"Hypo thyroidism"

About: Churchill Hospital / Endocrinology Hertfordshire and the South Midlands

(as the patient),

I was on levothyroxine (100 mg per day) after becoming hypothyroid following radio-active iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism some 6 years ago. I put on 4 stone in weight, felt constantly exhausted and rarely enjoyed a night's restful sleep. Over the ensuing years I was given an annual blood test, if I asked for it, which was always 'within range'. Very little was tested. My ongoing symptoms were poo-pooed. Life as I had enjoyed it was, basically over. You cannot diet against this kind of weight increase; it's all very well to say 'lack of sleep won't hurt you, ' (as my doctor did) but over a protracted period of years I'm not even sure that's true; the kind of lassitude I've experienced has meant that only part-time work from home has been possible for me.

For the past year I have self-medicated and am now enjoying restful sleep most nights. Some days I have some energy. Weight has not changed. I feel I have regained some modicum of control over this condition that affects every aspect of my daily life. And I'm no longer being told by the various members of the medical profession that I have seen about my thyroid that how I am is my fault.

Nobody from my surgery has offered me a blood test. Nobody has enquired why I am not filling scrips for Levothyroxine.

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Response from Deborah Dunn, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust

I am sorry that you feel your care and treatment for Hypo Thyroidism was not as you would have expected it to be at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford. Should you wish us to investigate the issues you have raised and provide you with a response please do not hesitate to contact us. You can telephone me, Mrs Deborah Dunn, Complaints Operational Manager on 01865 223257 or email me at complaints@ouh.nhs.uk and I will be happy to discuss the complaint process with you.

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Update posted by humphrey1 (the patient)

My experience at the hospital was, actually, rather better than expected (I had been treated for hyperthyroidism some years before, elsewhere). So thank you for your offer but I feel no need to complain about that. It is what happened (or, not happened) in the 5 or so years since I was 'signed off' by the hospital which has been so difficult. One is apparently 'fixed' after one's hospital outpatient treatment and requires only the most basic one size fits all aftercare. I hope that this may indeed suffice for the majority of patients. It has not been the case for me nor I believe for many others.

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