Hypothyroid/employer issues

Hey everyone, I was diagnosed Hypothyroid September last year and prescribed Levothyroxine. My ideal dose is 100mcg, which was confirmed December. Throughout this, I've been going through under-performance issues at work. The medication seemed to help for a while, but I could feel myself slipping and productivity dropped again. Based on what I was originally told, I thought the meds would resolve it and this is what I passed on at work. However, when my performance dropped, my manager could see no reason for failure, other than choice (mis-conduct). This was in contrast to my other work behaviours which were positive and engaging. I kept telling her I could feel symptoms reoccurring, but had no medical back-up from my GP.

I had a disciplinary hearing earlier in March resulting in formal warning. I've appealed on medical grounds and stated I've paid for private tests because NHS treatment/support was falling flat.

My results received this week confirmed Hashimoto's. B12, Folate, TSH, T4 and FT3 etc look ok, but I'm Vitamin D deficient and have elevated rT3 and a low FT3/rT3 ratio. I passed on data to my employer, explaining the adverse results can still cause Hypothyroid symptoms despite other results being 'normal'.

The NHS/my GP is unlikely to back this up as they don't look at those results, prescribe anything other than Levothyroxine or look to provide advice/support re: Hashimoto's. I'm waiting for the appeal hearing and for Occ Health to be re-engaged.

After seeing some of the Thyroid Secret videos, I'm looking into making changes to help the Hashis, including going gluten free, but realise this can take time. I pushed my GP and have an Endo appointment end of June (soonest available and not local), and I'm not sure what he will say. The T3 option seems to be being withdrawn, although I realise this hasn't been popular for quite some time :-/

I just wondered if there are suggestions or useful resources to look up for these situations (especially re: employer) and what my future options/actions may be, including possible Disability status, due to the condition affecting day to day activities, that it's lifelong, is likely to lead to other AI diseases and requires medication on an ongoing basis.

Apologies for the long post, and Thanks in advance :)

11 Replies

oldestnewest
  • In relation to your employer they have a responsibility for your well being and if they are pushing disciplinary then I would suggest getting some professional legal advice. Although as a suggestion there are a number of endos who will see you privately but at a cost !

    I would phone up the hospital's / Endo pa and explain the situation see if there is anything they can do to bring the appointment forward !

    I'm on 100 mg of levothyroxine but I also have b12 injections and vitamin D everyday I also take amino acid and since reducing my serotonin intake I'm finally sleeping.

    Not wanting to scare you but It's taken me 3 years to get to this point !!

    I've been diagnosed with Addisons, hypothyroidism, b12, vit D deficiency, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder and depression.

    Speak to your Gp practice manager explain the situation and ask for the referral I wrote a list of all my symptoms and explained there must be Something else going on as it is impossible to have all these problems without one underlying issue

    Symptoms I experienced included:

    Tinnitus continuous

    Tiredness fatigue

    Lesions on head

    Sugar low

    Hypoglycaemia

    Salt cravings

    Carb heavy diet

    Insomnia

    Coldness

    Cold in the mornings low core temp in mornings sweating in the evening

    Blood not clotting more weeping

    Feel faint shaky

    Weakness in muscles especially arms

    Depression

    Low moods drinking more fluids

    Loads of toilet visits

    Double vision blurred vision

    Dhea check for bloods

    Shingle tingles in shoulder on back around shoulder blade

    Dizzy spells

    Confusion

    Lumps found under right arm pit near glad

    Head judders and under right eye sore !

    Headaches

    Tonight dizzy and confusion and again double vision or phases / waves

    Lumps on neck and back of head continue to.

    Continually feeling cold and so tired and weak in strength in arms

    Thrush on the inside of my mouth

    Good luck and I hope you get the support you need ! As for disability with just thyroid problems I doubt you would get even the lower rate there has been a massive clamp down on claims.

  • Join a union immediately. Keep detailed records of all past conversations and share with your rep. A union rep will also offer to be present in disciplinary discussions. They give support over the phone too. Invaluable.

  • You say the results look ok ,Post them with ranges and ask for comment. OK ,may not be optimal for you.

    Everyday activities means non employment activities, arguably you could be considered disabled by a Tribunal but it is no longer a cost free option and sadly the employers now have the upper hand unless a union will finance you. So best try to persuade your employer that you are disabled and need some adjustments by them .

  • Razza79 I'm so sorry and this makes me so so angry it really does! I can sense the exact problem is that you are unwell and the medical profession will not help other than "mono-treatment". So long as all the tests fall in "their acceptable range" then they don't have to accept that you are unwell. You can't function at work as well because you are unwell! Your employer is bullying you and the only way you can get help is from the doctors informing your employer that you are indeed "unwell" But the doctors won't do that because then they would gave to enter the actual are a and treat you, in turn meaning one would have to expose the system for the cruelness it inflicts on those thyroid patients.

    Go down the mental health route if you dare! Your employer sounds horrid, I'd like to meet her.

  • If you are claiming disability or medical issues your employer should have sent you to occupational health to cover their own backs.

    First of all go and get legal advice from an employment lawyer. Make a list of questions before you talk to the lawyer. Most give 20-30 minutes free advice. One thing you need to ask is how you formerly tell you employer you think you have a disability. You will need to tell your employer this asap if you want to stay employed.

    Also join a union. However don't expect much help from them as you are suppose to join unions before you have issues with your employer. The reps are useful for being a witness in meetings and making the employer follow the rules.

    Secondly if you can afford it go and see a recommended private endo. Don't wait until June on the NHS as you may have lost your job by then.

    In theory what should have happened is you should have seen occupational health. They would have sought a report from your GP and/or endo. Then occupational health should come up with reasonable adjustments for you, though you should also say when you saw them what can help you to do your job.

    If there are no reasonable adjustments that can be made then you lose your job. So make sure you request to see a copy of ALL medical reports made about you. You can do a formal Data Subject Request under the Data Protection Act 1998 if they are unhelpful, then if you have problems threaten any doctor with the GMC if they don't comply or write mistruthful information.

    Anyway this is why it is important that you tell any doctor you see that your condition is effecting your employment. Lots of GPs ignore this but some don't and write better notes especially if you point out you may be involved in a legal case.

  • Hi sorry to hear all the crap you are going through just wondered have you seen any capability and conduct policies? Equality act 2010 states anything that affects your day to day living can be classed as a disability I'm a union rep and can help you with policies paper work etc your GP should be supporting you regardless of test results we all know that these are only paper with numbers on and don't define the person if your work record was good before all this I can't see how they can not look into reasons behind your performance makes me so angry when people are put into boxes! going down the disability route re benefits will be hard as again people are put in boxes work is also a good place to be for your mental health you just need some adjustments made Occupational Health is def somewhere to be going for both sides (though there shouldn't be sides) a formal warning for medical related problems seems wrong in so many ways!! If you need any help PM me I'll see what I can do and if your not in a union join one they can def help you though it would depend now on when your appeal is!!

  • may be that joining the PAS (Pernicious Anaemia Society) might give you access to some employment advice services - don't think they are free but they will be specialist to at least one element of your health issues.

    pernicious-anaemia-society....

    If not already a member of the PAS sponsored forum on HU you might also find it useful to join.

    healthunlocked.com/pasoc

  • It sounds as though their behaviour is illegal under the Disability Discrimination Act. I agree with the earlier posts about seeing a good employment lawyer. ACAS were also helpful when I phoned them about a less serious situation (reasonable adjustments).

    It's only been six months since you were diagnosed. That's no time at all! It took me 18 months to get a diagnosis, a further 9 months and change of GP to get a referral to an endo, and another year before I started on T3. This is not the simple case of putting people on levothyroxine and they're suddenly better that many people in the medical profession (not all medical professionals!) would have you believe.

    Good luck.

    Bx

  • I cannot comment on the employment side, because I know nothing about it. But, why do you say that 100 mcg is your 'ideal' dose, when it so obviously isn't. And, how was it confirmed in December? If by blood tests, can you post the results and ranges? It sounds to me as if you are grossly under-medicated.

    What are you taking for your vit D deficiency? Doctors very often prescribe the wrong thing, which won't help you. And, we would need to see the other results to see just how OK they are. A doctor saying they're ok doesn't necessarily mean they are.

  • I was going to say what others have, that you should be seen by occupational health. Also, if you need good doctors letters go to the GP as frequently as you can manage, at least once a week. Be really clear to them what work is trying to do to you, and also ask that if the thyroid condition has been ruled out(sounds like it hasnt), they send you to look into the next thing, ideally an Endocrinologist. This can involve going on wild goose chases that probably won't help you get better, but creating extra confusion about your illness can be useful with employers.

    Going through Occ health I've found is often just as arduous as anything else, but I've had one friend clearly told they were classified as disabled - this means you get an extra slew of rights. It sounds like at the moment your employer is defining you as completely well. I also had an Occ health doctor say to me, after 6 months of jumping through hoops, that whatever I told him about my level of disability he just had to believe, because at a certain point the expected prognosis just isn't going to materialise. All this stuff can add up to getting you the legal grounds for them to make accommodations.

    Also, in building this kind of case it's important not to soldier through. If you need a week or two off, get the sick note and do it. Ironically this helps you, because it adds up to evidence that you really are sick or disabled. I had another friend disciplined by her employer for taking too many days off, but it turned out if she'd taken maybe 50% more she would have been classified as having a long-term illness and had more generous treatment.

  • Hi ..I work in a hospital as a nurse in Northampton UK...NHS...been fighting sinch 2013,to get my hypothyroidism /thyroid long term health condition put as a on going condition and early this yr just got it ok'd by my occupation health..under the disability act ..and now my sickness and effects from my health condition is taken under a long term health conditions umbrella and my work by law have to be understanding of my condition s...it's been a long road I can tell you and iv been very near being let go....along with a nervous breakdown not far following..I belong to unison ..so if ur union need to speak to mine maybe this May help ur case ..(Northampton General hospital unison )

    Good luck..and keep fighting..you have the law on your side so don't give up *

You may also like...