Stress Doesn’t Feel Like This

Contributor Ebony Colina

On an average day, you have more items to check off of your to do list and somehow you can’t recall when you had your last meal. Your health is so important; however, it is often placed on the backburner.

It is in those moments that things can fester and not in a good way. One day you’re fine and the next day, you can’t remember what day it is, you experience extreme fatigue, you notice that more of your hair is coming out in your hair brush and somehow you can’t seem to figure out where that extra 10 pounds came from.

You pay a visit to your doctor only to be told that you’re stressed and it’ll pass, but it doesn’t. Your symptoms get worse very quickly and suddenly you become depressed because no one can seem to understand what your problem is. Women are often considered constant complainers in healthcare settings and women of color are less likely to report issues when they finally go to the doctor. Don’t let this be you! Speak up. If you notice that something feels off, it probably is.

During my many visits to the doctor, I was tested for multiple autoimmune conditions and sexually transmitted diseases. I was appalled at the latter tests because I felt as though because I was a young Black woman, the doctor that I saw at the time could only assume that my issues were a result of me being promiscuous. I can confidently say that they were not.

My problems were due to my thyroid gland. The tiny butterfly shaped organ that sits in the base of your neck controls everything from temperature control to your heart rate. Failure to treat your symptoms can result in a sad outcome. If I would have continued to ignore my symptoms, I probably wouldn’t be here to share my story with you.

Your thyroid gland may become under or overactive depending on your genetics or environment. Stress is a HUGE contributing factor. You probably have so many things to take care of: kids, a significant other, family, friends, your business/career...the list can go on and on. This is why it’s extremely important to notice the symptoms of a thyroid condition. Your thyroid gland can become over or underactive. There are mixed opinions as to how thyroid conditions can develop, but anything from diet to a virus can cause things to go awry. If you have any of the following symptoms that have lasted for a while, please get to your doctor’s office as soon as possible.

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland include:

● You may notice issues with severe fatigue

● Hair loss

● Pain in your joints and muscles,

● Depression

● Weight gain

● Extremely dry skin

● Slow heartbeat

Symptoms of an overactive thyroid gland include:

● Irregular/fast heartbeat

● Substantial weight loss over a short period of time

● Mood maintenance

● Insomnia

● Issues with thinning/excessive shedding of the hair

● Profuse sweating

● Shakiness, especially in the hands

● Anxiety and nervousness

You can also have an autoimmune disease called Graves’ Disease (you can have symptoms related to having an overactive thyroid) or Hashimoto’s Disease (you can experience underactive thyroid symptoms).

Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself as your doctor may suggest that it’s “just stress”. We are taught to always trust the opinions of our doctor, but stress can kill friends. Never ignore your symptoms. Your body is trying to tell you something. I suffered for over five years before I received a diagnosis. If you aren’t getting the support that you need from your care team, you have the right to choose a different clinician.

Sometimes it can take awhile to figure out what works for you, but hang in there friend. You can and will get through this.


About Ebony

My name is Ebony Colina. I'm the owner of Total Metamorphosis and I am a thyroid disease coach, educator and wellness facilitator. I am on a mission to motivate others to live a healthy, happy and joy-filled life to create a legacy for generations to come. What that means is that I take a full body approach to help you maximize your overall wellness and minimize symptoms, especially when managing a thyroid condition. I have been in healthcare for over 12 years and I have worked at several hospitals and clinics. I am the host of the Thyroid Warrior Podcast and you can connect with me on several social media platforms:


Instagram: @ebonycolina

Facebook: Total Metamorphosis with Ebony Colina

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