GP Ignoring symptoms : Newbie here. Long story I... - Thyroid UK

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GP Ignoring symptoms


Newbie here. Long story I'm afraid. Background : I am 61, a competitive triathlete and runner and in the last 5 years have been selected for the GB Triathlon team for my age group three times, competed in 2 Ironman 13 Half Ironman races and several 50km and 60km trail ultra marathons. I have seen a GP perhaps 5 times in the last 25 years until recently.

Three years ago my performance dropped sharply and I started to get into anxiety states resulting in sub-conjunctival haemorrhages. My job was stressing me out. My blood pressure is elevated, 130(+)/67 heart rate 48. I was put on a 24hr BP monitor and told nothing to worry about. I got my own BP monitor, my diastolic readings are consistent at 67-70 with resting HR of 48. My systolic is all over the place 130-165, occasional blips to 170+ and even 190+. I had two ECG tests, as expected tip top. I tried to reason with my GP that something was wrong, he kept reassuring me everything is OK.

May 2018 I had 2 major anxiety episodes. My boss was fantastic, he sorted out partial retirement, I work 3 days and money virtually no change. My GP reaction to my meltdowns, another eye haemorrhage and elevated blood pressure was basically chill out, learn not to get excited. It was only when I said in frustration, if everything is fine then why is my eye exploding, why is my BP elevated and why does my damn left hand and foot tingle constantly. That caught his attention. Had a nerve function test and for the first time a thyroid function blood test.



Serum free T4 level (XaERr) 14.2 pmol/L (11.0-23.0)

Serum TSH level (XaELV) Above range 6.4 mU/L (0.27-4.5)


Serum free T4 level (XaERr) 15.5 pmol/L (11.0-23.0)

Serum TSH level (XaELV) Above range 4.7 mU/L (0.27-4.5

Now I did try L Tyrosine in September and saw improvements in mood, BP and my running but that seemed to tail off so stopped early November.


Serum free T4 level (XaERr) 14.0 pmol/L (11.0-23.0)

Serum TSH level (XaELV) Above range 4.3 mU/L (0.27-4.5

Serum thyroid peroxidase antibody concentration (XabCy) 9 IU/ml [<34.0].

GP summary.. All normal, no further action required. Why do I feel rubbish? I feel he is looking at a single figure, applying a one size fits all strategy and ignoring my needs as a competitive amateur athlete.

My next step is to see a specialist privately I suppose, my health insurance will cover one consultation. Any suggestions for a athlete friendly specialist in Lincolnshire area? Should I get a more comprehensive blood test done beforehand? Which one do you recommend?

Much appreciated.

6 Replies


I thought I would reply as I’m based in Lincolnshire as well.

As reallyfedup123 has said your thyroid is not normal at all. This can cause all sorts of symptoms, anxiety being one.

I see that your TSH results in December have gone slightly down, but, still not a normal functioning thyroid.

The problem that you face as did I, even though I paid to see a private Endocrinologist in the Lincolnshire area, is until your TSH reaches 10, you may struggle to get an acknowledgement your thyroid is struggling.

I thought I would be in safe hands with the Endocrinologist I saw, but, he told me no medication would help, and I was being fobbed off.

This is when I started researching more and came across this forum.

I was left to get very poorly until my GP stepped in when my TSH reached 12.2. I was put on Levothyroxine, but, never did well on this.

I suspect your GP is just buggering about with your thyroid results.

Is there any chance you could see a different GP that is sympathetic and maybe start you on Levothyroxine?.

Keep in mind that many GP’s are just obsessed with TSH only. T3 is so important and regulates your metabolism, everything.

If your T3 is low, then going out running etc will not be helping matters, you’ll burn out. Your thyroid is just trying to cope with your normal everyday tasks without using your T3 for exercise.

If your GP will not help, then maybe self medicating will be your only choice.

This is the last resort, you will have to make sure you monitor your own blood tests, symptoms and testing vitamin levels.

The tests you need is TSH, T3 & T4, vitamins and antibodies.

Ive provided a link at the bottom of this page.

I think they maybe be closed for Christmas until 1st January.

There are several blood draw options, you can pay £25.00 extra for your blood to be taken from a BMI hospital. I do this at the Lincoln BMI, or, I think you pay around £59.00 for someone to visit your home for blood draw.

Always book your blood draw as early in the morning as possible. I always book mine for 8.30am.

It’s very easy to do and the results are emailed directly to you. They can comment on the blood tests as well, but, we normally ignore the comments and ask the experts on here to comment.

Then when just monitoring your thyroid, they do a finger prick test which you can do yourself.

Best Wishes


Have you had Vit B12 tested? Your thyroid function is definitely off, but you mentioned tingling in your hand and foot, which made me wonder about B12...

Trouble is, when one thing goes wrong, it’s like a domino effect. With under active thyroid, your gut can slow down and cause you to stop absorbing nutrients as well. B12 deficiency symptoms can be devastating.

Just another thought to add to the rest.

Anything to do with nerves or anything neurological get tested for B12 deficiency, tingling is a classic symptom of b12 deficiency or low b12 Another health forum site here on Health Unlocked is for those with or suspecting they might have low or B12 deficiency (bloods) called - PAS (Pernicious Anemia Society) Might be well worth posting your same question about your hand and foot tingling on here too JohnGW ?

Thank you all. As I suspected the tests do not reveal the full picture so in the New Year will definitely go a comprehensive test. I am just atsounded that the GP is just dismissing me with 'all OK, no further action' because of a figure which now turns out to be a very narrow focused test. I was talking to a professional triathlete who is also an oncologist, she asked what my TSH level and a couple of other levels were, said not detailed, she said I need to get a full analysis done.

In terms of fitness I am in the top 15-10% in my age group; until two years ago I regularly came in the top 30% of all ages in races and quite often beat armed forces team members (including a Royal Marine) 20 years younger than me. My systolic BP should be 120ish or thereabouts not 140 and that can ramp up at the slightest stress to 160 - 170.

This may sound selfish but my metabolism does not need to be OK, it needs to be optimal so that when I race my body can metabolise my glycogen reserves and carb intake.

Thank you anyway, it has confirmed what I thought. When I get my full blood test I'll seek a private consultation with an endocrologist who knows about sports medicine... Just had a thought I know someone at Loughborough.

Many thanks.


in reply to JohnGW

You should post your results here too. We care about results that are optimal, doctors don't. To them a vitamin B12 level that is 5% of the way through the reference range is as good as one which is 95% of the way through the reference range. Not so.

Different minerals and vitamins have different optimal levels, so going high in range is not always a good idea - so ask us!

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