Been sacked for being ill: Pretty self... - Thyroid UK

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Been sacked for being ill


Pretty self explanatory, manager has sacked me due to incompetence, I have brain fog, low stamina, lack of concentration, tiredness, inability to retain information, muscle spasms, pins and needles, dizzy spells, blood rushes when standing, goitre, hair loss, looking tired.

Results below on 100mcg levothyroxine and 10mcg T3 and 800iu vitamin D which I have been on for 5 years. Diagnosed 5 years ago.

Thanks in advance.

TSH 3.86 (0.27 - 4.20)

Free T4 16.2 (12 - 22)

Free T3 4.1 (3.1 - 6.8)

Thyroid peroxidase antibody 603.5 (<34)

Ferritin 17 (15 - 150)

Folate 2.35 (2.50 - 19.50)

Vitamin B12 202 (190 - 900)

Vitamin D 38.5 (25 - 50 deficiency)

43 Replies

I'm so sorry to read of your job loss and the problems this will bring along with it.

Do you have the results of any vitamin or mineral blood work that might help people to comment on your thyroid results, please? If so, could you edit your original post to include them?

Khloe1 in reply to ITYFIALMCTT


This has been done

I'm sure someone will be along soon with exact information for you but as far as I'm aware the disability discrimination act cover thyroid conditions so you may want to look into that.

I hope you get sorted soon though xx

jimh111 in reply to Emyloulou

Now called the Equalities Act. Are you a union member? If not maybe you can get legal advice.


Has any medic ever explained to you that as your antibodies are extremely high this is Hashimoto's, (also known as autoimmune thyroid disease). About 90% of hypothyroidism in UK is due to Hashimoto's.

Hashimoto's very often affects the gut, leading to low stomach acid, low vitamin levels and leaky gut.

Low vitamins that affect thyroid are vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12. Important to test these. If they are too low they stop Thyroid hormones working.

Have these been tested, if they have list results here

If not ask that they are. Always get actual results and ranges.

As you have Hashimoto's then hidden food intolerances may be causing issues, most common by far is gluten.

Are you on strictly gluten free diet?

If not then changing to a strictly gluten free diet may help reduce symptoms and eventually start to lower antibodies. Very very many of us here find it really helps and can slowly lower antibodies, improving symptoms

Other things to help heal gut lining

Bone broth



Regarding your job, suggest you see Citizens Advice and GP

Khloe1 in reply to SlowDragon


Not gluten free

Results been added to post

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Khloe1

These vitamins are absolutely dire.

You will need to supplement and definitely try strictly gluten free diet to try to repair gut

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Khloe1

You do not have to ANY obvious symptoms to still have severe gluten intolerance

Your extremely low vitamins indicate it extremely likely you have poor gut function and possibly low stomach acid too.

Quasarlis in reply to SlowDragon

Bone broth!!! Going to try that!!! Also some of the other stuff too! Tried the Gluten free but never really felt better or felt any other benefit, that said it probably works in harmony with some of the other stuff mentioned! And yes Probiotics, especially in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, Kimchi and so on that I'm going to start making for myself!! EXTREMLEY easy to do and the benefits are great!!!

Well, someone like SeasideSusie will give you informed commentary and some suggestions for supplementation but it looks like your ferritin and B12 are low in range and your folate level is below range and the vitamin D level is categorised as deficient (despite your supplementation).

As you might have read here, it's commonly said that it's difficult to use thyroid hormones appropriately when vitamin and mineral levels are not in the most useful part of the range. I hope someone comes along soon to discuss this with you.

I went to my GP 3 times before I was sacked about my ongoing symptoms and he diagnosed me with stress and prescribed me antidepressants. I spoke to my endo before I was sacked too because of my symptoms and she said maybe my GP should have been looking at other causes to my symptoms since my hypothyroidism seemed, to her, very well controlled on the dose I was on.

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Khloe1

You need new GP and endo then.

They have completely misunderstood and mistreated Hashimoto's.

Sadly far too common

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Khloe1

Khloe1 since my hypothyroidism seemed, to her, very well controlled on the dose I was on.

Oh dear, another endo who is most likely a diabetes specialist and doesn't have a clue about how to treat hypothyroidism.

TSH 3.86 (0.27 - 4.20)

Free T4 16.2 (12 - 22)

Free T3 4.1 (3.1 - 6.8)

Both your GP and endo need to be made aware of the following, from > Treatment Options

According to the BMA's booklet, "Understanding Thyroid Disorders", many people do not feel well unless their levels are at the bottom of the TSH range or below and at the top of the FT4 range or a little above.

Booklet written by Dr Anthony Toft, past president of the British Thyroid Association and leading endocrinologist. It is published by the British Medical Association for patients. Available from pharmacies and Amazon for about £4.95. It might be worth buying, highlighting the relevant section to show your GP and Endo in support of an increase in Levo.

Also -

Dr Toft states in Pulse Magazine, "The appropriate dose of levothyroxine is that which restores euthyroidism and serum TSH to the lower part of the reference range - 0.2-0.5mU/l.

In this case, free thyroxine is likely to be in the upper part of its reference range or even slightly elevated – 18-22pmol/l. Most patients will feel well in that circumstance.

But some need a higher dose of levothyroxine to suppress serum TSH and then the serum-free T4 concentration will be elevated at around 24-28pmol/l.

This 'exogenous subclinical hyperthyroidism' is not dangerous as long as serum T3 is unequivocally normal – that is, serum total around T3 1.7nmol/l (reference range 1.0-2.2nmol/l)."

Email for a copy, print it and highlight question 6 to show your GP and endo in support of an increase in Levo.


SlowDragon has covered Hashi's so I wont comment further.


Your vitamin and mineral levels are very much part of your problem, will be causing many symptoms of their own and will be preventing thyroid hormone from working.

Ferritin 17 (15 - 150)

Have you had an iron panel and full blood count to see if you have iron deficiency anaemia? If not ask for them to be done.

For thyroid hormone to work ferritin needs to be at least 70, preferably half way through range.

Ideally you need an iron infusion so ask for one, but you may only be prescribed tablets which will take months to raise your level whereas an infusion will raise your level within 24-48 hours.

Take each iron tablet with 1000mg Vitamin C to aid absorption and help prevent constipaton. Always take iron 4 hours away from thyroid meds and two hours away from other medication and supplements as it will affect absorption.

You can help raise your level by eating liver regularly, maximum 200g per week due to it's high Vit A content, and including lots of iron rich foods in your diet

If you do have iron deficiency anaemia, the treatment is 1 x ferrous fumarate 2 or 3 times daily, and with your ferritin level I think the maximum is called for.


Folate 2.35 (2.50 - 19.50) Vitamin B12 202 (190 - 900)

You are folate deficient with very low B12. Do you have any signs of B12 deficiency

You need to post these results on the Pernicious Anaemia Society forum for further advice

Quote your folate, B12, ferritin (and iron) results plus any signs of B12 deficiency you may be experiencing.

Do not supplement anything for folate or B12 at the moment. You may need testing for Pernicious Anaemia and this should be done before any supplements taken.

I have read (but not researched so don't have links) that BCSH, UKNEQAS and NICE guidelines recommend:

"In the presence of discordance between test results and strong clinical features of deficiency, treatment should not be delayed to avoid neurological impairment."

And an extract from the book, "Could it be B12?" by Sally M. Pacholok:

"We believe that the 'normal' serum B12 threshold needs to be raised from 200 pg/ml to at least 450 pg/ml because deficiencies begin to appear in the cerebrospinal fluid below 550".

"For brain and nervous system health and prevention of disease in older adults, serum B12 levels should be maintained near or above 1000 pg/ml."


Vitamin D 38.5 (25 - 50 deficiency)

The recommended level, according to the Vit D Council is 100-150nmol/L.

You may not be prescribed anything for this level by your GP, if he does it will probably be a paltry 800iu D3 daily which wont raise your level, it's hardly a maintenance dose for someone with a decent level to start with.

You could buy some D3 softgels like these and take 10,000 for 4-6 weeks then reduce to 5000iu daily. Retest 3 months after starting. Once you've reached the level recommended by the Vit D Council - which is 100-150nmol/L - you'll need a maintenance dose which may be 2000iu daily, it's trial and error so it's recommended to retest once or twice a year to keep within the recommended range. You can do this with a private fingerprick blood spot test with City Assays

Check out the other cofactors too.

Khloe1 in reply to SeasideSusie


I take vitamin D, have taken it for 4 years

I take 1 iron tablet once a day for iron anaemia, GP says this is adequate

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Khloe1

How much vitamin D?

I assume it was only 800iu, which as your results show was no where near enough

With Hashimoto's we need or use more.

You are likely to need 5000iu or 6000iu daily to increase dose, and probably 2000-3000iu to stay level

"Better You" vitamin D mouth spray is good as avoids poor gut function

You can get 3000iu or 5000iu dose options - from Amazon or high street

They also offer free spray with blood test, when you retest in 2-3 months time

Khloe1 in reply to SlowDragon


SilverAvocado in reply to Khloe1

The fact you've been taking it for years but your level is still deficient shows it's not working. Doctors are so negligent, as the purpose of retesting is to confirm that the supplement is working, and if the numbers don't increase you must increase the dose.

But unfortunately 800iu is an extremely small dose. I have good vitamin D and take 2000 per day. I'm thinking about increasing it this Winter as I'd like to raise my levels a little as I've got a smidge of room for improvement.

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Khloe1

Khloe1 If you'd included that information in your original post I'd have given you more information/links, I see you've edited your original post now to include it. I'll add some useful information now

Vitamin D 38.5 (25 - 50 deficiency)

As you were prescribed 800iu four years ago, am I right in thinking your level was less than 30 originally? If so you should have been put on loading doses as per the following

NICE treatment summary for Vit D deficiency:

Treat for vitamin D deficiency if serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels are less than 30 nmol/L.

For the treatment of vitamin D deficiency, the recommended treatment is based on fixed loading doses of vitamin D (up to a total of about 300,000 international units [IU]) given either as weekly or daily split doses, followed by lifelong maintenance treatment of about 800 IU a day. Higher doses of up to 2000 IU a day, occasionally up to 4000 IU a day, may be used for certain groups of people, for example those with malabsorption disorders. Several treatment regimens are available, including 50,000 IU once a week for 6 weeks (300,000 IU in total), 20,000 IU twice a week for 7 weeks (280,000 IU in total), or 4000 IU daily for 10 weeks (280,000 IU in total)."

Each Health Authority has their own guidelines but they will be very similar.

However, what you should do now is ask your GP this question:

"Why, considering I've been supplementing with prescribed Vit D for four years, is my level still at the lower end of the deficiency category?"

and if your level originally was less than 30 an additional question:

"Why was I not given the loading doses as stated in the guidelines?"

Search for and list the symptoms of Vit D deficiency and point out to your GP what you have been in danger of suffering due to your level being this low for all this time.

If you wish to help yourself then you have the information in my previous post about how to do this.


Iron anaemia

I mentioned in my previous post what the treatment was for iron deficiency anaemia. You can show your GP the following and ask for the appropriate treatment

NICE Clinical Knowledge Summary for iron deficiency anaemia treatment (which will be very similar to your local area guidelines)

Have a read through but this is the treatment:

How should I treat iron deficiency anaemia?

•Address underlying causes as necessary (for example treat menorrhagia or stop nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, if possible).

•Treat with oral ferrous sulphate 200 mg tablets two or three times a day.

◦If ferrous sulphate is not tolerated, consider oral ferrous fumarate tablets or ferrous gluconate tablets.

◦Do not wait for investigations to be carried out before prescribing iron supplements.

•If dietary deficiency of iron is thought to be a contributory cause of iron deficiency anaemia, advise the person to maintain an adequate balanced intake of iron-rich foods (for example dark green vegetables, iron-fortified bread, meat, apricots, prunes, and raisins) and consider referral to a dietitian.

• Monitor the person to ensure that there is an adequate response to iron treatment.

Regardless of your GP saying that 1 x ferrous fumarate is adequate, the guidelines say different.


Doctors aren't taught nutrition, as far as they are concerned then if your result falls somewhere within the reference range, even one point up from the bottom, then everything is fine. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and particularly for us Hypos we need optimal levels for thyroid hormone to work.

And as you can see from the information regarding iron deficiency, yours has even not bothered to follow the guidelines.

It would appear that your GP, by keeping you undermedicated and under supplemented, that he has played a part in you losing your job. You might want to mention this to him as well.

Khloe1 in reply to SeasideSusie

Thanks with what has happened I forgot to include it and my level of vitamin D was originally under 30 yes

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Khloe1

vitamin D was originally under 30 yes

Ah, so it's taken four years to raise it from below 30 to 38.5. Make a point about this extremely slow 'progress' and if you can't get the loading doses prescribed then proceed as advised above.

Quasarlis in reply to Khloe1

That's because most GP's haven't got a clue about Hypothyroidism past their medical school books, the lies the NHS tell us all regarding treatments etc and pile us full of anti-D's! Next time your at the Doctors, once you feel better (and you will as the advice in these forums is far, FAR superior to ANY Dr or Endo's advice I have ever had in over 20 years!) tell them to go 'mate' with themselves VERY loudly in the waiting room for everyone to see and hear .. Then ram the box of Anti-D's right up their .... Well you know where! Dr's should do more research into the desease and try to help their patients the best they can ... Endo's in my opinion should be utterly ashamed of themselves (If they are the specialists they claim to be, the one I saw certainly wasn't and is nothing but a lieing coward who is only interested in his ridiculous NHS salary that in my opinion he DOES NOT earn) .. They should and most likely Do know about stuff such as RT3, low conversion ratios and so on but THEY CHOOSE to ignore them due to the NHS pressure on them NOT to prescribe T3 due to the monopoly MP have on the Thyroid medication in the UK and the totally unethical way they charge ridiculous money for it so they can rake in the money due to their patent on T4! My Endo gave me a ridiculously slack physical examination and said 'I can't find anything wrong with you' brought up a TSH/T4 graph and TOTALLY ignored the symptoms I was explaining! I then asked him about T3 medication in an email along with my BH blood test that showed me to have high Hashimoto's anti bodies, high out of range TSH as well as high FT4, bottom end range FT3, high RT3 and a Vit D deficiency. He totally lied about T3 basically saying it's dangerous and not recommended to be used in a combination therapy with T4 and his reply to the questions I asked about the BH test was 'Some assays are different' and that's it! He took 5 months to book me in for a cortisol test which once I got an appointment letter from him started with 'Sorry it's been a while' ... My one and only regret was not knocking his teeth out at my 'examination' for which I would have happily settled for the conciquences!!! They should be utterly ashamed of their lieing, unethical approach to it all! Even if he said off record 'You might benefit from it but I can't prescribe you it, self medicate and we'll monitor you BUT if you feel worse etc we can't be responsible' or summit like that then fair enough but to just blaitantly lie about it in my opinion is far worse and cowardly!!!

Very sorry for your job loss, I can understand how difficult it's been and how difficult it is to pick yourself up after an experience like this. Please try not to let it knock your confidence, it's so hard with thyroid disease as it's invisible and people can't see what you're going through but we know and understand how hard it is.


You can email Louise at Thyroid Uk for list of recommended thyroid specialists. They are not all private

So sorry to hear about your job loss. This happened to me due to ME/ CFS and undiagnosed Hypothyroidism back in 2003.

I couldn't argue with them at the time because everything they sacked me for was true - it sounded just like your list (although I'm not saying you were necessarily any of those things, however, if you were it's hardly your fault; I remember wading through treacle just to get to work, and having a total porridge brain once I got there! It was pure hell, and frankly the amount of effort it took me, I should have been paid to just get out of bed!)

Anyway. Although I don't have Hashi's, I've been on huge amounts of supplements this past few months (I had similar Ferritin results to yours) and it has really helped my thyroid. I've a way to go yet, but it's definitely a marked improvement.

Please be sweet to yourself and don't give yourself a hard time about losing your job. It's not your fault the medical establishment can be next to useless about vitamin levels and thyroid issues.

Instead - supplement, supplement, supplement, and give your body time to rest and recover. And be kind to your mind in the meantime!

Best of luck,

Abi x

Hi I sorry to hear why you lost your job die to your health. I applied for health retirement because my then !manager didn't believe I was I'll.

Was your employer aware off your condition, if so did they make any adaptions to help you. You should take advice re DDA act. Please check all avenue's.

Khloe1 in reply to Rexcara1954

Hi my manager was aware of my condition and she said I didn't fit the profile of a hypothyroid person

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Khloe1

Do you mean you are thin and not over weight

I would ask GP to do blood test for coeliac. It's very unreliable test. Endoscopy is only true test. Requires a high gluten diet for 6 weeks beforehand. Up to you if. You think that worth it

And only 5% with Hashimoto's are coeliac, but over 80% find gluten free diet helps. So even if negative you still want to try gluten free diet for at least 3-6 months. If it helps stick on it.

But if you are underweight and hypo, then coeliac is more likely

Khloe1 in reply to SlowDragon

Yes I am underweight and hypo

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Khloe1

Ask for full testing for coeliac and referral to gastroenterologist

Thats horrendous! Btw your Vit D dosage needs to be nearer 5000iu, 800iu is not enough, I learnt that a few days ago. No wonder you feel dreadful. I hope you feel better soon.

Lindsay (awaiting TT)

That's awful, absolutely AWFUL!! ... I can only agree with the other people on here .. Get legal advice from the bodies mentioned ... I have Hashimoto's too but not with levels like yours .. Mine are in the low-mid 200's ... Anyway the best of luck to you and 2 VERY big fingers stuck up at your boss from me!!!! 💪💪

Hi, I'm so sorry to hear! Does hypothyroidism count as a disability (not sure it does)? If it does then you should be protected from unfair discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. It may be worth looking into this avenue or perhaps someone more knowledgeable can answer. For instance, mental health problems that have over a year (if I remember correctly) count as a disability.

I and a few friends have had it count as a disability. Although I'm not sure what definition it has to meet.

Unfortunately you can still be sacked if you're not able to do the tasks required. The thing you're entitled to is accommodations such as different chairs and equipment, different hours, working from home or other places if the tasks can still be accomplished that way.

Khloe1 sorry to hear about losing your job, I do think also that you should seek advise, I've been off work sick due to my problems, it's disgusting to think things like this happen when you have a genuine illness that causes so many problems, it's not understood by many people health professionals included, I hope you seek advise, but try not to despair and I hope you feel better soon, sorry I can't comment on results, x

I am so sorry to hear that. Had you been in the job long? If so they are completely out of order. You cannot be sacked for being ill. Had they given you warnings verbal or written? If not they are on very dangerous ground 😡this makes me so angry. I really hope you get yourself feeling better and strong enough to fight your case.

Khloe1 in reply to purple64

Hi no verbal or written warning and I was in the job 6 weeks

Sorry to hear about your job loss, Khloe.

Thyroid disease isn't automatically deemed a disability (very few things are), but given the effect it has on your health, if your employer hasn't been taking this into account and making "reasonable adjustments", it may be worth a shot at a discrimination case. In any case (assuming you have been with the same employer for at least two years), your employer should have followed a process before sacking you, and if they haven't, that would also be grounds for a claim. The good news is, taking a case to the employment tribunal is now free, so employers are more likely to settle before it reaches this stage.

"Reasonable adjustments" vary according to the health condition, but might include things such as offering you shorter hours, allowing you to come in to work later etc. "Reasonable" is relative to both employer and employee - it's accepted that smaller employers wont have as much flexibility as large ones, and an employer isn't expected to put their business at risk to make the adjustments.

If you don't belong to a union (I'm guessing you don't, or they should have been involved already), it would be worth talking to your local Citizens Advice - they have info on process here :

Also on discrimination :

You have three months less one day to put a case to the employment tribunal (Citizens Advice will be able to work out the exact date), so best to get going on this soon if if you think it's worthwhile.

Just one word of warning. No employer is expected to keep someone on forever if they clearly cannot do the job due due to ill health - however, they should have discussed this with you, including options for adjustment, and followed a proper disciplinary process.

Good luck!

Khloe1 in reply to Valarian

Hi manager was aware I have hypothyroidism and she said she didn't believe me and I don't fit the profile of a typical hypothyroid person

Valarian in reply to Khloe1

Unless she has medical qualifications, her 'medical' opinion is irrelevant - and it really doesn't matter whether your symptoms are typical or not. If she's offered specialist occ health support, that input will be taken into account. Seek advice

Khloe1 in reply to Valarian

Thanks I had no support offered to me at all so I will seek advice now

I'm really sorry to hear about your terrible experiences. You may find your household insurance will pay for a specialist lawyer to investigate unfair dismissal.

Please email me I will help you


I would go to see an endocrinologist recommended as a thyroid specialist. I would then

find out how this neglect by your team has affected your health. With the right medical information

to support a claim from your employer, you can go through a specialist solicitor, to claim for wrongful dismissal. If you go to the citizen's advice bureau you might be referred for a free consultation with a specialist solicitor but it's no good unless you have right medical information

to back up your claim. The medical solicitors may give advice about who they use for medical evaluations, but if you take the results to a private endo, you are more likely to get a written report

which shows how the treatment you have been on has failed, and the impact on your working life.

Right now expect you feel unable to tackle anything like this - but it is worth making an appointment with a private specialist. With your results he she will be able to write an report to take to a specialist solicitor. As you may get a first consultation for free, the cost might be reduced. There are time limits for making a claim - it's three years for medical negligence

and bringing a case to quality of care commission,- expect it is a similar time length for unfair dismissal.

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