Doctor won't perscribe me with thyroxine! - Thyroid UK

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Doctor won't perscribe me with thyroxine!

Rachel141 profile image

Hi there, I'm a new user here!

For the past 3 weeks I've been feeling unbelievably lethargic (too tired to go into work), cold hands, muscle pains, constipated and my doctor took some blood tests. They all came back normal, although my TSH level was 3.30 (a little high for an otherwise fit 21yr old girl). I went back to my gp and she would not perscribe me with anything and took the approach 'wait and see', insisting that my levels were within the normal range... She has ordered for a vitamin D and another thyroid test (?) to be done. I'm entering my final year of uni and term starts in a few weeks- I'm so worried that I'll continue feeling like this and won't be able to keep up because I feel so rubbish! Please help if anyone knows of anything I could do/say!! I am heading up to Edinburgh for uni in a week so will try the doctors up there and see if they are more helpful than my doctor in London. Thank you in advance for your help!!

11 Replies

Welcome to the forum, Rachel141.

Although TSH 3.3 shows your thyroid gland is struggling NHS don't diagnose hypothyroidism until TSH is abnormal ie over 5 or 6 usually. TSH is highest very early in the morning and lower after eating and drinking, so arrange early, fasting (water only) tests in future.

You can support your thyroid, and possibly improve function, by eating 3-5 Brazil nuts daily or supplementing 200mcg selenium. NutriThyroid supplement may also help.

You may need to allow yourself up to 10 hours a night sleep to cope with fatigue. Speak to a student counsellor if you need accommodations to help you through your final year if you are struggling with fatigue.

Rachel141 profile image
Rachel141 in reply to Clutter

Thank you so much for your response! I'll definitely try the Brazil nuts and the 200mcg selenium.

Do you think that there is any way that I could go and see a different GP with better luck of getting a thyroxine trial? I don't want to waste the doctor's time but I feel so lethargic and rubbish that it might be worth a shot. I'm feeling a bit desperate now, but will definitely talk to student support services about the ongoing fatigue.

Once again, thank you for your reply!

Clutter profile image
Clutter in reply to Rachel141

Rachel, It's unlikely a different GP will make a diagnosis until TSH is over 5. Non-thyroidal illness like flu or a virus can elevate TSH, I assume glandular fever has been ruled out?

Vit D deficiency can cause musculoskeletal pain so supplementing D3 if levels are low will ease pain and may improve fatigue.

I think it's entirely likely your symptoms are due to low thyroid, symptoms can precede abnormal bloods by years, but the doctors who drew up the thyroid protocols seem oblivious.

Rachel141 profile image
Rachel141 in reply to Clutter

Thank you very much for your informative response. The doctors have not tested me for glandular fever, but I have no sore throat/swollen glands so that might be why.

I'll definitely wait for the vitamin D results to come in and then I'll go and have a chat with my doctor to see if they can help me with the tiredness. Such a shame that people's lives are put on hold simply because they fall into the category of 'normal' *sigh*

Clutter profile image
Clutter in reply to Rachel141

Rachel, post your results in a new question and members will advise whether you need to supplement. Make sure you get results and ranges (figures in brackets after results) from now on, it's good to track your progress.

See how you get on with your next thryoid test. If you can't get NHS help self medicating may be an option but either will be slow because there are no quick fixes with thyroid.

humanbean profile image
humanbean in reply to Rachel141

The brazil nuts and the selenium... It's one or the other, not both. Brazil nuts have selenium in them. :)

Rachel, I don't know about you, but my diet when I was at university was mostly not worth calling nutritious.

As Clutter says, glandular fever needs to be ruled out (infectious mono). I had a Cytomegalovirus hepatitis while I was in university and it's a really energy sucker. My thyroid puffed up because of the virus. (Of course no one noticed, including me.)

That took at least 6 months to clear up. Since you've only be waylaid for 3 weeks it may be nonthyroidal viral infection of some sort that hangs about. Treating this with thyroid meds is not necessarily the best course of action if this is what is going on.

However, if you are eating the typical student diet, look into taking B complex vitamins, and a mulitvitamin/ mineral supplement as well. You see, the multivits don't have enough in them to correct a deficiency. Get your ferritin, folate, B12 tested as well. (I guess they've done the vitamin D test.) Oftentimes vitamin A level can also be low. If you don't eat a lot of leafy greens, then this is a possible. And what student eats tons of leafy greens....... gimme a break.

I'm in Toronto and the university students were tested for vitamin C level..... most of them were borderline scorbutic.

My old family doctor from when I was little child always recommended a vitamin supplement and my parents gave it to me. You can't assume the diet is providing what a person needs especially these days when we don't know how long produce has been in transit.

I remember having the Epstein Barr virus which left me exhausted for several weeks and took time to recover from. Am only mentioning this as fatigue can have many reasons at the back of it. So whilst your test results look like you could be heading that way it could also be due to an underlying infection/virus -a good doc would want to rule out all the other possibilities. I would book another appointment and express your concerns asking what else could be causing your fatigue. in the meantime picking up in your diet -though if you have been home for the summer you probably have been eating much more balanced meals....?

Although your TSH is higher than ideal, the fact that your fatigue came on suddenly rather suggests that the immediate cause is infectious.

My son had glandular fever with no symptoms other than fatigue and headache. So definitely worth asking for a test.

Has your GP checked for anaemia? I assume so due to the symptoms you reported. It is worth checking this as it can cause one to feel extremely exhausted and weak.

Also it might be worth checking if your thyroid antibodies were checked as sometimes they show autoimmune disease developing (along with a gradually rising TSH).

If I was you I would get a 2nd opinion when you go back to uni x good luck x

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