I first went to the GP after 2 years and 6 months of suffering from extreme fatigue, menstrual irregularities, skin & hair changes, lack of confidence/personality changes, digestive problems, constantly being freezing cold, night sweats, loss of libido, weight gain, anaemia and lack of thirst. I have a family history on my maternal side of underactive thyroid. My TSH at my first GP visit was 3, which I was told was normal.
At the time I accepted this, and there followed 2 years of GP & specialist visits at which I was told I needed anti-depressants (despite doing the GP test which showed I was not at all depressed), then that I probably had a virus, or that I was menopausal, or had polycystic ovaries (no evidence of this but they were happy to prescribe metformin for no reason!), then that I might have IBS (again despite no symptoms at all) and eventually that I was just tired because I have 3 children.
During this time I researched and discovered the Thyroid UK website and others which suggested that a TSH of 3 and a bottom of ‘normal’ range T3 &T4, with all the symptoms of low thyroid, probably meant I actually DID have low thyroid.
My GP and specialist, however, refused to countenance this and refused to allow me a trial of thyroxine despite my pleas that I couldn’t carry on feeling so awful all day, every day. They insisted that a TSH of 3 is ‘normal’ and therefore my problems must be in my head.
Endless blood tests later, they eventually pretty much told me to go away and put up with it and stop being unrealistic about how a generally healthy, fit, 39-year-old woman should feel.
6 weeks ago I went to a private GP, in desperation, told him the whole long sorry history and showed him all the test results and he said: “You’ve got an underactive thyroid, have some levothyroxine , you’ll feel much better in a month or so”.
I’ve now been taking 50mg levothyroxine daily for 6 weeks and feel 50-75% better. My GP has asked me to return after 3 months for blood tests and a review of dosage.
The worst symptoms of fatigue and coldness have improved dramatically and I feel like I have my personality back. In the last 2 years, I have forgotten what ‘normal’ feels like. My husband and children are also delighted to have the ‘normal’ me back!
I’m very grateful for the info I found on the Thyroid UK website (and on ‘Stop the Thyroid Madness website) which persuaded me that I wasn’t actually going mad or inventing symptoms.
I also feel that I’m extremely lucky to have found a private GP who was willing to help. I honestly could not have carried on for another day feeling as bad as I was.
The next step, however, is the battle to persuade my own GP to prescribe me thyroxine, as obviously the costs of seeing a private GP and private prescriptions are prohibitive.
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Have you become well again after a long struggle with a thyroid problem? Will you share your story with others to give them hope and encouragement whilst they travel their own personal road to thyroid wellness?
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