Desperate! Is it worth going private??

Has anybody seen a private doctor or integrative health doctor? I would really appreciate any advice.

I was diagnosed with Hashimotos over a year ago and take 100mcg Levothyroxine but I cannot remember the last time I felt well. I haven't worked for over 6 years as before the thyroid diagnosis I was told I had 'borderline personality disorder'!! or 'recurrent depressive disorder'.

My GP refuses to refer me to a specialist and it has taken her a year, reluctantly to increase my dose to 100mcg. She will not test anything but TSH. I am only 39 and I want my life back!

I am at the point where I am seriously considering going to a private doctor, but I can't afford for it to be a waste of time. Please help?!


16 Replies

  • dear nicola, sadly your story is so familiar. I too am 39, been unwell for 6 years and have been known to declare "I want my life back"!. I think your man is Dr Barry peatfield. kind regards, katey

  • i too know that feeling im 57 and have been ill since being diagnosed 10 years ago and am too looking into going private as i want my life back too, i have never felt well since being on levothyroxine but gp will not listen to me. I dont think you will be wasting your money going to see Dr Peatfield or Dr Skinner they listen to your symptoms not your results, im sure you will get some more comments on here from people who have been to see these private doctors, keep in touch xxx Theresa

  • Definitely worth going private, I never even bothered with my GP. Went straight to Dr. Skinner 3 years ago and have never looked back. You do need a GP referral but that should not be a problem as its your right to see who you like. Hope that helps.

  • Hi Nocola

    I think you need to change your doctor 1st of all and see if you can get a good GP to help you , they are not all bad .

    I'm sure you can find better things to spend your money on when you feel better .

    Good luck x Jan x

  • Nicola,

    Why don't you spend your money on testing? Free T3, T4, maybe a urine t3 test to see how much is being used, antibodies and adrenal saliva test... most of these available from Genova.... you don't need a doctor to get them and cost will be around £300. There are other labs too.

    That way you'll know if you are converting the t4 to t3 and if you have any problems with t3 uptake...... You'll also know if you have hashimotos and whether your adrenals are coping ok.

    Once you know all this, then you can decide how you want to proceed, either present the evidence to the doc, or private or DIY... You can't however, make an informed decision about any of this without being in possession of some facts in the form of test results.


  • First of all (apologies if you have already been advised this) you need to find out your last blood test results, what was your TSH and Free T4 and the lab range for your Free T4?

    If I was taking the amount of meds that my GP advised then I would not be able to get out of bed. I have increased my dose until my TSH is under 1 and my Free T4 is just above the lab ref range and my Free T3 is towards the top of the lab range.

    I have improved very very slowly since taking 200mcgs of levothyroxine and 1 grain of naturethroid.

    We are all different, I have seen both Dr Skinner and Dr Peatfield and six other specialists both private and NHS and to be honest I have found the answers for myself. I have managed my own increases at the time and dose I felt was right. I have just advised my Endo as I have gone along, yes he prescribed purified levothyroxine but all he has ever said is "have a blood test".

    I would only see Dr S if you are still not improving after being fully medicated because it is a shame to spend money if you can sort it out yourself with your GP first of all.

    Have you had your vit D, vit B12, ferritin and folate tested?

    Which brand of levothyroxine do you take?

    Do you take iron, calcium, anti-acids, hrt or the contraceptive pill?

  • Thanks Suze, one of my problems is that my GP will only test TSH never T4 or T3- I always ask for the actual number - my tsh has gradually gone down with increases in levothyroxine over the past year - my last tsh in December was 0.3 so as far as my doctor is concerned I should be fine. She gets angry if I even hint that I've done my own research and I usually get a very patronising lecture. I know I need to change GP but to be honest I'm scared I'll get one thats even worse!

    A lot of the symptoms I had before diagnosis have improved: crippling joint pain for example and being able to sleep 18-20 hours a day, but I'm finding that as one thing goes another problem arises! I'm still extremely fatigued, 4 stone overweight and have a daily battle with depression. I have started 2011 with unrinary tract infection, chronic acid reflux (for which I've been given Lansoprazole - I take these several hours after my levothyroxine) and frightening chest pains (which may or may not be caused by the acid reflux!)

    Current brand of levothyroxine is Actavis, but it varies depending on what I get given from the chemist!

    I dont take the pill or hrt. The supplements I take are fish oil, vitamin D3 and B complex.

    In September I had a test for anaemia which apparently was normal. Not sure if this is the same as ferritin?

    Nicola x

  • Nicola,

    Don't suppose anyone has bothered to tell you that acid reflux is actually caused by too little acid, not too much. You'll probably find that the last thing you need is antacids, you need betaine HCL which will increase the stomach acid and help you digest the food.

    The valve to the stomach only opens when there is too little acid... only the doctors appear to have forgotten this.

    Here's a link which explains.....


  • Hi Nicola

    I would advise that you go and see Dr Skinner. He has a wealth of knowledge and can write to your GP (would be better if you could try and change to a more sympathetic one). He will be able to write you a prescription for 3 months at a time, which is not expensive and he is available by phone any time you have a question. I am 36 and suffered for about 5 years until i got fed up with GP's and went private. I am now on 200mg a day and feel great.


  • You can get your life back, but definitely change your GP (it is very easy to do). If you have been ill and unable to work for six years she is not sympathetic and the fact that she will not refer you when you have had all all these other 'pre diagnosis' instead of the the real one 'thyroid', you will have to take control to get yourself well. Of course, you do need a person who can help you along thiis rocky road. Some people have found good Endocrinologists or GP's who help them recover their health but some haven't. It appears to be pot luck.

    Dr Skinner can prescribe and he is another who is horrified at guidelines laid down by the British thyroid Association and Royal College of Physicians which is denying many people a return to good health or not being diagnosed early enough.

  • From the time I was put on Thyroxine back in 1985 I never felt well again. Since then I have learned from Dr Ray Peat that Thyroxine doesn't tend to be compatible with female hormones and men usually fare better on it because of this.

    Eventually I saw Dr Barry Peatfield who guided me towards a better therapeutic regime and I now take a mixture of Armour Thyroid and T3 (Liothyronine). Wild horses would not convince me to take Thyroxine again. My consultation with Dr Peatfield cost £140 (approx 3 years ago) and included 6 months of follow up via a monthly symptomatic diary. I think it was very good value for money.

    Best of luck for the future. There are people out there who can help you.

  • Dr Peatfield is excellent, but can't prescribe thyroid hormones, so may be better to see Dr. Skinner if you decide to go privately.

    Your GP may be more inclinded to refer you to a consultant if you tell him it's a private referral and that the NHS won't have to pay for the consultation.

  • Thank you so much everyone for your replies - it has been very helpful and supportive. I have a few things to think about!

    If I decide to go ahead with a private consultation (or change my GP!) I will definitely report back on my experiences.

    kind regards

    Nicola x

  • HI nicolajane,

    I hope all will go well for you because I would also like to go private but at the moment I'm going to give GP one more go!! but i will look forward to following your progress, all the Best.

    Regards wakeham.

  • May I suggest another doctor: Dr Georges Mouton who practices at the Hale Clinic in London. He's a doctor in functional medicine who specializes in thyroid health

  • I have seen Mr Mouton. He is very good and has helped me a lot. Just be warned, it is VERY expensive.

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