The Love Island star explained how she suffers with an underactive thyroid, and was diagnosed at a very young age with the hormonal condition.
After opening up and detailing many of the often mistaken warning signs, the 24 year old was bombarded with questions and stories from fans and fellow sufferers on social media.
Speaking exclusively to OK! Online, Olivia talked through her experience with the condition, and answered some of the many questions her fans had.
What was the response after opening up about your underactive thyroid condition?
“For me, it just made me happy that more people finally felt they had the confidence to talk about it. It made me feel comfortable talking about it, which in turn helps other people feel comfortable opening up. “
“It’s sort of pushed under the carpet because it’s something a lot of people have but don’t realise. Fans also said it’s nice to see someone live a normal life, going out and stuff, with the condition.”
How did you find out you had it?
“It’s really weird because I never thought it was a big deal before because I was diagnosed when I was ten. My mum noticed a lump in my throat which is where the thyroid gland is.
“If it’s over or under active it swells. Luckily it was nothing worse, and the immediate thought when you spot a lump is cancer.”
“My nan, mum, and aunt all have the condition, too.”
Why do you think it’s so under-diagnosed?
“A lot of the time I put my fatigue down to going out too much, and I think other people give themselves an excuse, too.
“There are so many symptoms with an underactive thyroid that can be put down to other things, so it all gets a bit lost in translation.”
“But if you are feeling fatigued, if you can’t get out of bed or you’re feeling depressed and you don’t really know why —even feeling cold for no reason — book an appointment and talk to your doctor.”
“Just being aware of the symptoms and getting them checked can make a difference.”
How does being diagnosed help with condition?
“A lot of it is just being able to explain things and label it, in a way. I had one girl say she struggled trying to explain to her friends why she can’t get out of bed — sometimes I won’t get out of bed for a couple of days.
“Knowing about it gives you the voice even to say to your friend you’re not being dramatic, horrible or boring, it’s a serious thing.”
How do you have enough energy?
“I don’t! A lot of people asked me this but what we see on Instagram is completely different thing. I’m always taking naps and a lot of the times when I don’t post it’s because I’m struggling.
“I have to take antidepressants now to combat that.”
How do you manage your weight?
“A lot of people asked me about this. I’ve actually put a stone on in the last year, but only the people close to me would notice.
“I struggled with my weight in my teens and it does go up and down, but you sort of have to remember some struggle harder than you. I can still get up and walked and go about my daily life when other people can’t.
“With the weight issue, there’s a lot of research you can do that helps manage it. Do as much research as you can. Some foods make you feel bloated and make it worse, for example.
“But the main thing is making sure you get your medication right. It’s so difficult to get right, lots of trial and error and finding what’s right for you and its very up and down, especially when your younger.
“All I can say to younger girls keep at it and stay strong because your levels will even out when you get older.”
How does your thyroid condition affect your anxiety?
“The thing is, I’m a confident person but there are times when I suffer. I do suffer badly from anxiety. I want to make sure people know it can happen to anyone and it’s not weird, you just need to talk to people.”
“I got back from Milan the other day and I couldn’t even leave the house, I felt like my heart was going all funny. I was meant to go out for a birthday meal but I just sat in and cried. There’s no shame in it, it happens.
“The key is just remembering to talk to someone you trust, anyone, and trying to remember to breathe in those situations.”
Find out more about the underactive thyroid condition here.