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.
To help clear a few things up, The Mighty partnered with ThyroidChange to ask our readers, “What’s the one thing you wish others understood about thyroid disease?” Here’s what they had to say.
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