Hi everyone! I am new here and have found some of your posts really helpful but I need some help. I am an American living in the UK and I am having a really hard time with having to tell my own doctor what specialists I need to see and what tests I need and often times have to argue with them while they look through some sort of handbook and I am completely fed up and need some advice.
A bit of background: My mom was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in her early 40's after several years of symptoms. Once they figured out what was going on (cells weren't receiving T3) then she was medicated (ARMOUR) and has been able to keep it under control since. She noticed as she is very very active and healthy but was continuously putting on weight. Now I am starting to notice it in myself - I don't smoke, RARELY have a drink, eat extremely healthy, don't drink soda and eat minimal sugar. When I first moved to the UK 2.5 years ago I was a UK size 6 and about 128lbs. I had been working in Afghanistan so was obviously smaller than my usual size of UK size 8/10 and 135-140lbs so at first I didn't notice the weight gain. It has gradually creeped up and even quicker in the past year and I am now at 162lbs - almost a 35lb weight gain while on a calorie controlled diet and 5+ days a week of excercise. Obviously I am frustrated. I am showing numerous symptoms such as extreme fatigue, tingly hands and feet to the point I am waking up throughout the night, dry gritty feeling eyes, depression and brittle nails. I was so confused as to how suddenly more and more was wrong with me, especially as I am normally very fit and healthy and my mom suggested I have my thyroid looked into. I am miserable at the moment, nothing feels right and I can't change anything no matter how hard I try. I need help and I am finding I am not getting it from the people that are supposed to be providing it (the doctors).
I have been to my GP and my TSH levels have come back normal as predicted but that was the only test they did despite my begging for the full range. I am beginning to realise that many of the tests are not even available so my question to you experts is where do I go from here? This is not normal for me at all - I know my body and I know something is not right. I have private insurance b/c my husband is in the military which covers medical treatment when the NHS will not provide it. I know there are some tests available online as well. So here are my questions,
- Should I book in with a private endocrinologist in Birmingham (closest big city)? Any recommendations of who to skip to avoid the run around?
- Should I order a test from Geneva Europe? If yes, who will draw the blood for a sample? and who do I bring the results to for treatment.
Thanks for your help and patience. I am used to being able to go to whatever doctor/specialist I want and getting any tests done that I ask for without any issue so I am really struggling with how I should proceed.