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.
1. “Thyroid disease can derail one’s life.” — Chris MacCleod
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
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
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
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
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
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
*Some responses have been edited and/or shortened.
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