Thyroid UK
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Work and thyroid

I have a tough and energetic job with a rather difficult management team. I was given no choice in doing one night shift a week for the past year. It was a massive struggle. I resorted into caffeine to keep me going as my other shift consisted of 2 6am starts and 2 3pm start. I was all over the place. I still feel harsh symptoms from hypothyroidism. It's been up and down for 8 years now. My boss wouldn't compromise on rotating the night shifts to help me. I was losing half my week from tiredness. A meeting about it led to extreme anxiety. I resorted in a note from the doctor for amended shifts for a month that excludes night shift. Welfare was called and there is now an investigation about my health and night shift. Do I stand a chance for fighting this. It's making everything worse. Can I get doctors backing and support? I have no idea what I'm doing I've tried to explain what this is and they're just threatening my contract. Does anyone have any experience with this. Any advise would be deeply appreciated. I'm only 23 and I have lost my social life due to sleep and night shift recovery

13 Replies


Other more experienced members will advise soon.

You say you have hypothyroidism?, and it’s been up and down for years.

Are you taking anything for this? J

Have you have your thyroid and vitamins checked recently to see what’s going on?.

If you GP will not do this, you may have to pay privately.

Once this has been done post your results including ranges.

Members will then be able to help you once your results are in.

Best wishes



I'm taking levothroxone. Have had anaemia along side this and have a blood test next week. My last one was december. I've recently changed my diet and lifestyle as I was on a lot of vitamin replacements but the changes I've made to my life and body have been reversed with this shift pattern. I feel worse


I would just like to say that I too have hypothyroidism and I felt worse when on a different shift pattern. I did 3 shifts each day - 8am - 9am, went home, midday - 1pm, went home, then 5pm - 6pm, went home.

Changed companies, I was doing 15 hour shifts and didn't eat anything or get home until 10:30pm at night. I felt even worse and lost so much weight.


Weird shift patterns are so hard. I can definitely sympathise with you. I work in retail so I expect alternating shifts but that nigbt shift is the killer. It makes me so caffeine dependant to have enough energy. I too am having issues with weight. With hypothyroidism I would expect weight to come easy but I'm just bone and am struggling to get some meat on me. It's so hard even tho as much as I have balanced my diet a lot more, I do appreciate a cupboard of junk food


I can sympathise with you, too. I was just running on caffeine every morning. I don't do mornings anyway so for me to get up at the crack of dawn without caffeine is a no-no. So sorry you work night shifts. I feel better than I did back when I was working shifts like that.


I think I'd be okay if my pattern was just nights I can get a routine but the night shifts is pure hefty delivery. Id end up doing my back in. I'm the size of a 12 year old. I've heard caffeine doesn't go to well with levothyroxine which is an argument I'm using at the minute as it's such an easy fix and red bull tastes so good but I'm trying to switch to soft drinks (waters disgusting) and they're not supporting it at all


All members on here say, make sure bloods are taken first thing in the morning.

I always book mine at 8-8.30am and don’t take Levothyroxine on the day of your blood test, don’t eat or drink anything apart from water before the blood test.

This gives you the best results.

Make sure all your vitamin levels are good, iron, vitamin D, B12 as they will not help if low.

Get your blood results including ranges and post on here.

Don’t accept the GP or the receptionist saying they are normal. Obtain your official lab copy.

Make sure they test for TSH, T3, T4. Some members have trouble getting T3 and T4 tested and they only test TSH which is really no good.

Take advice from members here. They have helped me no end.

You may not be on the correct dosage or you don’t suit Levothyroxine.

Best wishes



If you have a diagnosis of hypothyroidism then this is a long term condition and you have some protection from the Equality Act. They are required to make reasonable adjustments. But in reality it’s very difficult. Occupational Health may be the best way to go, they will understand your difficulties and explain the need for support to your employer. Good luck


Thank you. I have never done this path with an employer. Previous employment just accepted that I have symptoms and on going issues and supported me amazingly. I honestly have no idea what I'm doing


I’ve sometimes wished I could work at night as I can never sleep unless on the right treatment. But it must be very difficult with changing shift like that. You’ll get your social life back when you get well. Good luck.


To be honest, not sure I miss the clubbing scene. Started to be a house person that can enjoy a beer of an evening with some peace and quiet but I struggle to find the motivation to even do the dishwasher. I'm just wiped

Thank you, I definitely am depending on luck right now

1 like

If you're in a union then I'd go to them. And I'd look up any relevant HR policies if there are any. It depends on what sort of contract you're on.

My friend has diabetes and his doctor said his shift patterns were wrecking his health. His company, retail, have been extremely good and he's on regular day shifts. So I would try and arm yourself with as much info as possible. Go see your doctor, find company policies about health. It is difficult with thyroid because there's not much recognition of the impact it can have. You've had experience of a supportive workplace, this place doesn't sound good from what you've said. Good luck 🍀


Give Acas a call. I found them really helpful when I was being asked to do day trips to London for meetings, leaving at 6am and getting home after 9pm. HR were fine about me going the night before. Pity my line manager isn't quite so understanding, but the mention of the Equalities Act 2010 usually makes her back off.

Good luck.


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