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The Scatter-Brained Butterfly Thyroid Gland

Sarah Downing, Contributor
Thyroid Nation

There is no standard list of symptoms

When I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I remember one of my first thoughts being “I so wish I was hyperthyroid!” Being able to eat as much as you like without gaining weight and being full of energy (or so I thought at the time) seemed like a dream. Now I know that it’s not that simple. There is no standard list of symptoms because everyone’s an individual and furthermore there are people who are hyper who actually gain weight.

Here is a list of 75 symptoms, which is only a partial list.

Differences between hypothyroid and hyperthyroid

Hyper does not really mean that you are full of energy – it’s a weird kind of restless energy and of course it is often accompanied by all kinds of horrible symptoms such as diarrhoea, insomnia and bulging eyes or exophthalmos. I don’t write that much about hyperthyroidism as I don’t have that much experience with it, but I decided to write a bit about it today because my recent hormonal fluctuations inspired me to write this poem.


I’d love to hear your feedback on what it means to you to be hyperthyroid as opposed to hypothyroid – how does it make you feel and what would you like to share with others who aren’t as familiar with this side of the thyroid spectrum?

Poem: differences between hypothyroid and hyperthyroid

My thyroid’s in a state of flux
This situation really sucks
Hypo means I sleep all day
Wasting all my life away
Hyper means I’m constantly tired
But in a strange way I’m still wired
People think that hyper’s a dream
But that’s not really what it means
My quest for equilibrium
To find a happy medium

~Sarah Downing

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About the Author

Sarah DowningSarah Downing was diagnosed Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in 2009. This represented a turning point in her life because she realized that she no longer had to feel guilty for symptoms such as tiredness and weight gain that she’d previously blamed herself for. She also realized that her writing gave her the ability to help and encourage others in similar situations, as well as to cathartically heal herself and learn from past experiences by putting pen to paper and sharing them with others. In addition, she believes that sharing positive experiences is immensely important and inspiring because it gives people hope. Visit Sarah’s website for more of her writing.

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Questions or anything to add about the differences between hypothyroid and hyperthyroid? We want your thoughts, please. You might just help someone else in need.


1 Comment

  1. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos a year ago. I spent upwards of 2 years back and forth to the doctors, being told I was stressed, I had anxiety, I was a imagining things but I knew something wasn’t right and persevered. After heaps of misdiagnosis, lots of lab tests, ultrasounds and biopsies I finally got my diagnosis.

    At the point where I was feeling my worst and before I was diagnosed I had rapidly gained 35kg, making me a total of 88kg (which was a lot for me!), I was losing my hair, I had brain fog, anxiety, cystic acne, tremor, chronic headaches, in fact too many to list. I visited the doctors again after I suddenly lost ALL the weight I gained and more. Boom, they sat up and took notice! Through the course of this year I have remained hyperthyroid, and quite honestly I don’t know which is worse hyper or hypo. I know weigh 47kg, I have symptoms worse than ever before.

    Being in the UK, not much is known about Hashimotos and I have branched out to the organisations across the Atlantic such as Thyroid Nation and Hashimotos Awareness and reading and listening to you all inspires me so much! I have for the last 3 months, been Gluten free and a number of my symptoms have reduced and I feel a lot better.

    Your post and poem brings comfort, thank you!

    Love from Manchester, UK
    Leanne x

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