Thyroid UK
84,148 members99,126 posts

Can an sever illness as a child cause my problems now?

When I was 9 I was very ill; I'd been ill for a couple of week which the doctor had said was a stomach bug but I had lost a lot of weight and hadn't improved so my mum called the doctor again and I was rushed into hospital. It turned out I had an absess on my appendix which was about to or had just burst. The hospital put a drain in to drain off the absess and 6 months later I had to go back into hospital to have my appendix removed.

The day before I went into hospital I was playing with my friend and I passed out which was the first time this had happened to me; since then I passed out several time's, sometime's for no apparent reason, once because someone was shouting at me (bad person) and the last time was when I was 19 and I'd been on a diet. Since then I have tried my best to avoid highly stressful situations as I get really shaky and I fear passing out again; I also piled on the weight because again for the same reason and although I have not passed out since being 19 I have come close a few times.

From my mid twenties I did visit the doctor a couple of time because I was worried that I was always feeling tired but it was put down to me being overweight etc...... so, even though I have gradually got worse over time and experienced a number of different health issues I hadn't really bottered the doctor because I'd assumed that these health issues were my fault as I let myself put on so much weight, which to some extent was probably true.

However a couple of years ago I decided enough was enough and I went on the last diet I was going to do (i.e. I was not going to fail). I did initially loose weight but then the weight lose became very slow even though I had stepped up my game, and I found that my health issues were getting worse not better and I found I was having headaches and needing to rest more frequently etc.... Having mentioned this to the nurse who was monitoring my weight loss I was tested for Hypothyroidism and the results showed that that was the case and I was put on Levothyroxine.

This worked at first for about two or three weeks then I noticed that the symptoms were getting worse again. Unforunately it took several months for the TSH level to fall within the abnormal range before the doctor increase the dose and again I started to feel better again. This lasted for about four or five months and I had begun to think maybe everything would be OK now for while, but over the last month or so the symptoms have been coming back again and at the moment I can't sleep as I have very vivid dreams each night, I also need to pee in the night, my neck and spine has started to ache, I've very tired and I can't think as clearly as I could before christmas and I'm having slight headaches. Oh and I'm craving food all the time; I'm sticking to the diet but it is very hard.

Sorry this is very long winded but I've been reading about Adrenal Fatigue and I've wondered several time's if my illness when I was little (as I believe that I was very, very ill) could have caused problems with my Adrenal Gland which in turn has caused the Thyroid Problem and I was just wondering what people's thoughts and experiences have been and if anyone can relate to my problems. The only person I have talked to about my condition is my GP and I am worried that if there is an underlying problem with my adrenal gland will I continue to have this yoyo on my throid condition.

Thank you for listening.

6 Replies

All is know is that time and time again on this site, people talk about having a low thyroid seems to go hand in hand with adrenal problems. I too like you feel this is the case and will get myself privately tested when I have a spare hundred pound or so!

Tan x


I know this is pure speculation so long after the event, but I think it could have started with the severe stomach bug, and poor digestion eventually leads to other things, like thyroid disease. Autoimmune disease may be caused by increased gut permeability, what you and I would call leaky gut, which could be caused by a severe stomach bug.

The adrenal fatigue often comes second, because the ongoing illness wears you out physically. Unfortunately the illness is developing for quite a while before it becomes obvious enough to be diagnosed by a doctor.

Some people are also predisposed to having low adrenal function in the first place, perhaps because of a stressful birth. I'm one of those.


The trouble is I've found I have lots of questions about what is happening to me but I know I'm probably waisting my time asking my doctor as the NHS doesn't seem to be interesting in finding out why you have a problem.

I do not know of anyone else in my family who has this condition; the only thing that's anywhere near linked is my nephew who was diagnosed as having a tumour on his purtuatry gland last year. He is only 16 years old and the tumour was father big which I believe is unusual for someone of his age; it was big enough that it couldn't all be removed in the 10 hour opperation he had. I also believe that my granddad's brother died at 16 (do not know why) but believe that he had grown much bigger than normal (maybe giantisum) so my sister did tell me that there was someone looking into his case to see if this is a genetic problem. To be honest I'm not convinced a defect in my purtuatry gland is the cause but I think I will bring that up when I see the doctor next.

Having looked into Adrenal Fatigue I have found that alot of the symptoms fit, especially the fainting when I was younger as I've always wondered why I'm prone to that. So maybe I've found an answer, you never know!!!



It may well be as Dr Skinner has said that thyroid problems can begin with glandular fever or whiplash injury etc.

This is a link re adrenal fatigue


You know you've really made me think. I nearly died of whooping cough when I was six months old in 1944 and when I was three I too had peritonitis and that nearly finished me off. I also had a stressful childhood with a father who I now realize had psychological problems which were not helped by the war. When I was a young Mum I caught Hepatitis which was brought on by stress and then when my father died I developed glandular fever also I think brought on by stress. After a stressful time three years ago I was diagnosed subclinical hypothyroid. All my life I think I have suffered from low adrenals caused by stress and at the moment I am going through probably the most stressful time of my life as my mother aged 92 is ill andl lives 90 miles away and my husband has Lymphoma and starts chemo. on Monday. I am trying to stay calm but it isn't easy.


My daughter was 5 when she developed salmonella food poisoning when we stayed in a hotel and it went on to blood poisoning. From that moment a very intelligent five year old went downhill. At 23 we finally had her diagnosed as hypothyroid (blood results within range) and she hasn't looked back since then. She's now 38, fit and healthy.

We were told that food poisoning can be one of the main causes of hypothyroidism!


You may also like...