A Warning For Other Thyroid Disease Sufferers - Thyroid UK

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A Warning For Other Thyroid Disease Sufferers


I had to call 111 on News Years day because I had a flu bug that suddenly became worse and my chest became very tight. I was advised to see my GP as soon as possible so I saw one on 2nd January and was diagnosed with a chest infection and given amoxicillin 500mg 3 times a day. Last night I started to feel very ill again so I called 111 to ask their advice and they called an ambulance because I was so unwell. The paramedics have assessed me and said I have congested lungs and I need to sit upright and take paracetamol to lower my very high temperature. They have advised me to see a Doctor today if I feel worse because of my breathing difficulties. They think the Doctor might have to give me prednisolone which is a steroid which I don't really want to take. I honestly thought I was getting better but it seems sometimes we may need different antibiotics if they don't work after 3 days. I have just read that Derek Acorah was suffering with a flu bug which turned into sepsis and he has now sadly died. So please everyone if you have this nasty flu bug do not soldier on like I was doing and please seek medical advice from 111 or your Gp surgery.

50 Replies

Oh my god Lora, I am so sorry you are so sick. This flu sounds horrible and it must be really scary😰. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with this illness with us. I hope you get better very soon. My husband and I got the flu too but it doesn’t seem too bad compared to yours. Sending you all my well wishes 💛💛

Thank you, I will see how I feel as the day goes on and see if I need to go to hospital. At the moment my breathing is a lot easier so I am hoping I am over the worse now.

I hope so. Hard to escape from those horrible virus in this season... Get well soon Lora and stay hydrated with juice, broths and herbal teas like thyme ( great antiseptic herb), chamomile and lavender ( to help your heart rate go down).

I am so sorry to hear this. Be careful, as I have had pneumonia twice. The first time the doctor at the walk-in local clinic heard rasping on my chest and sent me straight to hospital where I was in 3 days on antibiotic and cooling fans to bring down my temperature, which had been steadily rising at home over about 5 days, feeling hot and cold too. Second time I knew the warning signs and went to the doctor and again was in hospital 2 days. I do hope you feel better - let us know what the doctor said.

They have listened to my chest and said it is just congested and my oxygen levels are 100% which is a good sign so I am going to see how I feel a bit later and then decide what to do.

Glad the oxygen levels are good.

Treepie in reply to mountainice

Are you able to get the pneumonia vaccine ?

mountainice in reply to Treepie

Not sure if I have had it or not.


That sounds like what my friend has at the moment, it's spreading like wildfire where I live.

They think the Doctor might have to give me prednisolone which is a steroid which I don't really want to take.

You will know if the doctor gave you Prednisolone, it comes in a box clearly marked. I have lung disease and if I get a chest or lung infection the first line is antibiotics and prednisolone. Prednisolone is often given at 40mg daily (divided doses) for 5 days, antibiotics for a week. It may be different for someone without lung disease. The prednisolone will reduce inflammation and usually works quite quickly and the short course is often all that is needed.

They have listened to my chest and said it is just congested and my oxygen levels are 100%

If your oxygen levels have measured 100% then that's very good, mine is permanently at 94% or less if I get an infection.

I hope you feel better soon.

For those with Bronchiectasis, antibiotics must be prescribed and taken for 2 wks (not 1 wk) for each and every chest infection. And the patient is to always have a spare pack - an emergency pack - of antibiotics at home, so that they can self-medicate when they feel they have another chest infection.

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Londinium

And the patient is to always have an emergency pack of antibiotics at home, so that they can self-medicate when they feel they have another chest infection.

I have asked for this and the answer was that they need a sputum sample to identify the bacteria so they can prescribe the correct antibiotic.

For those with Bronchiectasis, antibiotics is to be prescribed and taken for 2 wks (not 1 wk) for each and every chest infection

Yep, I know that. Consultant has written to my surgery saying that when I present with any chest infection they must be quick to prescribe antibiotics. Unfortunately he did not stipulate that it should be for 2 weeks so the surgery will only give the standard 5 days. I dare say if I went back still very unwell and they thought it necessary then they would repeat it.

It really is a case, at my surgery, of banging your head against a brick wall. The doctors are useless, the usually good Advanced Nurse Practioner, seems to now be veering towards the same uselessness, and a very common diagnosis at my surgery is "I don't know what it is, come back if it doesn't clear up in a couple of weeks". I suppose I am lucky that I have a lung disease and a note on my file to give me some antibiotics if I have a chest infection!

They're not adhering to the guidelines if they are not providing an emergency pack for you to keep at home and if you're not given 2 wks of antibiotics.

My GPs kept failing to adhere to the guidelines, so a respiratory physio and then a consultant both wrote to the GP practice to instruct them that I must have an emergency pack at home so that I can self-medicate and that I must, each time, take the antibiotics for 2 wks. When you take the antibiotics for a lesser period, you risk not killing off the infection entirely and the infection becomes increasingly resistant to antibiotics... which puts you at more risk.

I recently moved to a new GP practice, and the GP that I saw nodded in agreement when I told him that Bronchiectasis sufferers must have an emergency pack at home and that the antibiotics must be issued for 2 wks each time. He agreed that it was in the guidelines. He was the first GP, that I'd seen, that had known this.

As for providing a sputum sample, I seldom bring anything up - even with severe and profound Pneumonia.

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Londinium

The link I have for treating infective exacerbations of bronchiectasis says antibiotics should be prescribed for 10-14 days:

For people not requiring hospital admission:

◦Prescribe an antibiotic for 10–14 days. Do not await the results of culture. For further information, see the section on Antibiotic choice.

Then further down contradicts itself:

◦Prescribe according to local protocols where available, or

◦Prescribe amoxicillin 500mg three times a day for 7—14 days.


Do you have another link which says differently? I'll print the information off for next time.

I think, however, they may be following the guidelines for exacerbation of COPD as that was diagnosed before the bronchiectasis and maybe they're not noticing the bronch diagnosis:

Amoxicillin 500 mg three times a day for 5 days (see BNF for dosage in severe infections)


When I asked the community respiratory physio and then (at a separate appt) the consultant, if I could take the antibiotics for 10-12 days instead of 14 days, they each, individually, at those separate appts, said that the antibiotics must be issued and taken for 2 whole weeks, 14 days, and no less. They also each strongly stated, at those separate appts, that I must always have a spare emergency pack of antibiotics at home or wherever I am.

My new GP issued a prescription in December at my first appt with him and wrote on the prescription for the pharmacist "tds if necessary as rescue medication 42 capsules".

Sorry, I don't have links to where such things are stipulated, but according to the community respiratory physio, the consultant and my new GP, these are the guidelines for Bronchiectasis sufferers that all medics should adhere to.

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Londinium

OK thanks. I can print off the information in the links I have and ask for treatment according to bronchiectasis guidelines rather than COPD guidelines for the antibiotic for exacerbations. I know I wont get anywhere with a rescue pack though.

You're supposed to have the rescue pack at all times. The hospital consultant advised me to carry her letter with me at all times and to have a copy of it in a prominent place (on the fridge) at home, so that I can show it to dismissive and sarcastic and disbelieving paramedics and A&E and GPs.

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Londinium

I don't have confirmation from the consultant about a rescue pack so nothing to back up my request for it. The GP was adament, no rescue pack, at our surgery it's testing of sputum first to identify bacteria, and he was the one with a special interest in lungs although he has now retired. Prior to that one of the other GPs gave me a referral for 32 sessions at the gym (after refusing my request to see a consultant) which did nothing to help and I was no better after 3 months. I ended up paying to see the lung consultant privately as GP wouldn't refer me, that led to him transferring me back on NHS for CT scan which showed bronchiectasis.

Now I always ask to see the Advanced Nurse Practioner now who does give me an antibiotic without sending off a sample (presumably because the consultant wrote saying they should be quick to prescribe it), and I have printed off the information about length of time antibiotics should be taken for to use next time.

I firmly believe the policy at our surgery is reminiscent of Scrooge: "Reduce the surplus population" because very little is done other than "Let's wait and see what happens".

I cannot provide sputum, so they would be totally foolish and inept to insist on having a sputum sample. And it is because I normally don't have a hacking cough, or any cough, with my chest infections and Pneumonia, that they - the paramedics, A&E doctors and GPs - have foolishly and repeatedly assumed that I didn't have any chest infection, let alone Pneumonia.

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Londinium

I'm the same, no cough and I can't provide a sample on demand and I've explained that to them.

About 3 years ago I went to see the GP (the one who had an interest in lungs) with pain and breathlessness more than usual, he listened to my chest/lungs, sent me for urgent x-ray, came back I had pneumonia and pleurisy at the same time, I hadn't got a clue. He was a rude and obnoxious GP but he did know about lungs!

Luckily my Dad is looked after quite well because he has COPD having said that I did have to complain when a paramedic sent us to GP suite where you have to make an appointment with 111 before you can see a doctor. The ambulance service have contacted me and said they will make sure their paramedics know this in future.

penny in reply to SeasideSusie

My husband lost the hearing in one ear as his GP said “let’s wait and see”. When he saw the specialist the specialist said that had he come to see him sooner he could have saved his hearing.

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to penny

I'm sorry to hear about your husband but it doesn't surprise me in the least.

I find it very difficult to say much good about the doctors, certainly where I live anyway, and my experience of A&E, when I had a heart rate of 170 and BP of 190/109 and was taken in by ambulance, was diabolical.

My friend here has now been ill for over a week, she has been experiencing typical proper influenza symptoms, can't eat, is barely drinking anything, has had vomiting and has now been experiencing explosive diarrhoea for the last 4 days (no warning, can't reach the toilet in time) and the over the counter remedy for severe diarrhoea isn't working. Her husband rang the surgery this morning to be told "We don't come out any more, this is not an emergency, half the town has got this bug". No advice about what she can do. She can't get to the surgery, too weak to walk there, they have no car, can't risk a taxi because of the explosive diarrhoea. She is 71 so is not going to bounce back like a young, normally healthy person would.

penny in reply to SeasideSusie

Has your friend tried having explosive diarrhoea in the doctor’s surgery? Sorry, being flippant. Hope she’s better soon but rather distressing in the meantime. Hope you don’t get it.

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to penny

Has your friend tried having explosive diarrhoea in the doctor’s surgery?

Funny you should say that! I did say to her that if you could get to the surgery how would they like it if it happened when she was there. She didn't fancy the fee for cleaning up the taxi needed to get her there!

Would adult nappies / incontinence pads be worth getting for your friend?

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to humanbean

Thanks HB, I doubt she would have ventured out but could possibly have helped her in the house.

She's over that part of the bug now, just got the cough left and seems to be getting stronger by the day. Whatever's going round the surgery says is lasting about 6 weeks.

Tugun in reply to penny

Oh Penny - my Step-dad had the same thing happen - only it was both ears. Still brings back bad memories. He passed away over three years ago now.

Tugun in reply to Londinium


I'm similar to you regarding the sputum sample. Even though I can hardly breathe to some doctors if they can't hear anything then you don't have anything. I'm very lucky with my doctor who will always give me a prescription for antibiotics just to have in the house as an action plan. Some years I don't need any but this year - all I can say is 'I'm very grateful they were there". What some doctors don't understand is that you need to take it as soon as you realize what's going on in your chest in order to stop it from advancing. Usually you are also too sick to get up and go to the doctor's and wait (where I am ) in a cold waiting room for an hour or so. Also often it gets worse at night and waiting for an appointment (sometimes in a day or two) is not healthy.

Wishing you the best of luck during this time.

Hope you feel better soon Lora7again x

Sorry to hear this Lora. You poor thing. 😔 Yes pester your GP sitting quiet doesnt always work. Hope you feel much better soon. Sounds like a horrid bug....lol.

Once you are well get your vit D levels checked & ensure they are optimal -over 100 as this helps to fight infections, reducing length of a bug. I had two long bouts of flue each taking over a month to get over......I had very low vitD. Am not saying it will stop the bugs but it helps to prevent & fight off bugs.

Sorry you are unwell Lora. I’ve got this flu too and am thankful it’s not as serious as yours. It always makes me sad when I get sick because once I start feeling better and better I get excited about regaining full health but of course only go up to 75%. The days of 100% were lost years ago. Happy new year to year and all the best for your good health.

Just an update to tell you all I am feeling a lot better and I have not gone to A & E. This is a nasty flu bug and I don't think I have had anything like this for a number of years. If any of you start to feel your flu virus is getting worse and you are getting a tight chest and a high temperature please see a doctor asap. I think because we have this horrible disease any infection can impact a lot on our health.

Also thank you for all your kind messages

Lora xx

I hope you're feeling better soon and it sounds like you've got some help now.

My first thought is you should have gone to A & E immediately any tightness in the chest is an emergency. Have it checked out with the hospital get your GP to refer you

Lora7again in reply to Angel20

I am feeling a lot better now but if my chest continues to be sore I will go back to my GP. The soreness is caused by inflammation and because I have been coughing a lot. Thank you for your advice.

Angel20 in reply to Lora7again

😊 welcome

Hope you get well soon 💛

I have just popped down to my pharmacy and purchased some Ibuprofen 200mg tablets they cost me less than £1 for 24 capsules because they are cheaper than paying for a popular branded name and do exactly the same thing(you are paying for the trade name if you pay more). He tells me that some Pharmacists are now allowed to do prescriptions for certain ailments which I think is an excellent idea. Hopefully this will happen at my GP surgery so I don't have to wait 3 weeks to get a prescription from my GP.

Just an update to say I am still ill. What is alarming is that I have just coughed up specks of fresh blood. I intend to contact my GP tomorrow to ask the doctor to listen to my chest because I can hear a wheeze now.

I have seen my GP and I have a very high temperature and high blood pressure because of this nasty bug. She has given me some stronger antibiotics and told me to go home and rest. If I don't feel better in a couple a days to go back and see her. The Pharmacist who did my prescription said this is a very resistant bug and he has seen a lot of people with it.

Luckily I am fairly fit at the moment but I do feel for anyone who is elderly and has this nasty bug and is having to jump through hoops just to be able to see a GP or someone who can give you a prescription. I actually walked into my surgery this morning and asked to see a GP and was told I would have to drive to another surgery across town later this afternoon .... the NHS needs to sort this out!


I got chest tightening and still have breathing difficulties. My cold/cough has lingered for 5 weeks. Thanks for tip, its so easy to think its part of the flu when really its the secondary infections that are bad.

Unfortunately, never could stand Derek Acorah, everything about him seemed fake esp. his orange tan. Sad he preyed on the grieving and vulnerable.

Lora7again in reply to Hidden

You do need to see a doctor if that is the case. I have only had this for a couple of weeks and I do feel quite ill. The GP says my ears are very inflamed and I have wheeze and need to rest which is not easy for me because I am quite an active person.

Hidden in reply to Lora7again

It's impossible to get an appointment. I have a wheeze, for weeks I've been scaring myself silly when falling asleep. It doesn't sound like its coming from me, so I get a start and my heart pounds. Very peculiar and has happened every night.

Lora7again in reply to Hidden

You need to either insist that you see a GP or ring 111 for advice because my GP said you can go down hill quickly with this bug as I have done. I can hardly eat anything at the moment because the coughing has made me sick so I am nibbling on dry biscuits and sipping water.

Hidden in reply to Lora7again

Will give it some thought. Thanks. But you need rest so take it easy.

Lora7again in reply to Hidden

Ok but you do need a Doctor to listen to chest just to make sure it is clear so please tell your GP that you have a wheeze etc.

Hidden in reply to Lora7again

Bless you Lora for caring. I will call my GP. Please look after yourself too. Have you tried turmeric and black pepper. Maybe a little honey too?

Lora7again in reply to Hidden

I have tried lemon and honey but it made me feel sick. I am starting to feel a little better now but I am still coughing all the time. I hope you get to see a Doctor soon.

Just a little up date ... I have just finished my second antibiotics and I am still not completely recovered but I went out this morning and did some food shopping so my family won't starve!

I never told the ending of my story but in February 6 weeks after I got this "flu bug" I became unwell again with chest pains because of all the coughing and a very high temperature and high blood pressure. I made an urgent appointment to see my GP and when she saw me she wanted to call an ambulance because I was sweating and shaking. She thought I was going to have another thyroid storm. Not wanting to bother the emergency service I asked my son to run me to my nearest A & E with a note from my GP. Luckily I was seen quickly and had a blood test and an x-ray with a thyroid guard because of my goitre. I was given a 5 day course of prednisolone because my lungs were inflamed and told to come back if I had difficulties with breathing again. I took the course and after 6 days I started to feel better but I still had a pain in my chest and a cough. This continued for another week and after 8 weeks I finally recovered. I am convinced that this might have been COVID-19 because I don't think I have had a flu bug which lasted as long as this and the chest pain was horrible and I had to sleep on several pillows because I felt like I couldn't breathe. If anyone else has symptoms like this do not hesitate to call 111 to ask for help because it might be the coronavirus.

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