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Hypothyroid catching every bug going. Help!

(18 Posts)
acrabadabra Wed 03-Dec-14 10:55:36

I take 125mg levothyroxine. I am still symptomatic and awaiting further results for various other blood tests.

I have taken today off. I have a bad cold/throat/achey thing. I had similar a few months ago and didn't rest up. Turned into a chest infection which floored me for over a week.

I have missed work a lot in the last few months. After my last absence I was given a written warning. None of the absences involved were thyroid specific just bugs or the dcs illness.
I am worried now that I am going to return to a final warning.

My question is, is my thyroid problem mitigating? I have generally good health at least until I had my dc. My thyroid was diagnosed when dc2 was 18 months though I'd been complaining of the symptoms for at least a year prior. I was told I was tired because I had 2 under 2. I was sleeping 18 hours a day. Dh was on his knees as you can imagine. I thought he was going to leave me he is a good man but it almost broke him.

Does my condition make me more prone to illness generally or am I just a malingerer? I am not lazy but I am concerned that this is a habit I've gotten into. I admit to wallowing a bit sometimes.

He is annoyed that I haven't gone to work today but I stand for my full shift, I have to serve the public with a smile on my face and it is physically demanding (lifting, carrying, bending etc.) he works in an office and doesn't get that if I did that I'd be more able to go in.

I'm not sure if this is really just me venting.

Just read this back and it doesn't read very well but you get my drift I hope.

hownow Wed 03-Dec-14 11:17:23

I completely understand your predicament. Since my DC were born I've been ill pretty much every month with something and seem to be catching everything they do. No idea why I have the immune system of a toddler.

I'm also hypothyroid so get how challenging that is when not fully managed. It's not something people can 'see' either so you'll receive little sympathy or understanding. It makes you feel lazy and useless. But we just don't have the energy or resilience of the average person.

Is there any way you could leave work and look after the kids from home rather than paying childcare? Obviously still an exhausting job but at least you don't have to worry about calling in sick at work.

I'm in your situation and simply couldn't work. I'd have been sacked. My aim is to get back to work once kids at school.

acrabadabra Wed 03-Dec-14 11:31:16

I have worked at my job for over 20 years. Dc1 is 5. So I had a lot of service before the dcs. I had risen to middle mgt but stepped down after dc2. They'd granted me flexible working but in practise made it very difficult for me.
I don't want to give it up. I would be an awful SAHM. I pay for a little childcare but I still earn from my job. My DH wouldn't go for it either. Before my diagnosis he was really stressing about being the only earner. He was essentially a single parent. I wouldn't do that to him again. We're a team. Life is busy but if I was well it would be entirely manageable.

hownow Thu 04-Dec-14 10:11:49

Ok, so that's not an option.

How about getting a letter from your doctor to explain your situation?

I really feel for you.

In terms of improving symptoms - vitamins, gluten-free diet, opti-bac probiotics, no processed foods, no caffeine, sufficient protein etc are all steps you can take towards feeling better.

Hypo actually comes about as a result of a low functioning immune system - the body's immune system attacks it's own tissues (in this case thyroid tissue)!

It makes sense that you are catching all manor of bugs which you struggle to shake.

acrabadabra Thu 04-Dec-14 10:36:36

Phoned docs yesterday about blood results and have to make an app wrt iron levels. First available app is the 18th! But may have to call for another earlier one as this cold has developed into what I believe is another chest infection. That will be 2 in 3 months!

Glucose normal and blood count normal. Actually pleased about that last one as I have been very anxious that something more sinister might be at work.

Have been doing a bit of reading and have made sure that I'm taking my thyroxine on waking and waiting an hour before eating or drinking anything else. This won't be so easy once I'm back at work. I'm on a day off today but due in tomorrow. I had to sleep on the couch last night as I was worried about disturbing everyone with my cough.

My diet definitely leaves a lot to be desired but busy life and exhaustion are not conducive to healthy eating. At least not for me.

I lost 5 stone before conceiving my first and didn't put anything on bar baby weight. No.2 was very different and by the time I was diagnosed it had all gone back on. I am currently 18 stone! Yet another reason for being so pissed off about all this.

But I only have myself to blame for that.

acrabadabra Thu 04-Dec-14 10:48:40

Thanks how!
The more reading I do the less optimistic I get. It would seem gps have no idea how to treat it. I think I will ask about what I'm supposed to say about all my short term, seemingly non-thyroid related illness. But I get so angry that I feel I have to educate my bosses, my DH, my mil. And angrier still that, my kids have to suffer because, when I'm really exhausted they're being sat in front of the tv or fed the easiest meal to prepare rather than going to the park or eating a nutritious dinner. They actually ask me almost daily "are you feeling well today, mummy?" ��

My DH is lovely and, if I had a broken leg, he'd be bending over backwards. But he thinks that the doc just needs to give me a pill and I'll go back to how I was before. I'm not so sure that's ever going to happen anymore.

RubySparks Thu 04-Dec-14 20:00:20

Have you been tested for coeliac disease, b12, vit d? I'm hypothyroid too and only feel better since vit d and b12 low levels were treated. Before being diagnosed with coeliac disease and going gluten free I also was getting regular chest infections, have had none since going gluten free.

acrabadabra Thu 04-Dec-14 20:31:07

I know B12 was one of the tests the doc requested. But I have a 2 week wait to discuss it. I think she mentioned vit D too.

I have just turned 40. I didn't think I'd be falling apart already. And I certainly didn't think when I finally got a diagnosis I'd still be fighting to keep my head above water 2 years down the line!

I swear if it doesn't get resolved soon I'll be fired from my job, divorced from my husband and missing even more of my dcs childhood. I am so angry I could just scream!!!

Quangle Thu 04-Dec-14 20:48:01

Poor you. I am hypothyroid and had a period of terrible health after the DCs were born. In fact I missed the first week back after mat leave because I was ill. For a couple of years I had the worst sickness record in the company and I own the company!

I don't know if thyroid itself makes you more prone to illness but it does interfere with eg, iron absorption which probably doesn't help. I'd say a major factor is two small children though. My period of illness has lifted now and I've only had a day or two off this year for the first time in years. I think I've finally got my health back after the slog of pgs and small children.

Btw I called my GP for an appointment today - first available one is in 2015!!

acrabadabra Thu 04-Dec-14 21:47:14

I am so worried about going back to work. I know the first thing I'm going to get is a letter inviting me to an attendance meeting.

I used to be a manager. My attendance pre dcs was exemplary. I never had a staff member with such bad attendance. I know my colleagues will be pissed off and gossiping too. I don't think I've worked more than 8 weeks without a day off since the summer.

I lost my pay rise this year (I'm in retail so not huge but still. I'm one of the best workers - when I'm there - but unreliable now)

acrabadabra Thu 04-Dec-14 21:49:49

Quangle how old were your dcs when you started to feel better. And, if one of your staff had your sickness record, would you have tolerated it?

helzapoppin2 Thu 04-Dec-14 23:27:42

abracadabra, I'm hypothyroid too. I think I might have been that way for a long time, but it was only picked up because I had another illness.
I've done a lot of reading and it seems as if we can also be deficient in vitamins and minerals as a result. Just for an experiment I am working my way through a jar of Centrum multivitamins and I'm noticing that I can at last get through a day without wanting a kip halfway through! It might help!

MrsExtraOrdinary Fri 05-Dec-14 01:34:06

Op ive been hypothyroid for 18 years. Currently pregnant with my 6th child and am quite poorly with thyroid. Just had my dose adjusted to 275mg, it's likely to go up to 300mg before I'm feeling better. I feel like absolute shit.

I have a lingering cold and the achy throat thing is horrid. I'm also freezing cold and went to bed in a roll neck. It does feel like the world us against me at the moment as the smallest task is such an effort. My muscles ache really ache, so bending walking up the stairs all drains me. If I had a normal job there is no way I'd be working. Fortunately I work for myself.

Ask for a referral to an endocrinologist. You may need extra care. Getting the right dose is crucial to you feeling well. Ask them to check your feritin level which is iron store as the 2 are often interlinked.

I was looking on mn As tonight as feeling really about how I'm coping emotionally. Reading your op has made me remember that it's because I'm not well that I'm feeling like this. Today I watched my lovely husband scrub our house while I watched him. I'm pretty useless currently. You're not alone.

I've had times in my life where ive been perfectly stable but the unstable times are hard.

Quangle Fri 05-Dec-14 09:44:08

acra I'm really sorry things are so tough for you and I know exactly how you feel. I am lucky in that I run the business and that the other partners trust me and also know how hard I work (at work but am also a single parent so they are aware that they go home and lie on the sofa watching tv and I go home and start another 4 hours of work!) I think the fact that I never get time off was part of it.

But it's true that my sickness record would have raised an eyebrow if it was an employee - not fair but true. I do my best to bring my experience to the table and I will tell the other partners when I think they are being overly harsh. They are both men and so frankly don't understand what it is to be a working mother - their lives are much easier than mine! We have noticed that the mothers of young children have more time off than, eg, the single men, and with their own illnesses (ie, not taking time off to care for sick children which is a whole other issue). But we also know that they are really hard workers and really reliable (more than the single men!) and that they are really not swinging the lead so we try to be fair about it.

My children are 8 & 5 now and my sickness has improved in the last two years or so, so once my youngest reached 3. That might seem like a long wait for you - and it might just be coincidence. But the fact is I do get more sleep now. I also work really hard on upping my ferritin levels. I've just had the coil fitted for this reason and am taking lots of iron. It's still only creeping up (a year of supplements and it's at 22 when a good number is 70) but that's better than the worst point when it was 9.

You sound really honest and genuine about your situation. Would it be worth pre-empting the attendance meeting by asking for a meeting with HR and telling them you are aware of the issue and working really hard to address it but you are actually ill when you say you are ill. It might remind them that you are hard working and valued rather than a problem.

acrabadabra Fri 05-Dec-14 16:45:37

I appreciate the kind words and advice. Thank you flowers

Quangle, I may just do what you suggest and speak to the most senior manager (no hr onsite). Thankfully the senior management team are more reasonable than the last crowd who were the ones who forced my hand re stepping down.

I apparently do have an iron issue! Was seeing the nurse today about cold/whatever it is and she obviously had my notes. Said more than once to make sure I don't miss my appointment to talk about it. She told me to tell my boss I'd been told to rest.

Just texted DH to see when he'll be home. Poor guy is run ragged! I know that he signed up for sickness and health, but I'm only 40 ffs!

Dd is 3 but still crawling into our bed every night and is hard work generally. Probably down to attention seeking. Not much positive attention a lot of the time sad

I will add a multi vitamin to the shopping list to attempt something positive.

wintersdawn Fri 05-Dec-14 16:54:44

I'm hypothyroid and on 125mg like yourself but other than finding pregnancy exhausting compared to my friends and the lack of sleep an absolute nightmare I've never found its effected my general health re increased colds etc. but I also know my thyroid issues are pituitary gland related rather the the thyroid itself not working so that may make a difference.

acrabadabra Fri 05-Dec-14 17:38:20

I worry that I'm just looking for excuses to laze around sometimes, winter but, it's been 6years since I felt well. I also worry that I just won't remember what that's like or that my body is slowly disintegrating and I'll NEVER feel well again.
No one gets how scary that is. Not DH or his mum. Not people at work, not friends. I don't think anyone I've ever spoken to about my health, or lack thereof, does tbh.

wintersdawn Fri 05-Dec-14 18:47:07

My youngest is 19 months and I suddenly realised about a month ago that my body has balanced out again, I no longer feel constantly tried and I want to start exercising etc again. Up until now it's just been getting through the day with young kids.

It's put me off of number 3 as I think it'll take even longer to recover next time and I'm not sure I can take it.

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