Medical professionals with hypothyroidism - Thyroid UK

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Medical professionals with hypothyroidism

Beereesh profile image

I sometimes wonder what GP’s with hypothyroidism do about their own treatment, by the law of averages there must be some! Do they suffer with a TSH over ten before they get treatment? Maybe they would be more interested and sympathetic if they suffered like us?

53 Replies

Haha bet they don't! And bet they get lio if they are poor converters - you know, for its placebo effect :)

Probably true! I think there needs to be an epidemic of thyroid troubles amongst these so called medical professionals then maybe things would change !

There will be loads of them ,, and that's partly the problem. There is only a relatively small proportion (of the millions of people treated for thyroid disease) who struggle to get noticably better on Levo. There are also plenty of people with TSH of 6/7 ish who don't have any problematic symptoms of hypothyroidism.

So probably, some of the medical professionals who have hypothyroidism didn't feel too unwell until their TSH was over 10 anyway .. some of them will have found Levo to be a genuinely easy and effective treatment for themselves... and so this becomes self perpetuating ......

"well, Dr so and so got it and she/he doesn't a have a problem now it's treated, and i trust his/her judgement ... therefore this poor lady is probably suffering with 'somethingelse -itis' because i know her thyroid is treated "

Or .... "she can't really feel that bad with TSH of 5.8 ,because Dr so and so's was nearly 40 and he/she was still at work"

So the problem is we not only need a GP who has hypothyroidism , but we also need one who didn't get magically better on Levo , or who felt like death warmed up with a TSH of 6.8 and couldn't manage to get to work....... but unfortunately, something tells me that depending on when they got ill...THOSE ones might have struggled to finish medical school, or have already semi-retired as GP's .. and if they ARE able to be still practicing the last thing they want is a little outing to talk to the GMC about 'initiating Levo in too many sub clinical patients' or god forbid 'talking to them about T3'

Beereesh profile image
Beereesh in reply to tattybogle

Yes, you’re probably right, unfortunately ☹️If only they could join the dots and see that so many symptoms are due to hypothyroidism and stop treating things individually, they could save the NHS so much money!

dottyb09 profile image
dottyb09 in reply to tattybogle

Yes, my GP is hypo and can't understand why I can't get on with thyroxine. He said he just takes a tablet before breakfast and he's fine, as are all his family. So I asked him if he had five patients with high blood pressure, would he give them all the same tablet. Silence for a moment and then "point taken", but he would have to speak to his endocrinologist about whether he could give me a private prescription for NDT. The answer was 'no' because he would be responsible if anything happened to me! I pointed out that I had been taking it for 12 years with no problems and also that it was the standard treatment for 100 years. All to no avail, he wasn't interested.

I know that some of the doctors who prescribe NDT and T3 have hypothyroidism themselves and take NDT or T3. I am thinking of doctors in Belgium like Dr. Hertoghe and several of the doctors he has trained. Of course, they are in private practice and most of their peers disapprove but this goes to show that doctors who take NDT or T3 themselves are also willing to prescribe it to their patients.

Beereesh profile image
Beereesh in reply to PurpleCat71

We need more doctors like this or even some famous celebrities who understand the struggle and could highlight it!

PurpleCat71 profile image
PurpleCat71 in reply to Beereesh

Yes, it´s a shame that the fact that Hillary Clinton takes Armour did not get more media attention...when she as a presidential candidate she had to make her medical records public and I remember reading that she was on Armour for Hashimoto´ was briefly mentioned that Armour is an unconventional drug and that levo is the drug of choice, but it would have been great if Hillary had been asked to elaborate on this...!

Beereesh profile image
Beereesh in reply to PurpleCat71

Yes, that’s what we need, someone high profile willing to take up the cause!

tattybogle profile image
tattybogle in reply to Beereesh

Well Liam Gallagher has got Hashimoto's.... but as far as i know he's OK ish on Levo.. so perhaps not much help in the 'getting proper treatment' department.

Michael Gove's wife (Sarah Vine) wrote that she was given a private prescription for NDT for her hypothyroidism to replace her previous Levo and said it helped .. but somehow i'm not expecting a lot of help from her either.. since in the same article (written by her ) she was rather minimising the impact of hypothyroidism and promoting some dodgy sounding (and presumably expensive) weight loss injection as the cure for all ill's .....

Beereesh profile image
Beereesh in reply to tattybogle

😐scratch that idea then.

Have Mr Gallagher's before and after diagnosis photos been examined for any change to his eyebrow coverage? On that point, I think Jack Dee could be a candidate.

Dr Barry Peatfield is a sufferer and wrote one of the most useful books about it.

Beereesh profile image
Beereesh in reply to Anthea55

I’ll look out for it, thanks.

Anthea55 profile image
Anthea55 in reply to Beereesh

'Your Thyroid & how to keep it healthy'. See this list of books on the ThyroidUK website.

Beereesh profile image
Beereesh in reply to Anthea55

Thank you!

humanbean profile image
humanbean in reply to Anthea55

Off topic, but I do wonder if Dr P is still with us. He was in his 80s and was apparently already quite ill when he retired, and had been in hospital a couple of times. I don't know the reasons for his illness..

For a man who helped so many people with thyroid problems it would be a shame if he died and there was no acknowledgement from the people he has helped over the last few decades.

Anthea55 profile image
Anthea55 in reply to humanbean

I've just googled for Dr Peatfield. Born 1936, so aged 85 this year. I hope he's having a chance to relax now that he's retired.

He also fought for better care for patients woth hypothyroodosm for years, was effectively forced out of the nhs ......voluntarliy left the nhs......& set up in private practise helping thousands. Unfortunately age catches up with us all at some point and so he retired a couple of years ago. Lovely man. Despite his efforts (and those like the sadly missed Dr Skinner) effective optimal treatment of hypothyroidism has continued to decline as many patients, despite the research evidence stating to do otherwise, are treated by their tsh range. And wow betide any doctor who doesn't follow the TSH/NHS protocol. Which is why we are in this sorry mess.

Our very good private doctor in the Bristol area (she's on the thyroid UK list which is how we found her) has Hashi's and established a private thyroid clinic as a result of her poor experience of mainstream NHS approach to hypothyroidism. It's a shame we have to go private for what ought to be freely available on the NHS, but let's not tar the whole medical profession with the same brush.

I have been thinking of seeing her. Would you mind if I PM'd you please?

Please PM me -glad to help. BTW - this doctor does online consultations, so you don't need to be in the Bristol area. 👍

Hi Jonathan1956, please would you pm me with her details.

HI Pastelart,Not sure how to PM you -please PM me and I'll reply.

Best regards


Jonathan 1956 could you private message me details of your private GP near Bristal please

SAM2608 profile image
SAM2608 in reply to Jonathan1956

Jonathan1956 i wonder if you could direct message me details of your private GP near Bristol please? I can’t see on the list, have tried another endocrinologist on the list and hasn’t been great to be honest! It’s for my 18 year old daughter - I would love to get her an appointment with someone willing to join up the dots with her health difficulties. Thanks so much if you can help

I would love to know this woman's details if you don't mind... I live in the south west and have just been diagnosed with Hashimotos. Don't want to presume my Dr is going to be rubbish but not feeling overly optimistic!

PM me and I'll give you the details.

I haven't mastered PMs - please PM me and I'll give you the details.

I'm seeing her tomorrow! Can't wait. I'm assuming you've had a good experience?

Very good, pragmatic, expert, sympathetic experience. A big difference from NHS GPs. We're consulting her tomorrow as well.

Please could you pm this lady’s contact details? I have secondary hypothyroidism and having problems sourcing my AT.

I haven't mastered PMs - please PM me and I'll reply.

I think I have !

Jonathan1956, Can you PM me with this doctors name? Thank you

Fair point Jonathan.......but the good ones are a rare species today....sadly. 😥

Hello waveylines, I completely agree with you! A few years ago, I was trustful and respectful of what NHS GPs pronounced and advised, but I'm afraid my wife's experience of their attitudes to her Hashi's symptoms has changed that forever. Even in the private sector, it can be a mixed bag. I'm a big advocate of Paul Robinson's book "The Thyroid Patient's Manual". Apart from the practical advice on interpretation of blood results and on arriving at the appropriate dosage of T3/NDT or combo therapy, Paul Robinson argues that you must take charge of your own medical case, or in my case, I've taken charge of my wife's medical problems. However, having found a private practitioner who is herself a Hashi's sufferer, who is knowledgeable and a good, sympathetic listener, I reckon I owe it to this community to share (by private message) details.

I like Paul Robinsons books too......his tale is a salutory experience of what happenes on the nhs. Mine is no different & frankly left to the nhs I would be bed bound by now with severe damage in a now way downward tractory -so yes absoutely take full charge of your cannot rely on anyone else to do it for you and if you do, do so so your peril! There are times though when the nhs is amazing but not on chronic conditions......I believe there was some mutterings fo this in the press not long ago.

Jonathan1956 coud you, please, share the doctors details. I've sent you a private message.

The only way that all patients will finally get a proper diagnosis will be when AI (Artificial Intelligence) is completely adopted as the first line in medicine. Unfortunately I think it will not happen in my lifetime. AI can now diagnose breast tumours from X-Rays better than any radiologist, melanomas better than any skin specialist and the latest scaphoid fractures as good as radiologists see link I can see wearable tech used to monitor patient health and relaying warnings to an AI database that will alert your GP. Doctors are only human so trying to diagnose a condition when the patient has multiple diseases and might not be the best at remembering or explaining the symptoms. In the UK we get about 10 minutes per consultation and are supposed to only discuss one condition. How is a none qualified person supposed to figure if a particular symptom relates to a particular disease? Some symptoms might not appear to have anything to do with a particular disease. I read a recent report were women are underdiagnosed with heart problems because of assumptions made by GPs.

Doctors as they get older might not keep up with the latest developments and drugs, some can be stressed maybe having health problems themselves, or going through a divorce or bereavement or one of the multitude of problems. Covid being a current one causing the reluctance to do face to face consultations.

Over the 40 years I have worked I find in all branches of employment the rule of 3s apply. At any workplace a third of workers will be good at their job and maintain a standard expected of them. A third will be above that level, suitable for promotion or a more involved work, and a third will be below the standard expected, usually they will get less complicated work or put with a colleague in the previous categories as an assistant. When I go to see a medical practitioner I always wonder what category they are in. These fractions will vary in proportion but I'm sure you get the idea.

AI will go a long way to solve the problems I have listed. As more is learnt about diseases and treatments and more modern medicines are discovered they will become more important.

We trust AI to fly aircraft for most of the flight on Autopilot, car journeys will be the next probably sooner than we think so having a diagnosis of a medical problem isnt such a leap of faith.

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to john159

Am not exactly impressed by Tesla Autopilot crashes, though.

And that the AI cannot even be sure whether a driver is in the driving seat with hands available to take over. Which wouldn't have seemed a particularly difficult task to design for.

Will AI ever become honorary endocrinologists and thus able to endorse and initiate prescribing liothyronine? :-)

hjh88 profile image
hjh88 in reply to john159

It will be interesting to see how AI changes diagnosis but have to say I’m quite sceptical currently given there are already some pretty serious biases, including in healthcare AIs. Interesting article here about a recent use of AI in American healthcare and there are plenty of other example of bias in AIs.

It seems at the moment AIs are only as good as the information they receive, and that is only as good as the people feeding in the information... who of course have biases. Hopefully something can be done to combat that but the sceptic in me doesn’t have high hopes for a future NHS version.

interesting post. i agree with most of what you say but the AI is only as good as the diagnostical method it is programmed with. If the BTA are involved, the AI will only make a diagnosis based on defective assessments.

In the case of the pictures of possible melanomas the computer was given I think 1000 samples and only told which turned out to be malignant or not. The Computer then looked for patterns etc and the designers were surprised when it came up with parameters that humans had not noticed. The idea of Artificial Intelligence is the Algorithms are self learning. At the moment they are in their infancy were we see some car crashes and problems in Diagnosis software but wait a few years and we will see. The worry Elon Musk has is when AI computers design the next generation of AI computers and intelligence grows exponentially which could start in as little as 10 years.

waveylines profile image
waveylines in reply to john159

Well I hope the AIs see through the nonsense of hypothyroid treatment as currently applied to patients on the nhs and give these doctors a good shake up.........but in all honesty I fear they will compound the nonsense many of us currently experience with no treatment or under treatment.......all of which can lead to heart damage, weight gain and unnecessary extra medications. Id love it if the AIs gave the Endocrinology bodies in the uk the run around! 😀😂🤣

I understand. but in the case of thyroid diagnosis, basically Endos and GP are told in the guidance that any result within the reference range is OK. from what you said, given the AI, it may be possible for the AI to eventually ignore the guidance but only if the at the start of the algorithm the parameters are set correctly?

The other thing is that the algorithm should induce TSH, T4 & T3 at a minimum but I expect that Endos will only want TSH to be used.

I came across a locum that told me that she never had any problems and made me feel like I was making a fuss, not a positive experience, I am yet to find a doctor that is helpful or understanding, its shocking really.

Sadly you are right.....there is the odd few doctors batting in your corner but the system squashes them ......but most are plain ignorant and know diddly squat about the thyroid let alone effective/optimum treatment. Fools gold is what I call them....they tell you they are 'doctors' but then havent a clue.And when you get disparaging or demeaning comments thrown back at you, you can be sure its because they are out of their comfort zone so use such tactics to get rid of you.

Sorry to be so disparaging but after years of dealing with such ignorance my patience has finally run out. Its a common occuring disease and I reckon most clinics will have a patient with symptoms or have been diagnosed so really there is no excuse in my book for the crass treatment many receive. Its about time they learnt how to treat it properly and effectively......isn't that what they are paid to do?!! Am tired of having to pussy foot around them and educate them in a way that doesnt afront their egos! Why should I have to grovel to placate their egos or have to fight for decent treatment?

Sorry rant over!!

Bumped into this article a little while ago on the Pulse website (GP trade publication) and it seemed like it would be a good fit with your

Beereesh profile image
Beereesh in reply to SussexChuck

Wow, that’s shocking! How have we got to this? Treatment for hypothyroidism seems to have gone backwards. Maybe if it affected more men than women.....?

SussexChuck profile image
SussexChuck in reply to Beereesh

As someone who is both male and not with a thyroid challenge of my own, I cannot counter that emotion. There’s likely a historical lack of perspective that hopefully won’t be that way for a whole lot longer.

Interestingly, the NHS GP in that piece is also the resident GP on BBC Radio London. *Perhaps* an ally for the cause, if approached the right way.

PS: Happy World Thyroid Day!

Beereesh profile image
Beereesh in reply to SussexChuck

Thanks, I’ll have a look. I didn’t even know there’s such a thing as World Thyroid Day!

Written in 2017 and already implemented.......Im on ndt and await being would hope with two endo's recommending I have ndt I will be left alone.....but only an ass assumes!! There is no medical arguement behind this decision and if they actually looked at the medical costs of other medicines that patients end up on when they withdraw T3 based treatments they'd realise no savings either!! But that would require intelligent thinking! Shes right re the paracetomol though...... the NHS pays £14 for a pack of paracetomol and we can buy it for 75p in the supermarket..........and Concordia reckon they are doing a good job?!!!! Give me strength!

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