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Thyroid UK
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Advice for a newbie, please

I am new to forum and not sure if I'm in the right place.

I got here by checking symptoms and was quite surprised when it led me to Thyroid information. Went to GP (not my usual one) 4 weeks ago with the following:

Swelling of hands and feet

extreme fatigue, following 10 hrs sleep

memory issues

painful joints.

I also have other minor symptoms which are not causing me too much of a problem atm. However I do have a very unhealthy sugar craving which I've had for years now.

GP sent me away with virus diagnosis, of which I was sceptical but was willing too wait out. My swelling has subsided, although still slight in am. Joints are constantly cracking (never had this before). However my fatigue is still through the roof. I'm on holiday for a week and I've done little but sleep, which I also did all over Christmas/New Year.

My question is how do I approach my GP without sounding like I have been picking up on every quack article in Googleland? I don't like the idea of my doctor thinking I'm looking for a particular diagnosis. Because the main symptom is my fatigue I find it difficult to get over how bad, and unlike normal, this is for me. I think it may be thyroid related, but to be honest it doesn't matter what it is, I just want to feel better.

I was considering ordering private blood tests - is this a good or bad idea before speaking to my GP again? What are your experience of private tests for initial symptom checking. I'm happy to spend the money if it is the right thing to do.

Hope you can give me some advice on all of this.

5 Replies


I would certainly plump for a private test If you can afford it as it will be more comprehensive than NHS testing. The best tests are Blue Horizon Thyroid Plus 11 and Medichecks UltraVits which include TSH, FT4, FT3, thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies, and some vitamin and mineral tests too. Medichecks offer #ThyroidThursday discounts.



ps Arrange the blood test early in the morning when TSH is highest and fast (water only) as TSH drops after eating and drinking.


Thanks for the information. What are the pros/cons for home vs clinic testing? I have no problem with finger prick, so wondering if there would be any other reason to opt for visiting a clinic?



None as far as I know. Blood is blood whether it is from a vein in your arm or a cut on your finger. As long as you supply enough in the tubes supplied they can analyse it.


Just tell him you have ticked off clinical symptoms from the NHS Choices for information and advice on dysfunctions of the thyroid gland (thyroiduk.org.uk) and tell him you've been advised to get TSH, T4, T3, Free T4, and thyroid antibodies. I shall give you a couple of links.

Can you please have a test for thyroid hormones.

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_... /hypothyroidism_signs_symptoms.html


Also ask for B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate to be tested at the same time as the next test.

Always get a print-out of your results and make sure ranges are stated. Labs differ and it makes it easier to respond.

GP or lab may not do all of the thyroid ones suggested as I believe they think that TSH and T4 alone is enough but it isn't but that can come later on. The first thing is to get diagnosed.

Make the test for the very earliest appointment, fasting (you can drink water) and if you were taking thyroid hormones you'd allow a 24 hour gap between last dose and test and take afterwards.

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