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'Gigi Hadid has Hashimoto's disease - so do I'

'Gigi Hadid has Hashimoto's disease - so do I'
From BBC - February 12, 2018

"Imagine having a really extreme case of flu."

That's how 23-year-old Rachel Hill describes living with Hashimoto's disease.

She's been talking to Newsbeat about the thyroid condition she shares with Gigi Hadid - who's hit back at trolls who have criticised her appearance.

The model says her weight loss is due to the treatment she's now getting for the disease.

The NHS describes it as being "caused by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland, making it swell and become damaged".

This can lead to "tiredness, weight gain and dry skin". There is no cure and it can take months or years to be diagnosed.

That's what happened in Rachel's case.

She first showed symptoms when she was 16.

"I'd had a virus but after it cleared, I was still very fatigued. I got bad acne, irregular periods and muscle aches and pains and spasms at night," she told Newsbeat.

"They just got worse and worse until I got diagnosed at 21."

That was the moment her life changed and she admits "grieving for my old life".

"I used to be very impulsive and do what I wanted, especially as a teenager - that's how life is. But now I have to really manage my energy levels.

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