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.
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.