T Nation

Referred to Thyroid Specialist - Now What?


#1


First of all, I would like to thank KSMan and the other posters on here who have provided me with the information necessary to attempt try and figure out what is wrong with me and not simply accept my doctor's word when they say that my tests are 'normal'.

I haven't been a regular poster on T Nation for a long time, but the resources you guys have provided have been a great help.

A few years back I realised that my T levels were probably sub-optimal, and went through the frustrating process that is familiar to so many of you of being told that there was nothing wrong with me. Having read the 'Thyroid sticky', something really struck me: most of the symptoms for hypothyroidism were ones that I recognised.

Anyway, now I've had a thorough thyroid test and my GP agreed that my tests showed signs of hypothyroidism and referred me to a specialist, who I will be seeing in the coming days. However, due to the struggle just to get this far (I live in the UK, and our Docs appear to be way behind the curve in comparison to the US), I am nervous about the specialist having the same sort of attitude as most of the GPs I have dealt with.

I've attached a scan of the blood test results, which highlighted my Anti-Thyroglobulin antibodies and my Serum triglycerides as being 'abnormal'.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts regarding anything that I should highlight with the specialist. For instance, I'm slightly concerned that my GP said that my tests basically showed me to be hypothyroid, but because of the 'anachronistic' (his word) methods we have in the UK (i.e. the 'normal' range being very wide), he thinks I will most likely not be treated as such.

I am concerned that I could just be fobbed-off once again by the specialist and would like to avoid that.

Many thanks


#2

Did we discuss the role of selenium deficiencies as a promoter of thyroid diseases?
Do you use a multi-vit that lists iodine+selenium? - for how long.
Are your body temperatures OK now.
Low thyroid function can make blood lipids worse.
Exercise helps with triglycerides.


#3

Hi KSman, thanks for the response.

In answer to your questions:

1)We didn't discuss selenium, but I will make sure to read up about it

2)I use a very basic multi vit at the moment, which doesn't contain either. I decided not to change it for a better one just yet, as my doc said not to alter anything in my lifestyle prior to seeing the specialist.

3) Since supplementing with iodine, I don't feel as cold but my temperature is still low

Thanks for the additional info, i'll make sure to look into those areas.


#4

Supplementing iodine when selenium deficient can cause free radical damage in the thyroid and the immune system sometimes freaks out about the tissue inflammation which can result in thyroid auto-immune disease.

But you are already there and may make things worse.


#5

Thanks KSman, I've taken your advice and got some selenium tablets. I've also got bought some decent multi vits and Vitamin D. Hopefully they will help.

Unfortunately, I went to see the specialist, who essentially dismissed most of the symptoms I mentioned (tiredness, foggy-headedness, feeling cold, lower sex drive, poor sleep etc.) and said that i just need to exercise more and eat less.

He didn't enquire as to how many calories I consume, or really asked what my diet is like. As soon as I said that I used to lift weights more regularly than at present and used to weigh over 230lbs at one point, he clearly had made up his mind that I am eating 4,000 calories a day, or something. Very disappointing.

When I talked about my symptoms, especially feeling tired and poor sleep, which is one of the worse things for me, he simply dismissed that and said that because I am 'successful' (debatable) and in a profession, I would not be able to perform well in my job if that was the case.

I suspect he thought I was just trying to get on TRT. In fact he said 'some doctors would put you on TRT, but I won't'. Then went to talk about how it is linked to infertility and I'd never be able to stop taking it etc.

All in all, I'm feeling very bummed-out about this, as my GP had pretty much told me that I would be prescribed some medication to help with my Hashimoto's and the symptoms associated with it. The only good thing I can about the specialist is that he requested further blood tests to check my pituary profile... oh, and he has also referred me to a clinic which will teach me how to eat properly!

I think on the NHS we can request a 'second opinion'. In this instance I will most definitely be doing that.

Thanks once again.


#6

As you can see, you have to manage your own health care.

In the one sticky in this forum, the 2nd post has links to the reference threads/topics.

  • advice for new guys
  • things that damage your hormones
  • thyroid basics explained
  • finding a TRT doc - not so easy there
  • and others if you are curious

There is a thread about stupid things that doctors do and say. You should add your DHEA story.


#7

Thanks KSman, will do.


#8

So I got a referral from my GP to see another endo, and I have to say that even I was surprised at what the second endo told me. He does not think I have Hashimoto's (contradicting the first endo I saw), although he does admit that I have a high level of antibodies.

Instead, he thinks that my symptoms are probably caused by poor sleep. Poor sleep is undoubtedly a big problem, for me but I think it is a symptom, rather than the cause.

He wants to do some blood tests to check my cortisol production. He also prescribed me some dexamethasone for a dexamethasone suppression test, to test my adrenal gland.

I appreciate the fact that this endo was nowhere near as dismissive and presumptuous as the first one I saw, but my feeling is that he's going down the wrong path here. Anyway, we'll see what the results of the tests are.