Getting help from GP? - what questions to ask?

Please can someone give me advice so I can help my mum. She is 84 years old and had her parathyroids out about 14 years ago and has really struggled with her health since. I think that my mum feels she doesn't have the knowledge or 'power' to challenge her GP's with their treatment of her condition - what to ask for, what to question etc. I am very unimpressed with her GP's desire or ability to really listen to her and help her - all they do is blood tests then put her levothyroxine dosage up or down! Last week she said she has never felt so unwell. She is currently on Levothyroxine 100mg and Adalat 40mg. I'm going to try and persuade her to let me go in to her next appointment - what questions should I ask? Should I ask about 'Armour' medication - does anyone have any experience of this medication, and would it work for my mum? I'm still trying to get my head around trying to understand all the medical talk - I don't want my mum to suffer any more.

Thanks

Thanks

7 Replies

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  • Piggyporkpie,

    First thing to do is to get a copy of your mother's thyroid results and ranges and any results and ranges she has for parathyroid hormone, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, B12 and folate (if they've been done). Post them in a new question and members will advise whether she is optimally medicated on 100mcg Levothyroxine.

    Armour and NDT aren't licensed for UK use so your mother's GP is unlikely to prescribe it. Most members using NDT have private prescriptions or buy it online and self medicate.

  • Thank you - I will do that and resubmit as a new question

  • Did she have hyperparathyroidism ? It's unusual to have all 4 parathyroids removed. Is her calcium replacement at a good level ? the dose may need adjusting if it's too low and causing symptoms of hypocalcaemia.

  • Yes, she had all four parathyroids removed - not sure why they took them out - As far as I can remember she went to see the consultant because she had a very strange itchy sensation on her legs, scalp, head and that's why they took them all out. As regards the calcium levels, when she went to see her GPs (over several months) and told them about her fingers going into spasm and closing. He brushed this off as 'trigger finger'. Last year she had a blood test taken, and the lab carrying out tests (they work up until midnight), found that she was critically low of calcium - to cut a long story short they couldn't get her by phone, so sent an emergency ambulance for her in the early hours. The worrying thing was that she had a 5 hour wait in A&E, because they were busy, then the locum A & E doctor didn't seem to recognise how dangerous her situation was until he checked with the A&E consultant - she then remained in hospital overnight. I was later advised by an out of hours GP that fingers going into spasm was a sign of low calcium levels. Hmmmmm! She was given Alfacalcidol (?) for years, then for some reason the GPs stopped it - until she went into hospital.

    Thanks for your response - i'm going to line up my mum 'ducks' before I go to see the GP!

  • Sounds an odd reason to remove all parathyroids, might be worth asking about that. It's vital she continues to take a calcium supplement at the correct dose.

  • Hi piggyporkpie, you do know that the Parathyroids and the thyroid do different things in the body? Both have different functions. Thyroxine is nothing to do with the Parathyroids. Maybe it's me getting the wrong impression when I read your post, but it made me think you were connecting the Parathyroids to the thyroid when they are two separate, different things. They are just together anatomically which can make it confusingly!

  • Welcome to our forum, and I think it is about time after 14 years on levothyroxine to give your Mum some quality of life.

    Several new reasearch teams have proven that many need T3 added to T4. Unfortunately, in the UK they have banned this due to the exhorbitant cost (put up by the lone suppliers). You can source T3 privately but you'd have to put up a new post asking for a private message to be sent to you.

    Also NDT contains all of the hormones our healthy gland would have produced and again it can be sourced privately. It is the very original thyroid hormone replacement first introduced in 1892 up until the late 60's/70's and with Big Pharma promoting levothyroxine plus blood tests as the 'ideal' way of treating, most of us on this forum have found it doesn't suit everyone.

    You could get a private Free T4 and Free T3 for your mum privately from one of our recommended labs and it is these two which are the most important which rarely get tested in the UK. I shall also give you an article re NDT which was sent to our Associations for not stating the truth about this product.

    thyroidscience.com/Criticis...

    Dr Lowe (deceased) sent three yearly reminders asking for a response to his Rebuttal. Not once did they even acknowledge them.

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