I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) back in 2006, when I was 47; and what a journey I've had. At first I didn't realise there was anything wrong or that I even had a problem. I was starting to lose weight around 2004 although it could be longer it's difficult to pinpoint when it actually really started, however, nothing wrong there I thought I needed to lose a few pounds, but the good thing was, I could eat anything and as much as I wanted, cooked breakfasts, doughnuts and chocolate, great. Not that I actually ate mounds, but I was still losing weight. I know that seems crazy to think that now, but I was rushing around like a teenager and I put it down to being busy and on the go all the time. I had bags of energy and never really felt tired, not even my young boys could keep up with me.

I had a very hectic and stressful job, but I also had loads of pastimes, I volunteered and I did amateur dramatics. I could also stay awake all night and not feel tired - people always said where did I get the energy from? However, my family and friends started to get concerned and notice symptoms, which included, shaky hands, weight loss, bulging eyes, and sweating more. Then I started to notice my heart was racing most of the time, I could actually feel the heart palpitations. However, it was only when I saw some photos of myself, that I realised how gaunt my face looked and how my clothes were even hanging off me; and then I started feeling anxious about things.

Even then, it was only because of my family nagging me that I decided to go to my doctor. As I was describing the above symptoms he started to write a prescription for carbimazole and a beta blocker. My heart was well over 150 just sitting in his office. He said that he thought I had an overactive thyroid, which proved correct; and that itself was quite a shock.

I started going for blood tests every 3 months and came under a consultant at my local hospital. After going through 3 years of altering my drug dose (carbimazole) up and down every 3 months, my consultant said that it would be a good idea if I went for radioactive iodine as this may help in the long term to stabilise me. So taking advice from my consultant that's exactly what happened, I went to hospital and had the iodine treatment. There's another story itself, maybe another time for that!

Unfortunately they gave me too much iodine, and I then went the other way; and I became very underactive (hypothyroid) just my luck.

Here now starts a whole new chapter, I started putting on weight, however, after the first few months after the iodine I become very low in my moods and became extremely tired, in fact there were times I just didn't want to get up and go to work. I actually had 5 weeks off work with stress and depression, I hadn't been told about this, and it hit me quite hard. This was a very tough period for me and it's only in last 18 months, that I've started to stabilize. I certainly did not think it would take eight years to get this far.

The past few years have been quite a roller coaster ride of emotions and up and down on carbimazole and levothyroxine. There is one thing that still irks me and it's when the doctor asks me if I'm feeling normal today. I'd like to know what normal is, having not felt normal for the last eight years.

I only have a check once a year now, but every time I go for a blood test I get nervous. It hasn't been the most positive of experiences, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Please see our information leaflets on hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism and treatment of an overactive thyroid gland with radioactive iodine 

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