Newly diagnosed - hypothyroidism

Good morning everyone - I am new to this site and newly diagnosed with the above. If I could just explain slightly how my diagnosis came....After a massively stressful year which literally came to an end 5/6 weeks ago I hit rock bottom. All of the feelings of being unwell hit me like a rocket. Thinking back, I'd had symptoms for ages and ages but ignored them and put it down to stress (family) plus I started a new job in October and desperately wanted to impress. I had convinced myself that I had got MS. Terrible aching muscles literally everywhere, pins and needles combined with numbness, awful fatigue (tired beyond tired even after a good nights sleep), bursting into tears for literally nothing (my kids thoughts I'd lost the plot, still do a bit I think!). Anyway, about 3 weeks ago I had the uncomfortable conversation with my husband about not feeling right, not ill or poorly but something was wrong. He was fantastic and insisted that I go to the doctor which I did. She was great, gave me an 'MOT' immediately referred me for blood tests. The results of these came back that I'm severely deficient in vitamin d, have high cholesterol (despite being a veggie), have anemia, high blood pressure and hypothyroidism. Basically, she said, I'm running on empty. Anyway, started me on 50mg medication (now up'd to 75 after 3 weeks). Signed me off work as I'm literally good for nothing at the moment (and work in corporate law). Work contacted me yesterday and said that as I've been off for a while they are going to refer me to occupational health. Now I'm worried all over again. Is this a way to get rid of me? I don't feel that they fully understand how bad I actually feel. I think they think I'm 'chucking a sickie'. My manager told me my horrendous back pain was sciatica and it sounds like I should go for a walk!!

Has anyone else had experience with occupational health and hypothyroidism?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Jenny x

7 Replies

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  • Welcome to the forum, Jrobinson41.

    Your manager isn't a doctor and has no business diagnosing what is causing your pain or telling you how to deal with it. Occupation Health will want to assess when you might be well enough to return to work, whether a phased return will be helpful and whether reasonable accommodations in your work need to be made when you do return.

    It takes 7-10 days for Levothyroxine to be absorbed before it starts working and it will take up to six weeks to feel the full impact of the 75mcg dose. Symptoms may lag behind good biochemistry by several months but you should feel some improvement after 6 weeks.

    You should have a follow up thyroid test 6-8 weeks after starting Levothyroxine. Arrange an early morning and fasting (water only) blood draw when TSH is highest, and take Levothyroxine after your blood draw.

    For maximum absorption Levothyroxine should be taken with water 1 hour before, or 2 hours after, food and drink, 2 hours away from other medication and supplements, and 4 hours away from calcium, iron, vitamin D supplements, magnesium and oestrogen.

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

    How low was your vitamin D and how much D3 has GP prescribed?

  • Hi and thank you so much for your fast reply :)

    I was really annoyed with my manager when she said that, she made me feel like it was all in my head and I wasn't being dramatic. I'm absolutely not like that and haven't said anything to anyone for all this time due to appearing like a hypochondriac!

    I have to see my doctor again on 10 May when she will give me the form to have more bloods done. I honestly can't remember what my numbers were as it's all a bit of a blur, I wish I'd have asked for a print out which I will definitely do next visit. The one number which does stick in my mind though was cholesterol. According to research I've done, levels should be between 1-5 with 5 being the highest 'safe' level. Mine was 9 which has frightened me as we all know the affects of high cholesterol.

    I'm one of life's natural worriers and don't want to be! So many people have commented that occupational health are brilliant and not there to trip me up. If I list the symptoms to them are they going to think 'God this woman is insane'....

    I personally was ignorant to hypothyroidism before my diagnosis and had no idea how important it is so I suppose I can't really blame others before being the same..

  • Jrobinson41,

    You can ask your GP receptionist for a printout of your last blood test results and ranges. Post them in a new question for advice.

    High cholesterol is a hypothyroid symptom. Cholesterol will usually come down once you are optimally medicated on Levothyroxine.

    There are many hypothyroid symptoms and individually they are nothing much but collectively they can over whelm. If you are asked what your symptoms are tell them the most uncomfortable symptoms which impact your ability to do your job. They really won't want to hear about brittle or flaky nails and yellowing skin for instand.

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

  • Hi Jenny, I've been off work for 3 months now due to my body 'finally crashing' due to hypothyroid.

    Work referred me to Occupation health after 2 months and the nurse phoned me last week. He was lovely and very supportive, so try not to worry about it too much. I actually felt it benefited me as he wrote to my manager reinforcing the information I have given work.

    One of my colleagues told me O.H are there to help us, that helped me to not worry - hope this helps you x

  • Hi - thank you so much for this. That's exactly what happened to me, I literally feel like my body crashed. We had such a terrible year and I think my body went into fight or flight and when it finally settled down I think my body went URGH. I've only been in my current job for 6 months and I'm worried they will want me out. I really like it and don't want that to happen. Thing is I wake up exhausted, constant pain in my legs and back, double vision if I stand too fast - List goes on and i don't want to sound dramatic so I'll stop! I guess I have to accept that whatever this weird thing that is wrong with me is with me forever now and that the occupational health people are not there to catch me out.

    Thanks again 😊

  • Hi Jenny

    I think we have a lot in common, and I don't think you're being dramatic-it is very scary to feel your body is out of control in such a bad way. I know what you mean, I find myself not telling people how bad I feel because it almost sounds too exaggerated to be true.

    I am 3 months into this journey and can see its going to be a marathon rather than a sprint to feel better, give yourself time, keep reading this site, be kind to yourself (we deserve treats!) and we can keep in touch if you like by PM :)

    Vanessa

  • I would like that very much 😊

    My husband has been amazing (considering he's very much a mans man, I think this has frightened him because he was the one who made me go to the Drs in the first place and said that he wants me well as he doesn't want to do this on his own!).

    The HR woman at work sounded completely unsympathetic. Don't get me wrong, I'm looking for zero sympathy as this is my issue to deal with but I'm guessing from her attitude she doesn't have this problem 😂

    Let's keep in touch by pm as I pretty sure people will be sick of seeing my woes!

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