Q. I was misdiagnosed for five years and it nearly cost me my life. I was eventually told I had Parkinson’s disease and referred to a neurologist.
During the neurological exam, I was asked if I had ever had a thyroid test. A simple blood test that I had never been given would have shown that I suffered with a hyperactive thyroid. It was out of control and all my internal organs were seriously affected.
The endocrinologist called in consultants and all agreed it was a miracle I was still alive. They had never seen a case as severe as mine. My heart was racing at 180 beats a minute, and no one had detected it.
My all-over shaking was visible. I could not sign my name, and they had a hard time doing scans because I had difficulty keeping still. I was terrified at the diagnosis, but I learned to take control of my health by asking lots of questions and looking things up.
A. An overactive thyroid gland is a serious health threat. It is shocking that it took five years to diagnose your condition, which responds to medication, radioactive iodine or surgery.
We are sending you our Guide to Thyroid Hormones with detailed information about symptoms, testing and treatment. Untreated hyperthyroidism can lead to weakened bones and heart disease and should not be ignored. As you discovered, however, this diagnosis is not always uppermost in the physician’s mind.