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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