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5 Things People With Hashimoto’s Wish You Knew

Having Hashimoto’s feels totally overwhelming and exhausting. But this is often made so much worse because, as with any invisible illness, it’s invisible. On the outside, I may look relatively normal, but on the inside, I’m feeling anything but normal. There are so many Hashimoto’s symptoms I feel like I learn about a new one every day.

I wanted to write this post to share some of the things I wish the people around me knew. Maybe, then they could understand a bit of what I’m going through and react accordingly when I start crying on them because I can’t control my emotions or use my words haha.

1. The extra 10 pounds and thinning hair are part of the disease

I think emotionally this has been the hardest thing to come to terms with. I’m not stable right now and I look and feel terrible. My skin is dry, my hair is thin and brittle, I’m holding so much weight on my legs and stomach, and I have no clue where my eyebrows even went to. 

I know I don’t look my best, and that affects how I feel. 

The most frustrating thing about this is often people will advise you to do some more exercise, try dieting, or tell you to drink more water. Unfortunately, having Hashimoto’s means none of these things work for me. 

Until I can balance out my hormones and get my levels back under control nothing in my body works as it should. Dieting and exercise just cause me to be more bloated, gain more weight, and zap any small amount of energy I still had. 

2. I’m tired all the time

Before I was diagnosed I used to tell people all the time that I often felt so tired I could literally just lie down on the floor right here, like a toddler would do, and sleep. People would just look at me and smile politely. I now know people with normally balanced hormones don’t ever feel that tired.

Because what I feel isn’t just tired.

I’m exhausted. 

All. The. Time.

I feel like I have nothing in me. Like any small job completed means I’ll need a nap to recover. But I can’t just nap all day. So I push through as much as I can and try and pretend I feel fine.

3. Sometimes it’s hard to form sentences

This brings me nicely on to my next thing. Probably the most embarrassing and frustrating side effect of all the tiredness and brain fog is my constant inability to form sentences. Not the best thing to suffer from when you are a writer and vlogger.

It’s not an everyday thing. But it happens enough. And of course, it happens on the bad days when I’m already feeling like crap and like I just want to be swallowed up and stay in my bed all day where it’s safe and I can rest. 

So I’m already feeling awful and then I can add frustration for not being able to express myself, and embarrassment for seeming like an idiot to the mix of emotions I already can’t control.

Honestly, some days I just lock myself away so I don’t have to deal with seeing people.

4. I can’t always control my emotions

So, apparently, it’s not normal to cry all the time? I just used to think it was a Pisces thing. Now I know better. 

I mean, I am a pretty emotional person, granted. But the level I’m at when my levels are off is something else. And it’s not just crying because something is sad. I’ll also cry when I’m angry when I’m frustrated when I’m happy, I’ll even cry when I’m really hungry. 

My crying knows no limits. 

5. Cardio kills me

Fun story, it was actually because I’d started doing some crazy cardio workouts that caused me to crash so hard that my levels went through the roof, a massive goiter appeared and I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto’s.

As a professional dancer and someone who has always been fit and active having to adjust to the fact that I can no longer do intense workouts hurts my ego. But when I look back at photos of me a few years ago, long before I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, I was going CrossFit daily eating a strict paleo diet, and I was so bloated and puffed up I can hardly even recognize myself when I look at photos.

These days cardio = payback

Payback, for anyone who doesn’t know what it is, is the word often used to describe the consequences of doing something you probably shouldn’t have done. 

Over exercising leading to 2 days in bed with exhaustion and brain fog. 

Binging on gluten leading to 2 days in bed with brain fog and a week of constipation. 

Drinking alcohol leading to 2 days in bed with brain fog and a week of constipation.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

I honestly could go on and on with this list, but I feel like 5 is enough for now. I hope reading this has given you some insight into what it’s like living with Hashimoto’s. Or if you are someone who suffers from Hashimoto’s I hope reading this you feel a little less alone.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Dana

    The cardio section lead me to a diagnosis, or pushed me over the top which lead to answers for me. I went through 3 doctors who all told me I just didn’t realize I was depressed 😒 my husband’s active duty and gone right now which is why they’re telling me that.. even though I’m used to this part even if it is hard. Anyway after my husband left I started doing the 75 day hard, after 2 months I gained 15 pounds and felt worse than ever despite following a whole food diet, cutting calories to 1500 and walking 45 min every day and doing another 45 min work out… It lead me to feeling the worst I ever had, killing my self worth (thinking I’m just doing everything wrong and I’m lazy) to leaving me literally bed/couch ridden for 2 weeks and swollen neck for 4 and feeling like I couldn’t think or talk right. Exercise doesn’t always work the same way with people with autoimmune than it does like normal people especially when you have a flair up and everything is completely out of balance.

  2. Nancy

    I have been diagnosed with hashmotos thyroid disease here recently and I have had these symptoms for several years and my regular dr couldn’t figure it out . I like to know more about this disease and hear from others who has it . Thanks

    1. Diana

      I have it for yrs. Only when I moved to Fla. Did a endocrinologist visit had the the hormones checked BOOM Hashi. Take levothyrecine 100mcg. Keep an eye on the hormone levels. I always feel great when I get a med. adjustment then it fades.

  3. Nancy

    I have been diagnosed with hashmotos thyroid disease here recently and I have had these symptoms for several years and my regular dr couldn’t figure it out . I like to know more about this disease and hear from others who has it . Thanks

  4. Chelsea

    For so long I’ve literally felt crazy.., almost convincing myself that I really was until finding out I have it as well.. this post resonated soooooo deeply. Thank you so much for writing this. It’s scary. It’s life changing & so very exhausting. Please write more on this topic!

  5. Michelle

    Thank you so much for this. I feel like I’m not crazy after reading this.

    I have sent this link to my husband so he can understand how I feel and when he says come on baby where is my energizer bunny from before trying to be supportive and get me to push myself maybe he will get it after he reads this article. I have gained so much weight I look in the mirror and disgust myself. I also used to be a professional dance and taught zumba everyday. Now walking to the store makes me tired. I have my brave face on for now and in time maybe “Michelle” will come back.

  6. Caroline

    I could have written that myself, l was a workaholic, hardly ever sat down, now all l want do do is sit down all day, l am absolutely exhausted all though l have done nothing, l was diagnosed about 15 years ago, but the last few years l have got progesly worse, l have every simtom that everyone talks about, l brows regualy looking for answers, l am in the U k

  7. Cindy

    This is really good news to me. I have so many of these symptoms and was told I had hypothyroidism and was put on medication for it. It never helped. So now I’ve kinda given up and have been suffering for years, especially with depression and exhaustion. I don’t know where to turn for help because doctors can’t figure it out. Any advice?

  8. Lisa

    I realized when I was in college that working out or dieting made me gain weight so fast. The only types of exercise I can do with feeling like crap and gaining weight is gentle yoga and a slow HITT for no more than 15 mins. No cardio for me. My husband, who is a runner just keeps saying I need to do it a little more and then it will get easier. 😂 I was diagnosed with Hashimotos a few weeks ago and I can see that over the last 20 years all of the above symptoms have crept into my life. The moser recent was loosing my words. I am an extrovert and I love debating anyone about anything…or I used to. Right now, that is the hardest because it was so much a part of my personality.

  9. Pam

    I developed hashimoto thyroid after having a severe reaction to the shingles vaccine. Took over a year and several specialists for my doctor to finally come up with a diagnosis. I am doing better on the medication, but think it needs to be tweeked a little more so going to see an endocrinologist to see what he thinks.

  10. Chris C

    I am also a Hosh patient. Have learned through years of symptoms & reading many medical articles that it comes on a person slowly & can be in many different stages before it can be diagnosed. Sometimes if feel like it never is diagnosed & people suffer in silence. This is what happened to my Mother. In her day, the treatment was some type of nerve pill & suggested counseling. I was fortunate to be diagnosed by my ob gyn & was prescribed the bio t pellet along with np thyroid medication for my under active thyroid. My doctor was very good about trying different medications to get me on the right track. I still have a lot of bad days, but at 68 years old, I’m still working full time. Do advanced yoga twice a week. I know that I will always have it, it’s not going away no matter what. Hosh is hereditary & runs in families according to my Doctor. But with proper diet I feel much better & pushing forward each day, determined not to give up.
    Thank You

  11. Tammy

    My story… Thank you for writing this. Bless you all. I use ashwaganda to help my lack of thyroid. It works very well. One other thing I have been studying is nootropics.. Brain vitamines.

  12. Carrie

    I loved this, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 8 years ago and after doing a huge amount of research on my own, and arguing with my doctor, got tested and diagnosed with hashimotos about 3 years ago. I can say that all of those symptoms plus some are very real and that I decided to go for a 2 mile walk the other day, nothing strenuous mind you, and suffered for 3 days, ultimately having to take half a day off from work. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone but glad to hear I’m not suffering alone.

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