Thyroid UK
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Early onset winter!

Hi Guys - just need to put my thoughts down and maybe get some pearls of wisdom from you all!

The past two or three years I have gone downhill from the end of October getting much worse in the spring. This year it's started early and I am so upset that I face only having had three months of usable year.

Last year I started some study in the summer, had to give it up, then got back into it in August this year - now all my concentration has gone again.

There is still a reasonable amount of daylight, it's not hugely cold and it's not wet and rainy - all things that have crossed my mind as being causes in previous years.

It affects me in:

Not getting washed or dressed until late morning or even afternoon - no energy.

Feeling that breathing is a struggle.

Post nasal drip.

Getting irritated by the smallest things

Concentration gone.

Feeling not part of everything around me, ungrounded, have to struggle to follow things - books, tv programmes, conversations.

Skin feels itchy.

Get so little done yet seem to be too busy because everything takes longer.

It's hard to keep upright and slouch all the time.

Smiling is an effort as the fun edge is taken off everything.

When this happened last year I had new bloodtests at gps - thyroid, B12, D, ferritin, folate and all were at reasonable levels. Now take a good multivit with iron and folate too as those were in lower to mid of range. So see little point in going back this year without anything new to ask for.

I can't face months and months of this - I hate being so irritable too and it doesn't do my relationships much good.

I've sort of accepted that I'll never be completely great again, that I'll always have residual ME/autoimmune/thyroid problems. I just wish I could feel as good as I do in August and September all year round.

I'm at a loss - lots of things go thru mind but trying things can be so costly. Do I need a SAD lamp? should I buy all new winter bedding? should I get private blood tests done? Am I allergic to something I use/eat/do in winter? Should I escape to the sun/dry? Should I up thyroid meds? Should I take vit d or b12 even if past levels have been reasonable? Should I try anti-depressants? I'd do all of these if I could!!!

Sorry it's been a long post but if anyone recognises this bunch of symptoms and has overcome them please let me know!

12 Replies

you are possibly suffering from sad syndrome have you tried a light box and also there is a lot of research around on vit d and sad for me personally my symptoms of sad didnt lift on thyroid treatment alone they got less severe but it took me dosing 5000iu a day of vit d to see it lift regards ellemaereading


No, a light box was on my possible list to try - but it would be an expensive mistake if it doesnt work. Can it really be sad this early? We still have a fair amount of daylight.

Several years ago I was deficient in vitamin d and the rheumatologist told my GP to prescribe - but it was so little I bought my own to get the values up, especially as gp had no idea what values should be.

What is the link between vitamin d and sad? Do higher levels of vit d prevent sad? I thought sad was a light issue only?

Thanks so much for responding.


Come the end of August I double up my vitamin D dose until May. Although your vit D result was "reasonable" last year it may have fallen further - that's what happened to me. Fortunately when I mentioned how I was feeling my endo checked again and saw a downward progression. I really feel for you - it's horrible to think the good feelings of summer are over already and a long winter is ahead. I'm considering buying a SAD lamp now too. I think not just sun but light levels generally are very important to me.

Hope you can find some answers very soon.


Thanks Mary

I've held fire on the sad lamp as they seem so expensive but maybe I should try.

I was unsure about the vit d because it seems so early and we have had a good summer so expected my d levels to be stocked up.

Maybe I should bite the bullet and ask the GP to test vit d again. I just fear the antidepressant push. The thought that my year is already over is dreadful.


agree with all above posts, also consider ditching the summer holiday and go abroad in winter, it really really lifts your spirits - the looking forward to it and the wonderful energy it brings you. We went to Cuba on Boxing Day, it was the very best thing we have ever done, felt completely rejuvenated, stayed at all inclusive and didn't lift a finger apart from floating in warm sea and drinking rum... was bliss... just forget xmas spending and book it! x


I wish.......this sounds so wonderful .... I didnt even manage a summer hol this year .....When I win Lotto! :)


I know I'd much rather fly out and disappear from all Xmas hassle, I am sure it is cheaper - cost us around £3,000 all inclusive (with flights) Hotel Pascali (something like that!) was two weeks of bliss, am going to do lottery again...


hi sandi if you google vit d and sad you will see there is some really promising research i agree with the holiday comment also the last couple of years we have gone on holiday late sept early oct and i have felt fine well into dec and by taking regular vit d and optimising my thyroid meds i was fine. However this year i havnt and because we have had a good summer i have been seriously lax in taking my vit d and i am suffering now with similar symptoms to you i have ramped up my vit d and have purchased a light box to try and stop this in its tracks before it gets a hold regards


Thanks it is really interesting to hear that others have similar experiences and so early in the year. I thought that sad was experienced when the days were very short which is why I hadn't really thoughtbthatbwas what the problem might be.

I've just seen on the main site that its possible to get vit d tests quite cheaply so that might be a good starting point. Again after the good summer like you I thought that my levels would be ok still but maybe not.

Thanks again


it sounds to me like sad syndrome which alas I am prone to, but what I have got and it helps me its basically a light box but in a bed side light form , basically it mimics sunrise and sunset, you set so you go to sleep with the light going of then in the morning it gently wakes you up so no grovelling around in the dark for a light switch and I find it helpful with taking my levo which I usually try and take a good hour before breakfast anyway this light is called a lumie so look on the website hope this helps hugsxx


Thanks I looked at these last night but wasn't sure if they were really the same as bright light boxes, I saw a few reviews that said they weren't particularly bright. They are cheaper, however, so may be a good starting point. Really useful to hear that it works for you.

I also wasn't sure because I do wake up ok - it's getting going and keeping going that I'm not so good at!

But I do need to do something now, I've really struggled today to stay awake and everything feels a chore because I'm fighting that.

Thanks for your help. x


My thoughts - Simple sunlight creates Vitamin D on skin (more if you don't wash it off!) and regulates your activity. After my test came back over 100, I too thought I'd get enough sun this lovely summer, but it probably wasn't enough so feeling pain in wrists & elbows already indicates I'm getting low again (as well as being sad and dreading the winter).

It seems to me (and I'm no expert!) HypoT sufferers just use it up more, and need more - hence I'm back on the Vit D drops - it's more than a vitamin, it's a pro-hormone - there's loads of useful info on here. I had a private test and last winter was the first year for ages that I didn't hibernate (look up what controls hibernation!) & don't forget the other Vitamins/minerals irons etc. which may be low too. Keep on fighting! J x


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