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

Before I got my thyroid properly treated and began looking at my adrenal health, completing simple tasks like taking a shower, doing the food shopping or putting the laundry in the washing machine would knock me out. I’d wake up after 14 hours of sleep some mornings, load the washing machine, sit down with a cup of tea and fall back asleep immediately for another five hours.

On weekends, my Saturdays and Sundays were both reserved for trying to get as much sleep as possible. I’d binge-sleep on the weekend, hoping it’d “top me up” for the working week, but it made no difference. I had no life.

With thyroid fatigue, you could get 14 hours of sleep or four hours of sleep and feel exactly the same. At my worst, I felt like a 21-year-old in a 91-year-old’s body! And that is no exaggeration. It’s especially frustrating for those of us who used to be so active. I loved keeping active and exercising a lot, but my hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue stopped me from walking anywhere and working out, which I used to do most days. I was lucky just to get to the toilet upstairs unaided. My ability to keep up work, relationships and housework was diminished.

So you can probably imagine that sometimes thyroid patients living with this have to cancel plans, and sometimes it’s quite last-minute. Though it’s no fault of their own. All they do is sleep and think about sleep and plan sleep, so when they have plans to do something else, it’s usually the light at the end of the tunnel. So if they have to cancel, you can imagine how devastated it makes them. The next time you think they might be making up excuses, being lazy or being a cop-out, please realize that when this is your life, you have no real control and you’re not to blame.

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