Why are doctors so resistant to testing thyroid??

Hi folks,

I posted last week asking for advice for when visiting my doctor for the first time with suspected hypothyroid which was gratefully received!

I was nervous my gp wouldn't take my symptoms seriously and I was right to be, he didn't want to test my thyroid! I had a list in hand of 22 symptoms that are completely debilitating that he barely listened to. He insists my exhaustion is due to having 5 children one of which being a 6 month old baby (who has slept through the night since 8 weeks) and all other symptoms are caused by anxiety and potentially depression as I have a history of pnd (now questioning whether I ever actually had this at all or have always had thyroid issues). Also, being as inexperienced as I am, it's helpful for the after effects of child birth to be explained to me by an elderly man!! ūüôĄ

I felt completely patronised and not listened to. He eventually conceded and agreed to test my thyroid "only to reduce your anxiety, when it comes back fine you can stop worrying." 

Sorry for the rant but why are doctors so quick to chalk everything down to depression/anxiety and chuck a prescription at you rather than do some simple blood tests?? It beggars belief!

13 Replies

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  • Because it's been proven that doctors are sexist.


    I went in with ear trouble and was offered an antidepressant and a sedative.  :0/

  • Ha, i once went in with an ear problem and was asked if i had had a smear test..... ¬† ¬† ¬†Afraid i laughed at the poor doc....

  • And he should test you to rule out postnatal hypothyroidism before he even goes down the path of PND.

    H x

  • Welcome to our forum,

    Your woeful story is one of many on this forum of patients who are being treated by people who are completely uneducated in the importance of the thyroid gland and the symptoms which occur when undermedicated/undiagnosed.

    It is well seen he doesn't have a dysfunction of the thyroid gland. They are so ?????? I cannot even think of a word.

    When you get a blood test for your thyroid hormones, it should be at the very earliest and fast (you can drink water). If on thyroid hormones you allow about 24 hours between the last dose and the blood test and take it afterwards.

    Always get a print-out with the ranges for your own records and post for comments.

    He should test your Vitamin B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate. 

    I was undiagnosed - I went hither/thither and even an 'op' which when I came round I was told I didn't have that problem. When I said 'well, what is it then'. He couldn't answer but it cost over £300 to line his/hospitals pocket and me back where I started. He wasn't the only one - the GPs were the same.  I was finally diagnosed by a first aider who suggested my thyroid gland looked swollen - no doctors obviously didn't know where the gland is situated!

    Some on this forum have found it more beneficial to buy and treat themselves to recover. 

    Doctors are unaware of the dangers of untreated thyroid gland dysfunction, ie. it affects everything in our bodies from head to toe, brain and heart in particular. T3 (liothyronine) is the  active hormone required in all of our receptor cells. Levothyroxine is T4 and has to convert to sufficient T3 but doesn't always if the dose isn't correct.

  • This is a link re pregnancy (first part deals with infertility) the second with birth/pregnancy.


  • They do it because it's easy. If a woman goes into the doctors with her head under her arm they would say she's depressed! :-)

  • They are quick to label you with depression because they get paid more for each person on the books with depression. ¬† ¬†The pay for thyroid isn't so good. ¬†¬†

    Ha!  you think I'm joking but the grim reality of it is I'm not .

    G x

  • I think that one of the flaws within the whole NHS system is the guidelines dictated to GP's and other medics by the NHS hierarchy.

    The underlying idea is a good one to ensure that patients get the same treatment for the same conditions nationwide.

    However, if guidelines are too rigid, they will prohibit healthcare professionals from thinking outside the box, hence they will try to rigidly apply something without considering the individual patient.

  • Many docs are completely useless when it comes to thyroid, I was apparently peri menopausal (early) from 2007-2013 because there was nothing wrong with my thyroid. Apart from the fact I was having a period from hell every 4 weeks I was obviously peri menopausal.¬†

    Oddly enough all my menopausal symptoms disappeared when I was treated for hypo....but obviously the 4 quacks I saw during the time frame were fab diagnostians (I have no symptoms of menopause currently) 

  • I'm probably being sexist here, but I've recently found that young women GP's are better listeners and more compassionate than the men (particularly old men!!). ¬†My own hypo flared 6 months after my son was born. ¬†I wouldn't wish how I felt on my worst enemy. ¬†If this place had existed then (1981) I would definitely have self medicated. ¬†Five years ago, after so much ignorance from every doctor, I ended up having to self medicate anyway. ¬†Very best wishes.

  • I'd be really interested in hearing about your symptoms marigold, if you wouldn't mind? I feel as though I've turned into a paranoid wreck with the symptoms I'm having. I'm hoping my bloods will be back on Monday but even that feels like an eternity to wait!


  • OMG ! ¬†My symptoms! ¬†Always wanting to sleep, very depressed, paranoid, sore muscles, mega bad brain fog. ¬†Really all the symptoms of ME. ¬†And a total feeling of impotence as I didn't know I was under medicated; and all the time wondering what was wrong. ¬†At one stage I thought I had cancer. ¬†All whilst I had a baby to look after. ¬†In fact, in the end it wrecked my marriage. ¬†So from my experience, you need to send your blood results into here, and take action from what's suggested. ¬†For me, it was all about not converting T4 (my prescriptionn of levo) into T3 so I was still mega hypo, with the docs saying 'you're on a decent dose of T4, get on with it'. ¬†Best wishes x

  • Thanks all for the replies, I'm finding this forum to be full of really friendly, helpful folks! ¬†I'm hoping my results will be back on Monday. I'll post when I have them and pick all of your knowledgeable brains again. ūüėÄ

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