14 Truths People With Thyroid Disease Wish Others Understood

Thyroid disease, an abnormal functioning of the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland, presents a host of symptoms and can often be hard to diagnose. The thyroid gland affects mood, weight and body temperature, and the result can be a person who appears lazy, antisocial and over- or underweight. Because of this, a lot of misconceptions exist around thyroid disease.

To help clear a few things up, The Mighty partnered with ThyroidChange to ask our readers, “What’s the one thing you wish others understood about thyroid disease?” Here’s what they had to say.

1. “Thyroid disease can derail one’s life.” — Chris MacCleod

thyroid disease can derail one's life

2. “The lack of focus and the fatigue we feel aren’t a result of us not ‘wanting to’ or ‘trying hard’ enough. Everything you do feels about 10 million times harder with this disease than to someone who doesn’t have it.” — Dawn Lehr

3. “We aren’t fat and lazy.” — Kylie Riley

We aren't fat and lazy

4. “My thyroid disease affects me differently than your thyroid disease.” — Amy Williams-Sherman

5. “Just because we don’t look sick doesn’t mean we don’t feel it.” — Carly Becker Greco

Just because we don't look sick doesn't mean we don't feel it.

6. “It’s not a death sentence, and life does not end once you have it. It’s a journey and I like to think [of it as] a journey to learning more about yourself and working to become a healthier you.” — Cyndi Murphy

7. “My body aches after a long day of work. I’m 30 but feel like I’m 50.” — Eddie Jilozian

I’m 30 but feel like I’m 50

8. “It seems like you can’t get five days in a row [without] ‘burn out.’” — Richard Nickels

9. “[It] affects every part of your body and your life.” — Caye Wood

10. “[The] thyroid pill might ‘help,’ but I’m always tired. It’s the lifelong effect of thyroid disease.” —Linda Moledor

I’m always tired.

11. “I’m always feeling tired, [I experience] brain fog, memory loss. No matter how healthy I eat and exercise, I can’t drop the weight, [I have a ] hard time concentrating, all I want to do is sleep, [it’s an] emotional roller coaster.. It’s a daily struggle.” — Elizabeth Guerrero

12. “Although it is a daily challenge, it was a blessing in disguise for me. I learned that I had to be selfish and put myself first a lot more. I quickly learned to start asking questions and researching to back up answers. It started with doctors and then I questioned myself about how I was living my life and who I was sharing it with. From this, I learned to listen to my body and make decisions prioritizing my health and well being [which was] something I’d not thought about before.” — Joanne Conlon

Although it is a daily challenge, it was a blessing in disguise for me.

13. “If we had doctors and those around us who would listen and understand, it would be a lot better… Just because it’s a disease you can’t see doesn’t mean it’s not real.” — Michelle Martinez

14. “[We] struggle every day to feel normal.” — ChesterAnnette Lovato Estes

[We] struggle every day to feel normal.

*Some responses have been edited and/or shortened.

What would you add? Let us know in the comments section below.


14 Truths People With Thyroid Disease Wish Others Understood

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Other

To the Preemie Mom Who Is Expecting Again

I know you’re nervous. I know the minute you saw that double pink line that your heart leapt into your throat. I also know that you wish your heart had only done so with joy, but you had to admit that it was also in fear. “What if it happens again?” you ask yourself. Before [...]

What a ‘Great Day’ Means to a Person With Chronic Illness

What makes chronic disease so challenging is that we’re never 100 percent. Our great days are different from yours; I promise you that. I think many of those who love us can misunderstand what a great day means to us, and sometimes feelings can get hurt. So let me share my parameters with you, and [...]

My 6 Tips for Traveling With a Child With Special Needs

We’re so lucky to have one of the best dermatologists we could imagine, and he has always encouraged us to do anything we normally would as a family even if it takes extra planning or if we need to get creative. One of those things is traveling. Even though traveling can be challenging figuring out [...]

There's More to This 'America's Next Top Model' Contestant Than Meets the Eye

Nyle DiMarco is more than just a pretty face. He’s making strides for the deaf community. The 25-year-old model and actor is the first ever deaf person to appear on Tyra Banks’s long-running reality TV show, “America’s Next Top Model.” He’ll compete in the show’s 22nd season, set to air on August 5 on the CW [...]