Thyroid Conditions And Digestive Problems
On the other hand, it could be something seemingly unrelated.
The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. It is responsible for making and distributing thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism and help the body use energy. When the thyroid gland is not functioning properly, it can cause a wide range of problems including digestive issues. Many people with chronic gastrointestinal problems cannot find relief because they have an undiagnosed thyroid condition.
Hyperthyroidism, or too much thyroid hormone in the body, causes bodily functions to speed up. Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism are a racing heart, nervousness, hand tremors, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and an enlarged neck. Digestive symptoms of an overactive thyroid can include difficulty swallowing, vomiting, diarrhea, lactose intolerance, liver problems, H. pylori bacterial infection and weight loss.
Hypothyroidism, or too little thyroid hormone in the body, can cause the bodys processes to slow down. This may cause symptoms such as fatigue, dry skin, depression, constipation, forgetfulness and weight gain. Digestive symptoms of an underactive thyroid can include dyspepsia , low stomach acid, poor absorption, constipation, gallstones, anemia and bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.
Thyroid Hormone: How It Affects Your Heart
The thyoid gland, which wraps;around the windpipe, releases;hormones that have;wideranging;effects on the;body.
Too little or too much of this crucial hormone can contribute to heart problems.
Located at the base your throat, the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland releases hormones that affect every organ in your bodyespecially your heart. Thyroid hormone influences the force and speed of your heartbeat, your blood pressure, and your cholesterol level. As a result, a malfunctioning thyroid gland can cause problems that masquerade as heart disease or make existing heart disease worse.
An estimated 6% of people in the United States have thyroid disease. Most of themabout 80% have an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism. When thyroid levels drop, all the systems in the body slow down, triggering a range of symptoms that include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, constipation, and dry skin. But these symptoms are very common in people as they grow older, including those with normal thyroid levels.
Symptoms Of Thyroid Nodules: The Complete List
Each of these is discussed in detail below with “what to do about it” recommendations.
As you read about these differnt thyroid nodule symptoms below, we will provide links to other parts of the website that will be important to read next. Most thyroid nodules don’t need a biopsy, however, thyroid nodules that have symptoms almost always will need scans and most will need a thyroid biopsy. We will help you understand this. We are also developing a Thyroid Nodule App for smart phones which will help you diagnose your thyroid nodule and tell you what you should be doing about it. Look for it in the App Store about March, 2017!
Almost all thyroid nodules that cause symptoms will require surgery.
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Feeling Chilly Or Overheated
Blood pressure is directly linked to circulation. Low circulation will result in feelings of being chilled. You might find that you are reaching for a sweater when others are feeling just fine. If you are always cold or notice that your hands and feet become particularly;chilled when uncovered, you may be experiencing a symptom of hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism might present in the opposite way. This could cause you to feel hot flashes or experience excessive sweating.
Hyperthyroidism And Your Heart
Some patients are misdiagnosed as having panic disorder or heart problems when they’re actually hyperthyroid. The body produces too much thyroid hormone, which causes the heart to work harder, creating symptoms such as:
- Increased heart rate, even when you’re resting and especially after exertion
- Higher blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Increased heart contractions
Once treated for their overactive thyroid, these people go on to be free of these symptoms. However, hyperthyroidism also increases your risk of developing heart conditions such as the following, which can independently lead to palpitations and feelings akin to panic attacks:
- Heart failure
- Atrial fibrillation
- Pulmonary hypertension
A toxic multinodular goiter may also cause sporadic periods of hyperthyroidism. In turn, these episodes can be a trigger for panic attacks or cause heart palpitations.
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Thyroid Nodule Symptom # 4: A Cough That Just Won’t Go Away Frequent Coughing And A Need To Keep Clearing Your Throat
- What to do about it?
Thyroid nodules that cause the patient to cough should always be evaluated with an ultrasound scan. Occasionally a CAT scan is required because it is better at looking at big thyroid goiters than ultrasound is . Sometimes it just can’t be known for sure if the thyroid nodule is actually causing the coughing. Often these patients undergo a laryngoscopy . If the thyroid nodule is causing the coughing, or there is a high liklihood it is the cause, then surgery is indicated. Of course, it is now very important for you to chose your surgeon wisely. The nerves to the vocal cords are occasionally damaged by a surgeon removing a thyroid and this will cause severe horseness and a loss of voice for months or even forever. We have an entire page dedicated to helping you chose a surgeon wisely!
Thyroid Nodule Symptom # 3: A Sense That You Need To Swallow Something
- What to do about it?
Like all thyroid nodules that cause symptoms, these patients need a thyroid ultrasound to look at the size, location, and characteristics of the thyroid, how many noduls are present, and where they are located. Often thyroid glands that are big won’t have any ultrasound characteristics that are worrisome for cancer, so most of theses do not need a FNA thyroid needle biopsy. Thus big thyroids comprised of lots of nodules often don’t need a biopsy, which is in direct contrast to nodules that are single, or those that can be seen or felt . However, if a thyroid is big enough that it is causing the patient to be aware of it, and it is causing symptoms of something stuck in the throat, then surgery is probably necessary. Remember, thyroid surgery isn’t just for nodules that we think may be thyroid cancer, surgery is often necessary for benign, non-cancerous thyroid glands which are large and causing the patient symptoms. This situation is quite common. It is also important to know that large thyroid goiters, and nodules that are on the back side of the thyroid are often required to have a CAT scan, since these bigger thyroid glands are not seen as well with ultrasound. This is why you need a good endocrinologist who know which scan to order and which scans are not necessary. Remember, a large thyroid is called a goiter and we have an entire page on thyroid goiters.
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Help Your Heart Stay Healthy
Monitoring your thyroid function is just one way you can prevent heart problems, especially as you get older. At Phoenix Heart, our cardiologists perform comprehensive diagnostic testing for heart-related symptoms, getting to the root cause of symptoms so your care can be tailored to your needs. If youre having any type of unusual heart symptoms or if its been a while since youve had a cardiac evaluation, call the office or use our online form to schedule an appointment today.
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Which Thyroid Issues Cause Pain
Your thyroid gland;is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck;that produces hormones.
There are three main reasons your thyroid gland;may feel painful:
- Thyroid cancer
- Certain types of thyroiditis
- Very large thyroid nodules
Most other types of thyroid disorders, including autoimmune thyroid disease, goiter, and ordinary thyroid nodules, do not cause pain.
Making Existing Heart Disease Worse
An underactive thyroid makes bodily functions inefficient and will have a direct effect on muscular function and aerobic capacity so its not difficult to see how it can have a negative impact on those with heart problems.
If you already have high blood pressure which has in turn caused narrows arteries, the combination of a quicker, more forceful heartbeat caused by hyperthyroidism can cause angina.
In 2015 a large study which looked at almost 15,000 people, revealed that those with congestive heart failure were at significantly increased risk of death if they also had hypothyroidism.; The lead author of the study Connie Rhee, MD, of Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston said
In heart failure patients, we found that both hypothyroidism overall and subclinical hypothyroidism increased the risk of death,To view the study please click here
Why would this be? Well of course heart patients are already vulnerable but moreover heart failure is the inevitable conclusion of multiple stresses which have negatively impacted heart function. This can come about through low or high levels of thyroid hormone
Causes Of Your Thyroid Pain
While thyroid pain can be caused by many possible reasons; the disorders that are commonly responsible for thyroid pain are as follows:
- Thyroid cyst causes pain in the thyroid gland
- Viral thyroiditis: a viral infection caused by mumps virus, coxsackie virus, adenovirus etc
- Thyroid tumor can cause severe thyroid pain
- Subacute granulomatous thyroiditis , also referred to as painful sub-acute thyroiditisorde Quervains thyroiditis is a common thyroid disorder that can cause pain and tenderness in front of the neck or throat.
- Hashimotos disease
- Advanced carcinoma of the thyroid gland that spreads to distant body sites causes unbearable thyroid pain along with other complications
- A goiter is benign enlargement of the thyroid gland that can cause pain in the thyroid gland
- Trauma or injury to the neck or throat can also result in severe thyroid pain in neck
- Inflammation of the thyroglossal fistula orthyroglossal cyst is associated with thyroid pain
- Hyperthyroidism can cause thyroid pain
- Thyroid nodules causes pain and swelling of the thyroid gland
See also: Coping with Thyroid Cancer Treatment
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Understanding The Difference Between Severe Headaches Migraines And Random Headaches
The very first thing you need to understand is that there are way too many types of headaches than can be classified, but broadly they fall under 150 major categories. The most common ones include cluster headaches, sinus headache, migraines, tension headache, and hormone headaches. Keep in mind that they can all be related or can all be due to a single cause. One person can have the same headache for different reasons.
High Blood Pressure And Chest Pain
Finally, many people who have hyperthyroidism also have high blood pressure, in part due to the excess activity of the heart. If you also have atherosclerosis , elevated blood pressure can cause chest pain or angina, as well. All this excess strain on the heart can lead to an enlarged heart and thickened heart walls , eventually causing heart failure.
An overactive thyroid can cause other symptoms, too, including:
Hyperthyroidism becomes more common as we age, and whats more, the heart-related symptoms of overactive thyroid also occur more frequently in older men and women.;
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Thyroid Nodule Symptom # 2: A Lump In The Neck That You Can See Or Other People Can See
- What to do about it?
Thyroid nodules that the patient can see, or somebody else can see should almost always be examined by an ultrasound test. Depending on the characteristics of the nodule , the nodule may need a needle biopsy. Almost all thyroid nodules that can be seen should have a FNA thyroid needle biopsy.
What Is An Overactive Thyroid
Hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid becomes overactive and produces too much of its hormones. Hyperthyroidism affects women five times to 10 times more often than men, and is most common in people younger than 40. People with hyperthyroidism have problems that reflect over activity of the body’s organs, resulting in such symptoms as sweating, feeling hot, rapid heartbeat, weight loss, and sometimes eye problems.
Hyperthyroidism can occur in several ways:
Toxic adenomas: Nodules develop in the thyroid gland and begin to secrete thyroid hormones, upsetting the body’s chemical balance. Some goiters may contain several of these nodules.
Subacute thyroiditis: Painful inflammation of the thyroid causes the gland to enlarge and “leak” excess hormones, resulting in temporary hyperthyroidism, which resolves spontaneously. Subacute thyroiditis generally lasts a few weeks but may persist for months.
Pituitary gland malfunctions or cancerous growths in the thyroid gland: Although rare, hyperthyroidism can also develop from these causes.
Silent thyroiditis: This is usually a temporary state of excess thyroid hormone release causing mild hyperthyroidism. In some cases it can result in permanent damage to the thyroid and low thyroid hormone production by the gland.
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Improving Gut Health May Improve Thyroid Conditions
Theres some encouraging preliminary evidence to suggest that improving your gut can help you improve your thyroid health. Improving the balance of your gut microbiome has been shown in some studies to promote optimal thyroid hormone levels and improve thyroid symptoms. For example:
- In a clinical trial, 8 weeks of probiotic supplementation improved thyroid hormone levels;and symptoms compared to a placebo. [8
What Does Thyroid Pain Feel Like
The pain is generally not localized and can radiate to mouth, jaw, chin, beyond the superior mediastinum to the chest. Sometimes, the pain can spread to the jaw or ears.
The pain often gets worsened on swallowing and can be associated with tenderness on palpating the thyroid gland.
Characteristics of thyroid pain are:
- It may look like an ache with tenderness to touch and swelling of the thyroid gland
- Thyroid pain can cause swelling
- It is associated with hoarseness of the throat or sore throat
- The pain worsens on touching or swallowing
- Thyroid pain in neck or throat along with swelling around the thyroid gland
- The thyroid gland may remain painful and swollen for weeks and in some cases for months. It all depends on the underlying cause of the pain.
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Thyroid And Chest Tightness
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The Connection Between The Two
Studies show that people who have migraines are 40% more likely to have thyroid conditions than those who did not. And people who had headaches, were 21% more likely to have thyroid disorders. This shows that chances of acquiring thyroid conditions increase if you already suffer from headaches.
Research also shows that people who have migraines arent able to convert T4 into T3 very well. This means that they will not be able to metabolize energy well. This is what can lead to Hashimotos thyroiditis. In simple words, risks of Hashimotos increase significantly among people who have migraines.
One more interesting thing to note is that when thyroid conditions are treated, migraine and other headache symptoms are also positively affected. There is typically improvement, not only in the symptoms of the thyroid; but in the symptoms of the migraine as well. This too shows that there can be a direct relation between the headache and thyroid gland. Whats more, depression, anxiety, and stress are also triggers of migraines and since they too are symptoms of thyroid problems, they can further aggravate migraine scenarios.
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Heart Failure Caused By Hypothyroidism
Heart failure is the final common pathway of all different kinds of negative events that happen to the cardiovascular system, such as untreated hypertension and diabetes, and heart failure is the state you end up in when these types of stresses have negatively impacted heart function, explains Ann Bolger, MD, American Heart Association spokesperson and William Watt Kerr Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
And no matter how they got there, this population of patients is very vulnerable.
Hypothyroidism is a disorder that interferes with the efficiency of body functions, such as muscular function and aerobic capacity, and heart patients are the ones who can least afford any additional negative effects, continues Bolger.
I dont think hypothyroidism would be well-tolerated by almost anyone, but most of us are in the happy circumstance where nature gives us so many different layers of coping mechanisms that we can defend ourselves in other ways, she adds. Hypothyroidism, however, is a total body challenge. Its not hard to understand how it can have a negative impact on heart patients.
How Is Hypothyroidism Or Hyperthyroidism Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and do a physical exam. Then they will order blood tests to see how much thyroid hormone your body is making. In addition, your doctor may discover that you have hyperthyroidism while doing a test for another reason.
Signs and Symptoms of a Thyroid Problem:
- You may feel nervous, moody, weak, or tired.
- Your hands may shake, your heart may beat fast, or you may have problems breathing.
- You may be sweaty or have warm, red, itchy skin.
- You may have more bowel movements than usual.
- You may have fine, soft hair that is falling out.
- You may feel tired, weak, and/or depressed.
- You may have dry skin and brittle nails.
- You may have difficulty standing cold temperatures.
- You may have constipation.