I first started exhibiting symptoms as a teenager, but my hypothyroidism would not be diagnosed for 10 more years. I went to give blood at 17 and was turned away for low iron (anaemia). I also started having trouble swallowing and went to an allergy specialist who told me to watch what I was eating and try to identify the cause of the allergy. The allergy was never identified. Instead I had to drink lots of water with meals and be very careful to chew everything thoroughly.

Over the next 10 years the symptoms started to pile up: sensitivity to cold, thinning hair (my hairdresser asked if I was pregnant because my hair was falling out) and slow hair and nail growth. My skin also changed: first acne, which I had escaped as a teenager, and then dry skin. I had a very hard time just maintaining weight let alone losing it. This was despite jogging daily and watching my diet. I felt like I was getting old, sleeping and napping more than I ever had before. Eventually I started having trouble breathing and went to bed at night wondering if I would wake up. That may sound extreme but despite all these symptoms, it just wasn’t obvious what was wrong with me.

Then I got a throat infection and 10 days of antibiotics did not get rid of it. I will forever be grateful to my doctor. Instead of just writing me another prescription, he sat me down with a medical history form and ordered a comprehensive blood test. My thyroid numbers were off the charts and I was put on levothyroxine immediately.

Over a period of a few months I emerged as a new person. I had light in my previously tired eyes and a spring in my step. My brain was clearer, my energy higher, and I didn’t have to worry about choking on dinner or asphyxiating in my sleep.

I joked with my husband that he is a lucky man to marry a woman that gets thinner and fitter with age. I was able to get pregnant. With careful monitoring of my thyroid throughout pregnancy I now have two healthy children. Yes, I have to take a pill every morning, but that is a very small price to pay for a new life.

More information and support

Living with hypothyroidism 

Please help us help others

With your support we can help people to live better with thyroid disease. Your donations also fund vital research to improve treatments.

Please consider making a donation or becoming a member

Donate to BTF

Become a BTF member