For a long time whenever I heard the term “hypothyroidism” I knew very little about it. I just knew it was the “disease” that caused weight gain. I also thought it was the disease the fat people used to excuse their weight gain because that’s what I had heard repeatedly in my younger years. I never once entertained the idea that I ever had an issue with my thyroid and boy how wrong I was.
Part of the reason I never knew to ask my doctor to check my blood for Hashimoto’s antibodies or my TSH levels, T4 & T3 levels was because I couldn’t identify the symptoms. So in this post, I am going to discuss some symptoms I experienced personally that were symptomatic of Hypothyroidism but I didn’t know.
Disclaimer: It’s important to know that the symptoms listed here are not exclusive to hypothyroidism.
This symptom is a less serious one albeit super annoying. For years I couldn’t figure out why my skin was Sahara dry. I would slather lotion on and my skin would drink it all up. I’ve since discovered that raw shea butter is my skin’s best friend as well as staying super hydrated.
This one is a bit tricky for me. I didn’t have an issue getting pregnant; my husband could lustfully look in my direction and I’d be knocked up. The issue I experienced was chronic miscarriages. I suffered a total of 8 losses. It was devastating for my body to go through that cycle repeatedly. The emotional and mental toll it took on me is something I wouldn’t wish even on my worst enemy. I struggled to find answers only to be told that it was my weight by several misinformed doctors. It wasn’t until after I delivered my rainbow baby in 2016 that I was diagnosed properly.
This was probably one of the most elusive symptoms for me. I had been dealing with depression since I was 9. I’ve had my fair share of traumatic experiences in my life as well; so for awhile it was easy to attribute my episodes to that. Yet, when I was in relatively peaceful spaces in my life, I was still suffering with dark thoughts, suicidal ideation, and general feelings of hopelessness. I was prescribed so many antidepressants for nothing to work long-term. I felt destined to be depressed. I had no clue that a hormonal imbalance could be the culprit behind my mental health issues.
Back in 2011 I began to notice that when I Naired or shaved my legs, it would take about 8-9 months for it to grow back in. Then eventually some spots on my legs stopped growing altogether. My brows began to thin and my lashes were falling out. My hair was unbothered for a while up until 2016 when I noticed my hair thinning on one side of my head. I really justified my hair losses with all sorts of excuses because the honest truth was I simply had no clue.
For years, I experienced body pain that seemed to come from nowhere. My muscles ached like I had a fever and my joints would hurt. My doctor’s told me it was “clearly” the weight gain putting stress on my body. I would always ask “what about my hands though?” There was no weight gain in my fingers significant enough to hurt my joints. Some days I’d wake up and all the muscles in my body would feel as if I had engaged in a cross-fit training. I had one doctor try to diagnose me with fibromyalgia.
Intolerance to Cold
For as long as I can recall, I’ve always had an aversion to the cold. However, over the last few years I recognized that my feet were usually cold, if I sat in the A/C for too long my body began to hurt and make me feel like I was catching the flu in my body. It takes me longer than most people to warm up and you would think with my size that wouldn’t be a thing. Turns out this is quite normal for people with hypothyroidism.
I remember running around at recess, feeling extremely overheated but never pouring sweat like my classmates. As an adult, after taking rigorous walks, or doing a cardio workout; I left very little sweat stains behind on my clothes or equipment. I tried so hard to because of course in my mind I felt like if I’m not pouring sweat I’m not working out hard enough.
If you’ve made it this far in my article, good for you and thank you! I know thyroid talk isn’t the most exciting thing, but knowing potential signs and symptoms can be fundamental in getting treatment very early on before things get too bad. I am a big advocate for people having info because knowledge is power!