Informational Posts / Lifestyle / My Personal Experiences

50 Things Only People with Hypothyroidism Understand

Originally published on 10th April 2016
Last updated on 5th January 2024

Here are a whopping 50 things that I feel only people with hypothyroidism tend to fully understand!

  1. Always being cold.
  2. The devastation of your hair falling out.
  3. Gaining weight even though you’ve changed nothing.
  4. Being unable to lose weight even though you’re trying everything you can.
  5. Getting a decent amount of sleep, but still waking up more tired than the night before.
  6. Having brittle hair and nails.
  7. When even the simplest of questions are impossible to answer because you have thyroid brain fog.
  8. When your thyroid brain fog makes you do silly things. Like putting the dirty laundry in the bin instead of the washing machine, or mixing up words and talking a load of gobbledegook.
  9. When nothing helps your dry and tight feeling skin.
  10. Doctors refusing to give us the medication and testing that we need to feel well.  Surely that’s not right?
  11. Friends, family and co-workers thinking we’re lazy, unproductive or ‘slow’ in what we do. Little do they know about all the hypothyroidism symptoms.
  12. Your body feeling like you have the worst flu ever, with achy muscles and stiff and painful joints.
  13. Having a croaky voice.
  14. That mental illnesses and other conditions such as depression, anxiety and insomnia often come hand in hand with hypothyroidism, with most patients having at least one mental health condition.
  15. Your menstrual cycle being irregular and sometimes a lot more heavy and painful.
  16. When thyroid medication is needed for life.
  17. That just because we’re on thyroid medication, it doesn’t mean we feel better. A lot of patients aren’t on the right type of medication for them. There are a few different types but most doctors only consider one of them and it doesn’t work for all.
  18. That you often have no appetite.
  19. Being tired is much more than anyone else understands.
  20. You love your bed more than anyone will ever know.
  21. Your life tends to revolve around sleep and energy levels.
  22. When people tell you ‘you just need to get enough sleep’ or ‘you just need to eat healthy’, in a bid to help you, but little do they know… We wish it was that simple!
  23. When you have to cancel on plans with friends, and they think you’re being a cop-out, but you can’t even lift yourself off the sofa as your body feels like it weighs a tonne.
  24. When you’re one of the many thyroid patients who also have Hashimoto’s, so you go gluten-free to help your symptoms, but people don’t understand why you’re ‘awkward’ when eating out. They say “Just have gluten this one time, it won’t harm!” Yes, yes it will.
  25. When changing to regular clothes from your PJs means you’re having a good day.
  26. When doctors won’t help you and insist that ‘everything is in your head’.
  27. That you can have flares.
  28. It hurts when no one understands that hypothyroidism is a life-changing, lifelong condition.
  29. That a lot of us turn to self-medicating or going private in order to have any chance of getting better.(I had to go private to get the right medication.)
  30. We have to learn to examine our necks for abnormalities.
  31. Having hypothyroidism makes us more prone to other autoimmune conditions, getting ill more often, and adrenal issues.
  32. We rattle because we have to take so many pills, tablets, supplements etc.
  33. Even many endocrinologists, thyroid specialists, aren’t much more helpful than regular doctors.
  34. Some of our closest friends are those from online thyroid forums or support groups.
  35. Hypothyroidism can occur in men too. It’s a lower percentage, but still occurs.
  36. Doctors tend to send us away with a prescription, without telling us much about the actual condition.
  37. Trying to run a family and maintain a social life, as well as work and complete day-to-day tasks can feel nigh on impossible.
  38. Recovery isn’t linear.
  39. Putting on loads of layers often results in us still feeling cold.
  40. Someone asking how we’re doing often means the world to us.
  41. That no amount of makeup hides the bags under our eyes.
  42. It’s not our fault we have hypothyroidism.
  43. Keeping up a job is sometimes very difficult.
  44. We can worry about passing the condition on to our children.
  45. A ‘lazy day’ is our idea of heaven.
  46. We tend to forget what ‘normal’ feels like.
  47. We’re prone to vitamin deficiencies such as iron, Vitamin B and D.
  48. Sometimes we just need to rant about the the frustration of having the condition.
  49. Feeling fifty years older than you actually are, due to the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
  50. Feeling sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

Would you add anything else to this list?

Please remember that if you’re a thyroid patient living with poor mental health or lingering physical symptoms, that you don’t have to live this way. To address why you may still be feeling unwell (often despite being on thyroid medication too), please see this article and go through each suggestion, putting your thyroid jigsaw back together.

Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate Book CoverSee also:

The book Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate: When You’re Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tiredwhich explains how I got my own life back on track after being struck down with hypothyroidism. You don’t have to live a poor quality of life.

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

About Author

Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts and at events about the many aspects thyroid disease affects and how to overcome these. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her bestselling books include "Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate" and "You, Me and Hypothyroidism".


  • Lorraine
    January 27, 2024 at 10:06 pm

    The deepening of your voice, I can’t sing anymore. Sleeping during the day. Not being able to enjoy the simple things in life like social activities and preferring to be on your own and not go anywhere..

  • Patricia Sheasby
    January 21, 2024 at 2:31 pm

    It is clear that your 50 insightful points come from a place of true compassion and understanding. This will help me so much to be more of an advocate for myself to my family and my friends. With heart felt thanks from my Hashimoto’s and me! 💕

  • Teresa Wilson
    January 17, 2024 at 10:51 pm

    I am in tears after reading your article as I have found someone who can relate to how I feel at the moment.

  • Tuesday
    November 26, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    I have nausea, fluctuate between diarrhoea & constipation, on top of all the other 50 things listed above. My thyroid was removed. I was diagnosed with PTC and now have a new lump causing difficulty swallowing.

    • Lorraine
      January 27, 2024 at 10:06 pm

      I have the same stops me from going out..

  • Val Kummer
    July 21, 2020 at 4:57 am

    I have had this condition since I was 19, diagnosed, but most likely had it before that. I am now 82 & have not felt good for many years.I have most of the symptoms & am faithful about taking my meds but still feel the same & worst. I have had surgery on my saggy eyes as they where so bad I could hardly see but are getting the same again. I sleep 10 to 11 hrs. & get up, eat brunch & take a three hour nap & am still so tired. I have seen many doctors to no avail. I am going to get some of the books in this artical to learn learn more about this disease & maybe get some help too. Also, it runs in my family so it is very important I get this information & pass it on to them.

  • Dorothy
    September 2, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    The croaky voice was interesting – now I understand why my voice gets croaky. Feeling older than I am – yep, me too. People tell me I dont look my age, we,, thats nice, but I FEEL at least 10 years older!! Really great article – thank you so much.

  • Kylie Joy
    February 10, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    OMGOSH this is my life and I have a lot of people who just don’t understand how my life is, I wish it was more out there for people to realise we do suffer in silence.

  • Mary Billups
    October 10, 2018 at 10:27 am

    My husband & our children, my sister had been telling me that I act like I’m an old woman. I didn’t know that was an actual symptom. That made me cry.
    Now, I’ll be able to show them & tell them that they obviously need to knock it off.

  • Linda Hanlon
    September 21, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    I was on a thyroid compound for 20 years and never had a problem. About 1 year ago I can’t get the compound. Nothing has been right since.

  • Paula
    August 15, 2018 at 1:09 am

    I can totally relate to each of these. I have Hashimoto’s & low functioning thyroid.

    • Sandra Padgett
      August 20, 2021 at 3:42 pm

      Try having hypothyroidism, osteoporosis and diabetes all three!


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