Recently diagnosed subclinical hypothyroidism

Hi I'm new to the post and would appreciate member's comments. I receive a letter from my GP advising that my thyroid blood test shows subclinical hypothyroidism, she would like me to book an appointment to discuss this and would like the test repeated in six months. The way appointments work at my surgery is first a call to the surgery, a GP will then call back on the same day and if she deems it necessary a face to face appointment will be made for later that day. I thought there might be some time for a discussion about the symptoms and a course of action, I have lots of questions but when the GP called she repeated what was said in the letter and said there would be no treatment at this stage and didn't deem it necessary for a further appointment unless I was feeling unwell. I was so taken aback by the brevity of her call that I didn't really respond as I should have. I don't know the exact nature of the test, what is a normal reading and how much my results vary from the normal range. Am I entitled to a print out of the results? Is there anything I can take, change my diet, take vitamins, supplement, etc. to prevent or delay it developing into full blown hypothyroidism. These were some of the questions I should have asked. I have always suffered from very dry skin but it's been particularly bad for several months, I am losing hair and gaining weight but put it down to the aging process as I'm a 69 year old female. Sorry if I've rambled on a bit but I’d like to know what other questions I should ask when I call back and ask/demand a face to face appointment with a doctor.

14 Replies

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  • Hello Silverannie,

    Sorry you have been left a little in the lurch...I emphathise, it's frustrating when you get a 'it's not right, but your not unwell' kind of response.

    I don't think it's unreasonable for you to ask for a face to face appointment, and ask for an explanation of the test...where does it have to be for them to treat, how bad do your symptoms have to get. I imagine you are not feeling too good and 6 months is a long time to have to wait. Even if you don't feel like arguing with them, (it's odd how we are brought up to not question drs etc.) I think you are entitled to persist in getting the actual results. Good luck

  • Thank you Frumpy for your encouraging words. In some ways it's a relief having a diagnosis as there are a lot of symptoms that the GP didn't have an explanation or suggestion for but I felt as though my immune system was breaking down. Thank you for the suggestions, I'll make a list of questions before my visit and hopefully get some answers. Think I'll have to write answers down too as memory not as sharp as it was, another symptom perhaps!

  • Hi Silverannie,

    Ask for a copy of your blood results and make a new post here for members to comment.

    You have come to the right place to get help, and can I suggest that you read as many post and replies to learn about your Thyroid

    Take care S

    J 😊

  • Good idea Jose651, started doing that but a lot to get my head around!

  • Annie, is there a chance you could have other hormones tested? I've read posts like yours for three years and there hasn't been any progress even though there are many options to improve your health. You could have low progesterone or low cortisol or a gluten problem as well as glucose issues. There are many areas of investigation but it would be helpful to know how high your TSH has climbed. If you want to go to You Tube and follow the rest of David J Clark's 24 Reasons for Low Thyroid, you will learn a lot and even why doctors don't want to treat you. If you run into a brick wall, you can even do this on your own.l This is #1. I guess the video is not going to play but it's worth going to you tube and locating Dr. David Clark.

  • I;ll certainly take a look Heloise, thank you for your reply to my post.

  • Paulajane7,

    Hypothyroidism is usually managed in primary care and GPs can, and do, refuse to make NHS referrals.

  • Silverannie,

    First thing to do is to ask your GP receptionist or practice manager for a copy of your results with the ranges (figures in brackets after results). Post them in a new question and members will advise.

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/diagno...

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_...

  • Thank you, then I don't have to bother seeing the GP until I'm more knowledgeable, thanks to the kind folk here.

  • Silverannie, even if you had thought to ask those questions, your doctor wouldn't have been able to answer them. They know nothing about thyroid, I'm afraid.

    Hair-loss and weight-gain, as well as dry skin, are typical hypo symptoms. You've probably been hypo for quite some time without realising it, putting it down to the aging process. But I very much doubt if you are subclinical - even by NHS standards - you are full-blown hypo already. It doesn't happen over-night. By subclinical, doctors mean a TSH over-range, but not quite 10. If that makes any sense (it doesn't, actually!). But, the truth of the matter is, that once you hit a TSH of 3, you are hypo, no subclinical about it. The true meaning of subclinical is raised TSH without symptoms. You have symptoms. But as doctors have no idea what the symptoms are, they wouldn't know if you had them or not! I call that 'NHS logic'.

    Having said that, the reason she wants you to retest in a few months is that TSH can be raised when you have an infection or something. So, she needs to make sure that what she has is a true reading.

    So, anyway, no, there's very little you can do about it. Don't know if you need to change your diet, but the main thing is to avoid all processed foods, seed oils and all forms of soy. And, as much sugar as you can. There isn't anything special you can eat to help, I'm afraid. Vitamins, minerals, suppléments? Well, eventually, yes, you will probably need some to help you feel better, but suppléments won't stop you becoming hypo.

    What you need to do, when you have your next test, is to ask for vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin to be tested. Those are the basics. We can work out what you will need to take from there. But, for the meantime, Don't take anything.

    You are indeed entitled to a print-out of your test results. And you should ask for them every time you have a blood test. For this test you've just had, ring the surgery and ask the receptionist if she can print you out a copy, and when it would be convenient for you to go and pick them up. Post the results on here, and we'll be able to explain it all to you.

    Next time you go for a test, arrange for it to be as early in the morning as possible - certainly before 9.0 am. Fast, but drink plenty of water. That way you will get the most reliable results.

    There is so much to learn, I'm afraid (and your doctor hasn't learnt half of it!) but I Don't want to confuse you any more at this point by talking about the nature of the tests, etc. One step at a time, that's the motto. And the first step is to get your results. :)

  • My goodness, this sounds like a great plan Greygoose which I shall certainly follow. I'm very touched and grateful to you, and other members, for taking the time and effort to respond to my query. thank you so much, I think I've been lucky to hit upon such a great community of supportive folk. THANK YOU

  • You're more than welcome, Silverannie. I hope things go smoothly for you, now. :)

  • Also, once you've got your results you can get a private test done to see if you have antibodies to your thyroid.

  • Thank you Aspmama.

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