1,000 signatures reached
To: NZ Parliament Health Select Committee
Help NZ Thyroid Patients Get Treatment That Works
Our petition has now been delivered to parliament.
We call upon the NZ Parliament to hold an official Inquiry into the diagnosis and treatment of patients with signs and symptoms of thyroid disease. We ask the Inquiry to consider:
• increased access to the full range of thyroid blood tests;
• funding for treatments containing the active thyroid hormone T3;
• to provide up to date education for all doctors and endocrinologists on thyroid diagnosis and treatment; and
• to promote positive open dialogue between doctors and patients.
Why is this important?
Thyroid disease is more common than diabetes and heart disease. The World Health Organisation puts the world’s population of diagnosed thyroid patients at >750 million. New Zealand’s diagnosed population is >146,233. Many more are misdiagnosed or experience mismanaged care. Common symptoms include debilitating unexplained fatigue, unexpected weight gain/loss, depression, miscarriage, cold/heat intolerance and brain fog. Left untreated thyroid disease influences the onset of other diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and dementia; and in some cases early death.
In the 1940s and 1950s doctors and endocrinologists diagnosed on signs and symptoms, prescribing treatments that worked. Then came the arrival of the TSH blood test and a synthetic drug called Levothyroxine which changed the way many doctors and endocrinologists diagnose and treat patients. As a result there is a large number of patients for whom these diagnostic and treatment approaches do not work. For example, all too often:
- Doctors and endocrinologists miss altogether or misdiagnose thyroid disease in patients because they don’t recognise the signs and symptoms. Patients are often tested unnecessarily for other illnesses imposing cost on them and District Health Boards.
- Patients who are prescribed Levothyroxine often experience ongoing symptoms. Alternative thyroid treatments containing a thyroid hormone called T3 work better for many of these patients. Most are never offered this treatment even though it is available, safe and effective.
It is now difficult to find a NZ doctor or endocrinologist with the right knowledge to help thyroid patients. Those NZ doctors who are successfully diagnosing and treating thyroid disease need greater support; and the other doctors and endocrinologists need further education.
By signing this petition you can help us change this. Each signature represents a patient, or a person who loves a patient who has been misdiagnosed, mistreated or dismissed by their endocrinologist or doctor.
Thyroid Association of New Zealand is a patient-to-patient support group, started in July 2008. We are a voluntary organisation, whose founding members came together when Glaxo Smith Kline changed their Eltroxin formulation, causing adverse reactions among users. For more information about the thyroid or help finding a doctor who can help, visit us at: http://www.thyroidnz.org or Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thyroidnz/.
To read just some of the statistics and clinical evidence supporting our petition go to: http://www.thyroidchange.org/related-research.html or email us at: [email protected].
How it will be delivered