As soon as Covid restrictions allow, Rachael will be starting our newest local support group on the Isle of Wight.  In the meantime, we wanted to introduce Rachael to you:

Profile

Hello, my name is Rachael.

My thyroid story starts in my GCSE year, when I was just 16.

My concentration levels were getting lower and I was experiencing symptoms including a raised heart rate and 'hyperness'. I was not myself and did not realise what the problem was.

After a few doctor appointments, my thyroid levels were showing as very high. I was transferred to an endocrinologist who happened to have just started working at the local hospital. I was one of his youngest patients and also his first one! It only took one appointment for him to get me started on medication to help reduce my heart rate and the symptoms I was getting including slightly bulging eyes.

He called it Graves' Disease. The name in itself is scary and even more so when you are young.  It was decided to wait a few weeks to see whether this made any difference and I kept having repeat blood tests to see if anything was helping. When things didn't improve I was given the option for radioactive iodine treatment (RAI), which sounded quite scary. 

The treatment itself was straight forward and easy. It took a while for everything to balance out but looking back, things did get better and by the end of that year I started to feel normal again. I went onto college and got myself back into life again. The doctors managed to find the right amount of levothyroxine for me and I have been on this dose ever since with my levels being checked every year. 

Back then, at the age of 16, there wasn't really a support group or somewhere for me to go. I was given leaflets but it's not the same as being able to read someone's story or be able to have a chat with someone who is going through the same thing. This is why I wanted to start the local group on the Isle Of Wight. It can be difficult here for support groups as some are on the mainland. A local meet up will hopefully be a help to many people of all ages living with a whole range of thyroid conditions.

Contact

Rachael is also happy to chat and share her experiences of Graves' disease, radioactive iodine therapy and an underactive thyroid over the phone 07753 344067. Please leave a message for Rachael to phone back if she is unavailable.