How many symptoms did you have before seeing yo... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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How many symptoms did you have before seeing your GP?


Hello everyone, I'm new here and haven't been diagnosed with anything and I'm currently at the stage of wondering whether I'm being silly and imagining things because I want something to blame my weight on.

I've tried losing weight in the past and have never managed it despite knowing the exact number of calories to pass my lips (usually around 1400) and trying to be more active and work out hard, had a personal trainer, etc, never managed to get down into the healthy bracket. I would get burned out and give up eventually. And I'm still here with an overweight BMI and miserable.

This time around I've gotten myself a Fitbit charge HR so I can better track my calorie burning as well, since it's by all accounts pretty accurate in terms of calculating BMR and tracking heart rate. It reckons I am burning 1000 more calories than I'm eating in a day and it calculated BMR based on height, weight, sex, and age, but I don't seem to be burning fat at the rate it suggests I should be. My resting heart rate is around 50 and I am by no means athletic! I walk the dog every day and get the requisite 10k-15k steps a day, but I'm not athletic. I have a history of fainting, most recently a few months ago when out for dinner with friends. I was diagnosed as just being prone to vasovagal fainting about 6 years ago and told I would likely grow out of it soon as it was common in 18-25 year old women, but it's still happening at 31.

Also, I am tired ALL. THE. TIME. And I get 8-9 hours of sleep a night. Dry skin and nails that flake and peel and break all the damn time, too.

Basically I'm afraid my GP will say I'm grasping at straws and just need to try harder to lose weight and my low heart rate is a good thing and the test would be a waste of time.

Would you ask the GP to test your thyroid if you were me?

12 Replies

If he knew any clinical symptoms he would have done so by now.

Unexplained weight gain plus vague aches/pains etc. Low pulse/low temp are two main ones. Our heart may be having difficulty due to low thyroid hormones. Also temp is affected too.

You sound pretty much like me back in August last year - up until August, I'd managed to put 1.5 stone of the 3.5 that I'd lost in the preceding year and was extremely disheartened. The road to recovery has been slow but I'm steadily getting my health back.

I did approach my GP and ask him to test my thyroid but as the results came back "normal" as he is one of the legion that is clueless about treating symptoms, I was left with no option than to treat myself with the assistance of the marvellous people on here.

There is plenty of guidance around for helping yourself if you get nowhere with your GP, including the best places to get your private tests done. If you do approach your GP and he/she does tests, make sure to get a printout of any results and post them on here together with the ranges so that others can help you out if necessary.

For the record: no, you're not imaging things. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!


Definitely ask for tests.

My ex-daughter-in-law used to have fainting episodes. She would be sitting at the table eating a meal when all of a sudden she would slump forward and be completely out of it, how she missed her plate I'll never know! She got referred to hospital and diagnosed with epilepsy and the doctor tried to persuade her to go on a blind drug trial. The side effects of some of those drugs were horrendous, especially for women whose family was not complete. I recognised the signs she was having, being long term hypo myself, told her I thought it was hypo so she refused the drug trial. Her GP didn't accept she might be hypo so she went to see one of the popular private docs and promptly got diagnosed hypo and given thyroxine. It took a while, plus a blood test in hospital following the birth of her next child which came back "satisfactory for someone on thyroid replacement" that her GP reluctantly agreed to start prescribing her thyroxine and accepting the diagnosis.

Thank you both! Low temp is also a symptom? I chart basal body temperature as we're planning to TTC soon and I've been surprised to find my pre-ovulatory temp is about 35.6-35.9 degrees when the low end of the normal range is 36.1 apparently. Not a huge difference, but maybe another sign..

Hypo symptoms can run the gamut.... slow digestion, weight gain, brain fog, blues, depression, horrible short term memory, dry skin/hair/nails, low temp, low heart rate, cold/heat intolerance, cold hands/feet/nose, body/muscle aches, profound fatigue. All body functions go into sloooow motion when thyroid is under par. Obvious when you remember that our thyroid is the body's thermostat. Most of us don't have all the symptoms but enough to make us pretty miserable. The longer we are untreated or under-treated, the more symptoms we may develop.

Yes I would, and I would get the thyroid anti body test done as well, my daughter had vasovagal syncope weight gain lethargy fatigue hair breakage dry skin, she was tested for overactive thyroid and came back borderline under active. They wanted to leave her and see if her thyroid would "fixed itself" as once started on meds she would be on them for life!! Honestly it's laughable some of the reasons GP's give, but I was insistent they check her thyroid antibodies as it would then be clear that things were not going to fix themselves. One tip that works for me is I said to my daughters GP " look I'm happy to pay for the test" he then agreed to do it and said if it came back positive they would start her on medication. It did as I knew it would, so if your GP is reluctant to test your thyroid offer to pay to get it tested. An make sure you get a copy of the results to post on here..... Good luck

Also the guys on here are so switched on they advise, get it tested first thing on an empty stomach Ths is highest first thing and that seems to be the only marker GP's use

Thanks for the advice, I never would've known there was a best time.

I went to my GP as I was worried I had Ovarian symptoms were constant bloating, constipation, tiredness, lower back ache and frequent urination. Because of my concerns and my symptoms had appeared quite suddenly, my doctor acted straight away, I was tested for cancer, anaemia and hypothyroidism.

Right, called the GP surgery, apparently they have NO appointments for the next 2 weeks and they only do Dr appointments within 2 weeks, no scheduling further in advance. They're pretty good with phone appointments and same day, though, so I've arranged to have a phone appointment in a couple days. Bloods wouldn't be done at the office anyways, so I'm hoping they will do the referral to have bloods drawn at the hospital and I won't need to go into the surgery at all!


Sadly, some doctors are still pushing the all too simple and incorrect CI-CO (Calories In-Calories Out) - a fallacy often used to make those struggling believe it's their own fault. In some cases, there are indeed people who either don't know how and what to eat and those who 'cheat'. Many more have out of whack hormones that, no matter what they do, weight loss can be very difficult.

And, on top of that, the last few generations have been told a load of old rubbish about food/calories/fats/carbs... hardly surprising that people are confused! Oh, then there's the tampering with our food [processing], the pesticides... I'll stop there ;-)

The Question is NOT how to balance calories, but how to balance hormones. Find someone who can help you with that... best of luck and keep searching. :-)

I would get tested - and more than just thyroid, I would ask for key vitamins to be checked to as you are tired all the time, can't lose weight and have dry skin/flaking nails.

HOWEVER, having said all of that before I was diagnosed, I was not just tired all the time, I was exhausted. I felt ill constantly. There is no way I could have done as much exercise as you are describing, I could barely get up the stairs. I was doing nothing other than dragging myself to work and coming home. Until very recently I hadn't been out socially since March, I was too exhausted. We had to get a cleaner because my husband commutes to London, and I couldn't keep up at home. I came home from work crying on many occasions because I was just so tired. The tiredness you get from an underactive thyroid is not just, I haven't had enough sleep tired, or I've overdone it tired, it's a fundamental and profound exhaustion. And I was feeling like this way before my bloods were out of range (May).

On top of that, I had a list of other symptoms as long as your arm - most of the ones on the Thyroid UK list of symptoms (it's on their website).

Not saying you are not hypo, I would still definitely get tested - make sure you get a FBC (GP should do this as standard if you report being TATT) and your vits checked (folate, B12, ferrtin, vit D) as these can cause the symptoms you describe too.

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