When People Belittle My Thyroid Disease

I walked up to some friends I was meeting, and they told me it looked like I had lost weight. They asked me how I did it, and I explained I didn’t diet, cut out any food groups or take a magic pill.

I simply got my thyroid levels right after switching medications, which, in turn, corrected my metabolism. Now I can lose the weight I gained due to my hypothyroidism by watching what I eat and exercising.

Then someone who probably felt like they were overweight said, “Then I think I must have a thyroid problem, too!”

No, please don’t belittle thyroid disease. It’s not just about weight gain.

It’s understandable that someone with low thyroid function would have symptoms of low metabolic function, since the thyroid gland controls metabolism. So some weight gain is expected. And some thyroid patients may also be on other medications like antidepressants, which can cause weight gain, too.

But to even joke about having a thyroid problem is hurtful. It already can have a stigma attached to it as being easy to treat and not a big deal. And some people think it can be used as a medical excuse for being overweight.

In reality, hypothyroidism is chronic, lifelong, hard to manage and causes a whole load of other problems. And if some doctors don’t treat us as individual patients and medicate us properly, it means we can have a difficult time ever feeling well again.

Hypothyroidism can change lives forever. 

So don’t throw around the idea that this chronic disease just causes some weight gain in a flippant way. It’s so much more than that, and it’s so much worse than you can ever imagine.

Some days, I wish I could make people spend 24 hours experiencing what a lot of hypothyroid patients do.

Follow this journey on The Invisible Hypothyroidism.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

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

Related to Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid Disease)

two drinks and a bowl of fries on a table at a restaurant

The 'Hangover Effect' of Socializing With Hypothyroidism

Social events and activities can be great for everyone. Spending time with friends, family or even meeting new people is good for our mental health and promotes a good work-life balance for those of us who work. It’s easy to stay home all day or become a recluse, but it takes extra effort for many hypothyroid patients [...]
black and white photo of man with glasses

When You’re Born Without a Thyroid Gland

I have lived 42 years without knowing what it feels like to be “normal” or live free from chronic tiredness. For most of my life I have always slept more than 12 to 14 hours a day. Even with eight hours of sleep, I have always needed more rest and had to nap for a further four to [...]

What I Realized After a Nurse’s Compliment Offended Me

I’ve had ulcerative colitis (UC) for 10 years, which is more than half of my life. Along with all the symptoms of my UC came countless needle pricks, blood draws, IVs and shots. I’ve gotten used to all of these things now. They’ve become just a regular part of my life. But about a year and a half [...]

When I Was Diagnosed With IBD, a Disease I’d Never Heard Of

I can honestly say I’d never heard of Crohn’s disease, or any type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) for that matter. I’d seen the commercials on TV — the spinning camera constantly panning back to bathroom signs, the actor desperately looking for a bathroom to find relief. What if, what if? I know now these commercials [...]