Graves/Hyperthyroidism

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Hi

I've had Graves etc for at least 5 months.

I am off work right now (on holiday) until Saturday.

Supportive GP is likely to give me sick note if I ask and I am feeling awful - weak, feel sick, tired etc and I have a job that involves heavy lifting and with my weakness, i've been adjusting and now my back hurts and my already painful legs are struggling even more.

Finances are not an issue so I can afford two weeks off, but will it help?

My main concern with taking time off is an employment one and how it will affect that long term, but I need to be as healthy as possible.

I plan to see my GP tomorrow or Wednesday, whenever an appointment is available, and i'm back at the specialist next Thursday.

I take carbimazole and was told in July their was a slight improvement, but not much at all.

I know I need the time off to rest but I guess i'd like some reassurance.

Thanks

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  • Posted

    firstly, you'll need time off to deal with your appointments - preparing for them, going to them, and recovering from them, thinking about what they tell you etc. time to do your research into the condition etc.

    i'd be tempted to say that your body is telling you to have a rest. your back is already hurting. if you push yourself further, then will you end up just making things worse?

    do you need to make some adaptations to the way that you work? there is some information on disability website and on radar website which may give you some ideas. just minor things which might make work easier and less stressful/likely to incur an injury.

    how supportive is your boss / your colleagues? is it worth talking to them?

    best wishes

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      Thanks for your reply.

      I've been pretty much going to appointments with GP's specialists and nurses around my work (I work all kinds of hours of day) and my research just makes my head spin more, especially when GP's and specialists tell me different things.

      Things will get worse if I carry on. I know I have to stop, I just don't want to for fear of job loss in the future.

      I will look in both of those places, thank you.

      Well, I have two work places - one is more supportive than the other as one of the managers is related to someone with graves, but symptoms aren't all the same, so if mine don't match her relatives, then she frowns.

      The other dismiss it totally as they don't understand it, yet ironically half the staff are off at the moment due to sickness.

       

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  • Posted

    Hi

    It is helpful when posting to this Board to have copies of your actual lab reports and to post your lab values as well as the ranges for normal values beside your values when you are asking questions. (Good for you to keep your own files). Also, the dosage of Carbimazole are on. I have posted to this Board before about the value of taking L-Carnitine and/or Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplements along with your Carbimazole. Carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally found in the body. It gets depleted from the muscles of a Graves patient through urination and leaves the patient with weakened muscles. To overcome this, supplementing with L-carnitine is helpful. There was a research paper from Italy by Dr. Salvadore Benvenga which describes this. You can Google his name and I am sure you will find the paper. Graves patients are also vitamin D deficient and supplementing with vitamin D, at least 1,000 mg is also helpful.

    I found for myself that my TSH especially was less than 0.01 and would not change for two years despite my taking medication until I added the Carnitine to my meds. The regular L-Carnitine changed it a bit but the Acetyl-L-Carnitine really shot my levels to well within the normal range. If you do decide to do this, you will need to have frequent blood tests (at least every 4 to 6 weeks) in order to adjust dosages. I usually adjust the dosage of Carnitine and my doc adjusts the methimazole. Most doctors are not knowledgeable about this, but Naturopaths are. Hope this is useful information for you.

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    • Posted

      Hi

      Thanks for your reply.

      Sorry, i'm new so didn't know what I was allowed to include as some forums don't allow such details, but below are my readings.

      My Readings

      TSH 0.03

      Free T4 26.7

      Free T3 10.2

      Suggested (by thyroid UK)

      TSH - 0.4 to 4.5

      Free T4 - 10 to 24

      Free T3 -  4 to 8.3

      Carbimazole 30mg a day, now reduced to 15mg a day.

      I will check out your suggestions on carnitine too - anything that can help can only be a good thing.

      Thanks

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    • Posted

      Your values show that you are not too much out of range, the same as I was when diagnosed. I have seen Graves patients with extremely elevated results. If you try the Carnitine (obtained from a health food store), I would start at lower doses, no more than 1,000 mg of regular L-carnitine OR 500 mg of the Acetyl-L-carnitine daily and take along with your meds. (I found the Acetyl to be more potent). While L-Carnitine is very helpful (at least I found it to be so), you need to monitor frequently and adjust so you don't get too hypo. Even though I was not too much out of range, I had my Free and Total Carnitine levels measured before I took the Carnitine and it showed that I was Carnitine-deficient. You might ask if your doc can do this for you before you take it as well.
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    • Posted

      Yes, i'm pleased i'm not too much out of range, naturally, although these are after I started carbimazole, hence the lowering of the dose, although as i've read, all these values can go up and down like a yoyo.

      I will ask my GP when I see her in the next couple of days. If it helps, then i'm all for it as I don't really want to lose either of my jobs.

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  • Posted

    Hi David.  I am off sick myself at the moment due to thyroid problems. Unfortunately ive been off 8 weeks so far and still not strong enough to go back. I dont have anyone else to support me so i need my job. However my health has to come first and as im not well enough to work just now, theres not a lot i can do. My employer has been great up to now and i feel guilty not being in work. But i would be no use to them if i was there. Unless you rest you will just make yourself worse as did i..hence the longer sick period. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Barbara.

      Well, this is a similar problem for me as partner is unwell with another issue, so my money is important to keep the house running. We can survive with me being off for 2 weeks, maybe even 3 or 4, but we like to have that spare money, just in case.

      I do agree health comes first. Problem is, I have two jobs. One employer will be fine, the other...well they are looking to cut a job or two and their is a criteria including a points system where you lose a point for sickness etc and it will make it easier for them to get rid of me in January. I could apply elsewhere, but once I mention Graves...well, you know what employers are like. If I lose one job, I lose Working ~Tax Credits too, so the loss will be unbearable.

      Hope you get back to work soon. Hope you aren't tearing your hair out just yet.

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  • Posted

    there might be something on the RADAR or disability rights website about rights and responsiblilties of employees/employers.

    but there again there is the theory and then there is the contract, which has sneaky get-out clauses so employees can be unfairly treated.

    I can understand the need to keep an employer sweet. was freelance when i got ill and although i was offered plenty of work I could not do it. So that has all gone. and nothing to help.

    best wishes all!

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    • Posted

      I will check it out, thanks.

      Yes, they all have their little loopholes, but i'm part of a union, so they've said they will help where they can.

      I see the GP at 11am - just had my bloods ready for next week.

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    • Posted

      Well, the GP was very nice.

      She understood the condition and before I went I was really unsure as to what I wanted.

      I expressed my concerns about time off/job security and she gave me a fit note for just under one week. This means I get the weekend off of my more secure job and go back to my less secure job without missing a day next week.

      It gives me a few days to see if I pick up.

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  • Posted

    well that sounds very promising. 

    am very relieved that you have such an understanding GP.

    and the union.

    so i hope that you can now 'switch off' as much as possible and have some rest. eg indulge yourself in watching some sort of box set TV series or films etc. whatever you fancy.

    best wishes

     

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    • Posted

      I am trying to rest. Nothing too strenuous.

      HR department at work getting funny saying it's not anything to take time off work for but they have to accept the fit note and wanting me to give them something detailing the 'condition'.

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  • Posted

    David, I am assuming you live in England. I think laws are similar to Canadian Labour laws. I had to take time off for a surgery for 6 weeks. When I got the note from my doctor to give to the office, I was surprised that it was not more definitive. It just said something like "Linda will be unable to work for 6 weeks due to an illness. My doctor said "That's all they need to know". Discuss this with your doctor. If a doctor writes a note that you have an illness and require to be off whatever length of time, they do not have the right to have more information. His signature is like God's. I did not have a hard time with it at all.

    When I filed a claim for surgery due to a workplace accident, that was different. The Hospital gave me a hard time about paying it but there was a government office for Workers and he was real helpful and I got that paid as well.

    David, it's none of their business. Unless when you go back, you have to be accommodated, then your doctor's note needs to be more specific outlining the accommodation required and the reason for it.

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    • Posted

      Yes, England.

      I'm not sure if the laws are similar. It is a very basic note though, saying why and for how long. It said Hyper/Graves on the form.

      If I needed workplace adjustments then their is a space for that too, but work have agreed that to save energy, I can use lifts as often as I like as opposed to the steep stairs. I have jobs with lots of walking/lifitng/stairs. I only sit down on breaks.

      HR just want more details on the illness as they'd never heard of it and what i've given them 'it doesn't appear that bad'. I gave them what GP gave me and by typing in the first few lines of the info, it's also on this website.

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