Heavy Or Irregular Periods
Both irregular and heavy menstrual bleeding are linked to hypothyroidism.
One study showed that about 40% of women with low thyroid hormone experienced increasing menstrual irregularity or heavy bleeding in the last year, compared to 26% of women with normal thyroid levels .
In another study, 30% of women with hypothyroidism had irregular and heavy periods. These women had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism after other symptoms had caused them to get tested .
Thyroid hormone interacts with other hormones that control the menstrual cycle, and abnormal levels of it can disrupt their signals. Also, thyroid hormone directly affects the ovaries and uterus.
There are several problems besides hypothyroidism that can cause heavy or irregular periods. If you have irregular or heavy periods that disrupt your lifestyle, consider talking with a gynecologist before worrying about your thyroid.
Summary: Heavy periods or irregular cycles that are worse than usual could be caused by a medical condition, including hypothyroidism. Its best to talk to a gynecologist about them.
How Is Thyroid Disease Treated
Your healthcare providers goal is to return your thyroid hormone levels to normal. This can be done in a variety of ways and each specific treatment will depend on the cause of your thyroid condition.
If you have high levels of thyroid hormones , treatment options can include:
- Anti-thyroid drugs : These are medications that stop your thyroid from making hormones.
- Radioactive iodine: This treatment damages the cells of your thyroid, preventing it from making high levels of thyroid hormones.
- Beta blockers: These medications dont change the amount of hormones in your body, but they help control your symptoms.
- Surgery: A more permanent form of treatment, your healthcare provider may surgically remove your thyroid . This will stop it from creating hormones. However, you will need to take thyroid replacement hormones for the rest of your life.
If you have low levels of thyroid hormones , the main treatment option is:
- Thyroid replacement medication: This drug is a synthetic way to add thyroid hormones back into your body. One drug thats commonly used is called levothyroxine. By using a medication, you can control thyroid disease and live a normal life.
Knowing When To Check Your Thyroid
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What Are Early Warning Signs Of Thyroid Problems 15 Signs It May Be Time To Get Thyroid Testing
At the Medical Transformation Center in Louisville, Kentucky, we know that thyroid disorders are common, and we offer thyroid testing to help combat the concern. Statistically, about 12% of people will experience some form of thyroid disorder in their life, and getting it treated is the key to feeling like yourself again. Knowing the early signs of thyroid problems could be a great help to treat it.
Favorite Hypothyroidism Online Support Network
Run by people with hypothyroidism like you, Thyroid Nation is more than simply a thyroid blog. Here, youll learn about thyroid disease management tips, but also connect with peers and comment on their stories. You even have an opportunity to share you own story on the Thyroid Thrivers page. Hypothyroidism can make you feel down, so its important to reach out and socialize you certainly arent alone in your struggles, as the pages Thrivers demonstrate.
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What Other Health Problems Could I Have Because Of Hyperthyroidism
If hyperthyroidism isnt treated, it can cause some serious health problems, including
- an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related problems
- an eye disease called Graves ophthalmopathy that can cause double vision, light sensitivity, and eye pain, and rarely can lead to vision loss
- thinning bones and osteoporosis
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What Are 10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Thyroid Function
1. Make sure you are taking a high quality multivitamin with Iodine, Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin D, and B vitamins.
2. Go gluten-free! If you have Hashimotos, try going completely grain and legume free.
3. Deal with your stress and support your adrenal glands. The adrenal glands and thyroid work hand and hand. I recommend restorative yoga and adaptogenic herbs which support the adrenal glands in coping with stress.
4. Get 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night.
5. Have a biological dentist safely remove any amalgam fillings you may have.
6. Watch your intake of raw goitrogens. There is a bit of a debate surrounding this.
7. Get fluoride, bromide and chlorine out of your diet and environment.
8. Heal your gut. A properly functioning digestive system is critical to good health.
How To Heal Your Gut Naturally with Dr. Amy Myers
9. Find a functional medicine doctor in your area and have them run the above laboratory test and work with you to find your root cause of the thyroid imbalance.
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Should People With Thyroid Problems Avoid These Supplements
Iodine: Yes. Avoid it as a supplement whether you havehyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. The effect of iodine supplements can vary byperson, causing the thyroid to produce either too much or too little hormone.
Certain alternativemedicine websites or doctors tell patients that iodine is good for yourthyroid, Dr. Nasr says, but if there is anybody who shouldnt take iodine, itis thyroid patients. Such claims aremade because iodine deficiency is the No. 1 cause of thyroid conditionsin the world, he says. But thats not true in the U.S., where we have iodine inour diets. Iodine is added to many foods, and not just salt, he says.
However, Dr. Nasr says that people on restrictive diets may consider adding a daily multivitamin that contains the recommended daily allowance of iodine.
He also assures patientsnot to worry that you are getting too much iodine from everyday foods. You wouldhave to eat a ton of it to cause problems, he says. Its not, dont eatanything with iodine. Its, dont eat a bunch of iodine. And patients shouldbe careful with iodine-concentrated supplements.
What Is Hyperthyroidism In Cats
Feline hyperthyroidism is an extremely common condition that occurs when the thyroid gland in the neck becomes overactive. The thyroid glands produce a hormone that controls the animals metabolic rate i.e how the body uses energy. The brain controls the level of thyroxine by telling the thyroid gland how much to make.
Growth in the thyroid gland can cause hyperthyroidism, producing more active cells. However, these cells can develop out of control and instead produce thyroxine continually instead of the amount that is needed. High levels of thyroxine in cats can force the body into overdrive. The body is kept constantly at an unnaturally high level of energy, which places enormous strain on other systems, including the heart.
Left untreated, cat hyperthyroidism can be fatal and early diagnosis is key to ensuring other organs are not affected. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available that can help to manage an overactive thyroid in cats effectively.
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Changes In Menstrual Periods
Because hyperthyroidism tells your body to move faster, the menstrual cycle can become lighter and faster. You may also notice longer periods of time in between your periods.
On their own, these symptoms may indicate other medical problems. However, when you or your doctor identify more than one of these symptoms at a time, there is a good chance its due to thyroid problems.
Thankfully, most thyroid disorders are treatable and are not life-threatening. However, if you notice a rapid heart rate and experience either a fever or deliriousness, you should call your doctor immediately. These are signs of a hyperthyroid complication called thyrotoxic crisis.
Weakness And Aches In Muscles And Joints
Low thyroid hormone flips the metabolic switch toward catabolism, which is when the body breaks down body tissues like muscle for energy .
During catabolism, muscle strength decreases, potentially leading to feelings of weakness. The process of breaking down muscle tissue can also lead to aching .
Everyone feels weak once in a while. However, people with hypothyroidism are twice as likely to feel more weak than usual, compared to healthy people (
One study in 35 individuals with hypothyroidism showed that replacing low levels of thyroid hormone with a synthetic thyroid hormone called levothyroxine improved muscle strength and decreased aches and pains, compared to no treatment .
Another study showed a 25% improvement in the sense of physical well-being among patients receiving thyroid replacement .
Weakness and aches are normal following strenuous activity. However, new, and especially increasing, weakness or aching is a good reason to make an appointment with your physician.
Summary: Low levels of thyroid hormone slow down your metabolism and can cause painful muscle breakdown.
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Should I Exercise If I Have A Thyroid Disease
Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. You do not need to change your exercise routine if you have a thyroid disease. Exercise does not drain your bodys thyroid hormones and it shouldnt hurt you to exercise. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before you start a new exercise routine to make sure that its a good fit for you.
Overdoses Or Underdoses Of Vitamins
In many cases, a lack of nutrition is what leads to diseases. In the case of thyroid problems, overdoses are also a common factor to take into consideration. Here are some common vitamin over- and underdoses that lead to thyroid issues:
Yes, you need iodine for hormone production, and a lack of it can also cause thyroid problems. But did you know that consume an excess of 400 mcg of iodine per day can lead to many complications, including to the thyroid?
For the thyroid to carry out its peroxidase function healthily and positively, it needs iron. Without it, thyroid hormones cannot be synthesized, and iron-deficiency anemia opens up the door to many different diseases, too.
· Vitamin A
Vitamin A is capable of binding to the hormone receptors in the thyroid, increasing one kind of hormone but not the other, more desirable one. You can lose as much as two-thirds of your thyroid hormones by not paying attention to vitamin A!
The thyroid needs selenium to convert certain types of hormones to others. This nutrient helps to protect against autoimmune diseases and also works to encourage healthy thyroid function. A deficiency may lead to hypothyroidism.
The more selenium you take, the more chromium you excrete. As such, its a good idea to keep an eye on your daily intake of this lesser-known vitamin.
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Could You Have Thyroid Disease And Not Know
Often we think of the brain or the heart as the engine in our bodies. These organs are critical in keeping us alive and, directly or indirectly, control every single function in our body. While that may be true, a gland in the shape of a butterfly is equally as important and plays a major role in our health.
Feeling Down Or Depressed
Hypothyroidism is linked to depression. The reasons for this are unclear, but it might be a mental symptom of an overall decrease in energy and health .
64% of women and 57% of men with hypothyroidism report feelings of depression. About the same percentage of men and women also experience anxiety .
In one study, thyroid hormone replacement improved depression in patients with mild hypothyroidism, compared to a placebo .
Another study of young women with mild hypothyroidism showed increased feelings of depression, which were also connected to decreased satisfaction with their sex lives (
Feeling depressed is a good reason to talk to a physician or therapist. They may be able to help you cope, regardless of whether the depression is caused by thyroid problems or something else.
Summary: Hypothyroidism can cause depression and anxiety. These conditions are shown to improve with thyroid hormone replacement.
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Favorite Orgs For Essential Hypothyroidism Symptoms Info
As leading professionals on all things endocrinology, the physicians and experts from the Endocrine Society offer the latest research and 101 information on hypothyroidism. The Hormone Health Networks overview of hypothyroidism in particular is required reading for the latter, as its overview page offers key intel on how to spot signs of hypothyroidism and receive a prompt diagnosis.
Established in 1913, the American Thyroid Association is one of the oldest-serving organizations dedicated to thyroid health and research. Such extensive expertise informs their page on hypothyroidism, which not only discusses short-term symptoms, but also what you can expect with this condition down the road. Also be sure to check out the ATAs subpages on specific hypothyroid concerns, such as their Thyroid and Weight page, as weight changes are a key concern for people with this thyroid disease.
Treating An Underactive Thyroid
Treatment for an underactive thyroid involves taking daily hormone replacement tablets, called levothyroxine, to raise your thyroxine levels.
You’ll initially have regular blood tests until the correct dose of levothyroxine is reached. This can take a little while to get right.
Once you’re taking the correct dose, you’ll usually have a blood test once a year to monitor your hormone levels.
You’ll usually need treatment for the rest of your life. However, with proper treatment, you should be able to lead a normal, healthy life.
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How Is Thyroid Disease Diagnosed
Sometimes, thyroid disease can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are easily confused with those of other conditions. You may experience similar symptoms when you are pregnant or aging and you would when developing a thyroid disease. Fortunately, there are tests that can help determine if your symptoms are being caused by a thyroid issue. These tests include:
- Blood tests.
- Physical exams.
One of the most definitive ways to diagnose a thyroid problem is through blood tests. Thyroid blood tests are used to tell if your thyroid gland is functioning properly by measuring the amount of thyroid hormones in your blood. These tests are done by taking blood from a vein in your arm. Thyroid blood tests are used to see if you have:
The specific blood tests that will be done to test your thyroid can include:
These tests alone arent meant to diagnose any illness but may prompt your healthcare provider to do additional testing to evaluate for a possible thyroid disorder.
Additional blood tests might include:
Talk to your healthcare provider about the ranges for these thyroid blood tests. Your ranges might not be the same as someone elses. Thats often alright. If you have any concerns or worries about your blood test results, talk to your provider.
An ultrasound typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
Why You Could Have Thyroid Disease And Not Know It
Thyroid disease isnt a health topic that often makes headlines. According to American Thyroid Association, it is estimated that 20 million Americans have hormonal imbalances from thyroid disorders, and up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease go undiagnosed. There are many effective treatments for thyroid problems, but getting to a diagnosisis sometimes a bigger challenge.
Symptoms of thyroid disorders can appear like signs of normal aging or other conditions. These include fatigue, memory lapses, irritability, sleep problems, thinning hair, constipation and/or weight gain.
If you have these symptoms, your primary care doctor can order a simple blood test to measure your thyroid levels.
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What To Know About Testing
Your primary care doctor can order blood tests to check your TSH and other thyroid hormone levels during routine physicals. Your doctor may refer you to an endocrinologist if your symptoms are difficult to diagnose, or if your symptoms are hard to manage. Endocrinologists are doctors who specialize in managing thyroid disease and other glandular disorders.
Acceptable levels or reference ranges of TSH can vary from lab to lab. Currently, most labs in the U.S. have an official normal reference range for TSH levels of .4 to 4.5. TSH is a screening test further testing may be needed if symptoms are concerning for thyroid disorder. In the case of autoimmune thyroid disease, TSH levels may be normal a thyroid auto-antibodies test detects autoimmune thyroiditis.
Thyroid ultrasound and imaging scans look at gland size and nodules. And, radioactive nuclear imaging shows hot or cold spots in the glands and increased or decreased activity.
Arm yourself with as much information as possible to help your doctors determine if your thyroid function is impaired. Treatments are widely available and can help you get back to feeling better fairly quickly.