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January is Thyroid Awareness Month

Originally published on 1st January 2016
Last updated on 1st January 2024

TW: Mental health, suicide

January is Thyroid Awareness Month, a month dedicated to talking about thyroid disease.

This awareness event gives us the chance to raise awareness around the different types of thyroid conditions, the symptoms, the importance of diagnosis and optimised treatment, and also the many issues we face as thyroid patients.

Contrary to popular belief, thyroid conditions are not always as easy to treat. Many of us are so frustrated to hear “Just take this pill everyday and you’ll be fine”. We’re not fine.

Frustrated With Thyroid Doctor

Many people with thyroid conditions (and I focus mainly on hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, as these are what I live with too and advocate for personally) do not get the treatment or testing they need in order to feel better.

This means that they live day-to-day with ongoing symptoms and complaints affecting their quality of life and mental health and wellbeing.

The effects of this can be shocking.

I’ve also heard from countless people who became suicidal or had family members who tragically acted on these feelings due to an undiagnosed or inadequately treated thyroid condition.

So it’s no surprise that we have a lot of progress to make in how people with thyroid disease are treated.

Rachel holding a butterfly

Did You Know: 

Symptoms of thyroid conditions are far-reaching, as thyroid hormone is needed for every cell and function in the body.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Include:

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease Include:

  • Increased sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Oversensitivity to heat
  • Palpitations
  • Diarrhoea
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dry, thin skin
  • Hair loss
  • Shakiness/trembling
  • Fatigue
  • Change in sex drive
  • Larger eyes
  • Mood changes
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Dry or gritty eyes
  • Double vision
  • Weak, less define muscles
  • Aches and pains
  • Changes to menstrual cycle
  • Infertility or problems conceiving

Could you, a friend or family member have a thyroid condition?

Rachel Struggling With Mental Health Thyroid

If you feel it could be possible that you have a thyroid condition, make an appointment with your doctor and ask them to run a full thyroid panel.

Your doctor may want to just run the TSH test first, but it is important to know that this isn’t entirely accurate on its own and the other components of the panel also need checking, especially if TSH comes back ‘normal’.

A Full Panel Includes:

  • TSH
  • Free T3
  • Free T4
  • Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies
  • Thyroglobulin Antibodies

If your doctor will not test you for a thyroid condition but you believe you may have one, or if they won’t run all the tests you need, you could also explore ordering your own from online lab services. These are accurate and simple to use.

Medichecks is a popular online provider in the UK, where you can order the all important thyroid function test and thyroid antibodies.

LetsGetChecked cover most countries around the world, and offer the thyroid function testHashimoto’s testing and many more, all from the comfort of your own home.

LetGetChecked Thyroid Test

Diagnosed? Get The Right Treatment For You

Ensuring that you are treated with the aim of reaching optimal thyroid hormone levels is important, as well as checking thyroid antibodies for autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s and Graves.

It is also important to note that having Hashimoto’s can cause results to move up and down, therefore, you may see moving results. You may also be told that you ‘only have a borderline’ thyroid issue, but if you’re feeling very unwell, a trial of treatment can be given to see if it helps.

Friends and family of those with hypothyroidism should know that whilst a good quality of life can be achieved with a thyroid condition, some go on to live a forever-altered life. It can be classed as a disability. See my category for those who know someone with a thyroid condition here, and my book for our friends and family here.

You, Me and Hypothyroidism Book Couple

For many thyroid patients, they still live with symptoms and effects of their thyroid condition, despite being on medication for it, so delving deeper into why is something you can do this month. We can live a good quality life with hypothyroidism.

You can also read about how I got my Hashimoto’s in to remission here. We can all embrace being our own thyroid health advocates. You can find my bestselling book on this here.

For those of us already diagnosed, we can gain awareness this month regarding how to check our thyroid glands for any abnormalities, which supplements may help us and what tests we need.

We can also be aware of what results we are looking for and what other things (besides taking medication) can help us in managing our thyroid condition.

Will you be taking part in raising awareness this January?

If you’ve just been diagnosed, check out these common FAQ’s and answers:

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".


  • Deborah
    January 4, 2024 at 6:19 pm

    Good evening Iv been on lego for over25 years now.
    Can I still get symptoms even though I’m on 💊 medication.
    Debbie xx

  • Chris Bambury
    March 21, 2023 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Rachel.
    I was told and diagnosed with underactive thyroid in 2015/16.
    I have all the symptoms that you talk about, but. No one listens. I’m sick of being like this day in and day out. My family can’t cope with this. They think I over react my pain. You I have degenerative spine syndrome, arthritis in the right hip and both knees. High cholesterol. High blood pressure.
    What do I do. I’m exhausted all the time. Sleeping in the afternoon before I collect my daughter from school. I have problems going to sleep at night, 2 hours and then I’m wide awake. It’s hard to get back to sleep. I’m in so much pain all the time. I’m on different medications for symptoms they tell me I have.
    I would love some advice or help.
    Yours Sincerely
    Chris Bambury


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