Had blood tests done several weeks ago. TSH normal and T4 low--9(8-18). I've continued to feel sluggish and very tired so went to see a different GP yesterday. I told her I thought I might have secondary hypothyroidism. She said absolutely not, said it was a very unusual condition and no way was she going to prescribe thyroxine. She suggested I might have depression or alternatively I might have sleep apnea.. Gave me a questionnaire on my likelihood of falling asleep in different situations. Chronic fatigue syndrome was also mentioned.

I don't know what to do next. Can I try to self medicate and what would be best to try? Is it possible to buy anything reliable without a prescription? Or should I try to find a private endocrinologist----I live in north west with no large hospitals so would have to travel a long way. Some advice would be great. Thanks.

15 Replies

  • Oh dear, how unhelpful of her.

    I've linked your post with your results in here so others can find it easily. healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

    I think my next move would be to get some private blood tests done, as it sounds like you're on a hiding to nothing with your GP surgery. You need to find out what your FT3 levels are - that will help to confirm or rule out a pituitary issue. Private blood tests are way cheaper than a referral to a private endo - the results will confirm whether or not you need to consider thyroid hormone replacement and or a referral to a specialist.

    I'll post the link to labs who do private tests in just a mo...

  • thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

    I use Blue Horizon. They can send out test kits which you do yourself - fingertip prick and a small vial to fill and send back to the lab, with the results available a few days later. But others here have used other labs with equally good results.

  • What was the tsh? Normal can mean anything...... Anything over 2 is far from normal!

    Fairly comprehensive tests are available for £99, (£89 with thyroid uk discount) from blue horizon. Have a look under testing on thyroiduk.org,uk. There was a post about it on here a few weeks ago. Here is the link to the post.


    Xx g

  • Sometimes the reason that unusual conditions are unusual is because doctors don't test for them or don't recognise them when they see them. I'm pretty sure you have secondary hypothyroidism. Your TSH is, according to your earlier thread, "normal". But your FT4 is much too low. I would have expected a higher TSH with your levels of FT4.

    In your shoes I would :

    1) Get a full thyroid panel - TSH, FT4, FT3, TgAb, TPOAb and if you can afford it get reverse T3 as well.

    2) If the results confirm you as a possible candidate for secondary hypothyroidism I would then show those results to another GP at your surgery (not the unsympathetic one you've seen so far). Ask for a referral to an endocrinologist who will look into the possibility of a problem with your pituitary. If your body is unable to produce sufficient TSH then it is possible you are low in other hormones the pituitary is expected to produce as well, and you need them testing. To find a competent endocrinologist, email Louise Warvill ( louise.warvill@thyroiduk.org ) and ask for the good endo list.

    3) If you get nowhere with a GP you could either change surgeries in the hope of finding one with a brain and a heart, or you could forget the NHS and just treat yourself with T4, T3 or NDT sourced online.

  • Did she mean unusual for a man? Women have more hormones and certainly more thyroid problems. I'm in the U.S. and can't offer which avenue to take but having been hypo for almost twenty years I have to say it is a complicated condition. While you could run out and get a supply of T4, or T3, or NDT, it would be best to know whether you have autoimmune thyroid or one of the other 22 reasons for low thyroid.

    You could be iodine deficient or have an adrenal problem that is pounding down your thyroid. I don't know if you could really find a real diagnosis under the NHS from what I have read here for two years and this is the reason.

  • Hi Helouise,

    What are the other 22 reasons for low thyroid, do have you any links on them please ?

  • Yes, Coastwalker, just press on the YouTube icon at bottom right so it will open up in YouTube and they will all be listed on the right.

    This doctor of anatomy is also very good at explaining what the hormones do.

  • Didn't happen for me Helouise. :(

  • If these don't work, just go to you tube Dr. Clark low thyroid...... but didn't even #1 show up on the right bar? If you go to that one I think #2 will show up on the next one.

  • Found them, they were hiding Heloise. :)

    Thank you.

  • Your B12 looks low,should be up around 900-1000 if you are hypo,also check D3 .

  • Try Armour. I finally got my mom to switch from being on Synthroid for the past 15 years to Armour Her muscle pain and leg cramps went away and she's finally sleeping thru the night which she hasn't done in years!

  • I too was faced with this dilemma so first went to bottled water then took sea kelp 2 a day vitamin b12 and 2 St johns wort honestly it works takes couple of months

    But I'm much better ,try it

    Kind regards

    Pat x

  • I don't think any dr can say you are hypo or not without looking at the active free t3 in a blood test. But that being said, dr's usually just run the test you were given to mainly look at tsh. You can very likely have low vitamin d3 hence even roofers who are outside all day can have low d3 , low b12 causes fatigue, low dhea, all can make you feel like you are dragging yourself.....but need to be addressed because deficiencies turn into diseases eventually if not addressed. I would concentrate on a very healthy non processed food plan and make sure you are taking quality supplements and if you can afford it...go online and google blood test hence they are companies that you pay online and they can email you a order to take to a blood test clinic to get tested and they email you the results . well worth it if you are feeling terrible......I was low in all the above when I was tested and I was shocked.....I ate pretty well but had lost all energy. If you can not afford test, taking d3 vitamins and the meth....... form of b12 under the tongue(avail online and in health food stores, the cyanide form is cheap and not well absorbed)...because it absorbs better and it the best form for the body.. ... for a month and see how you feel.

    Vitamin d3 deficiency, magnesium defiency (I take jigsaw brand), b12 deficiency very common and all cause fatigue if too low. A good grade multi is a must also as we age....over 40 especially....google these vitamin deficiencies and see if you have their symptoms....

  • It's "rare" because the NHS don't test for it and because of Doctors like her, who refuse to believe it exists. Why would depression lower your T4? Ask her. Why would sleep apnea lower your T4? They might. But I'd like scientific explanation with references.

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