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Originally published on 21st March 2016 Last updated on 22nd July 2019
Hypothyroidism, also called an underactive thyroid, is generally seen as an invisible illness. It often isn’t taken seriously.
Why is it so hard to see what it does to those around us?
An Invisible Illness
Hypothyroidism, unlike many other illnesses, doesn’t tend to make its victims look that sick. Sure, symptoms include weight gain, hair loss, dry skin, brittle nails etc. but those aren’t considered to be that shocking, compared to other illnesses.
So, like so many other health conditions, it’s not taken very seriously by a lot of people. And it doesn’t help that medical professionals often don’t take it very seriously either.
But, for me, the worst symptoms aren’t even the ones you can see; the hair loss, weight gain, dry hair… It’s the ones you can’t. The invisible ones.
The absolute fatigue that leaves you unable to climb stairs, unable to type on a computer at work, unable to get out of your chair.
The brain fog and confusion that breaks you down as you can’t remember how to do a simple task at work, or forget to pick your child up from the school gates.
The pain and agony in your limbs and back, like the worst flu you have ever experienced, that no pain medication can ease and it doesn’t go after a week or two.
Ironically, even if people do acknowledge the symptoms we get that are visible, it’s the invisible ones that are more debilitating. But if most people won’t believe us about the ones they can see, how are we supposed to get people to realise how bad the invisible symptoms are?
You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.
What are your invisible symptoms of hypothyroidism?
You, Me and Hypothyroidism: When Someone You Love Has Hypothyroidism, a book for those who know someone with hypothyroidism.
There is also an online thyroid course which you can complete from your own home and computer. Freedom From Thyroid Fatigue helps you get your health back.
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 authoring books, writing articles, blogging and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a board member for The American College of Thyroidology and The WEGO Health Patient Leader Advisory Board. Rachel has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, The BBC, The Mighty, Yahoo, MSN, ThyroidChange and many more. She is well-recognised as a useful contributor to the thyroid community and has received multiple awards and recognitions for her work and dedication. She has authored two books: ‘Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate‘ and ‘You, Me and Hypothyroidism‘. Rachel is British, but advocates for thyroid patients on a global scale.