I am now picking up the story April 2006 at the point my GP referred me to an Endo after months of severe hypo symptoms.
April 2006 - I got referred to an endo at local hospital and brought along details on my long list of symptoms, showed him my eyes so he could see the bare skin where all my eyebrows had fallen out, showed him a huge tangle of hair that had come out in my hairbrush that morning (not over weeks - just that morning) and showed him some private blood tests I had done for TSH, T4 and T3, explained about my severe joint pain, fatigue, extreme coldness. cold hands/feet etc.
He was very dismissive, said he gets people in all the time telling him they are hypo or have addisons, but agreed it was interesting that the T4 and T3 levels were falling and TSH rising although still in range.
He arranged for a thyroid stress test - I cant remember the proper name for this - and the results came back normal range (wish they told me the numbers..). He also arranged for an adrenal stress test. I queried me having this while I was still breast feeding my baby. So I asked to speak to him and he said I didn't really need it done, there was nothing wrong with me and - I quote: 'You should just get on with your life and stop looking for problems that are not there'. I hung up and cried, I was feeling so ill, exhausted and with a new baby and all the signs of hypo and he didn't believe me. What a patronising way to speak to anyone!
The one big regret I have is that I wish I had the adrenal test done. Subsequently I have realised my symptoms were a real mix of hypo and adrenal problems and my adrenals and DHEA levels are still woefully low. That may have got his attention more if he had seen those results.
Back to the GP, she said her hands were tied but was very sympathetic. It was obvious I had to figure out my own way forward.
June 2006 - I contacted Thyroid UK who were fantastic. I got a list of private doctors and booked in to see Dr M. He ran very comprehensive urine and blood tests. T4 and T3 low, hypo diagnosed. I was put on Armour starting at 1/4 grain. I eventually got up to 3 1/2 grains. I was also on a wide range of vitamins and supplements. I am sure they helped but the private tests, appointments, private prescriptions and supplements cost a fortune. I also realised that my adrenals were not recovering, I still felt exhausted and strung out (tired but wired) and unable to cope with daily stresses.
Feb 2009 - So after almost 3 years of treatment I went to see Dr P for a second opinion. He agreed adrenals still flat, I started on nutri adrenal and then I started taking HC. I was on this for a year, I didn't feel it made any difference and I wasn't keen on staying on it anyway. I was buying it over the internet and buying Armour over the internet too and I wasn't comfortable with this either.
Jan 2012 - So by this stage I am on Armour for about 6 years and doing ok but functioning rather than living. I also found Armour wasn't working as well; I think they changed their formula. So I was fed up with not getting any better and paying a fortune for it all which was another stress. So back to Dr M who agreed to write to my GP and advise her what T3 and T4 I should be on as I was stable on armour as opposed to having big hypo/hyper swings. My GP agreed and I was put on 125mg of T4 and 40 mg of T3. It was great relief to be within the NHS system, on a 'recognised' treatment and not to have to keep paying out so much money for private treatment.
October 2012 - so my switch from Armour to T3 and T4 was going fine but I started looking at ways of getting better, getting back to normal, getting rid of the tiredness - doctors always told me when you are on the right treatment your symptoms resolve. So I still don't have eyebrows or have hair on my head recover, I still feel tired, still get over stressed and over tired (and have made considerable lifestyle changes to help). So what else to try? I came across Paul Robinsons CT3M protocol. I bought his book and a lot of the points he raised range true with me.
Feb 2013 - so I had adrenal saliva test to check adrenals (still very low - better than they were 5 years ago but not recovered). so I am now trialling the CT3M method and hoping that may work
April 2013- no improvement as yet, still trying but I think it is still early days with CT3M and I am approaching this with some hope!
I would really love to hear from anyone who did get their eyebrows, hair, energy back and to know how they did it.
Final comment on all this - one of my biggest breakthroughs was this fantastic forum, supportive people with thyroid problems, based in the UK, familiar with the NHS system and what treatments are available here and best of all - more knowledgeable than most of the doctors I have spoken too! I am so thankful that I can share ideas, ask questions and get good advice from people who know better than me!