Thyroid disorders are extremely common—according to the World Health Organization, approximately 750 million people have some degree of thyroid disease and, according to the American Thyroid Association, about 60% of them are unaware of their condition.

But despite its prevalence, few people, including doctors, actually understand it. In fact, many times the people that understand the condition the most are those that have it. So, we asked thyroid patients to list a few things only someone with a thyroid disorder would understand. And here’s the response.

  1. The endless list of symptoms (currently over 300) that can plague you from mood swings to air-hunger to heart complications.
  2. Trying to explain to your doctor that you’re still experiencing symptoms even after treatment with the standard medication
  3. Experiencing the total slowing down of every cell in your body!
  4. Being told by the doctor that how you’re feeling is your “new normal”.
  5. Learning to use the energy you have wisely, i.e. for the things you love.
  6. Others not understanding even when you explain your condition or show them articles about it.
  7. Others getting annoyed at you because of your brain fog.
  8. Hearing things like, “You don’t look sick!” because your condition isn’t always visible.
  9. Gaining weight even though your diet and activity level hasn’t changed.
  10. Having others think you’re lazy because you’re tired and must cancel plans.
  11. Being told by the doctor, “It’s all in your head.” Then being given a prescription for an antidepressant.
  12. Feeling more educated about your condition than many doctors.
  13. Taking a countless number of pills and supplements because of all the vitamin/nutrient deficiencies that go with thyroid disorders.
  14. Feeling cold and shivering in 70+ degree weather.
  15. Being unable to fall asleep despite how tired you are.
  16. Fearing you’ll never be able to have children.
  17. Enjoying the comradery of online thyroid support groups.
  18. Seeing your hair and eyebrows get thinner every day.
  19. Knowing you’ll have to have check-ups and treatment for the rest of your life.
  20. Being grateful for the days when your symptoms are a little more bearable.

For more information on thyroid disease, watch this comprehensive thyroid overview from Dr. Nancy L. Evans.

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