Do you tell family/friends about adrenal/Thyroid issues?

Just wondering if any of you find the same as me, I have a few friends of similar age who totally get what I'm talking about- fatigue plus other miscellaneous symptoms and family /other friends who are either too doolally with dementia or bouncing around with robust health who just look at me as though I'm a lazy lump who ought to just go on a diet. I don't even begin to talk to the latter category.

15 Replies

  • I don't talk about it, can't really see why anyone would be interested, I have a friend who is constantly talking about her latest ailments, hospital visits and tests and I just switch off with an occasional "oh dear" or such like thrown in now and again, yawn. Apart from immediate family (who are all hypo) there are only two friends who know my boring medical stuff.

  • Oh dear, no. I can't imagine boring people with health issues. Had to tell a couple as I needed to ask for lifts to and from the station when I went for thyroidectomy, but kept it very low key. I wouldn't even have done that, but I didn't want to leave my car at the station. Can't think of anything worse than binding on about my health problems to the rest of the world. Quick rant here, maybe :)

  • I have tried to tell a couple of people who have some health problems in common with me. But one of them is convinced taking anything from the internet (even vitamins and common supplements) will kill her. The other, who is not only hypo but has other serious health issues as well, said to me that her doctor told her not to google her medical problems, and she has agreed this is the best thing for her to do.

    Sadly, in both cases, there is no meeting of minds between me and them on the subject.

    I take it for granted that other people aren't interested. My husband is the exception. I bombard him with information and he has learned to tune me out, keeping us both happy (unless I want an answer to something of course). ;)

  • Health chat is up there with marriage and family failures, best to avoid meeting those friends in the supermarket who insist on telling the whole nine yards, epic bore.

  • I tell my friends and family about my health issues and treatments! It's hard work to pretend that I'm 'fine' so it's a relief to have people around me who know when I've pushed myself too far (Usually before I'm aware myself, lol)

  • I talk to my mum as she is hypo, also my husband...think he switches off. Ironically my aunty who is also hypo picks on my mum about being overweight. My aunty was lucky in that she never got weight gain with her thyroid dysfunction. However my mum is one of those who trusts her doctor more than what I say. She has never even seen her bloods with ranges. My dad died suddenly after seeing the same GP my mum sees. He called her out and she said to him 'you can't be that ill if you are walking around' 5 hours later he had an internal bleed and died. I just don't get my mum at all. I wouldn't touch that GP with a barge poll.

  • im not about to pretend that my life & health are all fine & dandy. It's a very British attitude that I don't agree with so I don't see the point in not letting people know how you feel. My friends know & some understand more than others that there are limitations as to what I can do. my family know, but they don't talk about it- but I do! At the end of the day you surround yourself with the people who will accept who you are, Those are the ones who share my friendship, understanding & love.

  • I regularly remind my cycling friends that the distance I can cycle depends on how much thyroxine I take, because they are regularly encouraging me to cyle with a group that rides too far for me to manage. But I don't tell many people about my symptoms as they wouldn't understand.

    I do have regular shiatsu sessions though, and every session starts with a chat about how I am, to assess my needs. So my shiatsu practitioner, who is very intelligent and caring, knows the lot! She is my number one supporter, and at the same time, she is learning loads that she can use if she gets other hypo clients. It helps me, and it helps to spread the word about things like T3.

    I think we need to be strategic about who we talk to.

  • Friends and family were so understanding when I was off work but now that I'm back part time I sense that it's best to keep schtum as there's only so much people can take of my symptoms .

  • Difficult, isn't it? There's the not wanting to be boring, and there's the not wanting to be judged .. for the overweight, the dusty, untidy house because energy is so low, the memory lapses, the swollen stomach...

    I talk to others with the samevdiagnosis and if others mention their health problems I might mention mine. But sometimes I say: do you think your daughter might be hypothyroid? Or, looking at their missing eyebrows and circular face: Do you feel very tired? Because although hypo is hugely underdiagnosed, I think we can all help diresct others at least to proper testing.

  • I don't know how other people manage not to tell others. Is it because you're able to 'pass' as basically healthy? Because I've been largely bed bound for so long, I really only see the kind of people who are understanding about it, and those who don't want to know have fallen away. Talk is mainly to get people to the point where they understand how much I can do and what my needs are. Once I mention thyroid, I find lots of people are interested because it's so common and loads of people have connections to it. I've met an amazing amount of people who have badly managed thyroid conditions and have helped them look at their test results, etc. But there are also the surprising number who really trust their doctors despite being marched up the garden path.

  • How do we manage not to tell others? We don't . We rant here if need be, it is a safe place to do it.

    Some of us are basically healthy, those of us who are lucky enough to get the right treatment, are born with the right genes, are bloody minded enough. The lucky ones.

    Remember, the people here are mostly the dissatisfied, the people who are ill and unhappy. Even the lucky ones have problems. It's very personal whether we feel better talking about our difficulties or saying nothing. I'm one of the lucky ones, I'm physically strong and bloody minded enough to tell doctors where they get off. Come to that, I can tell my body to shut up complaining and get on with having a life. That's not due to any merit on my part, it's just the way I am. Trust a doctor? Nope. Listen to what they have to say, look things up, then make up my own mind. I hope this doesn't come across as unfeeling. It isn't meant to, I'm just saying that we all are different, physically and mentally.

    As for not wanting to be judged, I really don't care if people think my house is dirty or I'm lazy. They don't need to visit me if that's how they feel, and I'm not asking them to do my chores for me.

    So, all of the posts here have something to say that is valid. But remember nobody is here for fun, we all have problems. However, I'm not sharing mine outside of this forum.

  • I have a small circle of people who know everything (parents, sister, husband) and a slightly wider group of a select few who know most (my colleagues, a few close friends) but everyone else can sod off. :p

    The reason for me is that some people can be rudely nosy - and a lot of the 'sod off' group have been (including family members). On a number of occasions I've been asked 'well what's the matter with you then?' and on learning that I don't want to go into details I get: 'really? oh why not?' with an exasperated expression. That's so rude.

    I've also been to parties where the ONLY conversation with me is 'go on, tell me what's the matter with you'. People think they have a right to know the details because they know that you aren't well. This just makes me see red and they lose the privilege of knowing my business!

    I do have a very low tolerance of nosiness, however... so I appreciate this isn't all about the other people! ;)

    On the other hand, I have been diagnosed with 4 major illnesses in the last 7 years, and the only one EVERYONE knows about is my Coeliac disease. That's because I'd be pretty foolish not to mention that. So they survive not knowing the other two, so they can cope not knowing about this too....

  • If friends or extended family ask, I do tend to give them the edited highlights. I have hypo family members, and I live in hope that some of what I say might actually sink in and help them (they're of the "my doctor knows best" attitude, and it doesn't keep them well).

    I've been very anti-social over the last few years, because I just haven't been able to go out and about, or have visitors - I want people to know that it wasn't deliberate, and I just wasn't well enough for anything. I'm not convinced everyone believes me, because I didn't look "properly ill" . People certainly don't appreciate how a really deficient vitamin D level, for instance, can absolutely floor you.

    Of course, you run the risk of everyone giving their thoughts on your health problems - they like to tell you that everyone gets tired, everyone gets aches and pains, puts on weight, gets a bit depressed. There's no point in discussing anything with people like that, because you get the advice about doing a bit of exercise, eat less, and to trust your doctor!

  • As a health care professional I have found that the ones who are interested are interested, the rest well who can know! Its common problem.

    The gym bunnies will begin quoting exercise stats and the latest 'fat burner' products and diets. They are addicted to adrenaline and cortisol highs. So its pointless talking to an addict . As for fat burners, if being a gym bunny works so well why do they need drugs to make it work at all?

    As for the rest they are usually just scared of a hidden illness and often confused because "you don't look ill". Thyroid problems are very isolating hence the fact we are all here on the net.

    I would say ignore them all and get on with doing whats good for you and your life, your real friends will support you in this.


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