Thyroid UK
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How do you cope with exhaustion?

Hello everyone. I'm new here. I'm struggling and don't know what to do.

I work full time as a teacher in a college, I have a two and a half year old (who is not a fan of sleep) and I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in April of this year.

I was initially started on 25mcg of levothyroxine following recurring bouts of illness / exhaustion following the birth of my son. I had blood tests every 3 months for over a year and was informed that I was sub-clinical. My thyroxine levels have always been in the normal range, but my TSH level has been steadily rising. At my last blood test - a few weeks ago - my TSH level had dramatically increased from slightly above average to 37. The doctor I saw said that I am no longer sub-clinical, but that I have full-blown hypothyroidism.

My doctor increased my levothyroxine dose to 50mcg and has just increased it again to 75. She says she thinks I will be on 100 by the end of December (depending on the results of my next blood test).

My son is not sleeping well at the moment, so I am getting roughly 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night then getting up at 5a.m. to go to work. One day a week I have 9 hours of teaching - getting home by 10p.m. - and this week it has nearly killed me.

I'm off work today, but feeling so guilty. I have had a lot of time off work over the past two years with exhaustion and various illnesses. I see my partner (also a teacher) getting up - despite no sleep - and working really hard (at work and home) and I just feel bad for having no stamina and energy.

I know that my job is stressful and demanding - and also that toddlers can be incredibly hard work, but I'm just wondering how do I survive this? How much of my exhaustion is coming from the imbalance of hormones and how much of it is my hectic lifestyle? Has anyone else had similar experiences and how did you cope?

Going part time at work isn't an option for me at the moment and obviously there's no respite from the wakeful toddler. I have been sleeping on the train and then - when I get completely overwhelmed (which is every couple of months) - taking days off work.


3 Replies

I'm sorry you are suffering. You have to get a print-out of your blood test results and post them, with the ranges, for comments. Labs differ throughout the country so it is necessary to have the ranges.

Never take 'normal' 'fine' or 'ok' when referring to the whereabouts of the results. We need TSH to be 1 or lower (not somewhere in range which could be up to 5). Free T4 and Free T3 we need towards the top of the range. Doctors usually only do TSH and T4 and nothing else.

You might be able to get a private test through a recommended lab and I'll give you a link:

I'll also respond to your next post. :)

1 like

Unfortunately it is exhausting until you are on sufficient meds and even then can take up to a year to feel really well.In my case it was a month or so before I stopped falling asleep before 10am.

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Hey. You have to be kind to yourself. Do not compare your energy levels to others, you are ill and pushing too hard will just make it worse. Believe me l know ! I had to leave teaching in the end because l did not listen to my body and I was inadequately medicated.

You must rest now and as much as possible if you are going to shorten the awful impact this illness can have. We are all different and you may find once you get the dose right you are raring to go, but for now you cannot do it. You are not being lazy. Take time off when you need it and you will be quicker to recover long term.

Learn as much as you can and take control of your health.

Wishing you well on your journey.


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