Let’s Talk About Hypothyroidism

We’ve got the doctor-approved info you need to know about causes, symptoms, treatments, and other ways to make life easier with underactive thyroid disease.

by Lara DeSanto Health Writer

Whether you’ve just been diagnosed or worry you could have hypothyroidism, you’re probably nervous, confused, and maybe even a little scared. That’s normal, and everyone featured on HealthCentral with a chronic illness felt just like you do now. But we—and they—are here for you. On this page alone, you’ll discover the realities and challenges of the condition, but also the best treatments, helpful lifestyle changes, where to find your hypothyroid community, and all the crucial information to help you not merely manage—but thrive. We’re sure you’ve got a lot of questions... and we’re here to answer them.

Hypothyroidism

Our Pro Panel

We went to some of the nation’s top hypothyroidism experts to bring you the most scientific and up-to-date information possible. Look who’s on your side:

Jennifer Mammen, M.D. headshot.

Jennifer Mammen, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Baltimore, MD

Debbie Chen, M.D. headshot.

Debbie Chen, M.D.

Clinical Lecturer in Endocrinology

Michigan Medicine

Ann Arbor, MI

Thayer Idrees, M.D. headshot.

Thayer Idrees, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipids

Emory University School of Medicine

Atlanta, GA

Hypothyroidism
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes hypothyroidism?

There are several potential causes for hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). The most common is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s. With this condition, your immune system accidentally attacks your thyroid, preventing it from making the thyroid hormone your body needs. Other causes include surgical removal of your thyroid, pituitary gland problems, infections, pregnancy, and more.

Can hypothyroidism be prevented?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent hypothyroidism. That said, you can learn about your risk factors and the signs that you may be developing hypo—that way you can get diagnosed and treated ASAP.

What are the signs of hypothyroidism?

There are many potential symptoms of hypothyroidism. Some of the most common are fatigue, depression, constipation, feeling cold, joint and muscle pain, dry skin, and slow heart rate.

What’s the most common treatment for hypothyroidism?

The mainstay of hypothyroidism treatment is a drug called levothyroxine. This drug is an identical replacement for the thyroid hormone that your body is lacking.

What Is Hypothyroidism?

When your thyroid isn’t acting in the way it should, it’s usually due to one of two things: Either it’s acting up too much or it’s not being active enough. Most often, hypothyroidism is a chronic condition in which you have an underactive thyroid. But to really understand what that means, you first have to understand what your thyroid is—and how it’s supposed to function in your body.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland on the lower part of the front of your neck. If you put your two thumbs together in a V shape, that’s about the size and shape of a healthy thyroid. It’s an endocrine gland, which means it makes hormones—specifically, thyroid hormone.

What Does the Thyroid Hormone Do?

Thyroid hormone plays a key role in your body’s ability to use energy for everyday functions like your heartbeat, digestive functions, brain development, and muscle function. But in people with hypothyroidism, your thyroid simply doesn’t make enough of this hormone or the hormone doesn’t act properly in target tissues. And when you don’t have enough of it, organs throughout your entire body slow down, leading to a whole host of symptoms that negatively impact your quality of life—from fatigue to digestive problems and beyond—and they can become severe over time if left untreated.

About 20 million Americans are living with thyroid disease—but up to 60% don’t even know it. Hypothyroidism is the most common form of thyroid disease, affecting around 5% of Americans over age 12. And while it can strike any gender at any age, people over age 60 are the most likely to develop this disease—particularly women who have gone through menopause—with the condition eight to nine times more likely to develop in women than men, per a study in Advances in Therapy.

Many cases are mild and may not have obvious symptoms, while others can be more severe. The far-ranging effects of hypothyroidism can make this a difficult condition to live with, which is why it’s so important to get diagnosed and treated.

What Causes Hypothyroidism

Most people are born with healthy thyroids that are good at producing the right amount of thyroid hormone to keep your body functioning properly. So what exactly prompts the thyroid gland to stop doing its job? There are actually a couple of different reasons why this can occur. Here are some of the potential causes, starting with the most common:

Autoimmune Disease

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is autoimmune disease, in which the body’s immune system mistakenly starts attacking the thyroid gland cells and enzymes. In fact, one study in The European Journal of Endocrinology found that 84.4% of hypothyroidism cases were the result of autoimmune conditions. With the thyroid under attack, it can’t do its job, resulting in a drop in the amount of thyroid hormone it produces. The most common autoimmune form of hypothyroidism is called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Another form is called atrophic thyroiditis.

Removal of Thyroid Via Surgery

If you have Graves’ disease (a form of hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid), thyroid nodules, or thyroid cancer, you may need to have your thyroid surgically removed. This automatically makes you become hypothyroid since your thyroid is no longer in your body to make its own thyroid hormone.

Radiation Treatment

Along with Graves’ disease, thyroid cancer, nodular goiter, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and other head and neck cancers may require that you have radiation treatment to the head or neck—either via radioactive iodine or radiation therapy. In these cases, you may lose part or all of the function in your thyroid, which can lead to hypothyroidism.

Congenital Hypothyroidism

Most people are born with a healthy thyroid. But rarely, in about one in 2,000-4,000 cases, babies are born without a thyroid, with one that’s only partially formed, or with a thyroid in the wrong location in the body (ectopic thyroid). This could result in a lack of thyroid hormone, meaning the baby has hypothyroidism from birth (congenital hypothyroidism).

Thyroiditis

When your thyroid becomes inflamed, it’s called thyroiditis. Typically, this occurs as a result of an infection with a virus or an autoimmune attack. An inflamed thyroid will sometimes release all of its stored thyroid hormone into the blood in one go. First, this causes a brief period of hyperthyroidism, which is when there is too much thyroid hormone in the body. After this period passes, the body becomes hypothyroid. In most cases, the hypothyroidism resolves on its own within a year, but some persist past that and will require ongoing treatment.

Medications

Certain medications you may take can interfere with your thyroid’s ability to make its hormones, leading to hypothyroidism. This is most common in people who already have a genetic predisposition to develop autoimmune thyroid disease. Such medications include:

  • Lithium. Lithium is a drug that may be prescribed to help stabilize mood in conditions like bipolar disorder.

  • Interferon alpha. This medication may be prescribed to treat a range of conditions, including certain types of cancer and hepatitis infections.

  • Amiodarone. This drug is used to treat certain types of abnormal heart rhythms.

  • Interleukin-2. This is a drug used to treat various cancers, including melanoma and kidney cancer.

Iodine Problems

Iodine is a mineral you get through certain foods, and your body needs it to make thyroid hormone. If you have too much or too little iodine, it can spell bad news for your thyroid. Too little iodine can lead to hypothyroidism. Thankfully, this cause is much less common these days, as iodine is added to most table salt in the United States—so most people get plenty of it from food and don’t have to worry about deficiencies. That said, in other parts of the world, this is the most common cause of hypothyroidism.

Too much iodine can also be a problem—especially if you already have issues with your thyroid. Getting too much iodine through medications, foods (like certain seaweeds), or radiology procedures can actually cause hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism—or make an existing case of one of these worse.

Pituitary Gland Damage

The pituitary gland is a small gland in your brain that tells your thyroid how much thyroid hormone it should make. If this gland is damaged—by a tumor, surgery, or radiation—it can prevent the thyroid from making its hormone and lead to hypothyroidism.

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Risk Factors for Hypothyroidism

Along with the potential causes for this condition, certain people are more likely to develop hypothyroidism than others. Here are some of the risk factors.

Sex

Women are more likely than men to develop hypothyroidism. In fact, a recent study in Advances in Therapy reports that the condition is eight to nine times more likely to occur in women than men, which is in part explained by the fact that women are more likely to develop autoimmune disease (like Hashimoto’s) in general.

Age

Hypothyroidism is more common among people over age 60, as the aging process can result in a decrease in the thyroid’s ability to produce thyroid hormone.

History of a Thyroid Problem

People who have had a thyroid problem before, like a goiter, are at increased risk of hypothyroidism. People who have had surgery on their thyroid or radiation therapy to the thyroid, neck, or chest area are also more likely to get it.

Family History and Genetics

Yep, this one runs in families—so if you have a family member with the disease, your risk is higher, too. This points to a likelihood that there is something in your genes that makes you more likely to develop hypothyroidism. For example, studies have shown that people with Hashimoto’s disease may have a genetic problem that raises their risk. Researchers are still working to understand just how much of a role these genes and others may play in causing hypothyroidism.

Recent Pregnancy

Women who have been pregnant in the last six months are at greater risk of hypothyroidism. It’s not fully understood why, but 5% to 10% of women in the U.S. develop what’s called postpartum thyroiditis after giving birth. With this condition, your thyroid becomes inflamed, which can cause a temporary phase of hyperthyroidism followed by hypothyroidism. In most cases, the hypothyroidism phase occurs about four to eight months after giving birth and may require treatment. Thankfully, it usually resolves on its own after about a year—but in some cases, it can last longer.

Other Health Conditions

Having certain other health conditions—particularly autoimmune conditions—can make you more likely to get hypothyroidism. Some of the conditions that increase risk are celiac disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, and pernicious anemia. Women with the genetic disorder Turner syndrome also have higher risk.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms

Remember how we said the body tends to slow down when you have hypothyroidism? That can affect many of the systems throughout your body, resulting in a range of frustrating symptoms. Usually, these symptoms come on slowly over time, to the point where they may not even be noticeable for months or years. These include:

  • Fatigue

  • Feeling colder than usual

  • Constipation

  • Dry skin and dry, thinning hair

  • Slowed heart rate

  • Slowed speech

  • Depression

  • Forgetfulness

  • Weight gain

  • Joint and muscle pain

  • Fertility problems or heavy or irregular periods

Here’s the thing about these symptoms: They’re what’s referred to as “non-specific,” which means that they don’t necessarily always point to hypothyroidism. There are, unfortunately, tons of potential causes of many of these symptoms. In fact, a population-based study in the European Journal of Endocrinology looked at how well the presence of symptoms correlated with the blood test that confirmed the disease—the answer? Not very well. For example, some of the most commonly reported symptoms of hypothyroidism—tiredness and dry skin—had some of the lowest likelihood ratios, which is a calculation that tells you how likely a patient is to have a condition based on the presence of a symptom.

That said, the more symptoms a person has, the more likely they are to actually have the disease. Moral of the story? The above symptoms could definitely be related to other causes and not thyroid disease, but it’s always worth talking to your doctor about thyroid testing to make absolutely sure.

When to Call Your Doctor or Endocrinologist

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor. They may decide to test you for thyroid disease along with other health problems. Your doctor may also want to test you for hypothyroidism if you are having difficulty getting pregnant, since fertility problems are a possible sign of this condition.

Remember: The sooner you can get an accurate diagnosis, the sooner you can get treated. And the sooner you get treated, the sooner you can start feeling better and reduce the risk of complications.

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Hypothyroidism Diagnosis

When you go to your doctor with concerns about hypothyroidism, your physician will take several steps to diagnose you. First, he or she will likely ask you about your medical history and do a physical exam. This might involve touching your neck to feel the size and shape of the thyroid gland, checking your reflexes, and measuring your heart rate.

The next step is to perform thyroid-related blood tests. These may include:

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Test

This blood test measures the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in your blood. TSH is the hormone that your pituitary gland makes that tells your thyroid how much thyroid hormone (called T4 and T3) to make. The level of TSH in your blood can help determine whether you have thyroid disease. For an adult, a normal range for TSH is 0.40-4.50 miU/mL. A high level usually means you have hypothyroidism. This is the most common and sensitive test doctors rely on to test for hypothyroidism.

Total T4 Test and Free T4 Test

T4, aka thyroxine, makes up about 90% of the thyroid hormone that human bodies usually make (the remaining 10% is T3, aka triiodothyronine, which is usually only tested for if your doctor thinks you may have hyperthyroidism.) Your doctor may choose to test your T4 if your TSH results come back normal but they still suspect you have a thyroid problem. In some cases, a low T4 level may mean you have hypothyroidism, but in other cases, it may not, such as if you’re taking certain medications. There are two types of T4 tests: total T4 and free T4. A total T4 test looks at the amount of both “bound” and “free” T4 in your blood. “Bound” T4 refers to the hormone that is kept in storage until your body needs it, while “free” T4 is able to enter the body's tissues for use. Usually, doctors prefer to test free T4 since it is more accurate in assessing how well your thyroid is working.

The normal total T4 range for an adult is 5.0-11.0 ug/dL, and the normal free T4 range is 0.9-1.7 ng/dL.

Thyroid Antibody Test

Your doctor may also use a thyroid antibody test, which can help determine if you have an autoimmune form of thyroid disease like Hashimoto’s. The test will detect a higher level of these antibodies if your immune system is accidentally attacking your thyroid. We should note that not all patients with hypothyroidism test positive for these antibodies.

Important note: Some medications can interfere with how accurate your thyroid blood test results are. For example, medications containing estrogen (like some birth control pills) cause high levels of total T4. If you’re on one of these meds, your doctor should use both a TSH and a free T4 test. Also, if you take a biotin supplement, it can lead to false positives for thyroid problems. Make sure you don’t take your biotin for two full days before your thyroid blood tests are done.

Hypothyroidism Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent hypothyroidism, so the best course of action is to know the signs and symptoms so you can get diagnosed and start treatment early. Prompt therapy can reduce the negative impacts of symptoms on your life and help you feel as healthy as possible. Because hypothyroidism means your body lacks enough thyroid hormone, the goal of hypothyroidism treatment is to replace that hormone so your body can function properly. There are a few ways to do this.

Medications for Hypothyroidism

Taking thyroid hormone replacement drugs so that you are getting the amount your body needs should resolve any thyroid-related symptoms you’re having and get you back to feeling well.

  • T4 replacement (levothyroxine). This drug is the mainstay of hypothyroidism treatment. It’s an identical replacement for the thyroid hormone T4 that can be taken in pill form, although it’s also available as a liquid and soft gel capsule. Usually, this treatment is sufficient, because T4 is the majority of the thyroid hormone your body should be making. Plus, your body is typically able to convert T4 into T3 if it needs more of that form of thyroid hormone. Brand names of this drug include Levoxyl, Tirosint, Levo-T, Synthroid, and Unithyroid.

  • T3 replacement (liothyronine). Rarely, some people with hypothyroidism have trouble converting T4 into T3 due to genetic reasons. In this case, you may also need to take a T3 supplement called liothyronine (Triostat, Cytomel) in addition to levothyroxine. This is sometimes referred to as combination therapy, and research is still emerging about this approach.

  • Desiccated thyroid extract/porcine thyroid. This drug, sold under brand names Armour Thyroid, Bio-Throid, Nature Thyroid, and others, is a hormone replacement made from (wait for it) dehydrated pig thyroid. You heard that right. It’s a combination of both T4 and T3. It is important to note that this drug is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is not often prescribed by doctors for treating hypothyroidism. Still, some people prefer to take this over levothyroxine because of the perception that it is more “natural” or because they feel better on the drug. That said, it’s important to understand that the proportions of the hormones in pigs are not the same as they are in humans, and it may be harder to monitor how much you are getting from a dose compared with taking levothyroxine, which means you may not be adequately treating your hypothyroidism. Talk to your doctor about whether this is an appropriate alternative to levothyroxine for you. It’s not recommended for some people, such as pregnant women and those with pork allergies.

Alternative Treatment for Hypothyroidism

You may be wondering if there are things beyond taking meds you can do to reduce your hypothyroidism symptoms. Unfortunately, unlike many other chronic illnesses, there isn’t a whole lot that lifestyle changes can do to treat your condition. The key really is to take the right amount of thyroid hormone replacement so that your body can function properly again, which will, in turn, reduce any of the symptoms you are having that are related to your thyroid disease. So if you’re on the right dose of a thyroid hormone replacement drug (meaning your periodic thyroid blood tests will show you at healthy levels), but you’re still having symptoms, then it’s possible those symptoms weren’t caused by your thyroid dysfunction in the first place. Because remember: Many symptoms that can be caused by hypothyroidism—such as fatigue, weight gain, joint pain, depression, and more—are also potential symptoms of many other problems and conditions.

But that doesn’t mean you should throw your goals for a healthy lifestyle out the window—especially because it can take some time for thyroid drugs to start working. Taking steps to get enough sleep, reduce stress, eat healthy, and get enough exercise are always important and can help you manage these symptoms in the meantime while you and your doctor figure out the right dosage of thyroid hormone for you.

And while it’s true that there’s no “hypothyroidism diet,” there may be certain things you want to avoid eating around the same time you take your thyroid medication, such as walnuts, coffee, soybean flour, multivitamins, and more, as they can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb the drug. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you understand the best way to take your medication.

Plus, if you have an autoimmune form of hypothyroidism like Hashimoto’s, you may need to avoid iodine because it can cause harmful side effects. In this case, ask your doctor what types of foods and drugs you should avoid.

Hypothyroidism Complications

In some cases, leaving hypothyroidism untreated can lead to other health problems:

High Cholesterol

Because your body uses thyroid hormone to help break down cholesterol, hypothyroidism may lead to high cholesterol, This raises your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other major diseases. That’s why your doctor may want to test you for hypothyroidism if you have high cholesterol (and vice versa!).

Heart Problems

Because hypothyroidism slows your body’s functions down, including your heart, it can lead to issues like a slower than normal heart rate. If this gets severe, it can lead to fainting, heart failure, and other major health issues.

Goiter

Untreated hypothyroidism can cause your thyroid gland to enlarge, which is called a goiter. Goiter can involve uncomfortable swelling, tightness, hoarse voice, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and other issues. This may require surgery in severe cases.

Myxedema Coma

Myxedema coma is an extreme form of hypothyroidism that develops in rare cases when the condition goes untreated. When this happens, your body functions slow down to the degree that it becomes life-threatening, which is why people in this state should get treatment right away.

What’s Life Like for People With Hypothyroidism?

Living with hypothyroidism that goes untreated can lead to a range of health problems, from mildly annoying to life-threatening. You may walk around in a brain fog feeling fatigued, depressed, sore, or experiencing a variety of other symptoms—and this can lead you to just not feel quite like yourself.

Thankfully, though, hypothyroidism is an extremely manageable disease once treated. Once on a medication, you’ll need to see your doctor regularly for follow-up to monitor your thyroid hormone levels and see if your dosage needs to be adjusted. Typically, anytime your dose changes, you’ll need to get your TSH checked six to 10 weeks later. Once your dose has been established, you’ll need to be monitored around once a year (or more frequently if you’re pregnant or taking meds that interfere with your thyroid hormone replacement drug).

Getting a diagnosis and waiting for that medication to kick in—not to mention spending months in some cases working with your doc to find the right dose—can be overwhelming. And sometimes, people may not understand your condition, saying things like, “You don’t look sick,” without fully understanding what’s going on inside your body. Over time, though, you’ll find a dose of medication that works for you. While you likely will have to take thyroid medication for the rest of your life to keep it under control, you can build confidence in your ability to manage your hypothyroidism and get back to living life on your terms.

Hypothyroidism and Mental Health

People living with hypothyroidism may experience fatigue and even depression. Plus, navigating the diagnosis process and management of a chronic condition can be downright exhausting and overwhelming in its own right. You may feel isolated or as though others don’t understand what you’re going through. That’s why it’s important to take steps to care for your mental health:

  • Get treatment. Starting treatment with thyroid medication ASAP after diagnosis is important because it can help reduce symptoms of depression and fatigue that may be a result of your low thyroid hormone levels.

  • Find your community. Find others who just get it. Seek out other thyroid warriors via social media, nonprofit organizations, or support groups to help you feel less alone and get resources from. (More on this below!)

  • Focus on stress relief. Stress is bad for your health—period. So it’s time to up your self-care game. That may mean prioritizing time for you, whether that’s spending time doing things you love, carving out time in your schedule for relaxation or mindfulness meditation, and getting enough quality sleep.

  • Talk to a therapist. Talking to a mental-health professional is a great way to get emotional support and learn strategies to help manage your stress better. Some therapists even specialize in working with people living with chronic conditions—so don’t be afraid to seek them out and ask about their experience!

Hypothyroidism and Your Sex Life

That whole-body slowdown that comes with hypothyroidism doesn’t discriminate—it can impact your sex life, too. In fact, a recent study in Clinical Thyroidology for the Public found that 40% of patients with thyroid disorders reported that it negatively impacted their sex life. Hypothyroidism specifically may result in erectile dysfunction or ejaculation problems in men and decreased desire and problems with vaginal lubrication, reaching orgasm, and pain for women.

Thankfully, treating your hypothyroidism with medication often helps improve sexual problems, too—so don’t delay in getting treatment started, and talk to your doctor if you are concerned about how your thyroid is impacting your sex life.

Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy

Not only can hypothyroidism make it difficult to get pregnant, but it can also increase your risk of complications during pregnancy if left untreated. Those risks include:

  • Anemia

  • Preeclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy)

  • Low birth weight

  • Miscarriage and stillbirth

  • Congestive heart failure (very rare)

  • Low IQ and problems with development in the baby (particularly if your thyroid levels are low during the first trimester)

These risks are highest for those who have severe cases of hypothyroidism.

Thankfully, it’s safe to take levothyroxine, the main medication used to treat hypothyroidism, while you are pregnant. It’s not recommended to take desiccated pig thyroid hormone medications during pregnancy because the animal thyroid doesn’t help your baby’s brain development like levothyroxine does. Furthermore, the FDA has not approved it and recently issued an alert that warns about risk of serious injury in newborn infants or pregnant women with hypothyroidism including early miscarriage, fetal hyperthyroidism, and/or impairments to fetal neural and skeletal development.

Throughout pregnancy, your doctor will likely test your thyroid hormone levels more frequently than normal to ensure your dose is correct and keep you and your baby healthy.

Postpartum Thyroiditis

About one in 20 women develops a condition called postpartum thyroiditis during the first year after giving birth. This is when your thyroid becomes inflamed, which may lead to thyroid hormone leaking from your gland. At first, this causes hyperthyroidism, but after a few months, you may develop hypothyroidism due to the damage done to the gland. Thankfully, this usually goes away after about a year—but in some women, it doesn’t. The risk of postpartum thyroiditis is greater if you have type 1 diabetes.

Symptoms of the hyperthyroid period of postpartum thyroiditis include things like fast heartbeat, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and feeling hot. Symptoms of the hypothyroid phase include depression, feeling cold, and tiredness. Because these symptoms may be mistaken for postpartum depression, it’s extra important to talk to your doctor to rule out a thyroid problem.

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Where Can I Find Hypothyroidism Communities?

Hypothyroidism affects five of every 100 Americans over age 12, but despite that, it can feel like you’re the only one in the world dealing with this condition. But finding your people is possible—especially in the days of social media and the Internet. Here are some ways to form connections and find helpful resources to help navigate the hypo life.

Top Hypothyroidism Instagrammers

  • Rachel Hill, @theinvisiblehypothyroidism
    Follow because: Rachel lives with Hashimoto’s and is an award-winning thyroid patient advocate. Follow her for inspirational quotes, education about living with the condition, and resources on all things hypo—from pregnancy to advocacy tips.

  • Laura Mason, @lovecheflaura
    Follow because: Laura’s no stranger to chronic illness—not only does she live with Hashimoto’s, but also rheumatoid arthritis and vitiligo. A culinary school grad, Laura shares chronic illness-friendly recipes, workouts, and snippets from everyday #chroniclife.

  • Katie Dunlop, @lovesweatfitness
    Follow because: Katie was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at the young age of 11—so she’s a wealth of knowledge about living with the condition. As a fitness trainer, Katie uses Instagram to share daily workouts and nutrition plans, along with tons of other quick tips for healthy living, with or without hypo.

  • Lindsay O’Reilly, @thyroidnutrition.rd
    Follow because: Want a registered dietitian’s take on living well with hypothyroidism? Look no further. Lindsay shares empowering information about thyroid testing and how to eat well when living with thyroid disease.

  • Izabella Wentz, @izabellawentzpharmd
    Follow because: Izabella is a pharmacist who specializes in thyroid disease. A self-described “Hashimoto’s nerd,” Izabella shares easy-to-understand information about thyroid disease causes, testing, and medications—plus, she’s a New York Times bestselling author!

Top Hypothyroidism-Related Podcasts

  • Thyroid Warrior Podcast. In this podcast, Ebony Colina shares about her decade-long journey navigating Hashimoto’s. Listening to Ebony share her story can help you feel less alone and more empowered—plus, she often brings on guests to the show to share their experiences, too.

  • Doctor Thyroid. Philip James was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in August 2013 and had his thyroid surgically removed. The experience led to him launching his podcast Doctor Thyroid, in which he invites top doctors to share information for patients to help you understand your thyroid health and make the best decisions for your care.

  • Let’s Talk Thyroid. This podcast aims to inject positivity into your life with thyroid disease. Host Annabel Bateman, who has Hashimoto’s, and her guests share practical tips on nutrition, stress reduction, advocacy, women’s health, and more.

Top Hypothyroidism Support Groups and Non-Profits

  • American Thyroid Association. This professional organization provides accurate information for people living with thyroid disease, along with resources to help you find a thyroid specialist in your area.

  • Thyroid Family. This Facebook group is monitored by health advocate Rachel Hill, where she aims to create a supportive space for people living with hypothyroidism to share their stories and seek advice and support.

  • Thyroid Change. This thyroid disease organization, launched by a thyroid patient advocate named Denise Roguz, offers patient education as well as resources to help you find community.

  • Hashimoto’s 411. This Facebook support group focuses on providing a welcoming space for people living with Hashimoto’s, the most common form of hypothyroidism. Common topics in the group include diet, medication, lab testing, stress management, and more.

Lara DeSanto
Meet Our Writer
Lara DeSanto

Lara is a former digital editor for HealthCentral, covering Sexual Health, Digestive Health, Head and Neck Cancer, and Gynecologic Cancers. She continues to contribute to HealthCentral while she works towards her masters in marriage and family therapy and art therapy. In a past life, she worked as the patient education editor at the American College of OB-GYNs and as a news writer/editor at WTOP.com.