Monday, 21 January 2013

Thyroid function and psychological wellbeing – Event

Hello dear friends, today I'm sharing a press release for an event I'm organising for thyroid patients in London. Thank you so much if you can share this link to help spread the word:

The London group of the British Thyroid Foundation (BTF), a national patient charity, is organising an event for thyroid patients and people with an interest in thyroid disorders - and particularly their effect on psychological wellbeing - at the Royal Free Hospital, London on Saturday, 9th February 2013.

Thyroid disease is very common and usually easily treated - one in 20 people in the UK have a thyroid disorder - yet it is largely a hidden disease and some cases can have a devastating impact on people’s lives. 

People with thyroid disorders often have psychological as well as physical symptoms, yet these are seldom talked about and they can be very confusing and upsetting for patients who are unlikely to be prepared for them.

The main cause is often abnormal thyroid hormone levels. Hyperthyroidism can cause anxiety, irritability and mood swings, while hypothyroidism can cause mental slowing and memory problems as well as depression. For some people symptoms can feel like the onset of dementia which can be very unnerving both for patients and those around them. 

When properly treated psychological symptoms usually clear up, but this can take quite a long time. One thyroid patient said: 

“I feared I would never work again my thinking had become so muddled but now I am back to my usual bright and productive self – it’s a huge relief!”

The speaker at this event will be Professor Colin Dayan, Director of the Institute of Experimental and Molecular Medicine at Cardiff University School of Medicine. Professor Dayan and his team have conducted extensive research into thyroid function and psychological wellbeing and are at the cutting edge of understanding this little understood medical challenge. 

Where and when

The event will take place on Saturday, 9th February, from 10am to 1pm, in the Sir William Wells Atrium, Royal Free Hospital. For more information or to book a place, email Refreshments will be provided. Donations will be welcomed, with a suggested minimum of £3 per person, to help cover the costs of the event.

The Royal Free Hospital is six minutes walk from Belsize Park underground station, 14 minutes from Hampstead underground station, and just four minutes walk from Hampstead Heath railway station. The meeting will be held in The Atrium which will be clearly signposted from the main entrance. Parking space is extremely limited in the local area so attendees are encouraged to use public transport. 

Notes for editors

The BTF London group was launched in 2011 and this will be our seventh event. We usually get around 40 attendees and feedback so far has been very enthusiastic. For more information about this event or future activities, or to access thyroid patient case studies, images and feature ideas, contact Lorraine Williams, email:

Lorraine writes a popular blog about her experiences with thyroid disease and running the BTF London group 

The British Thyroid Foundation (BTF) is a national patient support charity dedicated to supporting people with thyroid disorders and helping their families and people around them to understand the condition. It has been established for 21 years and works closely with medical professionals from the British Thyroid Association and the British Association of Endocrine and Thyroid Surgeons. Website 

More information on thyroid and and psychological wellbeing can be found via The British Thryoid Foundation’s excellent guide to Thyroid and Psychological Wellbeing 


  1. Thank you. I am very much looking forward to this event as I find the psychological side very difficult to deal with.

    From my experience I think that as well as psychological issues being due to thyroid hormone levels, the difficulties are also to do with chronic illness in general, being ill for a long time, and having an illness that people don’t seem to understand/ take seriously - everyone seems to know someone with a thyroid illness who doesn’t suffer from these symptoms.

    Also can I just add to your post that as well as hyperthyroidism causing anxiety etc. that hypothyroidism can also cause these symptoms. I’m talking as someone who has gone from being hyper to hypo and suffered from anxiety etc. on both sides.

    Sorry I’ve gone off track a little, it was meant to be a brief comment!

    1. hi, thanks so much for sharing and I'm delighted your coming to the event (don't forget to email to book your place with me if you haven't already, I just need to know numbers so we have the right number of chairs, refreshments, etc)

      Now you mention it I also experienced anxiety with hypothyroidism. I so agree that it's scary. The patient quote in the press release is from me.

      And you are so right that it's hard for others to understand and that makes it harder for those of us who are struggling.

      I find an easy way of explaining it to people is that most people with thyroid disease are easy to treat but a significant minority (5-20%) aren't and medical science is not sure why that is. I am one of those people. Hence I am commited to learning as much as I can to improve my own wellbeing and also to helping raise awareness of this little known yet widespread and sometimes extremely unpleasant illness. When I say that people seem to get it a bit more and I'm surprised by how many people become interested. It's the old "elevated pitch" technique from my media sales days coming out!

      There, now I've done an even longer comment. :)