Thyroid UK
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Hello, new here. Hyperthyroid. Fitness for work and the DWP England?

Hi just joined today. Just over 3 weeks since I'm on Propylthiouracil. I have just come out of a brain fog that has lasted years. I was so used to being tired, confused, unable to concentrate and stressed out that i forgot what it was like to have my mind. Its been so long and I just had a vague memory of my ability to function normally.

After being on the medication for just a few days I jumped up and moved around. It was like I was watching my body move without it being such a horrible effort. Before I would get up to tidy a bit and within a few minutes I was out of breath and I had to sit down. I'm also slightly anemic.

Over the last year I have been shaking uncontrollably all over my whole body. It was very noticeable, my voice shook like crazy too. I always looked nervous and cold. And I was told so. I thought I was getting Parkinsons disease. I was very freaked out.

I had headaches almost daily for around 7/8 years. Last Aug 2012 I had a headache ten days straight while starting a new job. The Dr thought I had migraines and prescribed me with migraine meds. I didn't take them because I knew it wasn't a migraine.

I was being referred to an acute pain centre because we all thought that my nerves and muscles were in the problem.

Since taking the thyroid meds I haven't had one single headache. This is what makes me very happy. They were a nightmare!!!!!

I was convinced I had celiac disease due to the fact that I had constant diarrhea too.

The Thyroid was never even close to my radar.

Its scary to find out you have a disease for sure. I need to concentrate on getting this under control. I feel like a lot of years in my life have been wasted from the effect of untreated hyperthyroid.

My doctor tells me I'm unfit for work until this gets under control. I have applied for Employment and Support Allowance. Its very confusing and there's not much info.

Like if my doctor says I'm unfit for work, why would I also have to do a medical to prove such?

Does this mean the doctors opinion can be disagreed with and therefore the company who does the test can just over-turn the Dr's decision and say actually you are fit for work?

Is there not a time where you are allowed to treat an illness, be supported and then return to work?

I hope somebody knows because I have had no income, have to do a medical and I don't know if there's any point because from what I can gather hyper is treated completely differently to hypo.

With hyper your expected to be fit for work?

I hope there are some people here who have gone through this process and can share their knowledge.

Thank for reading, congrats if you got to the end:)

9 Replies

I got to the end but unfortunately I am hypo so cant help with your questions, although I am really pleased to here that, eventually, you were given the correct diagnoises and are now getting your life back.

Your could try typing "DWP" in the search bar at the top of this page, or on the blogs page, to see if other sufferers have had this particular problem and if so how they went about sorting it out. If not I am sure that the DWP has it's own web site for info. Alternatively you could always contact the citizens advice - CAB for short - as they can be really helpful in these matters.

Sorry I couldn't be of much help but hopefully these pointers will get you started.

Moggie x


Unfortunately the ATOS, the people who make decisions on behalf of the DWP, do not listen to what the doctor says a lot of the time so I would also advice seeing the CAB. You will have much more success with your application if they help you as it is quite difficult to get awarded anything these days. If you don't get awarded ESA, please do appeal; again with help from CAB. In our area the CAB have more than a 50% success rate for appeals so it is worth trying. Are you under an endocrinologist? Having more than one medical professional involved in your care can help.

I'm sorry I couldn't be more help. I am hypo not hyper, but I was signed off work for different reasons and have never had to claim because of my thyroid.

I hope you are successful.

Carolyn x


Lucky you got a medical. I got a thrown into the fit for work, after ignoring what I wrote. Got a nice interview with a lovely hostile Job centre case work who ignored my Dr's letter regarding my unstable underactive thyroid etc that I was unfit to work. All ignored and was sent to attend job interview.

Subsequently when they asked about health and any problems. They very kindly said, you are not fit to work and wrote a letter for me to hand over to my case worker. She shouted at me for telling them I had medical issues and I should never tell then as they havent got a right to know. In future say fine and thats it.

I did as she asked, at next interview got the job. On first day at work I was fired 5 hours in as they found me stood by a door crying as I could not remember how I got there or how to open it. It took me 3 hours to defog and stop shaking.

Company was lovely and although cross I hasnt disclosed this medical issue, wrote a letter for me to hand over to my case work, In which they hi-lighted the health and safety regulations as it was a serious risk of me working and their HR confirmed I was a danger. They also made it known that I had be forced to lie by my case worker by being told not to discose my medical problems. Their own company medical checks via their Drs, which I would have had to undergo along the line. He confirmed I was unfit for work and that I was an unacceptable risk and a danger. I should never be employed until my condition stablises and has been stable consistantly for 5 years.

Still she ignores it and sends me out to attend interviews. I now hand over these letters at interview via a friend who accompanies me and goes in first. I then get my interview and another nice letter confirming refusal to employ due to failing company medical checks and I am too high risk to employ due to my current active health problems.

So prepare for a fight on your hand.


Hi I am hyper but currently stay at home mum. I could not do a job before treatment and would struggle to do so even now after months of treatment. I cannot offer advice but I am interested in how you get on. Good luck


I am hypo and have been on sick since last october. My doc filled out the note-panic disorder was cited and lo and behold I received a back dated ESA claim . I only applied in jan 2013 as I didn't think it could all be claimed on the phone-send off with the doc's note-sorted.The panic disorder resulted from being on too much thyroxine.

Maybe I was just lucky?

Good luck with your claim x


Thanks for the info and replies. I have already applied for ESA and I have sent off one sick note from the doctor - unfit for work. I will be sending off the next note tomorrow which goes up to March 25th. I filled in the questionnaire today. My doctor told me not to worry because I should be entitled. The medical company Atos? Are not liked by the doctors at all.

I just did the benefit calculator and I'm not entitled to any council tax or housing benefit. I guess it may be to do with the fact that my boyfriend is self employed. Debts are mounting though and we are by no means doing fine with what we have.

If the ESA doesn't come through then I need to do a working tax benefits calculator and make a joint application.

Hope this helps someone else as to what steps they can take.


I should add that there is quite a difference between hypo and hyper with the DWP and NHS. With hypo you are entitled to free medication as it is seen as a long term chronic condition. Hyper is seen as a temporary condition because the idea is to make hyper people become hypo. Then you get free medication. Weird I have to say. But I'm not complaining about free or not free medication. Living in the US and being sick must be very hard.

Can i ask what are the things that make it hard for people with hypo to live day to day? i basically need to find out and prepare for what its like to be hypo. Its all very strange. :)


In a nutshell its hell when its not right. And livable when its rightish.

The easiet way I can think to say is. Imagine you are sat at a desk, you have to type letters answer phones and file.

For that you need to be fast, accurate and answer clearly.

Now imagine you are sat at your desk and suddenly you dont remember how to answer a phone. Everybody is looking at you but you cannot remember how to answer a phone. Imagine the feeling of that frustration and humiliation.

Then, bingo you can remember and work continues happily and you feel relieved. Now along comes your manger and asks you to type his letter and file it and he drops its on your desk. BAM you go off in a rage shouting at him. then the rage stops and your stood there mortified and wondering what the heck just happened.

2 weeks later you arrive at work, and sit down to sort through the mail. Next thing your boss is nudging you as hes just walked in to find you sound asleep at your desk. Throughout the day you keep nodding off. You go home and crawl into bed and when you wake up you find youve slept through your alarm and realise its 5pm youve missed work and you still feel like youve not slept enough.

Thats the rough general idea of how it feels. All depends on symptons you have.


Thanks. The day before I went to the doctor I was fired from my job. It was a new job and I was quite happy because I lived really close by. On day 3 I was extremely stressed out, shaking all over my body, very emotional, arguing with a new staff member. He was ordering me around and I reacted so badly. It was horrible. After lunch I was fired. The next day I found out I was hyper!

I realsied then that my behaviour was completely ridiculous and I was fired because of the symptoms of hyper. The doc told me yesterday that when she did that first blood test I was about to have a thyroid storm.


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