Article shared and written by Judy Copage
Judy Copage, Co-editor -in -chief of Central Bylines. lives in Shrewsbury and spends her time walking on the Shropshire hills, discovering hillforts, attempting to learn photography, and occasionally writing and editing. She worked as a teacher of English as a foreign language and teacher trainer in Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Greece for 20 years. Back in the UK, she was a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Wolverhampton. She is Director of Copage Educational Services.
This is a personal account telling the story of a battle with the NHS to get treatment for thyroid disease. Article originally published on Central Bylines at: https://centralbylines.co.uk/big-pharma-the-nhs-thyroid-disease-and-me/
For many years, after a diagnosis of autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s disease), I struggled with the medication I was given. I had no idea that what lay ahead of me was seven years of fighting for an alternative.
Thyroid basic facts
Your thyroid gland is in the neck. It straddles the trachea, just below the larynx. Until I became ill, I had no idea what it was and how it regulates the chemistry of the whole body. If it goes wrong, you can be affected in many different ways.
It produces two hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The balance of both is controlled by another hormone, TSH, which is sent from the pituitary gland to the thyroid.
Written by Louise Sellar, Director, Thyroid Trust
This was my mantra as I battled with distressing symptoms during a global pandemic lockdown. I first started suffering symptoms during the first lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
The first symptom I noticed was that my heart was racing at rest and I started to feel very anxious. I then started to have hot flushes and night sweats and difficulty sleeping. I contacted my GP surgery , who were only offering telephone consultations at this stage of the pandemic. Due to early menopause running in my family and as I was just about to turn 40, they suspected that might be the cause and gave me lots of helpful tips and advice. However, things just kept getting worse and one morning I contacted 111 as I had woken early with an extremely fast heart rate, I was advised to go to A and E where upon having bloods taken, to check that I hadn't had a heart attack, the doctor advised me that I was suffering with anxiety due to the stress of being in lockdown.
Written by Sherina Mandalia
Kamal Mandalia gave a talk at one of our Thyroid Trust Awareness events this May. During the event he spoke about his journey of having Papillary Thyroid Cancer.
Kamal’s journey started in 2018. While coming back from holiday he noticed something didn’t feel right, of course at that time you don’t jump to the conclusion of cancer so he just thought it was simply dehydration. However he went to his GP just to be sure and had a blood test and urine test. At that time all tests came back fine - it is important to note that he did not experience any thyroid related symptoms.
One foot in the Graves’
Imagine waking up one day to realise you no longer recognise yourself in the mirror, your relationships are falling apart, you feel strange pains throughout your body and you feel a deep, heavy emptiness in your chest that nothing will shift.
If you’re someone who has thyroid eye disease, you’ll know exactly what I mean. If you’re someone that knows someone that’s had it, you might know what I mean, but if you’re neither, the chances are you won’t.
And that’s understandable, as it’s a rare disease.
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