Answers but worried about being dismissed as a hypochondriac -hypo Germany vs Uk

I have been having all the symptoms for quite some time my dad and my sister are both hypo and on levo. I had another test at the doctors that came back with a TSH of 5.85 I asked the GP about 3 years ago for one just to rule it out after dad and sister got diagnosed I was told it was normal I don t know the exact result.. Dad went to doctor with feeling tired and sister got found out when checking out fertility issues and they both got better once treated. I was quite shocked when the test came back as elevated (doc send for a few as I thought I might have a gynaecological problem or gut issue due to the pain and swelling) as I thought I had the all clear.

When having a read on the thyroid uk site I discovered that in Germany they will treat hypo from 2.5 TSH onwards that's where my dad and sister live. So maybe I was higher than them but got dismissed before.

The good news is that the GP ordered a thyroid function test I just hope they now find something so I can feel better like my dad and sister. I m worried that I will just get told to go away and your symptoms are there because you are fat and you don't push hard enough with extreme exercise. And yes all overweight people say their glands don't work etc.

Hopefully it will go ok. I have another question I have private med insurance with work can I get more help if the GP route doesn't work. I m convinced this is the problem since all I read sounds like me. Thanks in advance.

10 Replies

  • CheshireKatz,

    When you have your thyroid results post them with the ranges (the figures in brackets after results) in a new question and members will advise.

    NHS requires TSH to be over range or FT4 below range before hypothyroidism is diagnosed.

  • Thank you I didn't understand the bit with the FT4 I also being tested for antibodies which I guess to figure out if its hashimotos

  • CheshireKatze,

    TSH is a pituitary hormone which rises when thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) are low. The T4 and T3 (if tested) are expressed as free T4 (FT4) and free T3 (FT3). 'Free' means the T4 and T3 are unbound to proteins and indicates the amounts of T4 and T3 available for use.

    Autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's) causes 90% of hypothyroidism.

  • In the UK - apart from the rest of the world - the guidelines state that the TSH has to be 10 before being given a diagnosis. Some doctors will prescribe if you are near or just over the top of the range which is around 5.

    Was the blood test taken at the earliest possible time and fasting. As that can make the difference between being diagnosed or not.

  • Thanks for explaining

  • CheshireKatze,

    - It's important to tell your GP that both your dad and your sister were diagnosed as hypothyroid and they got better taking thyroid meds. Hypothyroidism often runs in the families so pointing out your family history of hypothyroidism is important.

    - If your thyroid antibodies are elevated, it will support the hypothesis that you are hypothyroid.

    - As Shaws advised, it's important to get your TSH tested as early in the morning as possible.

    - Sometimes it is easier to get hypo diagnosis from a private GP/endo.

    - You may have to be really assertive to get the diagnosis in the UK.

    Good luck!

    P.S. German guidelines sound way more sensible than the UK ones.

  • CheshireKatze sadly I don't think it's just the thyroid which is treated differently in Germany. I lived there for some years and my doctor there was excellent, picked up on my low B12 and low blood pressure and treated both. When I came back to the UK and went back to my old GP I was told neither of those things needed treating and that doctors in Germany were "overcautious".

    It's important to make sure your GP knows about your father's and sister's diagnoses, and that more than just TSH is tested. I'm not sure about private diagnosis though, that's how I was diagnosed and even now, 13 years later, my NHS GP refuses to treat me and I have to self treat. However, if that's what it takes to get a diagnosis and feel better then you should go that route, but do some research into who you want to see before your GP refers you. ThyroidUK has a list of helpful endocrinologists you may want to look at. Good luck!

  • Hi Framboise yes it seems to be the case I have spoken to my dad and sister what their levels were they aren't sure but my dad is totally convinced I have it too we have same symptoms and yes I m also trying to up all the other deficiencies too he said for him magnesium was very good. Thank you so much I think the GP at least for an English doctor is taking it seriously I waiting for the function test and antibodies at the moment.

  • With a TSH of 6.8 I'd say you are definitely hypothyroid. If you also have antibodies it will be an Autoimmune Thyroid Disease (Hashimotos) and you will also become hypothyroid. Both Hypo and Hashi's are treated the same - with levothyroxine.

  • However it is a lottery, some surgeries will treat at over 4.5 ish, esp if you also have antibodies and very high cholesterol.

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