In August 2023 I became very unwell and I seemed to get worse very quickly.  I had severe migraines, to the point I could not even speak, sickness upon motion, extreme tiredness, tremors in my hands and legs to the point I couldn’t even put my foot on the clutch, felt constantly hot, had hives over my hands and legs and a resting heart rate of 134bpm.

I had numerous visits to my doctor and I kept being told I had a UTI which was treated with antibiotic. I was then told I was recovering from Covid, which I also had during this process due to my immune system being so low.

At the of end of August I was sent to the A&E with a resting heart rate of 134 and body tremors. I was still told there was ‘nothing wrong’ and it was put down as ‘migraines.’ So, I was sent home with pain medication and told to rest.

Another four GP visits later (totalling eight in eight weeks plus an A&E visit) I was becoming increasingly more unwell. When I saw a different GP I was finally listened to. The moment I walked in and she saw me and reviewed my notes she asked ‘Have you had your thyroid tested?’ I then had urgent bloods and the next day my bloods came back and I diagnosed me with thyrotoxicosis* (my T4 was 73, T3 36 and TSH was 0.05). I was immediately put on 40mg of the antithyroid drug, carbimazole. This pretty much stopped all of my symptoms within 24 hours. A month later I then had my antibodies tested to establish the reason for my overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). These can me back positive which confirmed my diagnosis of Graves’ disease.

I knew absolutely nothing about my thyroid before this and had never heard of Graves’ disease. This sent me into a spiral of panic and uncertainty. My anxiety also got very out of control at this point, which can also be a symptom of Graves’ disease which I was later to learn as I have always been fairly anxious!

I was due to go on holiday shortly after I was diagnosed and I needed answers so instead of waiting to see an endocrinologist on the NHS I decided to go privately. Speaking to the consultant and asking all my questions made helped me to understand my body and condition and made me feel more at ease. Now, 7 months on, I understand my own levels and how I should be feeling.

I am very lucky that I already have two children but it was hard to hear at 28 years old that I may struggle to have more due to my Graves’ and the medication. After speaking to my endocrinologist, however, I feel more positive about the possible ways to have another baby safely if I wanted to. I am hoping to achieve stable levels off medication for as long as possible as radioiodine therapy (RAI) is not an option due to my children being so young.

I am now seven months post diagnosis. So far my levels have continued to improve and my medication has dropped to 10mg a day from 40mg. I rarely need to take my betablocker (propanalol) and feel overall well in myself.

I do still have days where I don’t feel as well as I could but I have two toddlers and limited sleep so that does not help! Overall I have my energy back and I’m still active and can live the life I did before I was diagnosed. Things could have gone really badly for me had I not got diagnosed when I did. So, if something feels off, or you aren’t yourself, even if people tell you you’re fine, you know your body, you know your mind, so keep pushing and get the answers you deserve.  

*An excessive amount of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream.

Further information and support

Living with hyperthyroidism