Being sent to a rheumatologist

Hi I'm 57 year old female and think have all of the symptoms of an underactive thyroid (self diagnosis according to online tests). Yet my bloods for Hypothyroid came back normal from the doctors although he did say that my liver enzymes were up a little and that there were higher than normal inflammatory markers in my blood tests, slight high blood pressure, but he said that will come down once I lose weight. The whole reason I went to see him was that I struggle with weight loss (hence thinking I was hypothyroid). I eat normally. I don't snack in between. I drink moderately. I do find exercise a struggle as every bone in my body aches and the osteoarthritis is creeping in everywhere making certain exercises painful. I have three autoimmune diseases Lichen sclerosis, psoriasis and Osteoarthritis. My Doctor says I'm a good candidate to see a rheumatologist. Not sure what rheumatologist can do, anyone been to one before?

10 Replies

  • Sorry to read you are struggling. Your so called normal thyroid results do sound suspicious ! Do you have copies of the results with ranges ? - it is your right to have copies to monitor your own health. Is it possible you could have auto-immune thyroiditis - Hashimotos - as you have other AI conditions. Rheumatoid Arthritis is also auto-immune so perhaps your GP is just checking !

    The full thyroid Profile is :- TSH - FT4 - FT3 - Anti-TPO - Anti-Tg. If your GP will not test them all for you it is possible to have Private Testing done through the main website of Thyroid UK.

    You could also be LOW in VitD - B12 - Iron - Ferritin - Folate - they all need to be OPTIMAL and not just in range. They can also be done through TUK. Low D can cause overall body aches and pains. When deficient in B12 it can become a neurological condition - so very important to have good levels nearer the top of the range.

    Gut health ? Very important for every condition know to man - especially all the ones caused by inflammation and most are :-)

    Am not a Doc - just someone who has learnt the hard way - reading and learning from others in order to improve my health.

    The above link takes you to your post of two years ago !

  • Hi, Marz has given an excellent response. I have also looked at your link she's given and for your information I think you might be interested in it:-

    Thousands remain undiagnosed because doctors are unaware of symptoms plus they're told to wait till the TSH rises to 10 and it might never! get there. In the meantime the patient has 'other' medications for the symptoms instead of a hormone their body is desperate for.

    "I am not medically qualified in any way. I am qualified through my own personal experience with undiagnosed hypothyroidism and, eventually diagnosed, the statutory treatment regime of the BTA and their guidelines which didn't make me well. - in fact I had even more symptoms and pain but finally recovering my health with the help/advice of and alternative hormone to levothyroxine and comment is not given in my capacity as an Admin of Thyroid UK or endorsed by TUK. Information on the forum is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. - shaws"

  • have you had your ANA checked?

  • Sorry what is ANA?

  • It's the main test for rhemotology. It's a marker for autoimmune diseases

  • Osteoarthritis is not an autoimmune disease, however, rheumatoid arthritis is and perhaps your GP thinks that you may hav RA and that is why he wants you to see a rheumatologist. Unfortunately, autoimmune diseases rarely come along singularly and many of us have several of these. I see a rheumatologist as I have spondyloarthritis as well as underactive thyroid, and lymphocytic colitis, all autoimmune disorders. Clemmie

  • I've just been diagnosed as having some sort of inflammatory arthritis. I was in great pain, have gradually been unable to use my hands normally, I had had to buy things to attach to plugs to be able to remove them further sockets, my feet hurt, I was 'shuffling' rather than walking, also stumbling a lot and it used to take me at least an hour and a half before I could get going in the morning.

    I was convinced I was moving from being overactive to becoming hypo, I had lots of sympts but was 'wth in the range', however since I've been treated my aches and pains have gone so maybe I'm not going hypo.

    I saw one of our GPs who referred me to a fast track appointment, I said that my hands looked OK, no swelling/ redness etc and he said that because of early intervention you don't see deformities so much now. He squeezed my hands etc looking for (and finding!) painful areas. Both thumbs really hurt as did my knuckles on both hands. Basically my body felt like someone had driven a truck over it and back several times during the night. I've also realised I wasn't sleeping as well as I thought I was and I was dreadfully tired all the time.

    I tested seronegative - whereas you have raised markers - but I have so many positive symptoms and so many other autoimmune conditions that I was started on a course of steroids and because they worked really well I'm now taking DMARDS, the difference is unbelievable. I am truly a new woman, every day I squeeze the bits that used to hurt just to check that I still feel good. I also note that I can do all sorts of things at Pilates that I had gradually become unable to do.

    Take your doctor's advice and see the Rheumy and you too could be a new woman. 😉

  • Are you taking any medication for your known health problems?

  • Steroid cram for the Lichen sclerosis

  • The reason I asked is because many people are on PPIs such as omeprazole or lansoprazole, and I wondered if you were. There may be reasons why some people can't avoid taking them, but for some they are completely unnecessary. Most people have too little stomach acid rather than too much, and PPIs reduce absorption of nutrients.

    But it doesn't apply to you, because you don't take PPIs. :)

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