Thyroid UK
84,236 members99,234 posts

Haven't done a spider chart for years!

Have spent most of the week cluing myself up with information and preparing what I am going to discuss with my GP. I felt somewhat bombarded, but with the aid of a very simple spider diagram have managed to be a lot more condensed in my approach (don't want to go over the allocated ten minute slot, but have been sly and booked the last appointment of the day!)

A lot of blogs and responses on this website, seem to indicate that the NHS is a stickler for blood test results over symptoms of hypo and this has made me more determined not to be fobbed off, because my symptoms are very real. I have made notes of all of the separate times I have visited the surgery and the treatment (with no effect) for each of these niggling symptoms, that all point to hypothyroidism when listed together.

I am going to ask the GP for a trial of thyroxine, as advised on this site. If he refuses I am asking to be referred to an endocrinologist. I noticed that a lot of blogs say try not to be referred to one who specialises in diabetes, so with that in mind I rang two of my local hospitals and spoke to the endos secretaries. I was rather surprised at the very informative, sympathetic and helpful way I was handled by these ladies.

I was given details of the clinics, their aims and in both cases was told the endos specialising would look at all of my concerns and would treat me as the patient, not a test.

These remarks were not prompted by my questioning. One of the secretaries even asked me had I had my vitamin d levels checked and told me about their supplement programming which was more beneficial than the supplements GP's gave. She also went on to say that my treatment could be GP practice led if I wanted treatment there, without coming into the hospital department.

I have read on this site the words 'not on the NHS' but this first port of call into the NHS endocrinology departments has been positive and I say credit where credit is due.

I know the proof of the pudding is in the eating but armed with information and attitudes of the clinic staff I do not feel so much trepidation, having approached the departments and heard what they have to say.

I would like to hear from anyone who had a trial of drugs in low dose from their GP as a starting point and whether or not the general opinion is to just ask to be referred to an endocrinologist if the GP suggests it.

Its a warmish April day. The central heating is on. My nose is like ice, joints aching and I want to crawl into bed to warm up as I am so tired and lethargic. I should be out gardening so will steel myself onwards after lunch!

9 Replies

You may find that because your TSH is "in range" and your blood tests are "normal" then your GP will not do a referral as this, yet again, does not fit in with NHS guidelines.

There are some good NHS endo's out there, as well as a lot of bad ones, but don't be put off if your GP does agree to give you a referral.

Well done you for doing your homework and fighting your corner, this attitude can only bring rewards.

Moggie x


Many thanks again :-)


I had to open your thread just to find out what a spider chart is, because I haven't done one for so long that I can't even remember what it is. (And I'm still none the wiser).

Good luck with your GP.


Sorry! If you put Spider diagram in a search engine you will get lots of examples. It's a troubleshooting aid. Thanks for your well wishes.


Would it not be easier to put it all in writing asking GP to read say a week beforehand so as it can be discussed at your appointment?

Gather info that's relevant and list blood tests you'd like done.

I've seen 4 GPs and not one suggested I saw an Endo. Remember they need educating if you're going to stay with the NHS.

It will show that you're determined to get better and they need to work with you.


Thanks :-) I've done that on one side of A4 for reference. Appointment is Monday so no time to send it before then :-)

I don't want to go to surgery with a closed mind after reading I probably can't have this, that or the other, based on others experiences. Every area is different. To be perfectly honest, I've never had a problem being referred to any consultant - just the wrong one, I believe! My qualms are because the GP has always made the suggestion of referral and this time I am suggesting my practice doctors may have been barking up the wrong tree - and this is not easy to do. Telling a professional your own diagnosis is bound to put GP in a bad mood. That's all I'm worried about.

Doc will have to treat me for what he thinks I have if he doesn't want to treat possible hypo. Considering this is what has been happening for years without success I can't see what other route he can choose.

I don't know if you saw it but I wrote a blog about blood tests and wrong diagnosis for my alleged diabetes. I think this is good example to give to GP about my lack of faith in blood tests. The more I'm learning about the TSH test the more I wonder if this is of any use whatsoever in diagnosing thyroid problems. All it shows is that the stimulating hormone is in the blood stream. It doesn't say whether its giving the thyroid a nudge! Roll on Monday!!


Stand your ground and be assertive.

I suggested to my GP that it was thyroid cos I refused to accept his diagnosis of depression.

Had to push for thyroxine and it was blindingly obvious that none of 4 the GPs I've seen actually knew anything about thyroid.

Do let us know how you get on!


Good luck, I asked for a trial of thyroxine from gp and was refused as was 'within normal limits' and was sent to consultant in general medicine who sent me to see endo, who also refused a trial as blood results were 'within normal limits'

Am saving to see an endo private as gp won't send me for second opinion.

Ann xx


I'm sorry you have had the run around. Good look with the private route.

If the doc can give me valid reasons why my symptoms don't outweigh the basic blood test then I'm happy for him to offer other treatment for my symptoms too. Computer says no attitude won't do it for me this time.

The good thing is that several of the consultants/health professionals I have seen have all mentioned my thyroid function. When I had my trigger finger operated on under local, the surgeon injected me - and its a painful injection, he had to check I hadn't fainted because I didn't react. Heartbeat was very low and he asked had I had my thyroid checked. Something must have triggered (pardon the pun) his train of thought! When I saw the physiotherapist she noted my skin was very dry and the brittle nails asked had my thyroid checked and got me a prescription for some cream so this is all in my notes. I just said to them yes I had my thyroid check and it was ok. I now know it was just 'within range'!


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