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help for Students with Thyroid disease? (Hypo, hyper, Hashimotos...?) Watch

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    Hello all

    I'm seeking information or advice from other students that suffer with thyroid related problems.
    I'm 23 and was diagnosed nearly five years ago with a severely under-active thyroid, caused by what I believe is hashimotos disease. (although a doctor has never referred to the term, Hashimotos before, my symptoms, experiences and medical reports match perfectly with that of Hashimotos.) I have found my thyroid journey a troubling and difficult one, with most GPs not knowing enough about the condition and being completely unable to balance out my dosage. I currently take 200mg of Levothyroxine per day, but no doubt this will change again within the next three months.
    I find that I have good and bad days in relation to the symptoms brought on my thyroid disease, however the main issues I contend with on a daily basis are that of extreme fatigue, loss of concentration, irritability, hair loss, dry skin, painful joints, painful muscles and horrendous bouts of depression. Another kick in the shins is that regardless of what the doctors measure my T3 and T4 levels at, these symptoms do not go away. EVER.

    (I would just like to say that I love my studies and despite the health issues I am doing very well. I keep the problems to myself and rarely discuss how I'm feeling with anyone, other than my Dad who has the same condition. My depression is also something kept very quiet, I receive no help for this from the doctors for that particular issue.)

    I have applied for University this year, and i'm concerned that there wont be any help or support for people with conditions relating to thyroid problems. Could anyone tell me of their experiences? Is this the case?

    Also, a lady from student finance passed me a leaflet today regarding student disability allowance and support. I have never classed myself as being 'disabled' - and I don't still, but i wondered is anyone had ever successfully used this with thyroid issues? - As a mature student this would be extremely beneficial as I'm just about making ends meet!

    Thank you and positive vibes!
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    I have an overactive thyroid and have been on levythryroxine 50mg since i was 15. I don't think the uni's will consider that as a disability though hope you got a medical exemption card so you don't pay for your tablets?
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    (Original post by SnowFox92)
    Hello all

    I'm seeking information or advice from other students that suffer with thyroid related problems.
    I'm 23 and was diagnosed nearly five years ago with a severely under-active thyroid, caused by what I believe is hashimotos disease. (although a doctor has never referred to the term, Hashimotos before, my symptoms, experiences and medical reports match perfectly with that of Hashimotos.) I have found my thyroid journey a troubling and difficult one, with most GPs not knowing enough about the condition and being completely unable to balance out my dosage. I currently take 200mg of Levothyroxine per day, but no doubt this will change again within the next three months.
    I find that I have good and bad days in relation to the symptoms brought on my thyroid disease, however the main issues I contend with on a daily basis are that of extreme fatigue, loss of concentration, irritability, hair loss, dry skin, painful joints, painful muscles and horrendous bouts of depression. Another kick in the shins is that regardless of what the doctors measure my T3 and T4 levels at, these symptoms do not go away. EVER.

    (I would just like to say that I love my studies and despite the health issues I am doing very well. I keep the problems to myself and rarely discuss how I'm feeling with anyone, other than my Dad who has the same condition. My depression is also something kept very quiet, I receive no help for this from the doctors for that particular issue.)

    I have applied for University this year, and i'm concerned that there wont be any help or support for people with conditions relating to thyroid problems. Could anyone tell me of their experiences? Is this the case?

    Also, a lady from student finance passed me a leaflet today regarding student disability allowance and support. I have never classed myself as being 'disabled' - and I don't still, but i wondered is anyone had ever successfully used this with thyroid issues? - As a mature student this would be extremely beneficial as I'm just about making ends meet!

    Thank you and positive vibes!
    Disabled Students Allowance is designed to level the playing field with unaffected students. If your symptoms will cause you specific problems with uni life or study (and it sounds like they might), then it's entirely appropriate for you to apply for DSA.

    I applied with something as simple as a permanently dislocated thumb. Being awarded DSA meant that my uni permitted me to type exams on a word processor rather than having to handwrite them for 2-3 hours (which I physically couldn't have done). Your needs assessment will be based on your symptoms rather than the name/classification of your condition. It's not about being "Disabled" in the big sense, but more about having physical or mental disadvantages which can be ironed out to some extent with a bit of help and support.

    DSA won't give you extra money per se, but allows your uni to make adjustments to help you e.g. extensions to coursework deadlines, breaks or extra time in exams etc. You may also be recommended equipment which will be free to you, such as a trolley to make carrying books easier, a dictaphone to record lectures so you don't need to write lecture notes etc. The help provided by DSA will be tailored to your symptoms - I found it very helpful.

    You do need to jump through a few hoops to get DSA. Filling in the form is a pain. Also you'll need a letter from your GP/consultant which describes your symptoms and specifically how they might affect your ability to live and/or study at uni. You may have to talk your GP through what you need them to mention. If accepted after that stage, you will then attend a one-to-one assessment. This sounds scary but my assessor was very helpful and incredibly knowledgable - it was the best part of the DSA process for me.

    I would always advise applying for DSA in advance of getting to uni, as these days the uni cannot make adjustments or give you help unless you have been awarded DSA. If you don't apply in advance, but get to uni and find you're having trouble, it can take months to go through the DSA application process and you'd be left without help in the meantime.

    DSA won't help you with anything which would affect you even if you weren't a student, such as paying for medication. However as a full-time student you'll automatically be exempt until you're 19. After that, full-time students can get a prescription charge exemption if their income/savings are low enough. More info here from the NUS:
    http://www.nus.org.uk/en/advice/mone...alth-benefits/
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    (Original post by Klix88)


    DSA won't help you with anything which would affect you even if you weren't a student, such as paying for medication. However as a full-time student you'll automatically be exempt until you're 19. After that, full-time students can get a prescription charge exemption if their income/savings are low enough. More info here from the NUS:
    http://www.nus.org.uk/en/advice/mone...alth-benefits/
    Thyroid conditions entitle you to a medical exemption certificate, which means free prescriptions for life (or until they change the rules). You need to get a form signed by your gp to apply.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    Thyroid conditions entitle you to a medical exemption certificate, which means free prescriptions for life (or until they change the rules). You need to get a form signed by your gp to apply.
    That's good news. Worth emphasising that this is nothing to do with DSA and that the exemption would apply regardless of whether or not you're a student.
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    Hey. I've had an underactive thyroid since I was 19 too. Its an absolute nightmare, I understand where your coming from! But its not exactly a disability. Like previous users mentioned, you can receive free medication for your thyroid.

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    (Original post by A321)
    Hey. I've had an underactive thyroid since I was 19 too. Its an absolute nightmare, I understand where your coming from! But its not exactly a disability. Like previous users mentioned, you can receive free medication for your thyroid.

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    It's one of those conditions which affects people in different ways. As you can see from the first post, the OP's doctors are having trouble getting their medication right and they currently have uncontrolled symptoms which are likely to cause problems with studying. It's possible that you have a milder or better-controlled version.

    DSA isn't about being "disabled" in the wider sense. I sometimes think "disadvantaged" would be a better word, in the context of having a medical condition which would make it difficult to study at uni. I wouldn't dream of classing a dislocated thumb as a "disability", but without the help I got through DSA, I wouldn't have been able to do my degree.
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    (Original post by SnowFox92)
    Hello all

    I'm seeking information or advice from other students that suffer with thyroid related problems.
    I'm 23 and was diagnosed nearly five years ago with a severely under-active thyroid, caused by what I believe is hashimotos disease. (although a doctor has never referred to the term, Hashimotos before, my symptoms, experiences and medical reports match perfectly with that of Hashimotos.) I have found my thyroid journey a troubling and difficult one, with most GPs not knowing enough about the condition and being completely unable to balance out my dosage. I currently take 200mg of Levothyroxine per day, but no doubt this will change again within the next three months.
    I find that I have good and bad days in relation to the symptoms brought on my thyroid disease, however the main issues I contend with on a daily basis are that of extreme fatigue, loss of concentration, irritability, hair loss, dry skin, painful joints, painful muscles and horrendous bouts of depression. Another kick in the shins is that regardless of what the doctors measure my T3 and T4 levels at, these symptoms do not go away. EVER.

    (I would just like to say that I love my studies and despite the health issues I am doing very well. I keep the problems to myself and rarely discuss how I'm feeling with anyone, other than my Dad who has the same condition. My depression is also something kept very quiet, I receive no help for this from the doctors for that particular issue.)

    I have applied for University this year, and i'm concerned that there wont be any help or support for people with conditions relating to thyroid problems. Could anyone tell me of their experiences? Is this the case?

    Also, a lady from student finance passed me a leaflet today regarding student disability allowance and support. I have never classed myself as being 'disabled' - and I don't still, but i wondered is anyone had ever successfully used this with thyroid issues? - As a mature student this would be extremely beneficial as I'm just about making ends meet!

    Thank you and positive vibes!
    Hi!

    I have Hashimoto's as well - I was diagnosed with it at age 7 and it was so bad that it caused me to stop growing at 4 years old. So basically at 7 years old I had the bone mass of a 4 year old. Mad. Reading all of your symptoms, you might be interested to know that there may be a reason that your symptoms do not go away despite what your T4/T3/TSH levels are. It's called the D102 gene mutation. This basically means that your body cannot convert T4 (which is in Thyroxine) to T3, the main thyroid hormone. The reason that T3 isn't in Thyroxine is because the 'normal' body can convert T4 to T3, so there is no additional T3 required to be placed into Thyroxine.

    Many people have this genetic disorder and they do not even know it. Before I was diagnosed with this genetic disorder (which I got from my father as he also has hypothyroidism), the symptoms of an underactive thyroid still remained despite normal blood test results.

    Unfortunately, this test isn't funded by the NHS but this is only because it is so new. There has only been one study in the UK so far regarding T3 medication and there currently isn't enough funding to conduct a more thorough study. Because of this, not a lot of doctors or GPs are aware of this and some that are aware claim that it is just a 'fashion'. Well it's not because I have taken it and all my symptoms went away. I can give you more information, just give me a message and I can tell you everything!

    Regarding whether the university should give you support - they absolutely should. I understand that you don't self define as having a disability, but please know that under the Equality Act 2010, a disability is defined as a diagnosis that gives you difficulties in everyday life. Normally people consider a disability as something that is physical, but this includes invisible health conditions and mental health conditions.

    Provided that you support evidence from your doctor simply stating how this condition may affect you during your studies (such as depression, hard to concentrate, fatigue etc.) then it is actually against the law for a university to deny you any reasonable adjustments during your studies. The Equality Act 2010 is there for this reason so that you have equal opportunity.

    I have experienced discrimination myself during my studies at university. It's a long story, but I am now the Disabled Students' Officer at City University. So if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to message me :-)
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    I have recently been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and at first the symptoms were evident but I feel normal now as I am on medication now. I was wondering whether things like going on a gluten free diet and doing yoga would help to balance the thyroid levels so medication is not needed.
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    (Original post by Demi.star)
    I have recently been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and at first the symptoms were evident but I feel normal now as I am on medication now. I was wondering whether things like going on a gluten free diet and doing yoga would help to balance the thyroid levels so medication is not needed.
    No, of course it won't.
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    (Original post by Demi.star)
    I have recently been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and at first the symptoms were evident but I feel normal now as I am on medication now. I was wondering whether things like going on a gluten free diet and doing yoga would help to balance the thyroid levels so medication is not needed.
    Neither would do that.

    A gluten free diet would have no effect at all. There is no link between gluten intake and hypothyroidism. In fact bread can be fortified with vitamins and minerals, including iodine. A lack of iodine is one potential cause of hypothyroidism.

    Something like yoga may very well improve your general wellbeing, fitness and state of mind. However it will have no direct impact on your condition. There's certainly no harm in it and it could very well make you *feel* better. However, any effect like that will have nothing to do with an improvement in your medical condition because you're doing yoga.
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    Hey guys
    I have Congenital Hyperthyroidism, meaning that I was born without a thyroid. Sadly at birth I kept expiring and the doctors had to do everything they could to bring me back they even told my parents I wouldn't live to be 5, but I proved them wrong as I'm 18 in July!!




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    How did you first find out? What were your initial symptoms?x

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    (Original post by Klix88)
    Neither would do that.

    A gluten free diet would have no effect at all. There is no link between gluten intake and hypothyroidism. In fact bread can be fortified with vitamins and minerals, including iodine. A lack of iodine is one potential cause of hypothyroidism.

    Something like yoga may very well improve your general wellbeing, fitness and state of mind. However it will have no direct impact on your condition. There's certainly no harm in it and it could very well make you *feel* better. However, any effect like that will have nothing to do with an improvement in your medical condition because you're doing yoga.
    My doctor said my medication would need to be increased after another blood test. However I've been doing yoga for about a month. And this resulted in my thyroid level to be normal. So I am still on the same medication but it does not need to be increased.


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    (Original post by thevamps99xo)
    Hey guys
    I have Congenital Hyperthyroidism, meaning that I was born without a thyroid. Sadly at birth I kept expiring and the doctors had to do everything they could to bring me back they even told my parents I wouldn't live to be 5, but I proved them wrong as I'm 18 in July!!




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    Omg that amazing that you exceeded the doctors initial predictions.


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    (Original post by Demi.star)
    My doctor said my medication would need to be increased after another blood test. However I've been doing yoga for about a month. And this resulted in my thyroid level to be normal. So I am still on the same medication but it does not need to be increased.


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    It's great that you're improving, but yoga has nothing to do with the physical process of your condition. It's a coincidence, but no less a good thing for all that. Keep up the yoga anyway - it can only help you feel better in yourself and will improve your muscle tone. Long may all the good news continue
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    But surely doing yoga would reduce stress levels and decrease the autoimmune flare ups?
    Stress is probably one of the biggest triggers of hashimotos disease.

    I've been on a GF diet for 3 weeks now as i realised i am gluten sensitive and im also taking probiotics.
    A part of the gluten molecule is said to be very similar to thyroid tissue (not sure how reliable mu source is though) and a lot people with hashimotos say they feel better after eliminating gluten.
 
 
 
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