/swelling on the left hand side of my neck around my collarbone and he advised it was a swollen lymph node.

I'm waiting on an appointment for a thyroid ultrasound anyway as I seen a lovely GP about more swelling, discomfort and hoarseness at my thyroid. The collarbone swelling I noticed the day after.

Anyhoo, after he said it was swollen lymph nodes he started to GOOGLE it. I sat there patiently (great pun?) as he typed in "lymphedema and thyroiditis". WHY? The first words my eyes are drawn to are CANCER! He quickly finds a page he's looking for and says that there do seem to be cases where hashi's could cause this.

I just find it all a little....mmmm....double standards? Ironic? Many of us are scolded by GP's not to google our symptoms, but how come they can do it? In fact, it's even scarier when they do it!

Anyway, I'm pretty sure it's nothing "scary" (as the GP said while giving me a form for a FBC blood test) it's all a little funny.


13 Replies


I had a similar experience with a GP (not my named GP - just the only one I could get to see without a 3 week wait) when I went to see him about what I'd self diagnosed as a rectal prolapse (yep, lovely topic, sorry!). And yes, like your doctor, he proceeded to Google it and showed me pictures of rectal prolapses (please don't Google that if you're about to have tea... There were "bottom" pictures of males, females, cows and sheep...). Like I hadn't thought to do that already... :-o

Anyway, to finish this story, he told me that losing weight was the cure, didn't want to examine me, didn't want to refer me to a specialist.

Naturally I didn't stand for that, insisted he took a look. He then declared that I hadn't got a rectal prolapse. He made me feel like I was stupid and wasting NHS time and money - so ironically, I did waste NHS time and money and booked in with my own GP for 3 weeks later, who agreed that of course it was what I thought it was - as did the specialist when I saw him a few months later. The specialist also said that although being overweight didn't help, it wasn't obesity that caused the problem, it was the fact I'd had a baby - the damage had been done years ago.

It was about then that I lost my remaining trust in most GPs...


Sorry, i shouldn't laugh but you have made me chuckle! I'm in work...I wonder what our IT team will think if I google rectal prolapse! lol.

It is mind boggling that they don't understand why patients like us - who want to understand their bodies and be in control of any treatment - lose that trust in them!

Och well, it's nice to know I'm not toooooo nuts x


No, definitely not. Although if I'm nuts, who am I to judge? :-p

Glad I made you laugh. After I posted, I though hmm, that was a little TMI. ;-) But I was flabbergasted at the time by his distinct reluctance to even look at me (he stared at his computer screen the whole time - so very rude!).


Jazz, my father almost fainted with fear when he saw the GP plug in something prior to doing a rectal exam for haemorrhoids. He imagined something red hot was going to be inserted. It was a small torch.


My Dad had an op for haemorrhoids (thanks for the spelling!) after various procedures... just prior to his pituitary op...

I hope folk don't suffer in silence nowadays - 'embarrassing bodies' must have helped... (I only watched one 'tho as a wimp) J :D


Spare, I don't think Dad had an operation for haemmorrhoids (I use the Google search box to check my speelings) but he did have the varicose veins in his legs stripped which may or may not have helped.


I am constantly amazed that docs dont want to do physical checks. It's like "painting by numbers" or ticking boxes on their computer screens. I always thought docs should be "hands on" that is they actually need to check you out by "prodding and poking" as lumps etc are often a sign of something awry, but now it seems to be about ticking boxes on the computer and where do symptoms come into this?! being a doctor is both an art and a science, collating facts and having intuition to know that something is not right inspite of what the computer might say. health has become diy. Emergency still seems to be working but too many docs in general practice have to prescribe/diagnose by the rules.


I have noticed a lump like u describe on one side of my neck, so is it a sign of under treated hashis? So long as it's not lymph/ cancer?


Hi sulamaye

I'm pretty well medicated at the moment so we aren't rocking the boat with my medication. He's not too sure but did say that (from his Google search) a hashi's flare could cause lymphoid a.

Are you being treated? I would still advise you to go see your go. And do keep me posted xx


Well I was being treated with 150t4 and 20 t3 then last summer the gp took it all down to 100 t4 overnight after 13 yrs on that level. I have m.e so I crashed big time and now I have a new gp who knows I am self medicating on t3 only. She doesn't know about the hydrocortisone yet though which is making me feel half human for the first time in four years. Perhaps wen the other gp slashed my meds it aggravated the hashis. Thanks for the info


I must be very lucky. My GP is very helpful - happy for me to google - has written down suggested sights that he finds helpful and says if I need any help with finding out information to see him and he will do what he can to help. Can't ask for more than that.


Double standards indeed.

When I saw my endocrinologist for the first time he warned me about using the internet for information because it was often wrong. I duly explained in medical terms what I knew and he back tracked and asked if I had a medical background or nursing qualification. I explained that I was a science teacher and was able to interpret medical articles in journals having had to do so at university as part of my degree. His attitude changed and he has never mentioned this again to me.

As regards using Google, I took my daughter for her first appointment with a rhuematologist just over 10 days ago and the "Specialist" used Google to find details of the condition she diagnosed my daughter with and showed us Google images too!

As I see it... Google is just an electronic book with some articles that are fact and some fiction, you just have to separate the 'chaff from the wheat'.

TT xx

1 like

There has recently been discussion about giving diabetic patients an "information" prescription. Hooray, thought I, they are getting somewhere. Until the description made it sound no more than a single sheet of paper.

Although we both often quote the Family Doctor book by Toft, and see criticism of it, something like that in scale is the minimum that should be prescribed for thyroid patients. It should be automatically sent.

I have actually been thinking that a small print-on-demand facility would be a really good addition to doctors surgeries, hospitals, pharmacies or wherever else they could sensibly be installed. (Managing real paper booklets is not a good idea. Print on demand is so powerful.) Even firing off an order to one of the big Print on Demand facilities.


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