How to Cope with a Thyroid Condition

Advance warning; today’s post has nothing to do with fashion but I’ve been thinking about sharing this for a while now, and I’m hoping that it might help someone who is suffering with a thyroid condition, or even help you understand a friend or family member a bit better. I shared at the beginning of this year that I suffer from Hashimoto’s Disease, which along with many other symptoms wreaks havoc on my thyroid gland. Before I was diagnosed, I’d known for at least 3 years that something wasn’t right with me, but the doctors just couldn’t figure it out. Every part of my life was suffering because I just didn’t “feel right”.

nap at work

Since being diagnosed I’ve learned what a huge part the thyroid gland plays in your quality of life. Like many people I used to think that if your thyroid is off you will either gain or loose weight, but for me it affects my clarity of thought, my energy level, and my mood (holy mood swings!) In many ways when I have a rough thyroid day I feel like I did when I had post-partum depression; trapped, isolated and overwhelmed. It’s not all bad news though, I have discovered a few tricks that really work for me when  my thyroid is “on the fritz” (not a scientific term), and I think they would applicable for anyone that is in an overwhelming situation or spot right now

My rules for getting through a thyroid day:

1. Warn the people you love – The best thing I can do for my relationship with Mr T on the really bad days is apologize in advance. I’ve taken to giving him a big hug in the morning and saying, sorry – it’s going to be a rough day. Same goes with friends. I’ve been having lots of down days lately and had to come clean with one of my closest friends and tell her that I’m going into hiding for a couple of weeks, and she totally understood. 

2. Cancel or reschedule all non-vital commitments – I hate to do it, but on really bad days I have to pull out. When my thyroid is off my anxiety level is through the roof and the last thing I want to do is having a meeting at the bank or visit someone’s new baby. It sounds really mean, but your friends & family would rather have you with them on your good days. 

3. Turn off noisy bright and shiny things – Step away from the TV and computer, close your eyes and just go to a quiet calm place. This one is really hard for me to do, because the anxiety that comes on one of these days makes me feel like Road Runner, and I’m obsessed with getting things done. 

 

4. Sleep if possible – If you’ve managed to quiet yourself and get to a calm place go ahead and take a nap. 

5. Eat boring plain food & drink lots of water – What you eat can excite your body, and on crazy days your body needs to calm down. Lay off the caffeine and alcohol and stick to light easy to digest food like soup and water. 

6. Throw yourself a pity party (with a time limit) – On rough thyroid days it is hard for me not to feel bad for myself. I can’t eat the foods I love any more, I wake up feeling swollen and in pain, and my life sucks. So I allow myself to feel bad or vent for a pre-set amount of time.

Hashimotos is a lifetime disease, there’s no cure or treatment beyond managing your thyroid levels. Some days that makes me so angry, and then I think about people that have serious life threatening conditions and I count myself as lucky. You can probably already guess from the lack of outfit posts and the tone of this post that I’ve been struggling this week. Too many events and a busy work load threw me for a loop and now I’m working on getting back to a calm place. Take some deep breaths for me today!

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9 Comments

  1. October 3, 2013 / 9:19 am

    Hi Raj,
    You have always done such a good job of hiding your challenges that I’m sure very few people actually know what you are dealing with. I have always found you to be such an inspiration. So, keep your chin up and take the time you need for you! you can still “make every day sparkle” from your quiet place. Love you
    Dale

    • October 3, 2013 / 9:53 am

      Thanks Dale, you are the best! Love you too:)

  2. October 3, 2013 / 10:22 am

    Oh I can so relate. This is my life too and it’s a daily struggle! You aren’t alone 🙂

  3. October 3, 2013 / 11:10 am

    I feel your pain! I have an underactive thyroid and there are days where I have literally been so tired my eyes won’t open. It’s not fun but I’ve learned to give myself a break when I need it. Helping loved ones understand is sometimes hard…I am thinking of sending the link to this post because it explains it so well. Thank you for writing this!

  4. October 3, 2013 / 6:05 pm

    Hi Raj. Sorry you are having these difficulties. This doesn’t sound like any fun at all. I am taking some deep breaths for you and keeping you in my prayers. I have some issues myself that cause me to have some ‘bad’ days. This evening I apologized to my husband for being cranky due to a high level of pain for the last few days. Life is wonderful, but it certainly has its moments. I like your idea of setting a time limit on the pity party. I will have to remember that one. Take care my friend.

  5. October 7, 2013 / 9:03 am

    Hi Raj, this is my first time visiting your site today, and it’s interesting that you posted this because I was actually born without a thyroid. I can’t always tell when my meds are off because it takes a while for me to slosh through the “meh”s before I finally realize something is off. I’m sorry that you’re dealing with this disease. I know its not the same, but I in a small way I can relate. I hope you get back to feeling awesome soon. Take care.

  6. October 15, 2013 / 4:33 pm

    I can really relate. I’ve had Graves’ disease that flipped to hypothyroid after the birth of my first. The dosage of the synthroid hasn’t been perfected and I definitely get those days where everything is off and I am an irritable mess!! Thank you for sharing, I really thought I was alone there.

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