Thyroid UK
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Need coping strategies!

Would love some input on how people have coped with their hypo symptoms while recovering. What were your most bothersome symptoms and what helped you get through? I am struggling with sleep due to anxiety and pins and needles and feeling cold,walking due to weak muscles and dizzy head, general fatigue, and very stressed wondering will this ever end. Look forward to your input xxx

19 Replies

Hi Lynda

Really sorry to hear you are struggling - again or is it still? This is a lousy condition. I've decided I seem to be able to go for about six or seven weeks then need my meds increased and feel lousy from then on. This feeling cold I'd no fun, wore vest, t shirt, cardigan, scarf and my black quilted coat yesterday any the sun was shining brightly - I felt really out of place among the m asses who had stripped off and were in their summer gear.

My walking is not bad at the moment but I don't know why so can't tell you if it is anything I have done or just a fluke, it is weird though when you get up and your legs will barely move.

My coping strategy is to go to bed - but last night I was up and down non stop with the most horrendous cramps in my legs so no relief there. Other than that I moan about it when I feel really rubbish and I have decided I am now collecting up all the hair that falls out every time I wash it, putting it in a little bag and producing it when I go to see my GP / endo or anyone in the medical field who says ' oh, you don't notice it'.

Sorry I'm no more help bit (((( big hugs))))) and hope someone else has better suggestions,



Thanks Liz. Still struggling and feeling desparate after 5 months with little relief. Last blood result much improved so hopefully body will start catching up soon. Increased meds almost 3 weeks ago and have had some little improvements but nothing to get excited about yet! Big part of the struggle is knowing other people are going through this too I guess and I am not alone. One positive is my hair loss has improved- either that or there is just no more to fall out!! Big hugs back to you , hope your day is lovely xxx


First thing to remember is to look after yourself. Personally I don' t do more than one thing a day, if I do housework I don' t shop on the same day, its too much. Learn to be selfish and plan things so you make allowances for the tired periods you might suffer etc.


Being selfish is hard, but a necessity at the moment as I am learning how to get through this.thankyou xxx


I agree with Glynisrose - look after yourself - only do what you feel like doing. Those around you will have to learn that your life has changed.

On a practical level, one thing that I find gives me some comfort is a small electric blanket which I have on the sofa for my back. It is only about 18 inches by 12 inches and when I am sitting that extra warmth is just relaxing. It is also small enough to take with me if I have to go away.

I never agree to do anything in a morning and only see people after 2, so that I can get up slowly, have long hot baths etc.

This morning (for instance) I have terrible pain in my thighs and so I am just going to be working from my bed for the next hour - I won't answer the door and people that know me know not to try to get me so early.

I do hope that you start to feel better soon - I am finding that each day it is just a case of managing the symptoms that present. The biggest challenge is not to see yourself as failing and realise that this is not your fault it is called one of life's short straws.

Take great care


Lovely advice! Like the idea of the little electric blanket- will search for one now that the weather is cooling off here. Life has certainly changed dramatically and everyone is doing their best. Your last sentence is very apt at the moment and I will re-read it many times! Thankyou xxx


I see you've had some wonderful advice here, and there's not much I can add to it: be kind to yourself, love yourself, don't push yourself - it's counter-productive - sleep when you need to Treat yourself to little pleasures whenever you can.

I have a massage chair - that is to say, I have a chair with a thing that straps to it that massages my back (not a very good description, but the best I can do this morning!). It does wonders for me. Last week, I saw an actual massage armchair that also heats up in the lumber region. I nearly bought it but decided it wasn't really the right time because there's so much work going on in the house. But I'll get one one day! lol

Don't fret about what you eat - forget the calorie-counting and all that rubbish! There's not much chance it's going to affect your weight. Just be aware of what you eat and how it affects you. If you feel bad after eating it, don't eat it again. If it makes you feel good well, you know what they say: a little of what you fancy does you good!

Breath deeply. As deeply as you can. The extra oxygen is good for you.

Get a massage at the hairdressers. If you want that hair to grow again, you've got to keep the scalp supple.

Allow yourself to relax into your fantasy world... After all, you've got to have a dream, if you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?!? (Thank you, Oklahoma. I think.)

And lastly, keep your sense of humour. Laughing is so very good for you. And as Grumpy Cat said: an apple a day keeps the doctor away - I aim for the head!

Hugs, Grey


Thankyou Grey! I do have many dreams. Have realised I need to start making some of them come true once I get through this.started deep breathing exercises this week as I realised the tightness I feel is from weak diaphragm muscles!


Yes, when the body first starts getting short of thyroid hormones, it has to cut down on expenditure, so to speak, and blocks certain receptors in areas that it considers less important. For some reason that I have never understood, the diaphragm is one of those areas. I'm having terrible trouble getting mine going again. I suppose it's because you have other ways of breathing, such as the intercostal muscles and the stomach muscles. But it really doesn't help! lol


At least it's nice to know someone else has the same problem breathing as I do! Body sure is weird though- my hair has stopped falling out, but I would have thought breathing and getting oxygen to my wobbly head would be more important!

Have been trying these exercises for breathing and can really feel muscles working when I do them:


Thanks for the link. I might try one or two of those, but not the one on hands and knees! I haven't been able to get down on my knees for nearly 30 years! They're much too swollen and painful. Don't know if that's anything to do with thyroid - probably is - but taking thyroid hormone hasn't helped them any. Sigh.


I love the idea of working from my bed-will run that by the boss.:)


Hello Zenelk, some lovely ideas given already (might try some myself). For me its all about pacing yourself. Instead of carrying on with household chores until I drop I just do 15 minutes ironing or whatever and then in the afternoon might have another go (if I feel like it). I try not to use up all my energy at once or I can find myself in bed for a day recovering. If the sun is shining I will get out and sit in the garden, relax and dream, and ignore the fact that things need to be done. I just say to myself, the world won't come to end if I haven't cleaned the windows, after all men don't seem to have a problem with this concept.

The most difficult thing for me is responding to others needs and this is where I get most stress because I feel I am being selfish. Its difficult to change those inherited (or genetic) feelings of putting everyone else first but I am afraid I have had to do it, just to survive.

I wish you well on your journey.

Jan x


Thankyou Jan. household chores have ceased here too except for the essentials which my great hubby and kids and my mum take care of. Like you, putting myself first is a very foreign concept, but seems essential at this stage until I am a little better.

Loving everyone's thoughts and suggestions on this subject.

Hope you have a lovely relaxing day xxx


Hi Lynda

You got some really good suggestions there. Im going to adopt them too. I think it is good to be a little selfish and put yourself first. I felt bad with my poor husband wrking then coming home and cooking but he didnt mind and we do it together now I feel more like it. You won't have to be selfish for ever but you are really poorly at the moment whether or not you actually look it and you need to cherish yourself.

I love France's comments about not doing things in the morning - that is so me - i just found i could not get going in the morning - getting better now if I have an early night the night before - and not seeing people until after two. Not to mention the heating pad!

My day got much better, gosh I felt rough and tired this morning I was off to supervise exams at a local high school, I've been doing it for about ten years now and all the other supervisors are nice people. I spent the morning sitting scribing for a very pleasant boy and in the afternoon I had a group of fifty lovely students doing economics, the sun shone and there were enough bodies in the room that even I managed not to feel cold - must say I feel much more normal now than I did this morning before I left for work. The sun is shining and ally's well with my world :-)

Have a good day putting those suggestions into practise.



Hi Lynda,

The most significant change I made on my journey to wellness was that of surrender. I stopped fighting the fact that I had no energy, felt tired and generally unwell. i gave myself permission to go to bed anytime I needed to be there......a few years back I was in bed for most of 3 days, this was the first time I did actually surrender to the fact that my body was not functioning the end of the 3 days I started to feel better, I believe it gave my body a chance to do what it does best.....REBALANCE!

I am much better these days, however, sometimes I forget to take my medication (because I feel well) it is only when I notice myself yawning and feeling tired when it's not appropriate I realise. Very often when this happens I will lay on the bed for 15 to 30 minutes and allow my medication to take effect, mostly i then get up and feel renewed and restored.

It has been very much a........'Ahhhhhh i am feeling very tired today......Oh OK it will have to be a quite day and I may have to go back to bed, probably won't get too much done' that's the sort of conversation I have with myself.....more often than not a few hours later I am quite a few notches more powered up and able to potter about, gently and quietly doing a few bits and bobs...... I have spent too many years beating myself thanks to this off balance endocrine system, it truly has not served me in any way, just made the journey even harder!!!

I hope your Doctors' get your medication optimal soon.

Much Love,

Sue xxx


I second this - I wish I'd listened to my body a long time ago instead of waiting for it to completely down tools in protest!

I've been off work since the end of March (and I've no idea when I'll feel well enough to go back) and have had to take each day as it comes. If I feel "well" I get up and potter about, if I don't I lie quietly in bed until I feel I can get up. If I need to sleep, I sleep, whatever time it is. At the moment I can't manage a full and busy day of activity because it knocks me sideways for days after, so I just choose one thing to do - ironing, or pottering in the garden if it's sunny - and then rest again.

You really need to be kind to yourself and not get into the mindset that you HAVE to be doing something. I really struggled at first, thinking I was just being lazy, but now I accept it's my body's way of getting better.

Worst symptoms? Memory loss, poor concentration, horrendously painful bones (especially hands and feet), hair loss and weight gain. :-(

Hope you start to feel better soon x


Moggy1 have you had your B12 and Vit D levels checked? if you have what were your levels? Iron, Ferritin and Folates are also important xxx


I find really getting my basal temperature up before bed helps. I have a bath with Himalayan salts. I start running the bath and get in. That way I'm acclimatised so I can keep topping it up so it's hot. I have it at normal body temperature or above. My symptoms always improve in hot countries so I try to mimic this at home; although it's hard. Especially as I get night sweats quite a lot (nothing to do with the added heat, as it happens when it's cold too). I try and stay in the bath for 15-20 minutes at least.


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