Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Bad medicine: thyroid disease

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 09 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7596

Re: Bad medicine: thyroid disease

I am saddened and disappointed that there is still a high level of ignorance regarding Hypothyroidism. I myself visited my GP continually over a lengthy period of time as I knew within myself that I was far from well. Repeatedly I was told I was suffering from 'stress' and so I became more and more unwell. I was exhausted, weak, my hair was falling out, dry skin, memory/concentration problems, chronic constipation, enlarged tongue, low mood, hoarse voice, muscle problems to name some of my symptoms. It reached the point where the kettle felt too heavy to lift, I was sleeping most of the day and stopped driving due to concentration issues. My GP still insisted I was 'stressed'. I sought other help, scoured the internet and other doctors. Finally I found a doctor who would listen and believe that I was not neurotic and that it was all in my head. I slightly improved over a period of months, however, I only returned to near full health with the use of NDT without which I would still be ill. Unfortunately there has been some long term damage to my heart which is enlarged with a prolapse, again something I had to investigate for myself seeking out a cardiologist.

Had I been diagnosed earlier perhaps my heart condition could have been avoided, along with perhaps my gallbladder removal and an unnecessary colonoscopy. Sadly it was not the case for my mother who died prematurely at sixty six from a heart attack with all the same symptoms. My grateful thanks to the doctor who 'saved me' as my GP still does not fully understand my condition believing I was making a fuss about nothing. I happily pay for own prescriptions, and am grateful I am fortunate enough to do so, as without them I shudder to think what state of health I would currently be in. GPs please listen to your patients take notice of clinical symptoms - Thankyou.

Competing interests: No competing interests

15 December 2012
Sandra Darwish
Nurse Therapist
G63 0TS