Thyroid or ENT?

Hello, I'm new here and I don't know if this is the right place to post... but I just wanted to know if anybody has been sent around various specialists like me. About 18 months ago I began having blood tests at the doctors for feeling sluggish all the time. I thought it was my iron levels as they had been low in the past, but it wasn't this time. My TSH levels came back high. Around the same time as I was having repeat blood tests for my thyroid, I also began loosing my voice. After having blood tests what felt like constantly and my TSH levels kept coming back high (sometimes around 8 I remember), they referred me to an endocrinologist. I only had two appointments with an endocrinologist, both different ones which I had to explain everything to all over again. I had an ultrasound on my neck which showed that everything was fine and I had a normal thyroid blood result around the same time, so consequently they signed me off and recommended I be referred to ENT. However in the same conversation with the Endo right after he said he was referring me to ENT, he told me to tilt my head back so he could look at my neck (never actually felt it or moved from his chair) and he said "oh yeah theirs a small goitre there but should be okay. Any problems come back". But he never told me what this actually meant. Now I'm seeing ENT and can't help but feel they never fully investigated my thyroid... as since then my TSH level has come back high AGAIN, but they no longer want repeat bloods until 6 months. I'm now seeing a speech therapist, still getting sore throats, still loose my voice (I loose it every month/every other month for about two weeks at a time!) still feel lethargic...

Maybe it isn't thyroid related, but I just wondered if anybody who does have thyroid problems has any similar experience? I feel like i'm just being sent around, never seeing the same doctor and like I never get any answers. As far as i'm aware, other blood tests (except TSH) have come back okay, although I never know the results, just that the receptionist says "satisfactory". Another brush off I've had from the doctor is that the TSH level could be high just because of stress. I know that this could be true... but I don't think they can rule that without investigating further? Or is it not possible that all of this has caused me stress, not the other way around?

To sum up... which way to go? Continue with ENT or is it worth investigating thyroid further?

4 Replies

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  • Welcome to the forum, Zwrning.

    Non-thyroidal illness can raise TSH which is why the first abnormal result is usually repeated 3 months later before a diagnosis of hypothyroidism is made but I've not heard that stress elevates TSH.

    TSH 8 is high and indicates you have low thyroid hormone. The thyroid can swell to try and produce more hormone and high TSH can also inflame the thyroid which may have caused the goitre (swelling) your endo detected. TSH >2 indicates the thyroid is struggling to produce hormone although NHS may not make a diagnosis until TSH is over range and sometimes not until TSH is >10. Majorly fluctuating TSH is usually due to autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's).

    I suggest you contact your GP receptionist or practice manager and ask for copies of your thyroid function and thyroid antibody tests (if done). Post the results in a new question for advice.

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

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

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

  • Thank you for the information! You've told me more than any GP has in 18 months... I'll certainly try and get my results :)

  • wrning Just so you are prepared when asking for your results, in the UK we are legally entitled to them under the Data Protection Act 1998. They cannot refuse to give them to you. If you ask for a print out they may make a small charge for printing, but you could always ask to look at the screen and write them down yourself. Make sure you also get the reference ranges for all the tests, this is important as ranges differ from lab to lab, for example

    TSH: 8 (0.2-4.2)

    TPO Abs: 75 <34

    Some surgeries are more obliging than others. Mine is good, I just ask and as long as the GP has seen them I get a print out straight away, others like to be awkward!

  • Hey, I've added my results in a new thread, thanks to your advice!

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