Thyroid treatment

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Thyroid treatment

Postby Herbidacious » May 15th, 2019, 11:29 am

I imagine I am not the only one suffering from thyroid issues on here. I find this somewhat worrying given my GP’s reluctance to prescribe anything they can get away with not prescribing:


Thyroid disease 'being over-treated' https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-48265023

Just think how much the NHS could save, given that a thyroid condition gives you exemption from paying for all prescriptions...

If it were coupled with an announcement about research into how the unalleviated symptoms can be alleviated I would be happier.
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby earthmaiden » May 15th, 2019, 11:47 am

Don't get me started about waste in the NHS and the pressure GPs are under. Drugs are hugely over prescribed when the remedy for so many things should be lifestyle changes.

What really upsets me is when you visit a GP you either get a shrug of the shoulders as though you are wasting their time or are given a prescription with little discussion. There is no way I would go through all the hoops to get an appointment and sit in their ghastly waiting room unless I was concerned about something so a little reassurance wouldn't go amiss if my concerns are invalid. :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby Herbidacious » May 15th, 2019, 12:31 pm

I believe they have tick lists?
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby StokeySue » May 15th, 2019, 2:18 pm

I discovere today that some people with macular disease get the special vitamin capsules free on the NHS. Gobsmacked, I didn’t think preventative nutritional supplements were prescribale except in specific cases such as iron for anaemia, where there’s a lot of evidence that it treats the condition

The ones I take are about £5 per month, no way of telling if they are doing any good
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby Herbidacious » May 15th, 2019, 2:35 pm

Levythyroxine, £43 a month, issues of buying prescription medicine online aside..
I admit that I don't think it is getting rid of the symptoms - I have many that are typical of underactive thyroid - but I would be unhappy if treatment were just stopped. Is this an admission that there is nothing to alleiviate symptoms? There is a lot of stuff online about how UK typical treatment doesn't work because it doesn't aaddress the uptake issue, but I don't know to what extent this is unscientific rubbish.
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby Busybee » May 15th, 2019, 3:49 pm

Herbi you may be quoting the online price of Levothyroxine 12.5 mg, the actual NHS price is circa £1.20 for. 28 day supply.

There is a huge difference in NHS drug contract tariffs and what pharmaceuticals can get away with charging privately.
But your other comments re over treatment stand.

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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby Herbidacious » May 15th, 2019, 4:03 pm

Yes, sorry I meant if they stopped giving it to me and I had to buy it. Sorry. I am a bit cold-befuddled today.
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby suffolk » May 15th, 2019, 4:13 pm

I’m on 150 mg of levothyroxine a day. When I was diagnosed in 2002ish I was so ill that I’d actually had a small car crash because my reaction time was so slow ... I was also falling asleep at my desk. I was having heart palpitations and a whole load of other symptoms... my GP said that I was a few days away from real heart problems.

Not all the symptoms of hypothyroidism have been sorted by the medication I’m on ... eg current painful calcific tendinitis/shoulder impingement and other tendon/ligament problems ... but I’m immeasurably better than I was before medication.

My GP says that without levothyroxine I wouldn’t be here now.
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby Herbidacious » May 16th, 2019, 10:23 am

That's quite a high doseage, Suffs. I think the article was criticising givingit to people on low doseages.

I am only on 50 which isn't the lowest, but relatively low.
This is the trial referred to:
https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l2006

I certainly don't find taking a pill and having a blood test (when other things are routinely tested for too, which otherwise woulnd't be) once a year burdonsome at all!

I wonder how they would work out who no longer needs meds, as presumably when medicated, one's test results will bring you in line with normal. They can't refer to original test results in my case and since the original diagnosis I have had my meds increased.
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby StokeySue » May 16th, 2019, 10:28 am

There are tests in addition to the routine ones they can do, but, can't say it often enough, few things should be prescribed on test results alone, it's just part of the overall clinical picture, including all the signs and symptoms

I speak as one who actually generated test results for a living at one point (though not in the NHS, it does mean I'm more aware of their limitations than most people)
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby suffolk » May 16th, 2019, 10:47 am

StokeySue wrote:There are tests in addition to the routine ones they can do, but, can't say it often enough, few things should be prescribed on test results alone, it's just part of the overall clinical picture, including all the signs and symptoms

I speak as one who actually generated test results for a living at one point (though not in the NHS, it does mean I'm more aware of their limitations than most people)


Fortunately my GP is great ... we did try reducing my dosage a tiny bit a while back ... I soon started having physical symptoms (muscle pain, itching, stiffness) and OH said my face looked puffy and my mood was low ... my GP said that some folk are more sensitive to changes in level and put me back on the previous dose ... within a fortnight I was back to ‘normal’.

It’s thought that I had slightly low thyroid levels most of my life ... low ‘normal’ body temperature, ‘difficult’ pregnancies, rough skin on thighs and upper arms, ligament problems, poor balance/coordination ... the list goes on ...oh well ... not a lot we can do about that now :rolleyes:
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby Herbidacious » May 16th, 2019, 11:53 am

My issue was discovered during a fairly wide ranging set of blood tests - not done by my GP. I don't know how long I had had it. My mother has it, and she says that it seems quite likely her mother had it, undiagnosed, as she had a lot of the symptoms. I think my maternal cousin has it too.
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby dennispc » May 17th, 2019, 6:17 am

earthmaiden wrote: you visit a GP you either get a shrug of the shoulders as though you are wasting their time or are given a prescription with little discussion.


Never met one those! Tuesday after May BH, took OH to surgery at 8.30am, had an appointment with GP at 9.40, twenty-five minutes later, after thorough examination and discussion, given prescription which did the trick. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant :tu: :tu: :tu: :tu:
Every day is a good day, it's just that some days are better than others.
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby suffolk » May 17th, 2019, 7:09 am

I’m sorry that’s your experience of your GP practice EM ... for me that sounds like something out of the 1960s. :shock:
We attend a large modern practice with a range of GPs, some specialists in particular areas, with other practitioners, prescribing nurses, physios etc all on site with the possibility of xrays, tests and minor procedures all done on site. The waiting area is airy and pleasant and the staff professional and understanding. If you’re not happy with your practice is there a chance of transferring?
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby earthmaiden » May 17th, 2019, 9:05 am

Yes, I keep meaning to change as mine (for various historic reasons) is some way from where I live. They have always been great when they've decided I needed further treatment. There is one lady I don't gel with and always seem to get her. I would ask for someone else but am grateful just to get an appointment. I go so rarely it must be obvious I only go if I have a concern. We have a very good annual check up at work which tells me all I need to know about my general health. I shall miss that when I retire. The building is fine, it's the other patients in the waiting room ... :(.
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby Herbidacious » May 17th, 2019, 10:48 am

I too mostly get either a 'why are you wasting my time' or a 'why didn't you come earlier'. The practice I go to has 11600 patients and, so they say, by law, can't refuse new ones, so it's massively overstretched and still expanding, without a corresponding expansion of staff, funding and resources.Trying to get an appointment that's sooner than 3 weeks off, it has to be a semi-emergency. If it's really serious, you are told to go to A&E, if it's really not that serious, wait three weeks. When I asked what would qualify one for a same or next day appointment, I was told, 'a chest infection.'!
I switched from another practice when my doctor migrated there, because at the time I was seeing him a lot and hoped for continuity. (In fact, he left not long after anyway.) OH still goes to old practise. They are indifferent, and also refer people to hospital, rather than seeing htem themselves, more often than not.
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Re: Thyroid treatment

Postby earthmaiden » May 17th, 2019, 1:37 pm

We have a very good walk in clinic in the town which I use for emergencies. If you get there early you are seen quite quickly. I might add that surgeries often recommend going there.
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