Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Anger over possible mistakes in my medication

I learned today that the medication that I have been receiving for many years for hypothyroidism may not necessarily be appropriate or ideal.

A very good friend sent me a link to this site which reveals a deep controversy about the correct treatment which has resulted in the UK medical profession and our National Health Service virtually to use one treatment (thyroxine) to the exclusion of all others. Further research led me to TPA-UK which is also very helpful for UK hypothyroid sufferers.

From these sites, I discovered that the information being given to patients about their condition, the symptoms, possible helpful supplements and dietary advice is very variable. In my case this resulted in not being told anything about an inadequate dose causing severe depression, mood swings and anxiety on top of all the unpleasant physical symptoms like weight gain, chronic tiredness, loss of libido, poor concentration and memory loss.

When I was a child, I was treated with a natural thyroid extract. At some time the synthetic alternative (thyroxine) was developed, but it only provides one part of the two-part (T4 and T3) natural hormone. This is what I have been treated with for many years, I really can't recall when I switched, but it could have been as long ago as my 20's and I am 57 now.

The information I now have, answers many questions about what has been happening to my body and my mind over the last 9 years. It doesn't give much hope for the future though, as currently, the NHS doesn't seem to want to listen to the evidence produced by endocrinologists in other parts of the world. They are even trying to prosecute one doctor who has been treating patients with alternative medications, which more closely replicate the hormone the human body is supposed to produce.

The controversy is around whether the natural product and/or a combination of T3 and T4 synthetics is a better treatment than thyroxine alone and on the arguable risks of prescribing synthetic T3 at all. There are different blood tests for hypothyroidism and it also appears that the one most commonly used by the NHS in the UK may not accurately reveal the T3 level at all. Having looked at blood test sheets I have been given to take to the clinic, I know this is the test my current GP has been using.

I have unsuccessfully challenged my treatment before, but I am going to do so again and will be interacting with other sufferers on an online forum to find out if there is any hope of even trying something else to see if it improves my life.

For the time being, I will be going to buy some of the natural supplements I have found out about - milk thistle, valerian and St John's Wort.

The physical symptoms and depression played a big part in the breakdown of my marriage and have kept me out of the workplace for many years - could anyone blame me for feeling angry now?


Emm said...

Thanks for the links! I suffer from this too. Look out for the side effects on St Johns Wart and valerian though.

Jolie said...

Today I'm angry that it is below zero in Chicago.


ciara said...

i heard the nhs really sucks when it comes to thyroid disease. lot of the endos will tell you it's all psychological :-/ i hope that this next battle with them goes well. we need to find the right things to help us feel well. there are days where i am good, and days where i feel totally useless. i lack so much energy and can't get anything done. i'm about to ask my dr for some particular labs. hopefully i can get them. i had to ASK to be put on cytomel(T3). i also keep my a thyroid blog http://life-w-hashi.blogspot.com