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I was finally diagnosed with hypothyroidism just over a year ago... I had been battling with my GP for approx 4 years & had even been to see a specialist at St. James's in Leeds... they were both adamant that my symptoms were nothing to do with having an underactive thyroid - "we all gain a little weight & start to feel tired as we get older" - and that my TSH & T4 levels were 'normal'!
However, it wasn't just a case of "gaining a little weight & feeling tired", I had always been naturally slim, even during the pregnancies of my 3 children, where my maximum weight gain had been about a stone, yet from the time of first feeling there was something wrong, to actually beng diagnosed, I had gained nearly 5 stone! I was tired all the time, even after 12 hours sleep, I would wake feeling as though I hadn't slept at all; my hair was falling out; I had numbness in my limbs; memory loss; I was depressed; I had no sex drive; I was cold all of the time; my periods were erratic, my illness was affectng my job & my relationship with my partner & my children & I just didn't want to live!
The fact that my TSH & T4 levels were supposedly 'normal' meant nothing to me... as far as I was concerned, my symptoms were more of a reliable indicator that I did have hypothyroidism... I started to research the disorder on the internet & found that the so called TSH & T4 levels differed around the country - someone who is tested 'normal' in one part of the country could be tested 'abnormal' in another part of the country! How then, can this form of testng be accurate? In fact, my mother actually took one of my sets of results to her GP & was told that if I had been a patient at that practice, I would have been prescribed thyroxine immediately! We only live 3 miles from each other!
It was at this point, that I went armed with all my information & research to see the new, young, female GP at my surgery... she was an absolute star! She listened intently to everything I had to say & agreed that I presented as having hypothyroidism - I cried my eyes out in her consulting room, mostly because I felt that someone was finally listening to me & wanted to help. A full blood test was arranged, & not surprisingly, my thyroid levels were abnormal. I was immediately prescribed a low level dose of thyroxine which I regularly have reviewed...
I really believe that it is the fact that once you are prescribed thyroxine, you are given a medical exemption certificate which allows you to receive all prescriptions for free, which can be extremely costly to the NHS, that stops GPs from making a diagnosis - I disagree with this & think that you should only receive thyroxine free of charge & perhaps then, GPs would be more likely to diagnose this life destroying illness!
At present, I am still overweight - it's a continuous battle, but I have managed to lose a stone; I still tire more easily than others, but my periods have become more regular; my hair no longer falls out, I don't suffer the cold as much, my sex drive is amazing & I no longer feel depressed... I could never thank Dr Gough enough... without her help, support & belief in me, I may not have had the strength to carry on, she is a shining light in the ever dull medical profession!
[i:2e70ad123c]This message was automatically imported from the original Patient Experience[/i:2e70ad123c]
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