What ‘I’m Tired’ Means to Someone With Hypothyroidism and Adrenal Fatigue

Most people, when reading that, would imagine this is the life of someone with the flu or a similar illness. Most people only experience a day like this when they’re ill. Not every day.

But this is a typical day of many thyroid patients and/or someone with adrenal fatigue. I have both, and I’ve had many days like this. Adrenal fatigue affects many people with thyroid problems, so those people, in effect, receive double the dose of fatigue. Often this level of fatigue and struggle are signs of a patient who is not yet on the optimal dose of medication for them (this can take a while to figure out), but for some it never really goes away. We’re all so different.

Can you imagine how fed up you’d feel, feeling this way every day? How frustrated you’d be? How much of an impact it would have on your daily life? This scenario demonstrates how thyroid patients typically have no time for socializing or doing anything they enjoy. Our lives revolve around sleeping and trying to stay awake. It’s a struggle to function “normally” and maintaining a job with this condition can be incredibly difficult. Some are even bedridden.

This absolute fatigue leaves you unable to climb stairs, unable to type on a computer at work, unable to get out of your chair, unable to just stay awake – or at least very hard to do so.

It’s more than being tired. I don’t mean “you had a late night and are a bit groggy today” tired, I mean absolutely exhausted. Like you could fall asleep with every blink you take. When getting up the stairs is such a horrendous task that you have to start planning about half an hour before you want to go upstairs to physically prepare yourself for it. And even then, you need someone to help you. I guarantee, if you do not have a chronic illness, you will not know what this fatigue feels like.

A lot of thyroid patients wake up in the morning and no matter how good their night of sleep was, they never feel refreshed. They often feel more tired and incredibly unwell. Mornings can be so difficult for a thyroid/adrenal patient. Everything is a huge effort and they never find themselves “rearing to go.” Many find themselves having to start the morning with caffeine, and it barely does anything – if it does anything at all – to help their fatigue. We get the “mid-afternoon slump” around 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. where we feel ready to drop off completely. People are often unsympathetic and can’t understand why we need to sleep so much, often thinking it’s laziness or avoidance. But little do they know!

Can you imagine your life being ruled by sleep, where everything you do has to be considered alongside your energy levels?

Many thyroid patients say they can only get things done if they have a “can’t stop” attitude. The moment they sit down or rest their eyes, they’re done for the rest of the day, and they pay for it over the next few days.

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