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How Do You Feel If You Have Thyroid Problems

Look For Enlargements As You Swallow

Thyroid Problems- How Do You Know If You Have A Thyroid Problem?

As you swallow, look for any enlargements, lumps, protrusions, or anything that is off center. It is a good idea to repeat the process again, swallowing another mouthful of water, and observing the structures in your neck a few times.

Thyroid nodules are bumps that usually appear round. You may feel a thyroid nodule rolling beneath your fingertips or see it move with your thyroid gland when you swallow. A goiter may be seen on one side of the thyroid, and occasionally on both.

Can I Check My Thyroid At Home

You can do a quick and easy self-exam of your thyroid at home. The only tools you need to do this self-exam are a mirror and a glass of water.

To do the thyroid self-exam, follow these steps:

  • Start by identifying where your thyroid is located. Generally, youll find the thyroid on the front of your neck, between your collar bone and Adams apple. In men, the Adams apple is much easier to see. For women, its usually easiest to look from the collar bone up.
  • Tip your head back while looking in a mirror. Look at your neck and try to hone in on the space you will be looking once you start the exam.
  • Once youre ready, take a drink of water while your head is tilted back. Watch your thyroid as you swallow. During this test, youre looking for lumps or bumps. You may be able to see them when you swallow the water.

Repeat this test a few times to get a good look at your thyroid. If you see any lumps or bumps, reach out to your healthcare provider.

What Causes Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism has several causes, including Graves disease, thyroid nodules, and thyroiditisinflammation of the thyroid. Rarely, hyperthyroidism is caused by a noncancerous tumor of the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain. Consuming too much iodine or taking too much thyroid hormone medicine also may raise your thyroid hormone levels.

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What Is Thyroid Disease

Overactive thyroid or Hyperthyroidism can be caused by a condition familiar as Graves disease, inflammation of the thyroid gland , or by tumours that discharge thyroid hormones.

Thyroid hormones disease is pretty usual as It can result from conditions that cause under and over-functioning of the thyroid gland.

Thyroid Tests And Thyroid Optimal Ranges What To Expect At The Doctor

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Chances are, youve landed here and youre reading this because youre having a heck of a time navigating thyroid testing and diagnosis. Maybe you know somethings up, but your tests are coming back normal, or you feel like youre not getting the full picture.

Youre not alone. If youre going to a western medicine doctor for thyroid symptoms, you might have some back and forth, even some second or third opinions before you get the information you need.

Functional medicine and naturopathic doctors are simply better at diagnosing and treating the thyroid. The difference lies in the tests ordered and whats considered normal. There are exceptions doctors are out there who fully understand how hormone levels, blood tests, medications, and individual differences between patients all work. But, youll need to do some digging to find Dr. Right, as Bulletproof Radio podcast guest Izabella Wentz calls them.

When theyre licensed in your state, functional medicine and naturopathic doctors can order all of the blood tests and prescriptions you might need, and theyre likely to incorporate non-medical interventions as well.

A lot of docs will use TSH only as in the indicator of your thyroid function. If thats the case, you might want to go doctor shopping.

Here are the thyroid tests that will give you the full picture of how everythings working:

  • TSH
  • Thyroglobulin Antibodies

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Dont Do Starvation Diets

Fad diets are popular for their quick effectiveness, but theyre objectively terrible for your body in many ways. Not only are you likely to gain all the weight back the second you stop the diet, but youre also slowing down your metabolic rate and opening yourself up to thyroid issues.

According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, fasting causes your primary thyroid hormone that regulates metabolism to decrease efficiency by 53%. Many other thyroid hormones also saw a decrease in levels. In addition, cortisol levels leap up when you starve yourself, causing stress to you because it thinks your body is in danger. You may begin to retain a lot of fat as a result.

So dont do starvation diets no liquid cleanses, no super low-calorie days, nothing at all that could cause your body to believe it is starving.

When To See A Doctor

It is vital for people with unexplained fatigue or other signs or symptoms of hypothyroidism to see a doctor. Without treatment, an underactive thyroid can lead to serious complications, such as infertility, obesity, and heart disease.

A doctor can carry out a simple blood test to check a persons thyroid hormone levels. Treatment for hypothyroidism involves taking synthetic thyroid hormones. These medications are safe and effective once a person takes the right dose.

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Why Do I Have Thyroid Symptoms If My Tsh Is Normal

Some people treated for hypothyroidism may still experience symptoms even if blood tests show that their thyroid stimulating hormone levels are well within the normal range. The reasons for this are complex, but the bottom line is that having a normal TSH value doesn’t necessarily mean that all of your symptoms will go away.

When To Call A Doctor

Do I have Thyroid problems? Symptoms and Doctors

In most cases, problems with your thyroid arent an emergency. If you feel you have some of the symptoms above, you can simply make an appointment with your doctor to discuss testing and treatment options. However, you should call your doctor immediately if:

  • Youre very drowsy, cold, and lethargic. This could be the start of a myxedema coma, which is caused by hypothyroidism that eventually leads to unconsciousness and in some cases death.
  • You have a rapid pulse, accompanied by a fever, agitation, or delirium. This can indicate thyrotoxic crisis, a complication of hyperthyroidism.

Its not always easy to know if you have a problem with your thyroid. Knowing some of the common symptoms of an underactive or overactive thyroid will help give you an idea of you need to talk to your doctor.

Talk with your primary care provider about testing and treatment of thyroid issues. They may refer you to an endocrinologist or thyroid specialist for follow-up care.

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Signs Your Feet Are Warning You About A Thyroid Problem

Snuggled in a fluffy white bathrobe in an upscale spa, I was waiting to have my feet pampered with a deluxe pedicure as the basin was filling with warm, fragrant water.

Your feet are extremely dry with thick, hardened skin on your heels that have deep cracks. I see feet like this in women with sickness, the woman remarked, a little too loudly, inspecting my feet at close range.

What type of sickness? I whispered, feeling very embarrassed as people in the crowded spa turned to gawk at my feet.

You should see your doctor about your feet.

This woman giving me a pedicure could see as plain as day the signs of a serious health condition right there in my feet, but it would take 10 more years to finally receive my formal diagnosis: severe hypothyroidism.

Hashimoto’s Disease And Hypothyroidism

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease. It’s an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body’s own immune system attacks the thyroid and causes inflammation. This prevents the thyroid from making enough hormones, causing hypothyroidism.

Hashimoto’s disease often runs in families, and it affects women more than men. People with other autoimmune diseases are also more likely to get Hashimoto’s disease.

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism

At first, you might not notice the signs or symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Symptoms usually begin slowly. But, over time, a faster metabolism can cause symptoms such as:

  • Weight loss, even if you eat the same or more food
  • Eating more than usual
  • Diarrhea or more bowel movements than normal
  • Fewer and lighter menstrual periods than normal
  • Changes in your eyes that can include bulging of the eyes, redness, or irritation

Hyperthyroidism raises your risk for , a condition that causes weak bones that break easily. In fact, hyperthyroidism might affect your bones before you have any of the other symptoms of the condition. This is especially true of women who have gone through menopause or who are already at high risk of osteoporosis.

Causes Of An Overactive Thyroid

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There are several reasons why your thyroid can become overactive.

These include:

  • Graves’ disease a condition where your immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the thyroid
  • lumps on the thyroid this extra thyroid tissue can produce thyroid hormones, causing your levels to be too high
  • some medicines such as amiodarone, which can be used to treat an irregular heartbeat

Find out more about the causes of an overactive thyroid.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can vary from person to person and may include

  • nervousness or irritability
  • goiter

In people over age 60, hyperthyroidism is sometimes mistaken for depression or dementia. Older adults may have different symptoms, such as loss of appetite or withdrawal from people, than younger adults with hyperthyroidism. You may want to ask your health care provider about hyperthyroidism if you or your loved one show these symptoms.

Final Thoughts On Reasons Why People Develop Thyroid Issues And How They Can Avoid Them

Thyroid problems are the first step in a vast host of other diseases. It is wise to start now in living a healthier lifestyle, so your risk for developing this condition is much, much lower. You dont have to be the perfect model citizen just take care of yourself and make sure you eat well, exercise smartly, are careful about X-rays, and never miss an annual check-up!

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What Is The Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland has a small, butterfly shape and is located in the front of the neck, just below the larynx. It produces two hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine . Two areas of the brain, the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, control the hormone balance in the blood and the amount of thyroid hormones to be produced and secreted.

Thyroid hormones regulate energy, metabolism, body temperature, body weight, muscle strength, appetite, breathing, growth, the reproductive system and also heart, brain and kidney function. When your thyroid is functioning well and producing the right amount of hormones, everything runs smoothly.

Lifestyle factors are important if you want to keep your thyroid healthy. Eating a nutritious, balanced diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, managing stress levels and a healthy immune system all go a long way to keeping your thyroid in balance.

Hypothyroidism Is The Most Common Thyroid Disorder


The thyroid does a lot for your body. It makes hormones that keep organs running properly. It also controls the way you use energy: for example, how you burn calories and how fast your heart beats.

But sometimes this powerful gland doesn’t work like it’s supposed to.

One common thyroid condition, called hyperthyroidism, causes the thyroid to make more hormones than the body needs.

But the most common thyroid disorder is hypothyroidism, which affects about 4.6% of people in the U.S. This condition causes a lack of hormone, which leads the thyroid to slow down. People with hypothyroidism often gain weight and feel tired, but some may not have any symptoms at all.

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What Does The Thyroid Do

Your thyroid has an important job to do within your body releasing and controlling thyroid hormones that control metabolism. Metabolism is a process where the food you take into your body is transformed into energy. This energy is used throughout your entire body to keep many of your bodys systems working correctly. Think of your metabolism as a generator. It takes in raw energy and uses it to power something bigger.

The thyroid controls your metabolism with a few specific hormones T4 and T3 . These two hormones are created by the thyroid and they tell the bodys cells how much energy to use. When your thyroid works properly, it will maintain the right amount of hormones to keep your metabolism working at the right rate. As the hormones are used, the thyroid creates replacements.

This is all supervised by something called the pituitary gland. Located in the center of the skull, below your brain, the pituitary gland monitors and controls the amount of thyroid hormones in your bloodstream. When the pituitary gland senses a lack of thyroid hormones or a high level of hormones in your body, it will adjust the amounts with its own hormone. This hormone is called thyroid stimulating hormone . The TSH will be sent to the thyroid and it will tell the thyroid what needs to be done to get the body back to normal.

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.

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What Is Your Thyroid And What Does It Do

Located at the base of the neck, our thyroid is small yet powerful. It may be light like a butterfly, weighing approximately 20 grams, but shouldnt be taken lightly. It is responsible for our metabolism. It regulates all body functions including the heart rate, respiration, body temperature, and other organs. It ensures that all systems are a go.

Muscle Aches And Trouble Swallowing

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Muscle aches throughout the body are sometimes associated with abnormal thyroid levels. If your muscle aches have recently onset without any other obvious causes, a thyroid disorder is one likely cause. Rarely, muscle breakdown can also occur. If you find that you are unable to build toned muscle, reach out to your physician.

On a similar vein, because the thyroid is located in the neck, the neck muscles are usually the first to experience these symptoms. This includes the muscles associated with swallowing. If you are struggling to swallow, this could be another signs of thyroid problems.

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Hyperthyroid Medication And Treatment

When you have too much thyroid hormone, there are a few ways to tackle it.

Anti-thyroid medication. Anti-thyroid medication keeps your thyroid from making hormone.

Radioactive iodine. The thyroid absorbs iodine, but the rest of the body doesnt. So, by using radioactive iodine, you can selectively damage thyroid cells with radiation, and prevent them from making hormone. The damage is permanent. The risk is going overboard, causing an underactive thyroid and requiring a lifetime of thyroid medication.

Surgery. You can get all or part of the thyroid gland removed. Or, the surgeon could remove an active nodule that secretes hormone.

On an episode of Bulletproof Radio , I talked with thyroid expert Dr. Izabella Wentz, PharmD, about her protocol. She focuses on building the bodys natural resilience by zeroing in on natural defense systems, like the liver.

I started thinking about what are the fundamentals of healing for each person. What are the things that just about everybody can do to make themselves feel better regardless of what their root cause is, because every Hashimotos patient is like a snowflake, everybodys got a slightly different story. But supporting our own bodys natural protective defenses, supporting the liver, helps to build resilience, because now, were no longer toxic to everything.

Getting your body working properly might help your thyroid work again, or lessen your medication.

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Thyroid Disorders That Cause Hypothyroid

There are several reasons why you dont get enough thyroid hormone.

Toxic load. If your bodys detox systems like the liver and kidneys have too much to deal with, you might not be getting rid of all of the toxins you come into contact with on a daily basis. Thats when autoimmune disease develops, and sometimes, the thyroid is the target. Which brings us to

Hashimotos thyroiditis. Hashimotos, aka lymphocytic thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid, which means the immune system somehow marked the thyroid as an invader and attacks it. Tissues get damaged, and it doesnt produce enough thyroid hormone.

Certain prescriptions. Some medications slow thyroid function. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any medicines you take are concerning.

You no longer have a thyroid gland. If youve had surgery to remove the thyroid or part of it, or if your doctor killed off your thyroid with radiation because you made too much hormone, you might not make sufficient thyroid hormone or any at all.

Radiation. If youve had radiation treatments on or near the neck for cancer, your thyroid might have been damaged in the crossfire. That would affect how much hormone your thyroid makes.

Pregnancy and postpartum. Some women experience postpartum thyroiditis, inflammation in the thyroid sometime in the first year after having a baby. Thyroid hormone production increases, then drops, causing symptoms. Its usually temporary, but have your doc keep an eye on it.

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