About 20-years ago my wife's goiter was becoming large and impinging on her wind pipe. So, in our blissful ignorance and infinite wisdom at the time, we thought nothing of it and thought surgical downsizing of the gland would do the trick. I can't remember the ins and outs of the situation at the time, but the surgeon for some reason removed the complete thyroid gland and inadvertently also removed the parathyroid glands (calcium regulating glands).
My wife has since been on Levothyroxine (currently taking 125 micro g's).
Her health has gradually been deteriorating i.e. brittle nails, brittle hair, hair falling out, fatigue, joint pains, lethargy, thinning of the eyebrows, sleepy all the time, etc.
So, we decided, this time to get her referred to a specialist with a view to understand why her medication was not being very effective. To this end my wife made an appointment with a GP in her surgery and presented her complaint in a letter formulated by myself. The extract of the letter is given below. The GP concerned read the letter and dismissed it saying she was:
'barking up the wrong tree'
'was she happy with her life'
'the symptoms were likely to have been brought on by her depression'
Well wouldn't anyone become depressed after 20-years of suffering with no end in sight?
The GP came across as very arrogant and dismissive, although at the end of the session he reluctantly agreed to refer her to an endocrinologist. This left a very a bad taste and respect for some doctors in the NHS.
We are now planning to undertake to the full Thyroid tests from Blue Horizon (bluehorizonmedicals.co.uk) and hopefully take the results from those with us when we eventually get an appointment to see the endocrinologist.
I personally have very little respect for the medical establishment and pharmaceutical industry, in general. It merely seeks to treat the apparent symptoms, one at a time, rather than take a step back and take a holistic view of the problem.
Extract of letter I wrote for my wife to take to her GP:
XXXXXXX has had her thyroid totally removed (for reasons yet unknown) and her calcium glands were inadvertently removed (for reasons again yet unknown) by her consultant surgeon, AAAAAAA in Nov 1996 (about 20-years ago).
Her health has been gradually going downhill since, to the point that her joints now ache. She finds the simplest of household chores now difficult to accomplish without an extra pair of hands i.e. turning the lid of a jam jar is a painful experience for her and she requires someone to help her, for what would be considered a very simple task to most of us. There are numerous household chores that she now finds difficult to do.
Life for her is becoming depressing and de-spiriting and her self-esteem is at an all-time low.
Her metabolism is below par. She’s managed to control it to some degree by going to the Gym for the past 2.5+ years (since March 2014). This has had some positive impact but not as much of an impact as other lady’s undertaking similar activities.
She has also started taking probiotics and enzyme capsules. These have helped to a degree.
But despite all these efforts, her weight loss effort and waist girth size immediately resort to their original dimensions, making all the effort put in a total waste of time. Life is becoming grinding and weighing XXXXXXX down.
Despite blood tests over the years, stating blood tests are normal, well things are not normal, as shown by the numerous symptoms listed in Attachment A.
Her temperature is all over the shop. One minute she’s feeling cold and the next minute she’s feeling hot. And there is a conflict in the household, because she is out of kilter with respect to everyone else in the household.
XXXXXXX is in a constantly depressive frame of mind and her morale is at an all-time low.
Just because blood tests indicate that things are normal, doesn’t mean to say that they are normal for XXXXXXX .
To that end XXXXXXX would like to see a Thyroid specialist/consultant with a view to see what other alternatives she could try out i.e. T3 on top T4 intake, a different version/brand of thyroxin, dietary control, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), etc.
(Husband of XXXXXXX )
Attachment A - Thyroid symptoms Experienced by XXXXXXX
Muscle pain in legs
Tingly feelings in fingers
Pain in heels and ankles
Thinning of eyebrows
Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold
Weight gain (after 2 years gym and personal trainer for 3 months)
Sleepy all the time
Sensitivity to certain foods i.e. Milk, Fizzy Drinks, Wheat