Living with Hypothyroidism

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Living With Hypothyroidism

This post is part of the Wellbeing Wonders Linky that I’m hosting with Emma from Sunshine and Rain. It’s a fab way to connect with other bloggers and reach new readers. So, if you’re a blogger, check out the info at the end of the post to find out how you can join in and add your own posts. And if you’re not, check out the links at the end of this post for more great welbeing-related content!

I’ve talked a lot about my depression and my anxiety, but I haven’t really talked about my other “invisible” illness – hypothyroidism. Living with hypothyroidism affects pretty much every aspect of my life. Sometimes, I feel like people don’t really understand what it means to have this lifelong illness, because it doesn’t always look very dramatic from the outside (sounds a little bit like depression and anxiety when I say it like that, right?).

So, this is what living with hypothyroidism is like for me

Technically, what I have isn’t just hypothyroidism. It’s an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which (very basically) means my immune system has attacked my thyroid to the point where it isn’t able to produce enough thyroid hormone. Hence, it causes the hypothyroidism. I think. It’s all very complicated and I haven’t been able to get a referral to someone who knows more about it than my GP (my condition isn’t bad enough yet….), so what I know has come from the internet (so, i’m sure it’s completely 100% accurate).

There are lots of possible symptoms and not every person living with hypothyroidism experiences all of them. These are the ones that affect me the most

Slow thinking

Also known as “brain fog”, because that’s exactly how it feels. This is a really common symptom of thyroid issues. Sometimes, I just feel like I can’t think clearly and I have to concentrate a bit more than usual. Other times, it’s like a total mental block – nothing goes in and nothing that makes any sense comes out. It’s a bit like when you’re trying to think of a word and it’s on the tip of your tongue, but the harder you try to think of it, the further away it gets.

Brain fog is by far my most frustrating day-to-day symptom of living with hypothyroidism. When people laugh and joke “get your words out!” or similar, I feel like crying, because there is nothing I would like more than to be able to say the words going through my head at that moment. I’ll give you a hint. It ends in “off”.

Feeling tired

OK, so I’m a mum and I have 2 year old twins, so I accept that a certain amount of tiredness is just par for the course. But even when I get a decent night’s sleep and plenty of rest, there are days when I am exhausted, from the moment I get up to the moment I crawl back into bed. Except I can’t nap or rest during the day, because I have the twins to entertain and they have way more than their fair share of energy. Some people may try supplements to give themselves a little energy boost. However, it’s always wise to check out the Activated You reviews and seek medical advice before starting to take any supplement, particularly if you are taking medication.

When someone with hypothyroidism says they’re tired, they don’t mean they need a bit more sleep. They mean they are tired to the bone, completely exhausted and struggling to function.

Muscle and joint pain

For me, it’s mostly joint pain. My hands and feet get the worst of it, especially my fingers and wrists. My hips often ache and feel very stiff. People will hypothyroidism are are greater risk of things like arthritis, so that’s nice…

As for muscle pain, I suffer with my back a lot. But it’s hard to know whether that’s caused by the hypothyroidism or the twins! There are days when lifting my children is very painful for me and running around after them is impossible. But, again, I don’t really have the choice to not look after my children.

Gaining weight and struggling to lose it

Now, I’m not going to sit here and blame my weight 100% on my thyroid. I have a complicated relationship with food and dieting, but my hypothyroidism definitely doesn’t help. I’ve talked before about how I’ve struggled with motivation to diet recently. But I have been a dieting angel this past week. My original plan was the write a brilliant weight loss update post for today, telling you how I’d had a really good week and a really good weight loss result. Obviously… I’m not writing that post. Because I’ve lost 1lb.

No bread, no chocolate, no icecream, lots of good home cooked meat and veg, salads…. all for 1lb. I know that “a loss is a loss” and 1lb is better than the 0lb I was losing before, but I’m a fairly big girl and 1lb is a very little loss for the amount of effort I’ve been putting in this week. Thank you very much, thyroid.

My ability to lose weight is usually ok (when I put some effort in), as long as my thyroid condition is being properly medicated. When I struggle this badly to lose weight, it’s a clear sign to me that my medication needs to be reviewed. So I’ve booked an appointment with my GP to get another blood test to see if my dose needs to be increased. Again.

And now for the big ones


This is obviously less of an issue now. I have my beautiful twins and I always wanted 2 children, so I’m OK with not having anymore. But my fertility issues were actually the reason we found out about my Hashimoto’s. After the first two IVF cycles failed, my Consultant recommended having my thyroid checked and the rest, as they say, is history. There are links betwen thyroid issues and infertility and it certainly seems like that was the case for me. We sorted out my medication to get my thyroid under control and cycle 3 worked.


Yep. Depression is a really common symptom of hypothyroidism. It’s also another sign that my condition isn’t being managed adequately. If I find that I’m struggling a bit more with my mood, it’s worth getting that blood test. I’ll never know whether my mental health would have been a problem for me if I didn’t have hypothyroidism, but it’s a common enough symptom to make me think that maybe it wouldn’t have been.


There are also nodules on my thyroid, which appear to be getting bigger. I had an ultrasound scan done last year and they weren’t very big, so the decision was made to leave them and rescan at a later date. I’m going to ask my GP to book that rescan for me, because they’re definitly easier to feel now, although – luckily – no visible goitre yet! I suspect they’ll want to do a biopsy this time (my GP said it was  possibility last time), and I’m not looking forward to that at all.

So what can you do about it?

If you’re concerned that you might have hypothyroidism, see your GP and get that blood test. You can’t really do anything about it until you’ve got that diagnosis. I know there’s always a lot of talk about ways to treat illnesses without medication. But I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning without mine. I really notice a difference if the dosage isn’t right, or if I’m an idiot and forget to take it often enough. So, see your GP and make sure you’re treated properly if necessary.

A gluten free, high protein diet is also apparently supposed to help, but that’s something I’ve really struggled with. I’ve definitely cut down, but it’s really an all or nothing situation with gluten, from what I understand. I don’t think just cutting down makes a big difference.

Are you living with hypothyroidism? I’d really love to hear how it affects you and how you cope with it.

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12 thoughts on “Living with Hypothyroidism

  1. I can honestly say I had no idea this condition existed, and I bet there are so many more that I’m oblivious to! Thank you for making me more aware. It can be so frustrating when you have a genuine reason for feeling or being such a way which no-one understands. Hopefully your post helps to make a difference! #WellbeingWonders

  2. This post hits home because I keep having my thyroid tested because I have a lot of signs of hypothyroidism yet the tests keep coming back in the normal range. I’m not positive I could ever do gluten-free. I don’t have that kind of self control. I’m so glad your meds help!

    1. That’s so frustrating! The NHS range for normal is actually much wider than it should be, I think. Lots of people suffer with symptoms when their TSH is technically still “normal”. Mine was like that to begin with – right at the top end of normal. My GP only agreed to treat it because of the antithyroid antibodies I’ve got (which is how they diagnose hashimotos. It might be worth asking your GP for a full thyroid panel, including antibodies, to see if that comes back positive x

  3. I had no idea thyroid problems could have such a negative effect on a body! From physical to mental symptoms – it must be horrendous for you. I admire your ‘carry on regardless’ attitude too – it’s a case of having to with 2 year old twins I suspect!

    1. I think it varies from one person to the next. Some people don’t have symptoms while they’re on medication,but I’m unfortunately not that lucky. But yes, the twins make it impossible to feel sorry for myself for long 🙂

  4. I have mild hypothyroidism. I think it is a family thing as my mother had it as well. I can sympathise with the weight issue as I find it very hard to loose weight. I also get quite bad constipation which is what took me to the doctor originally. Mine was only diagnosed by a routine blood test as part of an age 60 MOT but I think I probably had it for some time before that. I also have quite a lot of problem coping with changes in outside temperature both hot and cold.

    The good news is that my mother lived to 84 and took thyroxine for about 40 years. I think when she was older she was healthier than many of her friends. As you say it is difficult to know what symptoms are due to the disease and what are due to coping with twins.

    1. I definitely think it can be hereditary, yes. It runs on my mum’s side of the family, too. I’m sorry to hear that you have it, too. The temperature thing is quite a common symptom, I think, but it’s not one that I have, luckily x

      1. I just wanted to message and say I found your blog today and what a blessing! I have a 3 month baby born through ICSI ,an underactive thyroid (I had Hashimotos) and antenatal and postnatal anxiety. It’s wonderful to find someone who understands! All the best to you and your family.

        1. Thank you so much! I’m so pleased you like my blog 😊 and congratulations on your miracle baby (they’re the very best kind 😉) xx

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