Meeting Information

The Edinburgh BTF Support Group meets on the last Tuesday of the month except for school holidays. The meeting is usually a 'drop-in session' and anyone is welcome between 7.15pm and 8.30pm to discuss their particular thyroid condition and to get advice and support. In addition to the monthly support meetings the group regularly invites an expert speaker to talk about various aspects of thyroid disorders. You can read more about some of these events below.

Next Meetings

25 June  - 7.15pm – Dr Nicola Zammit will be talking on 'Thyroid Disease, Symptoms, diagnosis and Treatment'.

Entry to the meeting is free and anyone with an interest in thyroid issues is welcome.


Liberton High School, Gilmerton Road, Edinburgh EH17 7PT


If you would like further information or would like to help with the group please contact Margaret on 0131 664 7223 or email

Past Meetings


February 2019

At our February meeting Ellen Spinner, who is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, gave a presentation on 'A Nutritional Strategy for Regaining Full Health Following Thyroid Disease'.

Ellen's talk covered the important lifestyle elements for health and wellbeing, and how regular eating and sleeping times are important determinants of overall health and exercise.This was an excellent meeting with the audience sitting round tables which facilitated small discussion groups which the speaker went round after her main talk.

The Group unanimously agreed to invite Ellen back to speak at a future meeting and include in her talk the importance of supporting the gut and the link between gut bacteria and the brain.

June 2018

At our June meeting we were joined by Prof Mark Strachan, Consultant Physician in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Acute Medicine. The topic was 'Thyroid Disease and Diabetes - The Links'. Prof Strachan explained at the meeting that there were no direct links between Thyroid Disease and Type 2 Diabetes but there were links between autoimmune thyroid disease and Type 1 Diabetes, as both were autoimmune disorders. After his very informative presentation, he spoke about the recent research into Type 1 Diabetes, which he is currently involved in. The meeting was then opened for questions and discussion. It was agreed by all present that this was an excellent, enlightening meeting.

September 2017

Dr Anthony Toft, world renowned thyroid specialist, was the speaker at our September meeting. The topic was Thyroid Replacement Treatment Therapy. Dr Toft briefly covered the history of the treatment of hypothyroidism when patients were at first treated with dessicated pig thyroid before chemically manufactured levothyroxine became available. All attendees enjoyed the very interesting talk, and also the opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues that arose.

June 2017

The June meeting took the form of a round-table discussion with 15 people present. Dr Nicola Zammitt, Clinical Director at Edinburgh Centre for Endocrinology and Diabetes, introduced the discussion and Lynda Thomson, newly appointed Assistant Edinburgh Local Area Coordinator, was the facilitator. The topic was "The Thyroid and the Reproductive System" and issues discussed included puberty, fertility, pregnancy and the menopause.

October 2013

The BTF Edinburgh Support Group celebrated its 10th Anniversary in October with a conference/information day at Edinburgh University Medical School. There was an excellent panel of speakers including Professor Mark Strachan, Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Dr Nicola Zammitt, Consultant Physician, Department of Endocrinology, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Dr Fraser Gibb, Endocrinologist, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Dr Eleanor Halloran, Consultant in General Adult Psychiatry, NHS Lothian and Janis Hickey, Founder of the BTF. Topics covered included 'The thyroid gland and why it goes wrong', 'Thyroid replacement therapy; getting the treatment right', 'The psychological aspects of thyroid disease' and 'Thyroid eye disease; who does it affect and why.' In addition to the main speakers there was also a panel of four patients who related their experiences of having thyroid disorders and their subsequent treatments. Margaret McGregor, coordinator of the Edinburgh group who organised the event said: 'The event was attended by over a hundred people and feedback so far has been very positive'.

29 September 2012

Three members of the BTF Edinburgh Group attended the Thyroid Eye Disease Charitable Trust Meeting, held at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to distribute BTF information leaflets and answer questions about the services the BTF provided.

It was an excellent meeting with the main speakers being Dr Nicola Zammitt, consultant endocrinologist, who spoke on 'The Endocrinologist's Perspective', and Dr Jan Kerr, consultant opthamologist, who spoke on 'The Role of Surgery in Thyroid Eye Disease'.

30 October 2012

Twenty people braved a cold, wet night to attend the BTF Edinburgh Group meeting to hear Dr Philip Riches, consultant rheumatologist, speak and answer questions on the effects of thyroid disease on bone density and the onset of osteoporosis.

Dr Riches was able to reassure those present that thyroid disorders, as long as they were being treated, did not make anyone more susceptible to bone density loss although patients who had been treated for thyroid cancer, and were on long term suppressive doses of thyroxine, should probably have regular bone scans.

26 June 2012

We were delighted to welcome three new members to our 'drop-in session' and they all said that they were grateful for the chance to speak about their particular thyroid disorder and for the information they were given.

27 November 2011

This meeting had to be cancelled due to problems with the venue.

28 June 2011

At the June meeting we were pleased to welcome as our guest speaker, Dr Peter Henriksen, consultant cardiologist at the Edinburgh Western General Hospital who spoke about "Thyroid Disease and the Cardiovascular System." His talk was followed by a lively question and answer session.

An appeal was also made for thyroid patients in the area to become "volunteer patients" in clinical examinations for medical students and qualified doctors. Anyone interested should contact Linda Park, Clinical Examinations Co-ordinator at the University of Edinburgh (Tel. 0131 242 6535 or email

26 April 2011

General group discussion.

14 December 2010

Meeting cancelled due to weather difficulties.

26 October 2010

An open discussion on thyroid support was led by Margaret.

29 June 2010

Dr Mark Strachan, Consultant Endocrinologist at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, spoke about 'The diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders'. Dr Strachan focused his talk on what is happening with thyroid services in Edinburgh with particular reference to thyroid eye disease, thyroid lumps and thyroid problems in pregnancy. There was an opportunity for those present to ask questions and make comments about the current provisions within the NHS for thyroid patients.

Edinburgh mtg June

November 2009

Clare Keenan, Community Dietician, spoke about the importance of a healthy, well balanced diet for people who have thyroid disorders and distributed booklets on 'Eating for Health and 'Active Living: Help Yourself To Lose Weight'.

Profile - Margaret McGregor

coor mcgregorI have had a thyroid disorder since my early twenties, over 40 years ago, and first became aware of the BTF in about 2003.  I thought that with the experience I had as someone with a thyroid disorder for over thirty years, especially with symptoms, medication and the NHS, I might be able to support and counsel other thyroid patients.  When I found out they were looking for local area coordinators, I contacted BTF and, after an interview, became the Edinburgh Local Group Coordinator in Autumn 2003.

In the past I have been a teacher, youth worker, local government politician and a magistrate and at the moment I am a political researcher and a Deputy Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh. So helping people with a health condition has been something entirely different.

As well as running a monthly local support group, I organise meetings with speakers and, as I had thyroid cancer I am contacted by people who have thyroid cancer from all over the UK.  It has been really interesting meeting and advising people from all walks of life.  I always make it clear to people who contact me that I am not a medical practitioner, but I hope the advice I give is useful to them.  Most people are really grateful to have the opportunity to talk to a fellow thyroid patient.  I hope to continue being a local area coordinator for the foreseeable future, but I am always on the lookout for anyone who is willing to give me a hand especially with running the support group.