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things you should not do if you are a thyroid patient

Get well soon!/Are you better already? You may mean well when you wish me “get well soon!” and it is indeed a kind sentiment, but sadly it makes me feel as if you are wishing away a common cold. Realistically, with a chronic illness such as hypothyroidism, I may never fully recover, but I may reach a point where my disease becomes tolerable, I no longer suffer tiredness attacks and I am able to experience “a new normal”, but things are unlikely to be as they were before.

Buck up/Be less tired next time. Drink some Red Bull and you will feel just fine. Oh yes, I have heard those very words from tactless friends of ours. Not only am I physically unable to “buck up” when my thyroid is playing up, but swigging Red Bull or coffee could very well send my adrenals into overdrive. Thyroid disease often comes hand in hand with adrenal imbalances, so many of us would do well to avoid overstimulation by overconsumption of caffeine, taurine, etc.

All you need to do is go on a diet, get some exercise and the weight will just drop off. My former gyno told me I needed to go to a dietician. I went apeshit on him and told him that I have been watching what I eat ever since I can remember and am sick and tired of feeling guilty every time I put a bite of food in my mouth. I feel betrayed by my thyroid as I have been robbed of so many years of body confidence. Every time I worked out at the gym regularly or walked an hour a day, the weight loss was sooo slow and, in fact, when I walked an hour a day and put on weight, that’s when I figured out that something was not quite right. By this time, I had already relegated myself to a life of being “just a little bit fat”, as Bridget Jones puts it. Unlike me, however, she seems able to lose weight through dieting and exercise. It’s getting better, but it’s so bloody slow when your metabolism a.k.a. fat-burning mechanism is having a hissy fit. The most hurtful comment I received was from a friend’s nasty husband who thought it would be funny to compare me to Britain’s fattest man who couldn’t get out of his chair (there was some news story on it). He was at our house, at our party and still he thought it appropriate to insult me in front of everyone – and yet he knew I was struggling and I was ill as it was shortly after my diagnosis … needless to say, I ended up cutting both “friends” out of my life, particularly after I confronted my friend on this and he defended his partner, failing to see what he had done wrong – the lesson in this is: don’t be afraid to kick toxic friends to the curb.

BMI = 30. WHO classification = obese. As we well know, some docs need to look beyond the numbers (they are equally obsessed with numbers of lab tests such as TSH, but a good doctor pays attention to what is in front of their own eyes – that is important evidence too). Not only are many docs way too obsessed with the “value” of the BMI (rather reminds me of the TSH), but every time my gyno gave me my lab results, I was reminded of the fact that the World Health Organization classes me as overweight as this nasty classification was automatically printed on them. Thanks WHO! I really wanted to know that – it’s sure to help me on my road to recovery! The simple truth is that the BMI doesn’t work for everyone and I am one of those people. If you have lots of muscles or a big bust, this may well skew the measurement. The biggest I’ve ever been is a US Size 14 – and that’s not exactly what I would call obese – in fact it’s the dress size of your average American woman.