Hypothyroidism runs in my family so I had been warned by my GP that I may be affected in the future. I can remember at the time not seeing this as an issue. In my twenties I had lost over three stone.

I carried on for many years after this, going to the gym and being sensible about what I ate and was able to keep the weight off. However, two years ago I started ballooning in weight and went from being 10 stone up to 14 stone 7.

I initially went to my doctors as I felt frustrated that I was not able to shift my stubborn weight. I also felt unconfident about myself. However carefully I ate, I just ballooned and ballooned. I was finally diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. At the time I was told that there was little I could do and it looked like I would have to accept the way I was. I was told my weight gain was down to my age and the slowing down of my metabolism which comes with it.

I refused to give up. I was soon put on levothyroxine; 75mcg and then up to 100mcg. I remember struggling with the medication to begin with. I went back to the doctors as I soon started feeling anxious and depressed. I had noticed little difference in my weight, which I thought would fall off overnight. I also didn’t feel any better. I made a point of going back to the GP, who made adjustments to my medication increasing the dose to 125mcg. I then made a point of having regular blood tests.

My medication was adjusted accordingly. When I first started taking my levothyroxine, I joined a gym, as this was something I had done in the past to lose weight. The best thing about the gym was that it made me feel so much better as did the support network and friendship groups I made there. Once my medication was correct, through regular blood tests, eating well and exercise, the weight slowly started to come off.

At the age of nearly 39 I began to feel like my old self. Admittedly, it has not been easy. As well as taking the measures described, I feel what has helped me is surrounding myself by positive people and making the most of my appearance. I am still on my journey but I am determined to stay positive and keep a smile on my face. I will get there. I wish, and hope, this inspires people to do the same.

Before

After

  Clare is a BTF telephone volunteer and is happy to share her experiences of living with hypothyroidism with BTF members. For details of how to contact Clare and other telephone contacts, Please click here