My Personal Experiences / Work

Catching an Illness When You Already Have Hypothyroidism

Originally published on 25th July 2017
Last updated on 16th February 2024

When the average person gets ill – catches a cold,  a sickness bug, virus – it can feel bad enough.

Having to take a day or two off work, cancelling plans with friends or family and putting up with a messy house is all part and parcel of being ill. Everyone gets ill from time to time, even those with the best immune system.

But what is it like for those of us who already live with a chronic illness

Rachel Asleep on The Sofa

When someone already lives with a health condition such as hypothyroidism, which causes symptoms such as heavy fatigue, muscle pain and sleep disruptions, catching an illness can not only introduce new symptoms, such as sickness, diarrhoea, fever and chills for example, but it can worsen preexisting ones, too.

For many of us living with a chronic health condition, our bodies may not be as resilient as an average person’s, as they already struggle to function as they should, so they may take the blow of a cold, virus or stomach bug harder than a ‘healthier’ person.

Related Post: Are Thyroid Patients More Prone to Getting Sick?

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".


  • Marina
    February 10, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    yes, this me, I question why I always seem to get cold and flu symptoms worse than other people and for longer. It leaves me feeling drained, fatigued etc when sometimes the cold symptoms have been minor, glad to hear I’m not alone!

  • Rose
    October 22, 2021 at 10:44 am

    I became ‘ill’ 7 years ago, thought it was a normal 2-3 day cold. Frequency & length of ‘illness’ increased over the years, left work 5 years ago because of this, now I rarely feel well. Dealing with pain/aches, sinus congestion, ear pain & exhaustion feel like I have my own personal virus. Nothing has shown up in tests, apparently I am quite healthy according to doctors.

    • Rachel Hill
      October 26, 2021 at 8:18 am

      I can really relate to this. I caught a ‘virus’ which just didn’t get better after months and months and spending most my time in bed unwell. I was eventually diagnosed with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s.

  • Sue d.
    November 1, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Yep – hayfever into sinusitis layered with a cold and then earache on top of Hashi = Four months of feeling rotten so far. Each part doesn’t sound much but its impact challenges work/social/home life.

  • Jo
    November 1, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Yes! Currently experiencing this. At this time of year I catch the usual lurgy everyone gets, plus get mould allergies. It takes months for my body to recover.


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