1. M. Link M. Link United Kingdom says:

    “Thyroid hormones also affect most organs, so hypothyroidism presents with symptoms that can mimic other conditions. This can lead to an incorrect diagnosis which could expose some patients to the harmful effects of excess thyroid hormones, while other serious conditions may go undiagnosed.”

    Conversely, symptoms that mimic other conditions, could equally be caused by a lack of sufficient thyroid hormones even though blood tests are ‘normal’ as many patients have found to their detriment.  This means that an apparently ‘normal’ blood test can lead to an incorrect diagnosis which could expose some patients to the harmful effects of a lack of thyroid hormones and that the serious condition of hypothyroidism which affects most organs as well as the brain goes undiagnosed.

    It should follow that if patients experience continued symptoms of hypothyroidism despite ‘normal’ blood tests they deserve that possible hypothyroidism be considered and be given a trial of more or different hormones such as Armour rather than being told that their symptoms must be imagined or that they must be caused by other unspecified illnesses.  

    There is really no need for patients, their partners, their children and their parents to have their lives ruined by hypothyroidism. The answer is easy: stop looking exclusively at blood test results and look and listen to the patient.  The only ones who will do this are a few open-minded and brave doctors who do not consider a blood test to be more important than the patient’s symptoms. By treating them despite ‘normal’ blood tests they have restored these patients’ health.

    The question, therefore, arises: is ‘normal’ really ‘normal’?  Why is it that patients experience hypothyroid symptoms despite ‘normal’ blood test results?  Why is it that these patients recover fully once they are given more or different thyroid hormones such as Armour?  Why is it that different countries have different reference ranges - while the same blood test is considered 'normal' in one country it means 'hypothyroid' in another.

    If all one needs is a blood test why do we need doctors at all?  A DIY job would suffice - the lab even provides a reference range!  There is no need to see an endocrinologist as it is solely the blood test that decides whether a patient is hypothyroid or not regardless of symptoms.

    Why do the BTA so fight the patients who have been diagnosed and treated so well that they are now symptom-free and have their lives back? Why do they not even consider listening to those doctors who have successfully treated these patients?  Shouldn’t they be really excited about the prospect of curing more people?

    Who told them that a blood test is the sole diagnostic tool? Why do they insist they know better than these patients and their doctors?  What do they have to lose?  One thing is certain: it is the patients who stand to lose most by this dogmatic approach - their health, their jobs, their family, their friends, their lives.

    It is then no surprise that patients who have had their health restored by being treated with thyroid hormones despite ‘normal’ blood tests profoundly disagree with the doctors at the British Thyroid Association that they have been diagnosed and treated inappropriately!  On the contrary, these patients have been given a new lease of life when none of these doctors with their guidelines would or could do anything to help! This begs the question: who has really diagnosed and treated these patients inappropriately?

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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