Thyroid UK
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Should I expect a cold virus to hit me harder and take longer to get over than before I became hypothyroid?

My recovery from undiagnosed hypothyroidism had been going so well. Nearly a year on and I was feeling like my 'old' (well) self... then I got a 'little' cold! I've spent four days in bed, exhausted and feeling back to square one. I know colds can be horrible and I'm sure I'll be over it soon, but do hypothyroids generally get hit harder by common winter bugs?

15 Replies

Just my opinion, but if you're properly medicated then I don't think it should make too much difference. That said, one GP I saw a while back does believe that having autoimmune thyroid disease does impair your ability to cope with such things at least a little. There's a lot of flu and virus things going around... could it be more than just a cold perhaps? Hope you perk up soon!


Thank you Red

I'm a lot better today - just needed more time - I'm not very patient! Your reply has reminded me that I must ask for my actual test results and range. I've never had these - just been given a 'normal'... I only became aware about the importance of such things since joining this site. As I was only diagnosed last Feb I don't have much yet to compare with. It's sinking in now that I need to be more proactive about my results.

Thank you for the work you all do with this forum - been a great help to me.



Hi. I just had a flu-type bug last week. 2 days in bed achy and shaky and freezing cold (sun/mon - missed the snowman building unfortunately!). I was off work till Thurs, then worked at home on Friday. Still feel tired and slightly achy now, 12 days later, at the end of the day when I get the kids to bed.

I find that it takes me longer than it used to to get over these bugs. I also seem to catch more of them than I used to. Just my anecdotal experience, but they do hang around in me. I've sort of got used to that now, and do try to take time off to completely rest at the beginning of the illness as that helps me.

I do hope you feel better soon. Maybe you need a dose increase if you just can't kick it?



Thank you Emma

I'm feeling much better now. I agree that I should take rest at the beginning of an illness - I have a bad habit of ignoring symptoms in the hope they'll go away - but resting up would be much better!



I posted recently that I ended up in A and E after an asthma attack and a bad virus/bacterial infection.I cannot believe that 2 weeks later I am still utterly exhausted! this is after 14 years on armour plus thyroxine!

I really do believe that autoimmune thyroid disease does impair our ability to make a speedy recovery.I seem to go down with bugs every winter.I have finished a hefty course of antibiotics and reduced the prednisolone steroid (for the asthma) to half a tablet a day. I am still sleeping all the time and feel hypothyroid again-blood tests in 2 weeks time.My white cell count is very low and c reactive protein shows a lot of inflammation.

I have tried every kind of vitamins,acupuncture etc etc you can imagine over the years and every amount imaginable of armour and erfa.

All this, due to a 'bug'-some bug!!


Hi Jan

Thank you for your reply. I'm very lucky as I don't have other conditions which can further complicate the balance - hypothyroidism is quite enough! I'm feeling much better after taking complete rest from the usual routine. I hope you're better soon...

Best wishes


A bit better today thank you. My GP told me yesterday that post viral exhaustion can be the same as that in early pregnancy. Great! Hope you get better soon.


I am on 50mcg Levo and have found that I catch every bug going. Difficult when you work in a school! Seems that hypo people do have a lower immune system. Always helps when others share their experiences as docs are so non commital. Even vit c etc doesn't help. If anyone has any other suggestions short of isolating myself totally, it would be good to hear of any supplements, take care everyone.


Hi - thanks for sharing! I also work in a school and seeing as this is the most virus-friendly environment in the world we really do have the odds stacked against us! I think ejh1, Emma, had a great suggestion - rest up completely as soon as the bug appears. I think this has got to help - but isn't always easy when you work full-time in school.



If you aren't taking large doses of vitamin D3 you will get colds and chest infections and any and all other infections much more often and much more severely than people who are on high supplements. It's a known fact and the research is out there on the internet everywhere. Please get your Vit D levels checked , it will be low or non existent. Vit D3 really really works.

Here is just one of the hundreds of informative links out there.

For Asthmatics and chronic chest sufferers it is absolutely vital as when you catch colds and Flu it reduces your lung volume just a little bit permanently each time. Please everyone, get your levels up.


I've not had vitamin D tested and was not aware of the importance of this before finding this site. I'll do some research! Thank you Phoebs.



Here is another link to Radio 4's "Inside Health" "Listen Again", where the amazing Dr Adrian Martineau (Clinical Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Infection and Immunity) is talking about this. He has been instrumental in getting the government to issue Vit D3 to all pregnant mothers as from February 2012 because it is so important.

He has done research on TB patients treated with Vit D3 and it was so successful he is now doing research on D3 and Asthma and Chronic respiratory illnesses.

Here is his research link and the Radio 4 link:-


Sorry, I sent the Vitamin D Longevity Trial instead, still, it shows what is going on...Will find the other one shortly.


Here are Dr Martineau's credentials:-


I kept putting on the wrong link. At last this is it!


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