Tick box medicine that fails hypothyroid patients

There’s a story of mine in the Daily Mail today) about an illogical and arbitrary corner of medicine. It involves over 300,000 women who are unable to get an effective treatment for a nasty range of symptoms, linked to having low thyroid hormone, unless they can persuade a doctor to ignore the official guidelines drawn up by several Royal Societies and other official endocrinology bodies.

The fascination of the story for me was that the more I delved into the details, the more ridiculous and perverse this odd medical cul-de-sac seemed; a place wherethe patients’ voice was ignored and doctors seemed to operate in a climate of fear. Have a look at the feature to pick up on the basic story before reading this post, which adds a few details that fill it out.

As the article explains, the refusal to listen to patients begins with their first visit to a GP with classic low thyroid (hypothyroid) symptoms – feeling drained, exhausted, cold hands and so on. But unless their blood test shows they are low in one of the two thyroid hormones, these symptoms don’t count as a sign of possible low thyroid; the guidelines state that without a positive blood test, thyroid is not the problem.

Not interested in any dialogue

What the article didn’t say was that ignoring the patient’s voice continues. Even though their charity Thyroid Patient Advocacy (TPA) has uncovered perfectly plausible explanations for their symptom/blood test combination, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), which has drawn up the guidelines, is not interested in any kind of dialogue at all.

“There was such an outcry after the guidelines first came out that that the College said they would hold a review and look at any new evidence,” says Sheila Turner, chairwoman of the TPA whose website gets over a million hits a month by people in 127 countries

“We sent hundreds of references to research they had ignored for years and expected that the review would at least involve patients and doctors who followed a different approach to the college.”  Instead two months later she got a letter saying there had been a review and nothing was going to be changed.

As well as turning a blind eye to contrary evidence, the College also appears totally uninterested in detailed records of patients’ experiences. The great hero of untreated hypothyroid patients was Dr Gordon Skinner who died earlier this year. He was prepared to investigate patients who had classic thyroid symptoms but a blood test showing they were not deficient and treat them with thyroid replacement to see if it helped. If it didn’t he’d stop and try something else.

Testimonies from adoring patients

The extraordinary response of other doctors to this sane approach – never his patients response – was to report him to the General Medical Council for treating outside the guidelines. Disciplinary hearings would be held where hundreds of patients would come to testify to the enormous difference Dr Skinner’s treatment had made to their lives. All 1600 of these testimonies, bound in 13 red leather volumes, still sit on the shelves in his office. Never has the College shown any interest in matching up that information with Dr Skinner’s meticulous clinical reports.

For years campaigners like Sheila Turner, have been pointing out that the standard blood test only tells you about one version of the thyroid hormone – T4 – but nothing about the other version -T 3, which is the active version that T4 gets turned into ( see article for details) . She, like the majority of the women she’s campaigning for, have a problem with turning T4 into T3, but even the possibility of this has been largely dismissed by the RCP .

Recently, however, genetic evidence (not covered in the article) has been supporting Sheila’s claim. It now seems that several genes can make the conversion more or less effective. These genes are found in around 15 percent of the population, suggesting that symptoms frequently dismissed as being: “all in the mind”, are possibly due to a faulty gene.

What’s more early studies have now found that patients with one of these genes, known as DIO2, were more likely to have the kind of low mood that can be a feature of low thyroid. When patients with this gene were given T3 as well as T4 in a trial, they responded better than those who just got the standard T4.

Thyroid hormones for depression

Interestingly some psychiatrists treat depressed patients who don’t respond to antidepressants with T3, suggesting that patients with depression could well benefit from full thyroid testing and possibly treatment with T4 and T3.

It’s worth pointing out that faulty genes are just one of a number of possible causes for having difficulties in converting T4 to T3. These include: aging, obesity, certain diseases, stress, over-exercising, malnutrition, toxic substances such as phenols, cadmium, mercury and some other medicines.

The point of course is that the RCP’s refusal to investigate any of this looks to many like a serious dereliction of its duty to patients.

The article did mention several doctors who will give T3 to patients who don’t seem to benefit from T4. It didn’t mention others who are researching these connections. One is Dr Onyebuchi Okosieme of the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil who believes the case for adding T3 to treatment with T4 is ‘compelling’, although he says it’s not yet strong enough to recommend it. He’s now planning a study of different dose combinations involving 3000 patients in Wales.

It proved impossible to get to talk to him while researching the article. He may just have been busy but he wasn’t the only doctor who refused to talk or return calls about using T3. It is hard to see how refusing to listen to patients and creating a climate of fear among doctors has anything to do with good medicine


  1. Always worth remembering that, MS was “all in the mind” according to the whole world of medicine, and they put sufferers in mental institutions right up to the 1960s. Then one day, as if by magic, some bright spark suddenly noticed that these same mental patients were dying, en masse, from their imaginary conditions, and lo, there came a light click on, and a new disease was recognised! It still took decades to get any useable tests and any half decent treatment , and MS patients STILL went on being treated appallingly. My dear friend Margaret, in a hospital bed in Bristol, was told categorically by her consultant that MS doesn’t cause pain! She died about 6 months later in excruciating pain.

    A very good thing to remember!
    Q: What do they call a medical student who qualifies the very, very, very bottom of his year.

    A: A DOCTOR!

  2. Jerome Burne, is this conversation still open?
    , im trying to find out on behalf of others too, how come some can access ndt on nhs prescription, via a dr, just by taking a bottle of ndt in and saying can i have these,
    is there any hint of change for others yet,? we are on facebook , thyroid meds GIVE US A CHOICE
    thanks louise

  3. In the case of those suffering continuing hypothyroid symptoms when mainstream medicines has it’s hands tied, so disabling those doctors who want to help their patients, from actually being able to do so, then there is absolutely nothing to stop an intelligent patient from taking their thyroid health into their own hands and diagnosing, treating and monitoring their health themselves. This is what the majarity of sufferers have been forced to do. There is much research out there to s how how wrong mainstream endocrinology

    • You are so right but many people are frightened to take responsibility and want to be told what to do. It seems some would rather die doing what a doctor says than take responsibility for their own health decisions, albeit informed and combined with common sense and intuition.

      • Of course there are also THOUSANDS of sufferers who have no choice because they are living from hand to mouth, barely able to pay the bills they have, let alone to spare on their own health.
        I know, I’ve been there!

  4. Ina Whitlam says:

    An article of truth Jerome Burne. I was saved by the late wonderful Dr Gordon Skinner, he was the only Doctor who could see that I was so very ill with hypothyroidism. All the other endocrinologists said I had ME and to live with it as my TSH blood tests came back as ‘normal’. Dr Skinner changed my life from sleeping all day, being freezing cold, unable to think, walk or to even hold up my head without support. My life wasn’t worth living…
    Yet Dr Skinner was pilloried by the establishement, Was this through jealousy or ignorance? Hard to believe that so called learned doctors act this way. It doesn’t bode well does it, and who do we trust?

  5. j Franklin says:

    we are all different , but one thing we all have is the same problem, autoimmune one test is all you need, in the case of hypo symptoms TPOab and in the case of hyper TSI.
    if over 20 this is possessive and it means your under attack as you have a faulty immune system.
    hypothyroid is what the sneeze is to a cold. it dos not tell you the root cause, which is autoimmunity.
    and in the case of a cold- it is a virus. autoimmunity the hidden link.

  6. Last year I had a private DIO2 Gene test which shows I am a carrier of this gene – I
    have suffered illness for much of my life, in fact since I was a young baby , yet
    it has taken the NHS more than 50 years to diagnose me with hypothyroidism

    There were hundreds of opportunities missed at GP appointments , consultant appointments and hospital admissions – In fact the NHS even ignored Dr Skinners private diagnosis late last August 2013 until eventually I was diagnosed by an NHS endocrinologist at the end of January this year 2014. I had repeatedly complained of pain to my thyroid gland to NHS doctors when only after much persistence I was given a ultra sound scan which showed I also have a small thyroid gland

    There is something seriously wrong when it takes over 50 years to get a diagnosis of hypothyroidism – Shame on the NHS for using out of date and flawed blood tests from the 1970’s – My story is by no means exclusive either, there are thousands of us with similar stories to tell

  7. Please note everybody that Kathleen (barny9) contacted the Daily Mail to ask why the comments had been stopped. Here is the reply they sent to her. You will see that Jerome’s article has been given another three days where they will be happy to continue to receive comments so please go there as well as here, and let them know the extent of your feelings at the way you are being treated. The higher the number of comments, the more the editor will realise how appalling this all is and the more chance we will have of getting our voices heard at last.

  8. Between 2009 and mid-2013 I had six TSH tests done by the NHS and apart from one they were all above the reference range. (I have no test history any further back than that.) When my Free T4 was tested it was always very low in the reference range, never below it, so I was constantly told there was nothing wrong with me. I paid to see Dr Skinner just a month or two before his death. He really listened to my symptoms as well as reading my blood test history, and he diagnosed me with
    hypothyroidism. NHS doctors have completely ignored and denied this diagnosis and still claim I am perfectly well.

    Some days my head feels almost too heavy for me to hold up. I can’t walk with my back straight, instead I stoop. I stagger as I walk, as if I am constantly slightly drunk. (I don’t drink alcohol at all.) When my fatigue is at its worst my whole body hurts. I used to be intelligent and logical with an excellent memory. Now, my memory is appalling and my vocabulary is vanishing fast. I find it extremely hard to manage my household finances and administration. I also find it hard to plan a menu and follow a recipe. I can’t work. I can write things down, but it takes me ages to compose even the shortest and simplest things. When I complained to my doctor about my abysmal memory her response was “Well, what do you expect, you are over 50?”. I was actually 50 at the time this was said to me. I no longer see the doctor I am registered with. I have found another doctor in the practice who is polite enough not to roll her eyes at me. It still doesn’t get me a diagnosis from the NHS though, and my relationship with doctors has deteriorated to an all time low.

    I just wanted to say thank you, Mr Burne, for your article in the Daily Mail, and for the article on your blog. Being taken seriously is precious. It so very rarely happens. I hope it does some good.

    One final point though… Why were comments switched off so quickly on your Daily Mail article? It smacks of censorship.

  9. helenjones2@gmx.co.uk says:

    Its not only women who get Thyroid disease and are shafted by the medics
    I know plenty of Men with Hashimotos who have spent years being fobbed off and shunted round every dept of medicine going nowhere my own husband included and then we faced the same battle with our daughter and now all 4 granddaughters , our grandson has Aspergers which is also connected .
    Not one member of my family can tolerate thyroxine , barely tolerate T3 and are only well on Armour thyroid.
    Its high time the only qualification needed to become any kind of consultant was to actually suffer the disease they claim to be an expert in .
    The one Endocrinologist who was also a Hashimotos suffered and practised in Surrey has long ago retired . Beyond that theres a mere handful of consultants who truly understand the plight of thyroid patients but getting correct treatment on NHS is becoming near impossible

  10. I was treated very badly by my former GP. I fell ill November 2011 with Hypothyroid symptoms & had a stomach infection which kept returning every few months & i was treated with Antibiotics everytime. I asked for blood tests everytime i visited my GP. I was not listened to, was refused blood tests, laughed at & told blood tests were expensive. In December 2012 i developed Anhidrosis & was seriously ill. I feared my life. I went to my GP, demanded blood tests & finally he said yes! I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism January 2013.He never told me anything about Hypothyroidism, he gave me a prescription for 25mcg of Levothyroxine & told me to come back in 3 months for a TFT blood test. I went back 3 months later feeling worse for my TFT blood test & my TSH had gone from 39 to 59. He kept me on a low dose for too long. I should of had my TFT blood test 6 – 8 weeks after my starting dose. I never got better everytime my Levothyroxine was raised, i still had all my Hypothyroid symptoms. Soon as my TSH was in range, he told me to make arrangements with my pharmacy for my prescription & to come back in a year for my TFT blood tests. It left me confused because i was not getting better & was getting worse. I saw my GP & told him i would write a complaint about him if he didn’t help me get better. He referred me to a Endo doctor. I left my GP because of the way he treated me & he never cared about my health. i moved to another doctor surgery & found a great GP. I was listened to & she was shocked at the state my former GP left me in. I had TFT, FBC & some of my vitamins tested. I had some vitamin deficiency & was anemic.
    I found out from the Endo doctor that i had T3 defciency. I was put on combination Levothyroxine & Liothyronine treatment. I felt alittle bit better at first but when the placebo effect worn off. I started to feel bad again but not as bad as i was when i was on Levothyroxine only. I discussed with my Endo doctor to try NDT & he said it was my decision but he could no longer be my Endo doctor if i do decide to take NDT.
    NDT is not available free on the NHS so i have to pay for it. I also have to pay for the full TFT panel blood tests because the TSH only test fails me. I was lucky to find a great GP & to get NDT through my GP. Most people i know that did not do well on Levothyroxine that switched over to NDT get it from the internet & are self-medicating. I was going to do the same if i could not get it from my GP.
    Thanks for writing this article. We need all the help we need because we alone are not listened to.

    • I’m sorry to hear of your health problems and difficulty getting treatment; though it seems most of us Hypothyroids suffer similarly, it took me 33 years to get diagnosed.
      I’d just like to correct an important statement you have made that you can’t get NDT on NHS prescription THAT IS NOT SO.(sorry about caps just want to emphasise youCAN GET NDT on NHS PRESCRIPTION FREE….I have done so for around 8 years now and continue to do so and have recommended other suffferers do and they have too. I take it with additional T3 which suits me and NO Thyroxine. I can’t say I’m symptom free yet but most of my 300+ symptoms have gone and the others are going slowly -remembering I’ve been ill >33+years before treatment.
      You must ask your GP to write the prescription whereby Boots Chemist will dispense it and cos your hypothyroid you pay nothing for the script.

  11. Chris Marcinowicz says:

    Thank you so much for writing the article in the Daily Mail. At last the message is getting out there that the whole Thyroid diagnosing/treatment process is a mess. Firstly the TSH test is not a reliable indication as to whether a person has a problem with their thyroid (in the case of Hashimotos where the readings fluctuate). Secondly you are lucky to be offered a test as a result of the symptoms you present with – most times GPs treat the individual symptoms, not connecting them to a possible thyroid disorder. Thirdly, you have to fall within the so called “normal” range in order to be diagnosed. These ranges are outdated and were fixed as a result of taking tests on a sample of the population. Who knows whether these people were well or ill. Consequently, patients are slipping through the net and face a lifetime of ill health and misery. They will also continue to cost the NHS a lot of needless money. To still use this system is ludicrous. Why did they stop prescribing the perfectly reliable, cheap to produce, natural desiccated thyroid which comtains T4, T3, T2, and T1,raising the dose until symptoms disappeared. Well, I think the drug companies have got a lot to do with it. They want to keep us ill so that they can still sell their drugs and make big profits. They don’t want it to be proven that millions of people could regain their health by having a healthy thyroid. There would be a lot of Specialists out of work too! The sad thing is that we want to respect our GPs and Endocrinologists. I did until I realised that I had to self treat in order to regain my health. How many other patients will have the drive or strength to do the same. Are the GPs and Endocrinologists obliviois or ignorant? After all, they can only practice what they have been taught. So, where does the real problem stem from? In the 21st Century it is unbelievable that we are facing this huge problem. Where do we go from here?

  12. As a patient with an under active thyroid gland I feel completely disenfranchised from health care. My GP refuses to even discuss Natural Dessicated thyroid. I purchase my own from an on line pharmacy, and have been taking this for 8 months now. I have my life back. I am so much better than I had ever been on levothyroxine. My GP continues to refuse to even discuss the matter. The final insult is that as a patient with an under active thyroid gland I receive free prescriptions. For everything other than the medication I need to effectively treat my under active thyroid gland.

  13. I found that as long as my TSH was within range the labs refused to do a T3 test. But it is understandable when my doctor said (on producing the test results showing that T3 was below range) that they took no notice of T3. Later when a private doctor prescribed T3 for me (and my health improved and symtoms went), my GP wanted me to have a T3 test. He put on the test form that I was already taking T3 and highlighted it in yellow. Yet when the results came back the T3 one had not been done and the doctor did not bother again. However when the TSH went below range it seems the lab tested for T3 without being asked. So someone having a test for hyperthyroid gets it done but someone with hypothyroid does not. For 12 years I was going to regular endo checks (for diabetes) and regularly he threw a hissy fit about my TSH being so low and went apoplectic when I told him I was taking T3. YET for those 12 years they did not do any other tests to find out why I am better on T3. After 12 years, and a new endo, it was decided that it would be a good idea to do some tests to show me why I did NOT need the T3. Turned out it showed I DID need it. So they would have left me so ill for all those years (no probably would have died of heart attack or something thyroid related – but not admitted to by medics- long before then) and if I had not have died already I would still be in that state. You hear of stories of people having operations, being anesthetized but awake but cannot do anything about it. That is how I was 24/7. like being permanently anesthetized but could still feel every ache and pain. It was like having a ball and chain on each ankle and on each wrist. To open my eyes seemed the same effort as someone took running a marathon.

  14. I have taken levothyroxine for 12years.before my diagnosis I was a healthy size 8/10 then all of a sudden I could sleep all day and night and not eat much was exhausted and overweight.i am currently 4stone over weight,I don’t eat oily or fatty food as I now have gall stones.i have seen different gps regarding my symptoms such as depression.anxiety , hair falling out, aches in joints ,chronic fatigue ,bad eyesight and many many more I have been ignored repeatedly. I recently started to research other treatments for my condition and was disgusted that we uk thyroid patients are being denied a chance at trying a different medication that could improve our lives.i have only ever saw 1 specialist for my under active thyroid and that was with my 3rd pregnancy.I recently asked my gp about Natural Dessicated Thyroid , he didn’t have a clue what I was on about. I am going to see a endocrinologis in September but if I am not offered any support or alternative medication I will be forced to self medicate,it’s such a shame we are being forced to do this just to get a decent quality of life and health.Things need to change

  15. I was diagnosed with hypothroidisim nearly three years ago when I suddenly put weight on my blood pressure soared I was depressed and could barely walk the gps I saw immediately assumed it was my fault. I explained that I have a very healthy diet and used to go to the gym at least 3 times a week they ignored every thing I told them and started to scare me by saying your in risk of a stroke if you don’t make changes to your lifestyle! One of the gps said let me check your thyroid it was positive and put me on levothyroxine and told me you’ll be fine I wasn’t I just got bigger and sicker.every time I went back they just rolled their eyes up and said there’s nothing wrong with you. After 21/2 years of feeling like I was going to die I did my own resreach joined support groups and found out about other medications I asked my gp about t3 she replied “that’s what I’m giving you!” I had to explain to her NO your giving me t4. I found out that in some countries that t3 is sold OTC I read up on it asked other t3 users questions and started to self medicated with t3 I’m getting back to normal now feeling like myself not like some alien had taken over my body. I saw two endos one was an utter cow and basically told me I’m fat old and lazy then at my second app I saw another endo who prescribed t3 for me on the NHS. I don’t know if this will last or will another endo over ride his decision. So I’m keeping my own supply. When I questioned doctors about other meds it was totally ignored or told that it will give you heart problems or effect your bones but one of the side effects of levothyroxine is death I don’t think there’s a worse side effect then that.

  16. Louise Foreman says:

    Hi im lou before I was on levothyroxine I was a fit and healthy size 12 , I have had enough of my drs not being able to help me , I had poor treatment an op for thyroid cancer that wasnt actually what the biobsy said turned out to be hashimotos , I was on 175 levo diag with deppression , and fibromalgia living half my life slept most of the time , my 2nd granddaughter was born, when I was 46, my mum had to pick her up and put her on my lap as my wrists and arms hurt so much , I was on max painkillers including codiene and sleeping pills , as chronic fatigue insominac, , final straw was shingles , wiped me out , I have been self medicating for over a year , on thyroid – s I dreaded telling my drs, so I let my blood tests tell the story and when I walk in to see them now , they smile as no pain , fatigue lifted , and best of all brain fog , has gone , I know they have there hands tied , but drs do want to help , WHAT IS GOING ON WE NEED CHANGE NOW,

  17. Vicki Bennett says:

    Thank you Mr Burne for highlighting this issue. I am another who failed to get well on T4 – and before that was left to suffer for years because my TSH didn’t hit the magic number of 10.

    They wasted NHS money on countless other investigations before finally agreeing to more Thyroid tests. Luckily by then I had done my reading and demanded my tests at 8am having read that TSH is higher then – and bingo – finally breached that magic number.

    Looking back I know I can trace my Hashimotos back 30 years – and so many of them spoilt and wasted due to this condition not being effectively managed. It lead to the loss of my teaching career (I could no longer keep my brain functioning sharply enough to keep one step ahead of crafty teens in a science lab!) and played a large part in the breakdown of my marriage.

    Now, after careful research and a whole heap of reading, filtering out snake-oil salesmen and going for actual medical research papers wherever possible, I took the decision to self treat with NDT. I finally have my brain back! I am ME again! 🙂 Still some way to go yet, still obese, still zero libido, but I am no longer cold, no longer losing my hair, biting my swollen tongue and no longer so fatigued that I can’t function. I hold down a good job that requires my sharp mind and so am a contributing citizen. Without NDT I would be claiming disability – not living, just existing. I refused that as my future!

    I am very glad I found an answer, but so many have not. How many (mostly) women keep getting told over and over again, “It the menopause, its your age, exercise more and eat less, you’re depressed” etc etc etc. How many know enough about their condition to argue with the GP and demand further tests? How many have the confidence to do that – especially if they have been told its all in their minds? (sorry, a somatoform disorder.)

    We shouldn’t have to fight this hard just to feel well 😦

    • Hi could I possibly ask where you got ur NDT from I am on levothyroxine for 12 years and am suffering like u any advice would be greatly appreciated

      • You need to join our Thyroid Patient Advocacy Support Forum http://www.tpauk.com/forum where registered members can access our list of Online Pharmacies where you can buy thyroid hormone and natural desiccated porcine thyroid extract (without the need of a prescription) but these are pharmacies outside of the UK. They are all reputable pharmacies as we are a registered charity and would never put our charity at risk. Please come and join us and we will help you in whatever way you need.

  18. babycatcher says:

    I welcome this article Jerome. I was first very unwell in 2010 but GP did the usual tests and of course was within normal ‘limits’ …sent away to adjust my life to make myself feel better. It was several blood tests, a lot of personal research and a brand new GP in 2012 when i eventually convinced him to start me on thyroxine…it didnt improve things at all. I then saw a private doctor who added in t3 and, after a year off sick from my job as an NHS midwife, i returned to work after 2 months of treatment, feeling better but still not quite right with several lingering symptoms. It looks like im going to have to put up with these as no medic will investigate further. None of the 7 gp’s or 3 endo’s i have seen would ever prescribe t3 further despite my obvious improvement, so i buy my own from a reputable online pharmacy and self treat. Not being heard and trusted, especially as a health professional is painfully frustrating. Apparently im depressed, overweight etc. I like to think i am an intelligent person who knows good from bad research and who knows when something is very wrong with me. I want to be able to trust the doctors that are supposed to ‘do no harm’ but i cannot. They have done nothing to help me at all. I am left to trust in everything i have learned, to adjust my own meds to see if it alleviates symptoms, to take nutritional supplements to adjust deficiencies which may be having an affect on my self treatment. The people who have saved me from thoughts of suicide are those patients on reliable, patient user forums who are also going through the same appalling treatment as i am, offering their fantastic advice and tips on coping and trying different things. I have to thank these people from the bottom of my heart…..thanks to them i am still a midwife, mother, wife, artist. I too like the nurse above will do anything it takes to feel well again…im only 42 after all

  19. Thank you for this serious article and follow up blog.

    I, like countless others, wept many tears when the wonderful Dr Skinner died so suddenly, he was a man of such compassion who always put his patients best interests first. We had just begun to make a start on experimenting to find the optimum treatment for me. I had dropped T4 and gone onto T3 only, and was doing so much better – I could walk, climb stairs, amazing things which had all gone from me for years. My moods stabilised, the depression had lifted, I was shifting some of the 5 stones of excess weight.

    Now I am back with the NHS and suffering from very difficult interviews every few months with endocrinologists, who seem on a mission to try to frighten me into surrendering T3 and return to the T4 which did me such damage. A bone scan is imminent. There is reference to heart problems. I must reduce my dose at once. ‘I did’, I said, ‘but I felt awful again’. Dismissive shrug. But, I say, these are also problems of under-treatment, aren’t they? No reply.

    If I mention NDT the response is horror and outrage. The last Endo told me with a look of triumph that she knew there were no doctors in (I’ll leave blank, just in case) who would prescribe it. I did ask if she would be able to do her job if she felt like me, and she became quite angry, telling me not to be ‘confrontational’. She said ‘we do not promise to give you your life back’ in reply to me saying I wanted to be well enough to go back to work.

    Why not? Guidelines, dogma, and Drs who are in thrall to a lab technician’s reference range rule now, not intelligent discussion and partnership. Fear of the GMC has a lot to do with it too. Time for Drs to ‘man up’. If enough do, then there will have to be a change.

    Until then, all we can do is hope that our Petition (for better treatment for Thyroid Patients) to the Scottish Parliament will bear fruit. Have you interviewed Lorraine Cleaver? I hope you do.

    • If they do not give it to you and you have a heart attack (thyroid related or not), they cannot be blamed in law however if they give you T3 and you have a heart attack and some doctor deems it to be because of the T3 then they can be blamed by law. Whilst I was being prescribed it by a private doctor my own GP refused to treat me. I had cellulitis which he refused to treat, saying the remedy was in my own hands (e.g. stop taking the T3 and it will get better) In the end I had to leave and go to another GP who gave me anti biotics. So therefore even if you did die of a heart attack completely unrelated to taking T3 you would get some ignorant doctors saying it must be the T3. So the doctor giving it to you can be sued. This is the way they are thinking. We of course know that if T3 is needed and is given according to need, it is highly unlikely it will cause a heart attack if at all. But as people can get heart attacks for other reasons (or any other fatal condition) and even those doctors who know T3 would not be the cause they also know that a lot of other doctors still think it. Dr.Skinner was not hounded by his patients (who he made well), but by other ignorant doctors (or doctors who knew he was right but had their own agendas for the witch hunt).

      • That legal issue is a tricky one, can see that if guideline says no T3 but you get it and then have a heart attack, doctor is very vulnerable. So as well as needing a far better appreciation of the limitations of the TSH test, there needs to be more clinically appropriate guidlines about when is it appropriate to test for and to prescribe T3.

        • The Policy ‘Statement on the diagnosis and treatment of primary hypothyroidism is NOT a guidline, nor is it even a guidance. It is a policy statement not backed up with evidence and is opinion ONLY. T3 has been used successfully for many years and heart attacks are caused because of a lack of T3 – even cardiologists and heart surgeons use it on their patients and psychiatrists do also. You are no more at risk taking T3 than you are taking thyroxine-only if you take too much, in the same way you can drown if you swallow too much water :o(
          Doctors, sadly, are so badly taught because the RCP Teaching Curriculum does not recognise or take into account the WHOLE of the thyroid system and doctors therefore don’t learn how to diagnose and treat full thyroid failure. The GMC Curriculum also does not recognise the whole of the thyroid system so is it any wonder endocrinologists have Diabetes as their speciality because they are too confused as to how properly they should diagnose and treat hypothyroid symptoms.

  20. It took over 3 years for me to get a diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism (had surgery to remove the tumour at the end of March). I knew I was ill, but the calcium levels kept fluctuating and never showing as overhigh until by chance.
    I suspect that my thyroid is also now playing up. Not looking forward to trying to get help for that.

  21. It’s not just women who are affected by this disease Jerome, men too, me being one. It just seems to be a higher incidence of women. Levothyroxine failed me and thanks to the TPA and Sheila Turner I now self treat with T3, something my GP and NHS endocrinologist won’t acknowledge.

  22. Thank you for writing this article, lets hope the NHS start to listen and we can get the proper medication we need.

  23. Thank you for writing the article. I am a patient who needs T4+T3 to feel well. Suppressive doses of T4 following thyCa made me very ill and pretty much bedbound for almost 18 months despite steady decreases in dose. I stopped T4 for 8 weeks and self medicated T3 only but didn’t feel much improvement and in desperation I also stopped T3 for 4 weeks. Multiple debilitating side effects stopped within a week off meds but resumed within a couple of days of restarting T4 so I added T3 which calmed the side effects. When my endo saw the improvement in my health after I added T3 he agreed to prescribe it.

  24. Jacqueline Flath says:

    Thank you for highlighting this scandal. I have done everything I can to get the medical profession to listen to me to no avail, and have lost hope of ever living a normal life again. I have nothing left to live for. I have been ill for 25 years.

    • Don’t give up. I had to use a sneaky trick to get t3 medication and start to finally recover health after trying many other things when only on t4. I asked at my local chemist where i am a regular (having been ill with many ailments since childhood) if any doctors were prescribing liothyronine (t3), found one and switched surgeries. The doctor wouldn’t prescribe without me seeing an endo, so got the referral and after 2 visits and almost full blood work taken (with the threat that i would be self medicating) I was put on a combination of t4 and t3. This i would never have done without learning much from thyroiduk, thyroid change and many other websites and online forums. There are also some who have self medicated with t3 or NDT and when they have proven the benefits to their doctors (after some months of self medicating) they have been prescribed, sadly not all, but it is a road worth trying to get ones life back.

  25. Reblogged this on Lorraine Cleaver and commented:
    Thankfully the Scottish Parliament are listening to our petition @scotparl
    Great article thank you!

  26. Thank you for helping to bring this scandal to the media.

    There is so much wrong with how patients with thyroid problems are diagnosed and treated. Even when one has a diagnosis all too often she/he is under-medicated and condemned to a life that is exhausting, miserable and full of symptoms that continue to shout that the patient is still suffering with the thyroid problem. The RCP has a lot to answer for. It is keeping patients sick when doctors could give adequate treatment but don’t because of the RCP statement.

    Patients are individuals and need to treated according to their individual needs and not all given the same medication whether it works or not. The TPA has done a huge amount to help patients without it many patients would not be as well as they are.

  27. Glynis Jones says:

    Levothyroxine is (or should be!!) flagged for short term use only. As we get older we produce less T3 and we need it!! My theory is that a lot of dementia could be avoided if T3 was a part of any doctors armoury!!

  28. My TSH blood test has been within range every time it is tested. I’ve been ill for about 7 years. I thought that was bad enough but then I read about people being ill for over 20 years. I’m a nurse and I know all my symptoms point to hypothyroidism and I have ordered some Natural Tthyroid from the internet to try and treat myself. This goes against all my training as a nurse in the NHS but I cannot stand by and let myself quietly slide into a life of disability.
    The RCP is a big exclusive “club” and we are not allowed to question them. They should be investigated for this crime!

    • A nurse being driven to try to treat herself by buying a firmly *not recommended” compound on the web becasue the guidelines forbid her being helped is clearest and most shocking summary of this scandal that I’ve seen

      • Jerome, you are only beginning to learn just how bad this scandal really is. I am copying a quote below that was written on a Petition I was involved with a long time ago, but many of us know exactly what she is talking about. I was going to post this on the Daily Mail Thyroid Article before we were stopped from making any more comments:

        “The ignorance, arrogance and incomprehension of the medical doctors I have been subjected to in my search for diagnosis and treatment leaves me incandescent with rage. Even as a qualified health professional working for a major DGH I remain powerless to prevent the cumulative long term health risks associated with lack of treatment; I am voiceless, neutered, patronised, and crawling day-to-day through what used to be my vital and colourful life. I would give everything I have for an open minded and creative diagnostician, and more for a little compassion, but this seems to be entirely beyond the capability of the modern medic. God help us all.”(

      • Mr Bourne,
        Thank you for bringing this to the attention. This is from a similar article in the Daily Telegraph and this is a response from Dr Skinner’s Assistant. Dr S was persecuted for over ten years and he said that the odds were 10million to 1 in his appearances before the GMC. It is self-explanatory. It is from Healthunlocked Thyroiduk.org

        I am grateful to Ms Anna van Praagh for her article ‘Why are doctors being demonised?’ in the Sunday Telegraph Magazine on the 27th of July 2014.

        I would like to start by quoting some statements by Panels who sat in judgment at Dr Skinner’s Fitness to Practice Hearings in 2007 and 2011.

        The Panel at Dr Skinner’s Fitness to Practice Hearing of the General Medical Council in Manchester on Thursday 17th November 2011 said, and I quote ‘The Panel cannot fail to take notice of the fact that your approach to treatment, whereby both clinical and biochemical parameters are assessed, falls within the guidelines of Good Medical Practice. In this respect your assessment of your
        patients does not differ from Dr Akintewe. The difference of approach lies in
        the weight given to the respective clinical and biochemical findings’. On the
        same day the Panel also said ‘The safety and follow-up routine as described by
        you have allowed the Panel to feel confident that patient safety is not
        disregarded by you’.

        Earlier at the Fitness to Practice Hearing in Manchester on Sunday 11th November 2007 the Panel said ‘It is clear that you (Dr Skinner) are a caring and compassionate doctor whose overwhelming concern is the care and well being of your patients’. The Panel also said ‘A large body of evidence has been submitted throughout this case demonstrating that many patients have benefitted from the medication you have

        It is important to understand Dr Skinner’s background in order to explain his position as a doctor treating patients by applying his outstanding scientific knowledge and experience to medical practice.

        Dr Skinner started his career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology then moved into research publishing extensively on herpes and other viruses, vaccine development and was one of the pioneers of research into the association of viruses to cervical cancer. The Nobel Prize given to Professor Harald zur Hausen for establishing the link between human papilloma virus and cervical cancer confirmed that Dr Skinner’s basic research idea was correct albeit a different virus was responsible. Dr Skinner was admired for his fearless and exceptional intellect, independence of thought and great analytical mind.

        In his capacity as a Consultant Virologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham he was referred patients who were thought to have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME) and other problems thought to be related to viral infection; he felt that a number of these people had classical signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism and treated them with thyroid replacement with encouraging results. He then started working with a number of General Practitioners to address the possibility that there may be a group of individuals who have normal thyroid chemistry but are suffering from hypothyroidism. The British Medical Journal published a letter in 1997 from Dr Skinner and a number of General Practitioners bringing this to the notice of the medical world.

        Dr Skinner’s work involved a specific group of patients who have thyroid chemistry within the reference range but clinical signs and symptoms of disease; he argued that blood tests should not be pivotal in the diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism as they had never been validated as a marker of optimal health. Secondly, in this particular group of patients it was not known what their blood test results were when they were healthy therefore using blood tests as the only criteria for diagnosis was not sufficient.

        It must be emphasised that Dr Skinner was not doing anything new nor prescribing new medication for the treatment of hypothyroidism; patients were diagnosed and treated for this disease based on clinical signs and symptoms and medical examination before blood tests were established and thyroid replacement using natural preparations was the norm prior to use of synthetic preparations.

        The treatment Dr Skinner used was one that has been used for many years namely thyroxine which is the drug of choice for most patients with hypothyroidism and in those who did not respond to this he used the natural Armour or Erfa Thyroid which were used in the treatment of hypothyroidism before synthetic thyroxine was manufactured. His methods were scientifically sound and he always wrote to the General Practitioners and other medical carers to inform them of his reasoning behind the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

        Dr Skinner’s clinic in Birmingham was a professionally run establishment which was registered with the Care Quality Commission with regular inspections which resulted in glowing reports of our administration and Dr Skinner’s care of his patients. All patients were given details of possible side effect of treatment both verbally by him and in the form of an information sheet. We must not lose sight of the fact that most medications have side effects and responsible doctors manage patient care by regular monitoring and follow-up as did Dr Skinner. We also have to understand that patients must be allowed to exercise choice in relation to decisions about their health.

        Throughout his work with this group of patients Dr Skinner tried very hard to engage with the rest of the medical profession and address this difference of medical opinion which results in lack of proper medical care in this particular cohort. As far back at 1999 he organised a conference and invited Endocrinologists, General Practitioners and representatives of the Royal Colleges and Department of Health and other medical bodies to engage and discuss their difference of opinion and formulate a way forward for the diagnosis and treatment of these patients. No representative from any organisation except an epidemiologist from the Department of Health attended. The same pattern followed all efforts including further conferences, meetings and letters by Dr Skinner to have a public discussion with medical colleagues to address this shortfall in the care of this particular group of patients.

        The Royal Society of Medicine’s response to Dr Skinner’s repeated request for a conference to address this problem was to organise a conference on thyroid disease and refuse Dr Skinner’s request to speak on his experience in diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism. The only Royal College which sent a representative to speak at the World Thyroid Forum organised by Dr Skinner in 2012 was from the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology to speak on fertility problems in hypothyroid patients.

        Dr Skinner vigorously opposed certain aspects of the UK Guidelines at the time they were being formulated and lodged his ‘Document of Record concerning UK Guidelines for thyroid function tests’ in 2005 with all the Royal Colleges, National and Local Health Organisations, the British Medical Association and tried with the Society for Endocrinology who rejected it. He also wrote to Dr G H Beastall, Secretary, Guidelines Development Group, British Thyroid Foundation in 2005 to comment on the pitfalls in the proposed guidelines.

        It is disappointing that Dr Skinner’s medical colleagues have been and still are behaving like bullies in a playground forming their gangs and stopping all others from engaging with doctors they have chosen to cast out of their inner circle. Sadly, they have neglected their duty in caring for these patients resulting in a serious shortfall in their medical care leading to unnecessary suffering and years of mental and physical ill health.

        These Endocrinologists and General Practitioners have harassed Dr Skinner and doctors like him and instead of constructive scientific discussions have resorted to firing their guns from the shoulders of the General Medical Council and patients and their needs have been completely forgotten. It takes a great deal of courage and determination to persevere in the face of such adversity and Dr Skinner’s bravery and belief in doing the best for his patients brought respect and loyalty from all those who knew him.

        This is borne out by numerous patients attending the General Medical
        Council every time Dr Skinner appeared before them and by more than 2500
        testimonials from patients presented before the General Medical Council at his

        By their own admission, the majority of Endocrinologists and General Practitioners would not treat the patients who were treated by Dr Skinner so they have no experience of diagnosing and treating these patients. Dr Skinner successfully treated thousands of these patients and accumulated a vast treasure of information including blood tests and clinical signs and symptoms at their first
        consultation and at follow-up.

        The difficulty in publishing when one has a difference of opinion from the established medical world is that the so called ‘peer review’ journals are very much influenced by these self-professed ‘Experts’ who proudly proclaim that they are on the Editorial Boards of all journals of repute thus stifling any work which is contrary to their view. This has resulted in control of what is published and what is
        rejected by a group of scientists and doctors who are preventing important
        evidence in diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism from being debated in
        mainstream medicine. A difference of medical opinion has been turned into a
        territorial war at the expense of the patients.

        Dr Skinner was a fearless doctor who was true to his Hippocratic Oath and behaved with integrity and carried himself with dignity in the face of callous and unprofessional opposition from Endocrinologists and General Practitioners who ganged up against him and tried very hard to discredit him; the support of patients whose lives have been dramatically changed by Dr Skinner’s care bears witness to his dedication and his determination to do the best for them. I hope in time doctors will be brave enough to once again put patients before all else and stop being so fearful of ‘senior colleagues’ and litigation.

        It is a great loss to the scientific and medical world that this brave, articulate and fiercely independent thinker is no longer with us.

        Yours sincerely,

        Afshan Ahmad PhD
        Worked with Dr Skinner for over 25 years

  29. Thank you for writing about this subject. I live in Belgium and been successfully treated for hypothyroidism with natural dedicated thyroid (NDT) for many years but I gave up on ‘conventional’ doctors many years ago and have a wonderful docto of functional mediciner here. However, I worry that should I want to return to the UK from where I came, I would face a situation where I would have to try to get my thyroid medicine from the Internet as it is unlikely that I could get an NHS doctor to prescribe it for me – despite having taken it for 10 years. I could continue to see my doctor over here but he is private and I may not be able to go on paying for my care. Many hypothyroid patients are women, many of the doctors who refuse to treat them with T3, are men. I wonder if the situation would be the same if these doctors had suffered for years with the misery of untreated hypothyroidism. A group of feisty Scots women have put a petition before the Scottish Parliament for better treatment of hypothyroid patients – I wish them luck

  30. This is a very common problem which I treat successfully for many patients. My colleagues Medical Herbalists in the UK could give these patients effective treatments ( see CPP or NIMH regulatory bodies for their members ). I find herbal medicine is an effective option together with dietary issues which always are involved. Results can be measured by blood work not just by symptom elimination.
    The issue is that there is only one drug for thyroid conditions, its not very effective, represents a high cost as it has to be taken for life hence the lack of interest by NHS and ignorance by civil servants. I have to say it is much better to resolve the issue as a lifetime on synthyroid or similar creates issues in later life judging from my patients’ presenting complaints. For those who are interested there is quite a bit on this issue on the thyroid on my website under presentations.

    • There are so many medical methodologies which can help and could help but which are resisted by orthodox medicine in thrall to BigPharma.

    • I find this is as blinkered an approach as those of RCP. Many patients will and do try anything, herbal, supplements, waste thousands on blood tests that the NHS will not give. Are told they have dietary issues by herbalists, naturopaths etc. NHS should be encouraged to use the full range of tests available (not just TSH), Use the full range of medication available worldwide (t4,t3 and NDT). Patients should never be encouraged to waste more money on more private testing for even more dubious untried or tested methods or worse still turn their back on medication in favour of herbal remedies. A thyroid patients life is bad enough without false hope and an empty bank account!

      • Annie thanks for posting but could could you be any more specific?
        Whose appraoch is blinkered – that of this post, the original article?
        How do we know that having a non-NHS test is a waste of money – especially since it is the refusal of the NHS to give certain tests that means patients have to look elsewhere in the first place?
        What are these money-wasting tests?
        How do you know that none of these patients have dietary issues?
        How do you know that all herbal supplements are a waste?

        Yes obviously the NHS should be encouraged to used a full range of tests. Do you have any new ideas on how to get a U-turn other than attacking herbalists and naturopaths?

        The fact that your only advice is to wait for the NHS to change its policy suggests that you don’t understand the problem.

        • It was the post I saw as blinkered. Possible should have been prefixed with the word advertisment.
          NHS could test(but due to cost does not test) both t3 and t4 as well as TSH. If it tested Reverse as well it could find the percentages and figure out how much t3 is bound or unbound which would indicate the good and bad t3 and medicate accordingly.
          While i am for non-NHS blood tests for the above tests and more, if you spend time in the support groups you will see that many people have spent money on for example hair tests and have changed diet, lifestyle and throw money at the supposed cure and feel just as ill. When what is shown to help is NDT and t3 medication. The latest fad seems to be the york test.
          As i implied, desperation for health is hitting their pockets and i have yet to see anyone actually get healthy from this. The only time people seem to get/feel better is when buying medication from abroad or if they are lucky enough to get t3 on the NHS. The despondence which follows yet another failed attempt is horrible to see, as are the problems which they report in relationships when more money has been thrown at something and failed.
          Many of the patients i have followed in the forums have had tests on NHS or privately for dietary issues and even when they have come back negative they often maintain they have gluten issues and leaky guts, change and follow specific diets and see no change. In one breath they will claim it helps and in another they will state that they have all the usual symptoms of Hypthyroidism.
          I do understand the problem as i suffer from it everyday along with many other people. I have just noticed from years in forums looking for help and better treatment that snake oil salesmen, patient experience and the money spent in desperation non medical treatment is not the answer. More time, effort and cash should go towards supporting and pushing for change through government in NHS treatment, tests and care. Thyroid UK is looking like the only hope for getting this change if people would get behind the cause to support petitions and raise awareness in parliament. We can’t put all our hope on changes coming through Scottish parliament. Research funding is desperately needed too.
          It seems your passing shot that ‘The fact that your only advice is to wait for the NHS to change its policy suggests that you don’t understand the problem.’ shows that you have never lived with this illness, suffered daily, seen your life ruined and spent time with endocrinologists and gp’s who dismiss your symptoms and write your life off. When you know that there are other medication options, other tests etc. As i do not have the money to spend on endless tests and fad cures i have managed to push for t3 and like many am after 20 years finally seeing a return of health and life. While yes i have also wasted thousands in the past, it was a lack of funds (having become so ill i am reliant on benefits) that made me push and push for t3. However if i really want to know whats going on with bloods it still costs me just under £150 to get the full range of tests run.

          • It was not an advertisement as I do not work in the UK and I successfully treat thyroid issues. My colleagues can and that I see as helpful information for sufferers in the UK. It would seem to me that you think medicine outside the NHS wastes people’s monies. Quite the contrary professional alternative practictioners are often far more cost conscious than any administrator/MD in the NHS. The NHS wastes vast sums of your money on inappropriate procedures, drugs and salaries. You pay for this via taxes such as VAT. Private medicine with an qualified trained professional has to be effective otherwise the practitioner does not have an income. You may have to pay for it but generally it is far better value. That is not true of the NHS. Trying to make the NHS better is a laudable objective but won’t happen as long as conventional medicine takes the view disease has to fit the drug available or not exist as a disease./condition. I am sorry you have suffered but that does not justify claiming private medicine is a bad thing.

          • Annie – Puzzled by your comment that the post was an advertisement – for what? Not herbalism or nutrition – apparently two of your pet hates. Maybe for tests that the NHS refuses to give? Useful, many people with this problem seem to think. Generally advertisements are for specific products. Maybe you have a different meaning.

            You are against hair tests and changing your diet – although you don’t indicate from what to what. “Throwing money at a supposed cure and feeling just as ill” is obviously not a good idea but it seems to be what doctors are instructed to do for hypothyroid patients. Suggest objecting to that might be more productive.

            York test actually has an interesting double blind trial supporting its usefulness but I’m guessing you don’t have much detailed knowledge of either nutrition or herbal treatments (see Morwenna’s post) just that you don’t like them. You haven’t seen anyone getting better from this approach but others have, so what does that tell us?

            It is true that I don’t have a thyroid problem and I apologise for implying that you didn’t have one but your vehemence about the quackery of anything other than drugs is one I have encountered often in the past and is it simply based on ignorance. The corresponding belief that drug treatments are safe and effective is a fine piece of propaganda but simply not true. Drugs certainly have their place but the relentless increase in prescribing we are subjected to has little to do with need and much to do with profit.

            In fact that is one of ironies of this whole issue – the medical profession is happy to put more and more people on drugs – millions more recently eligible for statins with little evidence for benefit, casual and extensive use of damaging heavyweight tranquillizers on children and the elderly – and yet perversely withhold them from a group of patients who clearly benefit.

      • Dear Annie,
        From your reply I think you do not know what a Medical Herbalist is. Firstly they use the NHS tests and can work with GP’s to ensure all relevant tests are done. They do not automatically resort to private labs. Secondly they do not use herbal supplements. Medical Herbalists compound plant medicines which are scientifically evidenced and made to international pharmaceutical standards. They are not available over the counter. By virtue of their training they often know far more pharmacology and biochemstry than many endocrinologists. Certain foods have been scientifically shown to inhibit thyroid function – for example bromine contained in processed foods. In modern diets three basic nutrients are often missing – zinc, selenium, iodine and vitamin . Dietary information is critical to resolving many endocrine conditions as this can be a primary cause for dysfunction. For example there is no point taking high doses of T4 if the conversion to T3 is impaired. – it will cause other issues – so you have resolve the failure of conversion etc etc. In addition the synthetic T4 medications interfere with many drugs such as proton pump inhibitors so you actually make a potential situation worse. Most medical herbalists save the NHS vast sums of money as they are very effective where there no remedies under the conventional modality.

        • I am more than aware of the need to avoid certain food groups and medicines. I have no problem with tests or medication (herbal or otherwise) outside the NHS. Sadly just thing many patients suffer unnecessarily and are ripped off too often. End up self diagnosing and do the cause more harm than good.
          I do believe the medical profession should stop throwing medication at patients (statins anti-depressants etc.) without getting to the root cause. And also treating with medication (betablockers, anti-depressants etc. ) which harm the thyroid further or effect the conversion from t4 to t3 (hence i have had to refuse them). I have adapted my diet to remove known food groups, take medication at optimal times and supplement diet.
          Too many suffers also cannot afford to see herbalists etc. and again self medicate on information gleaned from the internet and throw their cash at high street vitamins and supplement stores. It’s painful to watch when I know the improvement that comes from getting t3 on the NHS. But wish that were available to all and not just a postcode, good endocrinologist lottery (my family live elsewhere and cannot even get to see a consultant).
          Any option to pay for some of us is completely out of the question especially when this illness has reduce you to long term unemployment for years.
          the main reason i am against people spending money on tests is because they do change their diet (based on results) and in the forums state that they are still symptomatic. I would love to see anything that actually is proven to help, and all fields of medicine and patients to work together to produce proven peer reviewed results, but this is not a sexy illness, it mainly hits women and will therefor probably sadly stay at the bottom of the list for research and funding.
          Please don’t assume that i don’t like them or know nothing about nutrition or herbal treatment or that i am ignorant. I have seen some benefits and non benefits. One cure does not fit all whether prescribed by Doctors, herbalist etc as the body and reason for ill health with thyroid varies greatly according to the individual. It is a long hard road to recovery and until all the tests are available regardless of income and postcode, people will be treated blindly, whoever is trying to help them.

          • Annie, you are right on one count and that is condemning self-prescribing. It is ineffective at best and dangerous at worst for any herbal medicine and supplements although Homeopathy is never harmful although self-prescribing can make for a confused symptom picture.

            And a person qualified in herbal medicine is as qualified as any MD in terms of methodology and the body. The problem comes with the quality of the practitioner perhaps but that also applies to MD’s. And there are plenty of Allopathic charlatans about and lots of ineffective, dangerous and at times deadly Allopathic medicine.

            You are also absolutely right that one cure does not fit all which is why exploring various medical methodologies is wise and necessary. Understandable though if it involves costs you cannot meet. But research is free and you can do research across the board, investigating any and every medical methodology to find what may suit you best.

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