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I feel stuck

Hi I don't know if I'm posting in the right section but here goes. I am 29 years old and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in May of this year. I had been skipping doses of my medication because I had become hyperthyroid and I admitted to the doctor today that I had not been taking the medication as planned. She appreciated my honesty but it has meant that I have in effect gone against their advice and seemingly not trusted them.

There are many reasons why I did - firstly because I have no job and I know that the moment my blood test results are normal and my doctor deems me fit I would be back to finding work and having no luck with interviews or even securing one.

Secondly because I have been told various things by a complementary health therapist and she said that I had two food intolerances and she told me she could get me off the thyroid medication if I followed her advice.

Thirdly my family have been giving me stress because they want me to get a job. The job market at the moment is still tough. I don't know how they expect to find work in such a tough economic climate.

I would really like someone to understand as I feel I am going completely insane.
17 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm sorry that you feel like you're going insane.  I understand that feeling and excess stress doesn't help matters, does it?

I'm no doctor but it seems like you are putting all of your woes into one category and I don't think that benefits you in the long run.  From what you said, you quit taking the thyroid medicine because you don't trust the doctors and you've had someone tell you they could get you off those meds.... have you followed through and taken that persons advice?

If your thyroid is the only reason you are not working, (that and the job market) why would you not follow the advice, get rid of the thyroid problem and then have the ability to get a job?

The job market is still not that glorious but people are finding work.  One guarantee is, if you don't look.  I had a son who was "using the market" as an excuse, so he just didn't look for work.  Turns out, he finally went out and put in some applications and found a job in 48 hours....  not exactly his cup of tea so to speak, but it was a job generating an income comparable to the job he lost....

There are a lot of things that are stressful in life.  Your situation is like thousands of others.  There are indeed issues, but they all can be dealt with.  You just need to find your starting point... sounds easy, and I know the battle.  But I also know that it is a fight that is worth being in and is winnable.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for getting back to me.

The person who told me to get off the thyroid medication was a complementary health therapist. I told my doctor at my registered practice about this and she told me this person was nothing more than a "quack" and someone who "would do and say anything to line their pockets".

I have spoken to my local jobcentre and they are putting me in touch with an advisor to help me get back into work.
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4851940_tn?1385441629
Your doctor is quite right that you should not be following the advice of a complementary health therapist.  It is wrong of the therapist to give you that advice.

If your bloods show that you have a problem with your thyroid, then you do need help with that.  I have never known anyone with a thyroid problem to have that as an excuse to be unfit for work.

You have done the right thing to sign on with the local jobcentre and it is up to you to look for a job.  They can give you guidance, but they will not magically find a job for you.  There are adverts for jobs in the local newspapers and also in some shop windows.

There are jobs out there, but not necessary the job that you would like to have.

You do not have any physical impairment that you write about as having and you should be able to apply for lots of jobs that you quality for.  Even if it is cleaning toilets this is better than sitting around at home moping.

Don't forget it is up to you to make employers know that you exist and not expect anyone to give you a job that you want on a plate.  This is the advice I used to give to my son.

My daughter even signs on with a works agency to help find a job when she becomes unemployed - which is not for long.  She never stops studying.

If you do not meet the criteria for some jobs that you like, then consider doing part-time studying to reach your goal.  In the meantime apply for as many jobs that you qualify for and those menial jobs like cleaning to get you back onto the employment ladder.  





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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your reply.

Sorry, I have other health problems as well. They are detailed below:

- Severe anxiety
- Severe depression
- Gastroparesis
- Dizziness
- Adrenal fatigue (suspected)
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4851940_tn?1385441629
With regard to the health issues that you wrote, it is very important to make some simple lifestyle changes to help to increase your energy.

You will no doubt be aware that depression and anxiety can cause "adrenal fatigue" symptoms and also the dizziness.  Your doctor will no doubt be testing you with regard to find out if you do have Addison's disease where the glands that sit on top of your kidneys do not produce one or several different hormones.

With regard to your gastroparesis, there is lots of information on the web with regard to what to eat and how to deal with this issue, so I will not go into this in detail.

If you are not on any antidepressants or any type of help for your depression and anxiety, ask your doctor to refer you for counselling.  There are different forms of counselling available.  Not only will a counsellor be able to get to the bottom of your depression and help you to deal with this, some types of counselling does deal with stress and anxiety management.  Most people have some form of anxiety, whether it be going for an interview, sitting exams, meeting new people and so on.  The thing is to learn by breathing techniques and relaxation how deal and cope with your anxiety.

Eating a healthy and well balanced diet with fresh fruit and vegetables. Check out the websites for the right foods that you are able to eat as there as some foods you should avoid, especially fried foods, junk foods, those that are highly processed and sugar foods like cakes, biscuits.  
You should ensure you chew your food a lot before swallowing, and do not lie down immediately after eating.  

Make sure you drink lots of fluids and especially water.  This will help with the bowel movements as well as avoid getting dehydration.  Doing any type of exercise and walking briskly will help with the gastroparesis as well as help to lift your moods with regard to the depression.  

Although you may not wish to meet people and avoid situations due to the depression and anxiety, being with people is much better for you if you do suffer from depression rather than lock yourself away.  Start off slowly, by going out for short walks and gradually build the length and time you go for your walks.

Have a good sleep hygiene, by going to bed at a reasonable time and not staying up late watching TV or playing on computer games.  When you wake in the morning, get up and don't allow yourself you have "lie ins", this just will make you feel worse.  In fact if you start some form of gentle exercise and especially walking, you will be surprised how this will make you feel much better and more energised.

Unfortunately, doctors do not have magic wands to make us well, but with the help and guidance of your doctor, you still need to do things to help yourself to start to feel better.
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4851940_tn?1385441629
With regard to the health issues that you wrote, it is very important to make some simple lifestyle changes to help to increase your energy.

You will no doubt be aware that depression and anxiety can cause "adrenal fatigue" symptoms and also the dizziness.  Your doctor will no doubt be testing you with regard to find out if you do have Addison's disease where the glands that sit on top of your kidneys do not produce one or several different hormones.

With regard to your gastroparesis, there is lots of information on the web with regard to what to eat and how to deal with this issue, so I will not go into this in detail.

If you are not on any antidepressants or any type of help for your depression and anxiety, ask your doctor to refer you for counselling.  There are different forms of counselling available.  Not only will a counsellor be able to get to the bottom of your depression and help you to deal with this, some types of counselling does deal with stress and anxiety management.  Most people have some form of anxiety, whether it be going for an interview, sitting exams, meeting new people and so on.  The thing is to learn by breathing techniques and relaxation how deal and cope with your anxiety.

Eating a healthy and well balanced diet with fresh fruit and vegetables. Check out the websites for the right foods that you are able to eat as there as some foods you should avoid, especially fried foods, junk foods, those that are highly processed and sugar foods like cakes, biscuits.  
You should ensure you chew your food a lot before swallowing, and do not lie down immediately after eating.  

Make sure you drink lots of fluids and especially water.  This will help with the bowel movements as well as avoid getting dehydration.  Doing any type of exercise and walking briskly will help with the gastroparesis as well as help to lift your moods with regard to the depression.  

Although you may not wish to meet people and avoid situations due to the depression and anxiety, being with people is much better for you if you do suffer from depression rather than lock yourself away.  Start off slowly, by going out for short walks and gradually build the length and time you go for your walks.

Have a good sleep hygiene, by going to bed at a reasonable time and not staying up late watching TV or playing on computer games.  When you wake in the morning, get up and don't allow yourself you have "lie ins", this just will make you feel worse.  In fact if you start some form of gentle exercise and especially walking, you will be surprised how this will make you feel much better and more energised.

Unfortunately, doctors do not have magic wands to make us well, but with the help and guidance of your doctor, you still need to do things to help yourself to start to feel better.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your reply.

I was tested for Addison’s Disease, that was normal although my cortisol was unusually high for someone with thyroid problems. But I drank coffee before the test so would that have raised it?

What about adrenal insufficiency?

I was given counselling back in May and only had 9 sessions that were free. Anything else I have to pay for.

I have attempted a healthy and well balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, I have been getting a lot of gas and cramping from this.

I have been drinking up to 50cl water. I get the feeling that isn’t enough.

Bowel movements are all over the place, I have eaten a sugar-free bar of chocolate today and my stomach was really gurgly and I had trapped wind all day. It was a diabetic chocolate bar and I thought as it was sugar free it’d be ok.
To help the gurgly feelings I ate some buttered toast and that seemed to help.

I only go for short walks if I don’t sweat a lot of the time or if it’s not raining outside.

I go to bed at 10.30pm-11pm each night except Friday and Saturday nights where I stay up until the early hours of the morning. On weekdays I wake up at 7.30am but I sometimes wake earlier and have trouble getting back to sleep.
On weekends I wake up around 9am-10am.

I am thinking about seeing a dietician to help me with my diet as I have been told that I need to avoid gluten, dairy and sugar.
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4851940_tn?1385441629
I can't understand why you have to pay for counselling sessions if the doctor has referred you for these.  They usually do allow a certain amount of sessions, but it would also depend whether it was felt that you were well enough to not have any more sessions.

Don't touch diabetic labelled foods with a barge pole.  They are laden with artificial sweetners and these are no good. Too much of one of the sweetners (I can't remember the name of it now) will also cause diarrhea.

If you have to have a specialist diet like gluten free, you should speak with your doctor about this, because some people can get prescriptions for some of these foods.   There are lots of gluten free products available now in the larger stores.

Dairy foods are milk, cheese and butter.  It depends why you have been told to avoid dairy, is it because of the lactose, the calcium or the whey.  If you have to avoid dairy because of the whey, check out the food labels even on flavoured crisps.  The plain flavoured ones are fine.   Dairy does not include eggs.  You can substitute cows products for soya products or use coconut milk.   I was told to avoid dairy products because I had too much calcium that lead to kidney stone formation.

Again with sugar, you do need to read food labels and be mindful that anything labelled low fat does not mean it does not contain sugar or artificial sweetners.  Why do you have to avoid all sugar?  I can understand that you should have a healthy and well balanced diet and it is a good idea for all of us not to overdo things with sugar, but even diabetes can have a very small amount occasionally.

A lot of products do contain hidden sugars and you need to read the food labels.  The label may read fructose, glucose, lactose, just to name a few, but these are all forms of sugar.

If you do have specialist dietary needs, your doctor can refer you to a dietician, so do ask.

The recommended amount of water to be drunk throughout the day is 2 litres which works out as 4 pints.  Don't drink more than this and it also depends on other drinks that you have during the day and fluid filled fruit.  Too much water can be just as dangerous for us as not having enough.

Eating small amounts, regularly will also be more beneficial for you rather than having one large meal for example.

I can't answer your question about your cortisol level, this is something you need to discuss with your doctor and whether the consumption of coffee gave an inaccurate reading.  Should always follow the instructions of what you can eat and drink if anything before going for any tests.



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4851940_tn?1385441629
I forgot to mention that a good alternative to butter and margarine (which contains whey) is Pure dairy free sunflower spread.  It is very nice and is also good for baking.  
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4851940_tn?1385441629
You should also cut out drinking coffee and other caffeine drinks.
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Avatar_f_tn
No, sorry, the doctor didn’t refer me for the counselling sessions, my art therapist did at the health centre I go for art sessions. I didn’t want to tell my own doctor I was thinking of going to counselling as I didn’t want them to kind of say to me “you’re mentally unwell”. My family see mental health as something they don’t particularly understand.

I kind of learnt my lesson with the diabetic food. I thought if it was sugar-free it was better than normal sugar. Oops. Now I know why I had the gurgly stomach and the diarrhoea.

I have moved doctors so I hope they will agree for me to go gluten-free but I didn’t see the benefit of going gluten free really because I went gluten-free before and soon after reintroducing the gluten I had the symptoms again.

For the dairy, I was told I was dairy intolerant by the complementary therapist but the symptoms I have do not correlate with an intolerance.

The complementary therapist told me to avoid anything with sugar in it.

I have tried to get hold of my endocrinologist regarding the tests she has done, one of which was the cortisol reading. She has not gotten back to me and I sent her an email over two weeks ago.

There was nothing in the instructions about avoiding coffee.

I already use sunflower spread. :)

I don’t drink any coffee but I do drink tea, both black and green. Herbal drinks too.
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4851940_tn?1385441629
As you have already experienced that being gluten free was helping you, then it is only common sense to eat foods that are gluten free and not return to eating gluten products like normal bread.

Keep a diary and note everything that you eat and drink to identify the culprit foods that make you feel worse so that you can avoid them.  Cabbage and sprouts will cause anyone to have lots of wind, by the way.

Your doctor is the best person to assess you to find out if you are suffering from depression and what type of help would be of benefit to you.  Everyone is different.  Forget about your family, you need to look after your own health.  You are 29 years of age (so it says on your profile) and you are an adult responsible for your own welfare and health.  You do not have to tell your family about what you discuss with your doctor, that is between him and you.

As you have not been properly assessed by your doctor with regard to gluten free, dairy free and sugar free diets, I doubt that he will give you a prescription for gluten free foods.  They do not cost that much these days anyway and you can purchase them from the large stores.

I do not know how you are able to contact your endocrinologist directly, unless you are a private patient.  Normally, they contact you or send the details on to your doctor and you make an appointment to see your doctor to discuss the results and what medication has been recommended for you by the specialist.

You need a proper assessment and referral to the appropriate specialists should your doctor feel that this is required.
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Avatar_f_tn
I would be happy to be assessed by specialists but once I know which ones then I would like to send a letter to my doctor setting out a request to see them.

A dietician would be one.

Endocrinologist - I cannot contact her directly, only her receptionist, and she sends replies back saying that she has forwarded my email onto the endocrinologist but I hear nothing from the endocrinologist. Perhaps changing endocrinologists would be a good idea?

A gastroenterologist was another due to the gastroparesis but the endocrinologist refused to refer me to a gastroenterologist as a celiac test was negative.

I don't know any other specialists I need to see.
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4851940_tn?1385441629
If you are in the United Kingdom, like it says on your profile, it does not work by you sending "a letter to your doctor setting out a request to see them".

To get a referral to a specialist by your doctor, you doctor will need to see you in person, examine your case, he will take blood tests and try to treat you himself and it is only when all fails that you  get referred to specialists by the doctor.

The only time the doctor sends a patient for a referral to a specialist urgently is when there is a serious health issue that they cannot deal with.

I am glad that your  endocrinologist refused to refer you to a gastroenterologist, this is not her place to do this.  The other consideration is as you have already had a test for celiac and it came back negative, shows that there is no need to be sent to a gastroenterologist anyway and your doctor too would not refer you to one either unless he felt it was necessary.  

Unless you are paying privately to see the endocrinologist, your doctor will not refer you to see a different one.  This is the NHS you are talking about, and not the private medical sector.

You do not need to see any other specialists, but to make an appointment with your own doctor with your health concerns.  




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Avatar_f_tn
I've already seen the doctor today about my puffy eyes (I thought it was because I stopped the thyroid medication) and she suggested I take eye drops and she has said it's not due to the hypothyroidism coming back.

I have an appointment on Tuesday but it's only a ten minute appointment and I don't know how to fit everything in, in one appointment that only lasts ten minutes. I have written my symptoms down as a list but if my complete blood test that was recently done is normal and my thyroid, ferritin, folate and Vitamin B12 are all being tested that to them would be all they need to do. That's so often the case when I go to an appointment.

They look at my bloods and say "that's low" or "that's normal" etc but they don't ask to examine me. They don't explain the reasons behind my symptoms, and when I go back with the same symptoms to follow up they do the same thing all over again.
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4851940_tn?1385441629
Well that's the NHS service for you.  Welcome to the real world!  

I must admit though, that if something is seriously wrong and life threatening, all stops are pulled and the doctor will not hesitate to make a house call if there is an urgent matter, or  refer the patient to the appropriate specialists.

Don't forget that as you are suffering from depression (I trust that this has been assessed by your doctor) depression, stress and anxiety can make you feel that there are serious issues when there are none.

Although puffy eyes can be indicative of some medical problems, puffy eyes can also be due to allergic reactions for example hair spray, perfumes.

Rather than read the list to the doctor, give the list to him/her so that they can read it.  Sometimes they won't and will ask you questions.

Also don't forget that there are all sorts of bacteria and viruses going around and sometime we can feel unwell because of that.

It may be a good idea for you to discuss how you feel, especially with your low moods, with your doctor so that he can analyse whether in fact you are suffering from depression and go from there.
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Avatar_f_tn
The depression wasn't assessed by the doctor as such...it was assessed by a mental health adviser via the phone.

I haven't used any perfumes since the puffy eyes started. I don't use hairsprays either, I've been using natural shampoos and shower gels and I read the labels on them to be sure.

I have an appointment on Tuesday so I'll be taking the list to them then.
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