Letter to Editors of Telegraph and Daily Mail sent 04-11-2010
I write as a medical practitioner who has focused on the problems of hypothyroidism for some fifteen years. I was interested to read your small paragraph on a patient who had been essentially undiagnosed for five to six years. I write to indicate that this is the least of it and in my experience this is one of the most serious shortfalls in modern medical practice.
I have come across literally thousands of patients who remain undiagnosed or do not receive an adequate level of thyroid replacement based on thyroid chemistry which has never been validated and is predicated on a ‘range’ of values (known as a 95% reference interval) notwithstanding the patient’s earnest solicitations that they do not feel well as would appear to be the case in the patient in your little piece
The matter has compounded by a recent extraordinary pronouncement by the Royal College of Physician and Family Practitioners who not only endorsed this erroneous view but further suggested that a certain thyroid reading - namely a TSH reading above 10 - is required to be at a given level which is statistically wayward to say the least and not even commensurate with clinical practice.
Responsible and sensible deputations to Government, Royal Colleges and the General Medical Council have to date fallen on stony water. We have one last resort namely to establish a World Thyroid Register and if this Register contains a reasonable number of people we may be able to change medical opinion or even - dare I suggest - engage in debate with Endocrinologists and Royal Colleges which to date not has been possible and indeed my futile attempt to join the Royal Society of Endocrinology resulted in my being thrown out prior to attending a single meeting; so much for academic interaction.
I write to advise pro bono publico of the World Thyroid Register and secondly to ask if it might be possible to write a considered and sensible article in your paper on the matter. Previously a journalist who did an exceptionally good job of investigating the issue was finally told that it would not do for the paper to go against the establishment which is an unusual stance for the ‘Fourth Estate’ and bodes ill for the future of our (presently) liberal society.
I hope you will give my note your sympathetic consideration; please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide any further information on this serious shortfall in our present level of healthcare.