GP wants £25 to say if I'm fit to join the gym!

Hi guys! I finally joined the gym today, 6 months after my total thyroidectomy. I've put on nearly a stone since and I'm finding it very hard to lose weight. Whilst doing the membership paperwork, I had to declare that I have no thyroid and had surgery 6 months ago. The gym manager asked me to get an all clear from my GP for peace of mind. I therefore called the GP practice and couldn't believe it when the receptionist told me that I need to pay £25 for the GP to give a letter saying I'm fit to join the gym. I thought GPs should be promoting exercise, not discourage people. I straight away said no thank you and have joined the gym anyway (at my own risk). Just can't believe the £25 charge from GP.

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17 Replies

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  • It's no solace to you but some practices charge £35 for the letter and £125 for the consultation/check-up to assess you for the letter...anything that is not strictly NHS is charged like this tho' the charges vary from one practice to another.

  • after thyroidectomy its vital you get adequate thyroid treatment

    and personally i do not think that anyone in your situation is able to cope with the gym because its a huge drain on T3

  • I quite agree with RFU!

    Plus, at this stage, it won't help you lose weight, but will probably make you put more on.

  • The charge is a private one so GPs can charge what they like.

    I've had to pay £25 to for various letters over the years including to tell the gym I was injured so my membership needed to be suspended for 3 months.

    My current GP practice refuses to do wellness letters for gyms and events instead they direct everyone to a private provider 5 miles away who charge more.

  • This is a good idea. The gym is trying to cover itself at NHS expense, putting an unnecessary burden on GPs. Tell the gym about the charge and suggest they pay it if they want your business. How about Tesco wanting a GP letter before you are allowed to carry heavy shopping!

  • Hi

    Most of my friends do go to the gym after the same operation only one of them has even been tested for free t3 and now takes it.

    It's a good idea to go- sorry I know it's a steep fee but surgeries are businesses now lol just like Tesco!

    It is a valid point tho you need to ensure you convert well and Free t3 is in the top third. Also that all your vitamins levels are well in range too.

    A suggestion from a national athlete- try d ribose a spoonful in a water three times a day- helps energy levels and is completely natural.

    Good luck

  • To be a bit more helpful, I don't think a total thyroidectomy matters as regards going to the gym. As long as you feel OK and work up slowly there should be no problem and really no difference from any other thyroid patient. The only case for caution is untreated hypothyroid patients or patients with hyperthyroidism.

  • Hi Tamzin27,

    Welcome to the free-market economy! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but, post June 8th it will only get worse. I am waiting for my hospital appointment to have a total thyroidectomy, I hope it comes through before the b****** charge me for the privilege!

    (I bet you all tried to work out what came after the b. Answers on a post-card c/o Dept. of Health)

  • Hey PeteRad,

    I hope your TT & recovery goes well. I've written my experience in detail on my profile page. Might come in handy. Getting my meds right is an ongoing saga but feeling okay at the moment. Good luck.

    Tamzin27

  • My doctor tried to get me to go to the gym 7+ years after a TT and whilst on levo only. I had to refuse saying i would be so tired by the time I got there that I would be unable to do anything.

    But what's all this about going to a gym? Why would you want to spend an hour or two lifting things and running nowhere when you can have much more fun going for a jog round the local park? Years ago I had a job delivering free newspapers. Managed to do 600+ every Thursday. You.may want to spend money in a sweaty gym every week; I earned £40 - £100 for doing the same exercise, lifting, bending and walking, even getting soaking wet occasionally. Had to abandon job when I was viciously attacked by a goitre.

    As to your current situation, I would, in your situation, complain about any charge saying that your weight has been caused by being on levothyroxine and that can only be addressed by him giving you NDT. Most, if not all, who have had a TT fail to recover properly on levo alone.

  • Hi Panda321,

    I don't think I'd like to go deliver leaflets after doing a whole shift as a nurse. It's personal choice if someone wants to go to the gym or not. I'm sorry you had to abandon your job due to the goitre.

    Tamzin27

  • That's disgusting. GPs should be encouraging an holistic approach to health. My gym asked for a letter to cover me because of arthritis and GP was happy to do it at no charge, not all are so mercenary, they get paid well enough anyway thanks to Mr Blair

  • I'm going to disagree with everyone else here. If someone needed a lawyer they could expect to pay for every letter, every email, every telephone conversation with the lawyer or his staff, in fact every contact between lawyer or his staff and the client, or between lawyer and third parties affected by the client's case would have a bill attached.

    Despite the fact that doctors annoy so many of us they are professionals who train for years. GPs have a contract with the NHS, and they are paid to fulfil that contract. I wouldn't be surprised to have to pay for anything I asked for outside that contract.

  • I'm going to have to stick up for GPS too. Having worked in general practices for nearly 20 years I can tell you that GPs definitely work hard for the salary they earn. Any letters like this are classed as private and do come with a fee. Doctors get loads of these on a daily basis to complete from insurance companies etc and a lot of them are done in their own time after surgeries or lunchtimes. They are liable for everything they write on those forms.

    It's the same as seeing a private consultant. Most of them work for the NHS but see private patients in their own time.

  • Hi guys,

    Thank you so much for all your advice and glad to have created some discussion. I spoke to my GP today and was told that it is okay for me to exercise after TT, but not to do intensive exercise just yet e.g HITT classes. She is happy to monitor my progress. Blood test every 6 weeks for now and to monitor heart rate during exercise. I had my gym induction and was lucky to have had an instructor who has a bit of knowledge about the thyroid. I understand some of you are worried, but I won't overdo it. If I don't try, I won't know. I don't know what else to do to lose the weight which makes me feel uncomfortable. In regards, to NDT or T3, both my GP and endo are still refusing to prescribe either. They only prescribe Levothyroxine.

    Tamzin27

  • If you don't know for certain your thyroid levels are back to normal , for gods sake don't go near the gym.

    A year or two ago, before my levels were normal , I went back to running . went twice a week , lasted two weeks .

    One morning , woke up so ill I could hardly get out of the bed , put my blood pressure pulse monitor on and over the morning I watched my blood pressure go down from 90/60 to figures so low it was very frightening, and my pulse went from a lousy low 50,s into the low 40s .

    I was checking out from this earth rapidly , only thing that saved me was i was using my own NDT, and with what little cognitive function and strength I had left got the bottle out of the cupboard and took 2 grains on top of the morning dose I had already taken.

    Over the following hours by BP and pulse climbed back up and I started to come round.

  • Hi Tamzin27. I understand completely how you must feel about weight after TT. A few years ago after I had retired I was so fed up with being very overweight I asked the GP for a referral to the local gym and did enjoy it but gradually over a few weeks I started having palpitations. I stopped going to the gym because of that as I got my Levo right; in fact that is when I found this site and started following the advice about vitamins etc. Then I did 2 other things: - went gluten free (grain free eventually) which has been fantastic then a few months later started doing aquafit classes. I've been doing that now for about 4 years, often 3 times a week, and have lost 3 stones and kept it off and generally feel good. I don't seem to be able to lose any more but am still working on it. The other exercise that I found very useful was nordic walking. Because you are using the poles you are exercising more of the body and you are out of doors too. Hope that is of help

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