Informational Posts / Supporting a Thyroid Patient

Is Hypothyroidism a Chronic Illness?

Is Hypothyroidism a Chronic Illness?

You may notice that I occasionally use the term ‘chronic illness’ when I refer to my thyroid condition, autoimmune hypothyroidism. The term ‘chronic illness’ can sound dramatic to some people and I’ve often been asked what it means exactly.

Rachel Asleep on The Sofa

A chronic illness or chronic health condition is defined as being persistent or otherwise long lasting e.g. a health condition you will have for life. A chronic illness usually cannot be cured, which is why you’re expected to have it for life. 

Hypothyroidism, in most cases, is not curable and so we’re given thyroid hormone replacement medication to take for life. Thyroid blood tests are then usually tested regularly to keep on top of managing the condition by tweaking treatment as needed.

Whether you do or do not like to use the term ‘chronic illness’ when referring to your thyroid condition, is purely your preference. However, it is technically correct to refer to a lifelong thyroid condition as a ‘chronic illness’.

I sometimes find it an easier term to use than ‘autoimmune hypothyroidism’, which is often met with confused faces from people who don’t have a clue what I’ve just said! Emphasising that my health conditions are lifelong and require close monitoring, can also help to get across how important this aspect of my life and health is. Especially as my thyroid condition is an ‘invisible health condition‘ which doesn’t always convey how unwell I’m truly feeling on the outside.

Do you ever use the term ‘chronic illness’? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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".

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