Living with Thyroid Disorder – My Story

March 10, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Health and Wellness,Mother & Baby Care

Living with Thyroid Disorder #ruleoutthyroweight - Baby & Beyond

Today I am going to talk about something I have never spoken openly about.

For as long as I can remember, I have battled symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, hair fall, dry skin, intolerance to cold, muscle cramps, palpitations, disturbed sleep, weight fluctuations and unexplained bouts of sadness. Of course as most of us would, I too assumed that all these were because of my lifestyle – the stress of being in the rat race, long working hours, extensive work travel, late nights, unhealthy food and too much screen time. I never imagined that I would need medical intervention for any of those symptoms.

The ones that got to me the most were the fatigue, lethargy and anxiety. I could never participate in any fitness or sports activities. I used to dread going to social gatherings because they used to make me nervous and palpitate. Worst of all, I would have to answer the inevitable question, “Why do you look so tired?” How could I answer that even if I got a sound 8 hours of sleep, I would still feel tired as soon as I woke up in the morning?

It was only when my mom pushed me to realize that it was not normal for such a young person to feel this way all the time, that I finally agreed to get myself tested.


The “Silent Threat”:

I was in my late 20s when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and it was like a light bulb went off! I could finally understand everything I had been experiencing. Hypothyroidism is often called a “silent threat” because its symptoms are not so evident and are often attributed to other lifestyle conditions. Until then, I did not have much knowledge about the thyroid gland. I knew that it is located somewhere in my neck, but I had never imagined that such a small gland would be so vital to the functioning of the entire body and that its malfunction would wreak such havoc on my life!

Don’t be fooled by the unassuming size of the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormones control breathing, heart rate, body temperature, metabolism, muscle strength and the health of many other vital organs including heart, brain, liver, intestine, kidneys and reproductive system.


New Lease on Life:

I have been on thyroid medication for 3 years now. Just one little pill every morning and it has made a world of difference to my life. I felt energetic and ready to take on life. I came out of my shell, became happier, more social and confident, started working out regularly – gym, zumba, yoga. In fact I practiced yoga all through my pregnancy as well. And speaking of pregnancy, I was able to have a healthy pregnancy and breastfeed my child without any risks, all thanks to proper care, monitoring and medication.


Living with Thyroid Disorder:

I still need to be very careful though. I need to eat healthy, restrict certain foods and stay active. I need to get tested every 3-6 months so that the doctor can regulate the dosage of medicine. Most importantly (and toughest for a new mom) I need to ensure I get adequate rest and eliminate sources of stress from my life. Stress can amplify hypothyroid symptoms even inspite of medication. That is why family support is very essential for someone living with this condition.


Living with Thyroid Disorder Thyroweight | Baby & Beyond

Living with Thyroid Disorder Thyroweight | Baby & Beyond



So why am I suddenly sharing my story today? January was globally recognized as Thyroid Awareness Month and I had the opportunity to attend the #RuleOutThyroweight event aimed at spreading thyroid awareness in India. The focus of the event was to urge young adults, specifically women, to stop ignoring ‘small weight gain’ and tiredness (also known as Thyroweight) and other symptoms and take an active step towards better health.

The panelists included Dr. Shehla Shaikh, an eminent endocrinologist and Juhi Chawla, the face of thyroid awareness in India. Juhi shared her own personal connect with this cause. Both her husband and father-in- law, as well as her hair stylist whom she is very close to, suffer from thyroid disorder. Yet with simple one medication, they have overcome this situation and leading a life to the fullest. In fact her husband recently scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro which is no easy feat even for someone in the pink of health! What an inspiring story!

Speaking of inspiration, we also met some real heroes who are not letting this condition stop them from living a full life. In fact they inspired me to share my story here. Through the event, I learnt some shocking facts about thyroid disorder:


Thyroid Disorder by the Numbers:

  • 1 in 10 adults in India suffer from thyroid disorder (that is a huge number!)
  • Amongst these, a whopping 76% remain undiagnosed and unaware of their condition
  • 3 times more women than men are affected by hypothyroidism
  • Almost 5-10kgs of body weight can be attributed to an underfunctioning thyroid

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I was completely shocked to learn these statistics. I seriously urge all my readers out there, especially women: if you are suffering from weight gain, fatigue or lethargy, it could be thyroweight. Also, you may experience additional symptoms listed above if it is a thyroid disorder. When experiencing these symptoms, please don’t ignore it by putting it down to lifestyle.

As women, we tend to put ourselves last on our priority list, without realizing that if we are not able to function to our full capacity, the entire family gets affected. All it takes is a simple 2 min blood test to get yourself checked and one simple pill for you to be able to lead a full, normal life. To end, I am leaving you with these words from Juhi Chawla that are so on point.

Disclaimer: I attended a discussion on thyroid awareness facilitated by Abbott India Limited. Any opinion expressed in this blog is my personal opinion and not the opinion of Abbott India Limited. Abbott India Limited does not assume any liability for the content of the blog. The blog post is not meant to be a replacement for a doctor consultation, nor is it a medical recommendation or prescription of treatment for people having thyroid problems. Any reader of this blog suffering from thyroid problems should specifically consult his/her doctor for the same and follow the suggested course of treatment.

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  1. Aesha shah said on March 12, 2018 3:48 pm:

    It’s good that your mom was cautious and you initiated medical intervention for thyroid. As Juhi Chawla mentioned we need to be healthy & fit to take care of our family too.
    It’s an informative article and good that you are using your blog as a platform to create awareness.

    1. Baby & Beyond said on March 12, 2018 4:02 pm:

      Thank you Aesha

  2. Priyadarshani Panda said on March 15, 2018 10:48 am:

    I am battling it since so long and I can completely understand the importance of healthy lifestyle you are talking about….emotional and physical wellness is equally important when it comes to thyroid….I am so glad there is an awareness program to make people aware about it ….

  3. Amitoj Kaur said on March 19, 2018 1:29 am:

    My husband suffers from Hypothyroidism too.. And I remember how tired and depressed he used to feel until it was not diagnosed. And yes one single tablet every morning made quite a difference in our lifestyle..

  4. Rohini James said on March 20, 2018 6:19 pm:

    I’m glad you found out about it in time. I didn’t realize it is so common in India. Thank you for enlightening.

  5. Kavita Singh said on March 21, 2018 1:46 am:

    My sister is going through the similar phase, she was diagnosed with this last year. Your blog made me relieved a bit that things will be fine. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Baby & Beyond said on March 21, 2018 8:21 am:

      With the right care and medication life can go on as always. Best wishes to her

  6. Nayantara said on March 21, 2018 1:49 am:

    This is shocking Mahak. I think I know some people like this from school and younger days and they were just labelled lazy or lethargic. I really do think now that its mostly a physiological reason and it is so important to get it checked by the right doctors. Glad you decided to take heed of your mom’s advice and are fine now. Today, I honestly cannot imagine you to be a person who could not do any physical activity.

    1. Baby & Beyond said on March 21, 2018 8:20 am:

      Thanks for saying that Tara. For years I have tried to live “normally” and used to take pride in the fact that no one could guess that I was dealing with this disorder. But now I realize that with this platform I have the opportunity to spread awareness and hopefully help at least 1 other person out there. So I finally decided to speak out about it