Managing Hashimotos with a demanding job or study - Thyroid UK

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Managing Hashimotos with a demanding job or study

Nacoya profile image

Hi there,

I'm looking at a promotion into a senior role at work. At the same time I am considering an MBA to support an aspirations of moving into a GM role. Both the MBA and senior management roles are demanding - both in energy and intellect.

I love what I do and am very much up for the challenge but I worry about how I would manage the tiredness and mental fatigue that comes with Hashimotos for me from time to time.

I'd love to hear from other people who have Hashimotos and are in senior management, demanding roles. What has your experience been and how do you manage it?



11 Replies

I'm hypothyroid but not autoimmune. I have a demanding job. I cope with good supplementation, good nutrition, prioritising proper cooking and eating, never miss thyroid meds, always take them correctly, get good sleep every night and I make time for exercise and relaxation every day. I have to be disciplined and stick to a routine. My social life takes last place.

Hi Nacoya,

I am also in a senior management role in a large international organisation. Since the diagnosis at the age of 19 I have completed two university degrees and got myself up the career ladder. However, there is a price to pay and the demands of my job are depleting me of energy to heal and life a normal life. At the moment I feel I only have energy to perform at work and nothing else after hours, weekend is spent recovering from the week of work. Sucks! That is why my future aspirations are quite opposite to yours. I am slowly planning to quit the corporate world and live a life for myself not for the shareholders. I feel this is the only way to allow myself to recover and live a normal life. Stress is a know trigger for autoimmunity and I know for a fact that half of my symptoms disappear when I am on holiday, only to come back with vengeance once I’m back at work. Don’t get me wrong, I am very ambitious person but I want to put myself and my well-being first for once. Not sure if this is what you wanted to hear but hope this helps! ☺️ good luck with whatever you decide!!! 👍🏼

Remember Hilary Clinton is hypothyroid, on NDT. You could hardly say she wasn't running on full power in the run up to the last US election.

Hashimoto's is an auto-immune disease and can be managed through medication, diet, supplements, lifestyle and so on. There are many many people out there with auto-immune diseases, including type 1 diabetes (Theresa May) and coeliac disease, with successful careers. Keep on top of your health with regular blood tests for your thyroid, make sure your B12, folate etc etc are all good. Be good to yourself with real food, breaks, don't rely on caffeine. Where there is a will there is a way!

AnnaSo profile image
AnnaSo in reply to Hashi-hacker

If it was as easy as that this forum wouldn’t be full of suffering people...

Hashi-hacker profile image
Hashi-hacker in reply to AnnaSo

Never said it was easy!

Well the saying is that we only regret what we don’t do ... it’s not easy managing the dips and troughs in any job so I’d say go for it!

I completely agree with AnnaSo. I had a great career at a decent level in an international company that I loved and worked very hard at but the rest of my life suffered as a result of having to sleep most of my non working hours to compensate. I think if you have optimum health with meds, nutrition, exercise etc this will make it easier but make sure you schedule in rest time as otherwise you could quickly slip down into that hole again. If you set your work boundaries well and don’t work all hours you’ll be happier, more respected, able to cope and be more productive in the hours you are working.

I ended up quiting my job as I fell out of love with it and ended up working too many hours. I’m now taking a year out to travel and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. On good days I get everything done I want to see and on days I’m tired I just sleep or relax with a book! I know it will come to an end and I’ll have to work out what career I’ll do when I get back, not sure if I’ll go back to the same one yet, but taking this time has improved my health greatly (along with all the great advice and amazing people on here!).

If you love your job go for it, but set the boundaries to make sure you are in control so it doesn’t become too much. There’s nothing worse than dragging yourself into work when you feel you’re not feeling or doing your best as it will slowly eat away at your confidence. Set a schedule of things outside of work that you don’t cancel like time with family/friends, relaxing and exercising. Bosses of big companies have this strategy and cannot be contacted during those hours unless in a complete emergency, by setting their boundaries they are more respected and more efficient during work time. Work smart not hard!

Wishing you all the best of luck with it, anything you enjoy should energise you so don’t hold back but if it ever stops being enjoyable you can always stop and try something else. 😊


Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences and thoughts on this topic.

I read the responses and it really made me think - how important is this career and how can I protect my health?

With my initial diagnosis I was very unwell so I am very, very cautious about doing anything that would put me back to where I was.

The take-away I got were:

1. 100% of the time: medication, diet and exercise.

2. Actively manage my health - e.g. work with my doctor, get regular testing and keep on top of symptoms etc.

3. Choose companies that understand the need for flexible working - e.g. that focus on outcome vs. time in seat.

4. Don't expect to have the same energy/performance as someone at the same level but without the disease. So - need to think about how to deliver outcomes at the same level in a smart way (impact vs. time spent).

I am fortunate in that I work for a company that is mostly flexible: I work from home about 50% of the time. I can set my own work hours and I don't have to be available after hours.

Downside is there is a lot of travel that comes in waves and this tires me so I am going to have to somehow limit or manage this.

I am also relatively stress free. I have worked with some very high stress companies - always on, always delivering, but for now this company requires outcomes achieved in work hours. I hope this continues.

I really appreciate everyone's comments. It has helped a great deal. As you all know, I can't easily ask colleagues or my family simply because they don't have the disease.

Thank-you again,


I'm in the same boat as many of you on this thread. I have a demanding corp job and I'm currently pursuing an MBA on top of that. I follow all the advice people have posted. I have a question though. The thing that really bothers me, in addition to the tiredness, if the brain fog. My job requires a great deal of mental dexterity and cognitive bandwidth. Sometimes I have difficulty recalling words and at times my thinking is a little sluggish. What is the best way to target this particular symptom?

I am a lawyer and have hypothyroidism due to a thyroid ablation after RAI. I started Keto diet to lose weight, and found that by eating healthier food and increasing my fat intake has cleared my foggy head and gives me much more energy. I then added t3 to my synthroid, and felt even better!! I cut out most carbs, and totally stopped eating gluten sugar, and processed foods. It helped alot. Cut the carbs for a while, and increase your fat intake, especially in the morning, see you you feel.

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