Underactive Thyroid - Advice needed please?

Hi, I'm looking for some help and reassurance please. I have been suffering from many of the underactive thyroid symptoms for about 3-4 years, feeling low, fatigue, widespread aches and pains, weight gain and tendonitis. I did have a blood test about 6 years ago when I had some leg pains but it came back negative. However they did diagnose some arthritis and so I accepted that it was something I would have to live with. I'm not one for going to the doctors and avoid it when I can. I have lived with a degree of depression for several years but this last few months all of my symptoms have worsened which I put down to menopause as I am in my mid 50's. Last week I noticed a lump at the front of my neck and recognised it as my thyroid gland. I immediately made an appointment with my doctor who confirmed that it was very likely to be my thyroid. She has booked me in for blood tests which I am having tomorrow, the list is endless for what I am being tested for, and I have to have an ultrasound scan but I'm told it will be about a month before I get an appointment. My doctor said, in the meantime, if I have any neck pain to just take painkillers. I'm not sure if it's psychological but I feel really panicky about this lump, Ofcourse I can breathe perfectly fine and I can swallow food but I cant bear the feeling if this object putting pressure on my neck. I have neck pain this morning, I am so uncomfortable and worried that this lump seems to have just appeared from nowhere??? I realise that I have most likely had an underactive thyroid for several years which has had a widespread effect on my body but I am so worried and afraid of how I'm feeling I just don't know what to do. If my blood tests confirm my condition, will I be given medication straight away or will I have to wait for the results of my scan? I don't think I can handle this without medication for another month. Can someone offer me any advice please?

5 Replies

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  • Your symptoms certainly sound like a thyroid gland problem. It is amazing how many people are not diagnosed by their clinical symptoms, which should really be a clue, but because GP's have been instructed to only diagnose when the TSH reaches 10, that's why we have so many people being diagnosed as having some other problem, ie. depression, fibromyaligia etc etc.

    I think the doctor will give you a prescription for levothyroxine straight away if your blood tests dictate. Some people are very fortunate that it works for them and they feel quite well.

    Try not to worry about the lump in your throat - I still have it but as I am feeling fine now I just ignore it for the present. I did have an ultrasound on my thyroid gland but no problem was detected.

    Your blood test results should only take about 3 days for your GP to have them to hand. So phone your surgery to find out and make an appointment if you haven't already done so. Also, ask the Receptionist for a copy of your blood tests complete with ranges and post them here for someone to comment. Also make sure your GP has asked for Vit D, Vit B12 (very important) folate, ferritin and iron as you want a good start.

  • Thank you Shaws. I will do what you suggest. Just need some answers! This forum has helped me a lot though, made me realise how many people are in the same position. I'm very grateful, thank you.

  • Make an appointment with the Dr so that you can see her as soon as your blood tests come in to discuss the results. If your TSH is raised (above 4ish on their normal range) then ask to be put on medication straight away. You shouldn't have to wait for a scan. ps. Any TSH above 2 is suspicious. It may also be worth asking for your results from years ago as although they told you that they were ok that may not infact be the case.

  • If you have a sympathetic doctor it might also be worth talking about your fears and concerns as it seems to me that you need some reassurance from her. Good luck and hope you begin to feel better soon.

  • Hi, well since my last blog, things have moved on somewhat. My symptoms remain and I am tired a lot but I had the ultrasound scan on my thyroid, the consultant said he couldn't see anything in the scan that worried him, he also said that it looked like the swelling was partly due to a collection of blood as I must have ruptured some small blood vessels with my constant coughing, because of this, it is likely that the swelling (goitre) may go down slightly which would leave me feeling a little more comfortable.

    I rang my GP surgery (wouldn't you know that she is on annual holiday) but the receptionist said she had left instruction for me to have a fasting blood test (on 12th) and that my other blood tests need repeating in a months time. Still a novice to all this, I don't know what blood tests I've had, which ones need repeating or why?

    A couple of days ago, I received an appointment from my local hospital???? When I rang the hospital to ask what it was for, they said it was to start my treatment for my thyroid problem???? Talk about putting carts before horses! I am seeing my doctor (finally) this week so I'll get some answers but I am really concerned by the hospital appointment when I have not as yet had a confirmed diagnosis. Also, why hospital? I thought I would receive any treatment needed from my GP?.... help anyone?

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