Having already seen one very rude Professor in Endocrinology at the first hospital I was sent to, my GP had referred me to my local hospital for a second opinion (having complained constantly about my throat and weight gain, as well as many other symptoms) after being shown to have chronic thyroiditis on ultrasound and she also specified to me which doctor she wanted me to see but I do not know whether she named that doctor on her referral letter.
The first appointment I had for the second opinion did not go well, the young doctor (not from the specified doctor’s team) was dismissive of any of my symptoms (and I have a long list) being thyroid related and suggested that if my blood and urine tests did not show me to be diabetic then I could be discharged from clinic.
I had my second appointment with another Endo Registrar (again not from the specified doctor’s team) a couple of weeks ago.
The blood tests showed nothing abnormal.
The urine sample was “never received” - i.e. do it again.
The opinion was that none of my symptoms are thyroid related (these include, amongst many, a huge weight gain since, hair falling out, eye problems, itchy skin, always feeling tired no matter how much sleep I get and just grotty in general, and all this since starting Levo). This time I asked directly whether I might have conversion problems and the possibility of T3 for a trial period. After checking with me that I really am 56, he gave me a really sad, sympathetic but ultimately patronising look and then his basic answers to my questions were:
•there is no evidence to show such a thing as conversion problems exist
•all research in this area, apart from the first research done, show no improvement by using T3, in fact the subsequent research prove the conversion theory to be nonsense, as is allowing TSH to become suppressed.
•everything I deem to be wrong with me is most likely to be due to the menopause and bloods were taken to prove this theory.
•perhaps I would benefit from attending either a weight loss clinic or a chronic fatigue clinic.
•There is nothing wrong with my thyroid, it’s working perfectly well. (This is the second time I have been told this by an Endo – even my unsympathetic doctor baulked at this statement).
I pointed out that my GP had gone down the “it’s the menopause” route about three years ago and my bloods showed my hormone levels to be normal, i.e. not in the menopause. The Registrar was almost triumphant that, should I be shown now as menopausal, (and three years have passed since the last test so by now I could be menopausal) this would then explain my symptoms. As my symptoms have continued from a point of not being menopausal, I view this approach is the medical equivalent of a “get out of jail free” card, as I am female therefore at some point the menopause is inevitable.
The Registrar noted my TSH (being, he insisted, the only marker for thyroid problems) is slightly suppressed and said I must have my current dose of 150 mcg Levothyroxine reduced to no more than 125mcg as, in his opinion, I feel unwell as I am over-medicated. I told the Registrar that last time my GP did this they found my TSH shot up and my T4 went below range. He looked at me as if I was mad.
I asked for the previous blood results but the subject was quickly changed back to the fact that I needed to do another 24hr urine sample and have further blood tests and swiftly ejected from the consulting room.
From the Registrar’s comments about T3, I understand that those thyroid patients who are on anything but a dose of Levothyroxine which does not suppress TSH cannot possibly feel well or function. I am sure those of you lucky enough to be on T3 and feeling better will be amazed to know that it cannot be due to the T3.
He has now written to my GP stating that my thyroid results are normal, my medication must be reduced and that I am likely to be suffering from Chronic Fatigue.
Just in case anyone is wondering, no, I don’t believe this Registrar is doing anything but toeing the line and I do not believe that all research shows no benefit from T3, just as I don’t believe we only require syntheticT4 or that NDT should not be used.
Above all, why would being menopausal negate any thyroid related symptoms? The Endocrinologist and my GP are already aware that I suffer with chronic thyroiditis, which has been ignored despite my repeated complaints about the discomfort.
I really do wonder if keep going to these quacks is really worth the effort. Although I am sure I am in better health than many on this site, yet Dignitas beckons!