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I couldn’t tell you how many times someone has asked me what I do and when I say:
“I’m a thyroid advocate. Basically, I work to try and improve the lives of other people with hypothyroidism,”
how many times it’s then been followed by:
“Oh my mother/sister/aunt/friend/work colleague has that and is still unwell!”
Yesterday, the lady at the beauty salon told me that her work colleague has hypothyroidism and still struggles.
Today, the hairdresser of my friend, as I sit and chat while she gets her hair cut, asked me what I do. I gave my usual answer and lo and behold his mother has hypothyroidism too.
He’s frustrated that she’s still unwell years later and the amount of ‘separate’ conditions she has (and separate medications) just keeps on growing.
I had such a satisfying discussion with him about the issues we face regarding how we’re treated and the lack of being treated holistically. Everyone knows someone with hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid, yet we don’t speak about it enough.
The more we speak honestly about how it affects us and the changes we need in how we’re treated, the more progress we can make, the more fellow thyroid patients we can reach and help, and the more awareness we create. Too many people are still living poor quality lives when it’s so unnecessary.
Below are a list of commonly asked questions, please share them with anyone you know who is still struggling despite being on thyroid medication for their condition.
- What is hypothyroidism?
- What are the different thyroid medication options?
- Will I ever feel ‘normal’ again?
- What is Hashimoto’s? Do I have it?
- How do I treat Hashimoto’s?
- How many of my symptoms are common among other thyroid patients?
- Why have I gained weight?
- What other conditions can hypothyroidism come hand in hand with?
- What tests should my doctor be doing?
- What’s wrong with my doctor testing TSH alone?
- What results should I be looking for?
- What is a thyroid conversion problem?
- Are there any books I can read?
- Are there any support groups I can join?
See also my book Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate: When You’re Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired which is for those who are relatively knew to understanding their hypothyroidism and guides them through how to improve their quality of life. None of us should be needlessly suffering.
Have you had a conversation like this with a stranger?
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, her email newsletters, blogging and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a founding 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.