What is it like to have an under active thyroid

I haven’t felt myself in quite a while. It’s hard to explain in detail but it’s kind of like my “get up and go” thought “Nah” and got up and went. Does that make sense? I guess I have had a few symptoms that could have pinpointed to something but I genuinely am the kind of person who just puts up with things without really saying anything, even though secretly I was quite very concerned about some of the symptoms I was having.

Recently one of things I was worried about – but as per usual didn’t say anything to anyone – was the fact that my arms and legs ache, a lot. It’s like a real ache even from very little effort. Even walking to work makes my leg muscles hurt, walking the dog, walking up the stairs. That’s not normal is it? But me being me thought perhaps I was just tired or something.

I have also started feeling a really muddled with things, for example writing words down wrong – as in writing the wrong word when I’m thinking of another one. I’ve even written numbers down incorrectly, almost like I’ve got discalcula, which I know that I haven’t. Again, I just buried my head in the sand as I do and put it down to feeling tired.

I have put quite a lot of weight on, although I try and eat healthily most of the time but again I made an excuse, I can’t exercise because I have injuries to both of my feet, annoyingly both times caused mainly because my ankles have given way. I am not hugely overweight but my BMI is higher than it should be and I don’t feel comfortable in myself.

I’ve not been sleeping well either, I keep waking up during the night which is pretty annoying and making me feel completely knackered during the day, actually I’ve been feeling really really tired and like everything is an effort. My skin is a lot drier than it usually is too, which I just put down to having the central heating on. I’ve also been getting quite a lot of really bad headaches and just not feeling my usually happy upbeat self.

It was only my concern about getting out of breath when walking short distances that made me decide to go to the doctors. I saw a nurse who wasn’t very friendly and her diagnosis was probably that I have COPD, well I don’t know if you have heard of that before but it is a condition that causes all sorts of problems and isn’t something that gets better. I was a little confused because my understanding of COPD is that it causes people to cough and be short of breath a lot of the time and actually that isn’t me. This nurse just made me feel bad that I had smoked for quite a lot in ‘my previous life’ even though I managed to give up about 13 years ago. To be perfectly honest I don’t think she should have hinted at that condition at all because for all she knows that could have sent my stress levels rocketing and made me overthink and worry about it, whether she used her judgemental tone – that she did – or not. Anyway she also said I need to speak to someone about my diet and should have blood tests and an ecg. Hey no stress here at all then…

Happily I saw a different nurse for my ecg. She was lovely and was very surprised when I said the other nurse had hinted I probably had COPD. She said she would do a spirometer test to measure my breathing. Well I went for this and thank God she said I definitely don’t have COPD and the getting out of breath is probably because – as I thought – I have put weight on so obviously this is then putting pressure on my lungs etc and causing shortness of breath on any exertion. Also, what an angel – she said the other nurse probably thought I had a problem with my breathing because I look a lot younger than I am so she probably didn’t realise how old I was. Silly woman could have looked on my notes. Or there is the possibility that the nice nurse was being kind and just trying to make me feel better, but anyway…

I had been recalled for the results of my blood tests and received a letter saying the doctor wanted to discuss these with me. I thought I would ask this friendly nurse if she knew what my blood results were and she said explained that my blood tests showed an under active thyroid which will explain the weight gain, tiredness, muscles aches – EVERYTHING that I have been experiencing.

I went home and googled, as you do! I looked up under-active thyroid, which is a condition called hypothyroidism, and found out about it. I know it sounds a bit of a bad thing to say, but I don’t 100% trust doctors to tell me what’s wrong so I like to look it up first so I know. I sometimes wonder if I would make a good health professional myself!! Anyway forewarned is forearmed and all that, I went to the doctor, who again was lovely, and he told me I have hypothyroidism. He told me quite a lot about it and basically said I could take tablets which would balance out the hormones and make me feel better and more myself.

Did you know also that if you have hypothyroidism you are entitled to FREE prescriptions for life because it is an acute condition and you need to take medication for life.

Next time I chat thyroid I will explain a bit more about hypothyroidism and what the thyroid actually is!


  1. If you’re ever looking for more information about hypothyroidism, I’d definitely recommend Rachel’s blog ‘The Invisible Hypothyroidism’. She explains everything really clearly and it’s a good place to go if you have questions🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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