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How To Know Your Thyroid Is Bad

Here Are 5 Red Flags That Your Thyroid Medication Is Not Working Optimally For You Despite Normal Lab Work

When and How to Test Your Thyroid at Home?
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1. Your weight is not budging

One of the most common complaints that patients have is difficulty losing weight. Due to the cosmetic nature of this symptom, many women lose their self confidence and their self image suffers. Of course many are not expecting for the weight to come down overnight but weight loss should reflect your nutritional and physical efforts to stay lean and fit. Some women will continue to gain weight even while on thyroid medication despite strategic weight loss measures. Sound familiar?

2. Your hair is still falling out

Another major physical concern is hair loss. While some hair loss is normal , excessive hair loss is a sign that your medication may not be doing the job. There may be other reasons why your hair is falling out such as low iron, low protein intake or poor digestion .

3. You still have sluggish digestion

A good test to measure your bowel transit time is the sesame seed test. Simply mix a teaspoon of sesame seeds in a few ounces of water and make note of the time. When you see the seeds in your stool, you can stop the timer. The average American eliminates food that he/she ate 96 hours ago! Comparatively, a healthy person eliminates their meals between 18-24 hours after eating. This is a very inexpensive but extremely valuable self assessment. Try this test out immediately and make note of your transit time. Its critical to your health!

4. You continue to have depression, brain fog, and cloudy thinking

If You Have A Symptom Of Hypothyroidism Should You Be Worried

The most common hypothyroid symptoms are fatigue, cold intolerance, constipation, slower metabolism, and dry skin, while more surprising signs may be a slower heart rate, joint and muscle pain, and dry or puffy skin, says Gregory Dodell, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Some people might experience one symptom but not the others.

Another possibility is having multiple symptoms with different causes. For instance, fatigue could be related to a mental health condition, while a slower heart rate may be hypothyroid related.

Surgery For Thyroid Cancer

Most patients with thyroid cancer have some type of surgery. Surgery is done to take out the tumor and all or part of the thyroid gland. Sometimes lymph nodes are taken out from the neck, too.

Side effects of surgery

Any type of surgery can have risks and side effects. Be sure to ask the doctor what you can expect. Possible side effects of thyroid surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding or a blood clot in the neck
  • Damage to the parathyroid glands
  • Short or long term problems with your voice

Also Check: What Is A Thyroid Specialist Called

How Is Postpartum Thyroiditis Treated

Treatment for postpartum thyroiditis depends on the phase of the disease and what symptoms you have. For example, if you get symptoms of hyperthyroidism in the first phase, your treatment may include medicines to slow down the heart rate.

In most women who have postpartum thyroiditis, the thyroid returns to normal within 12 to 18 months after symptoms start. But if you have a history of postpartum thyroiditis, your risk is higher for developing permanent hypothyroidism within 5 to 10 years.

Elimination Diet For Thyroid Health

7 Bad Habits That Make Thyroid Problems Worse

To find out whether or not the foods you eat are contributing to your thyroid symptoms, you need to eliminate them from your diet for a period of time, then reassess your symptoms. This is called an elimination diet.

Elimination diets are easy, but they do take some time. Before you begin your elimination diet, youll need to start a food journal. Write down every food you eat and every beverage you drink for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks, and write down any symptoms you experience after each meal. Do this for at least a week, but ideally a month, so youve got plenty of data to go over.

Once youve got your journal, go through it. See if you can find any relation between a food or food group and your symptoms. Maybe dairy products made your allergies worse. Maybe you felt bloated when you ate broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. Make a list of foods or food groups you suspect may be contributing to any symptoms you may have. A few food groups to consider include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Beans
  • Nightshade vegetables

Once youve figured out which food groups are likely contributing to your symptoms, remove them from your diet for two weeks. Be sure to continue your food journal. When the two weeks are over, reintroduce the food to your diet, and take note of how you feel. Did your symptoms subside when you stopped eating those foods? Then youve found a trigger food, and by eliminating it from your diet completely, you can finally find relief for your symptoms.

Recommended Reading: Do You Have To Take Thyroid Medicine Forever

The Most Common Signs Of A Thyroid Disorder

There are two main reasons you and your doctor might want to start monitoring your thyroid. First, any family history of thyroid conditions, such as thyroid nodules, means you should keep an eye on yours as well. Additionally, it might be wise to do an exam if youre feeling an array of confusing symptoms where you just cant pinpoint the exact problem.

Fatigue, feeling cold or hot all the time, hair loss, sudden weight gain or loss, palpitations, diarrhea, or issues with your menstrual cycle can all signal a thyroid issue, said Sun Lee, an assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, endocrinologist at Boston Medical Center, and member of the American Thyroid Association. The two main classifications of thyroid problems are hypothyroidism, where the gland is underactive, or hyperthyroidism, where its overactive. However, there can be other issues as well.

People often dont think they have a thyroid issue because the symptoms are thought of as synonymous with aging, said Cheryl Rosenfeld, managing partner of North Jersey Endocrine Consultants in Denville, New Jersey, and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology.

Many people pass off fatigue, weakness, loss of memory, dry skin or hair loss as expected effects of getting older, Rosenfeld said. However, it is important to rule out thyroid disease as a cause of these symptoms first.

What Are Thyroid Flare Ups Like For You

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

Please remember that if youre a thyroid patient living with poor mental health or lingering physical symptoms, that you dont have to live this way. To address why you may still be feeling unwell , please see this article and go through each suggestion, putting your thyroid jigsaw back together.


See also:

The book Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate: When Youre Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired, which builds on this article in detail.

The online thyroid course Freedom From Thyroid Fatigue, also walks you through how to overcome thyroid fatigue and flare up days with a personalised approach.

If you found this article beneficial, please take a moment to share it so we can help others get better with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, whilst also raising awareness.

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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.

Trouble Regulating Body Temperature

Use Iodine to Boost Your Thyroid

Are you often cold when nobody else is? This was something I struggled with for a long time, I thought it was just me. When I finally found a doctor that would take my thyroid problem seriously, on the list of questions he asked me were if I was cold often. He said this is a common indicator of thyroid issues.

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Thyroid Problems: Here Are The Warning Signs And How To Check

If youre a woman, theres a good chance you spend a lot of time thinking about your breasts. You may have wanted them to be bigger as an adolescent, stressed about your milk supply as you became a mother and started lactating, or entered the stage of life where you need regular mammograms to help protect against breast cancer .

But theres another body part you need to make sure youre monitoring: your thyroid. Similar to the prevalence of breast cancer among women, the American Thyroid Association says that 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop a thyroid disorder, and 60% of those who have one are unaware of their condition.

Here, experts explain why staying on top of your thyroid function is important, and list some red flags that something may be up with yours.

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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How To Check Your Thyroid For Any Issues

Both Lee and Rao said there arent any recommendations for routine thyroid screenings in cases that dont involve symptoms or family history, so its important to speak to your doctor if any of these confusing red flags have you feeling off. From there, your doctor can do a series of tests in addition to bloodwork.

Your doctor may start by examining the thyroid with their hands this is called palpation, Rosenfeld said. They will place their fingers on the bottom of the neck while they are facing or standing behind you. You may be asked to drink water to make the thyroid move, to see if they feel any abnormalities.

If anything does feel unusual, Rosenfeld said, your doctor may order an ultrasound to check for any potential thyroid nodules or enlargement of the thyroid. They may also order bloodwork to check specific TSH, T3 or T4 levels or thyroid antibodies, which could signal an autoimmune thyroid condition like Hashimotos disease.

From there, doctors can get a picture of your thyroid health and determine the next steps to take, or check for a separate issue behind your symptoms, such as anemia or a vitamin D deficiency unrelated to the thyroid.

Its important to keep in mind that aside from eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting enough exercise there is no special thyroid diet you should be doing, Rosenfeld said.

You should repeat this a few times to get a good visual. Heres a video that shows exactly how to do the at-home process.

Other Causes Of Hypothyroidism

Detox and improve dental health and bad breath with a ...

In some cases, hypothyroidism results from a problem with the pituitary gland, which is at the base of the brain. This gland produces thyroid-stimulating hormone , which tells the thyroid to do its job. If your pituitary gland does not produce enough TSH, levels of thyroid hormones will fall. Other causes of hypothyroidism include temporary inflammation of the thyroid or medications that affect thyroid function.

Recommended Reading: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid

Muscle And Joint Problems

This is one of the most common problems of thyroid diseases, but at the same time one of the least known. People with hypothyroidism, regardless of age or sex, often experience persistent joint and muscle pain. It is such an acute discomfort that we may be misdiagnosed, such as fibromyalgia.

However, this symptomatology usually reduces significantly with treatment. Also, people with thyroid problems often develop carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as plantar fasciitis.

For their part, people with hyperthyroidism usually show pain and weakness in the arms and legs.

Who Is Affected By Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disease can affect anyone men, women, infants, teenagers and the elderly. It can be present at birth and it can develop as you age .

Thyroid disease is very common, with an estimated 20 million people in the Unites States having some type of thyroid disorder. A woman is about five to eight times more likely to be diagnosed with a thyroid condition than a man.

You may be at a higher risk of developing a thyroid disease if you:

  • Have a family history of thyroid disease.
  • Have a medical condition .
  • Take a medication thats high in iodine .
  • Are older than 60, especially in women.
  • Have had treatment for a past thyroid condition or cancer .

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Treatment For Thyroid Imbalances

Fortunately, thyroid imbalances are treatable. While lifestyle changes, such as eating well and exercising, may bring relief when your thyroid hormones are out of balance, medication and surgery can be effective, too. After a diagnosis, which typically involves a comprehensive exam and blood tests, Dr. Kumra will help determine your best course of treatment.

Options may include:

  • Medication that slows down or speeds up thyroid production
  • Surgery to remove your thyroid

If you have questions about thyroid disease or suspect youre experiencing the effects of a hormone imbalance, book an appointment online or over the phone with ENT New York today.

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How To Reduce Iodine Displacement Caused By Chlorine

How to Reverse Your Thyroid Problems (What Doctors Never Tell)

If you have any type of thyroid dysfunction, I recommend limiting your time in chlorinated swimming pools, if possible. Saltwater pools can potentially be a safe alternative that still allows you to enjoy all the fun of summer swimming. You can also swim in natural bodies of water in the summer, which do not contain chlorine. If you are going to swim in a chlorinated swimming pool, you can find out what day the pool gets treated and schedule your trips away from that day so that the chlorine levels are lower. Then, shower afterward using filtered water. I use a shower head filter in my bathroom, and I also have tap filters installed in all of my sinks. You see, youre not just being exposed to chlorine in swimming pools, its in our public water supply as well, meaning youre getting a dose of chlorine and fluoride every time you drink from an unfiltered tap or take a shower from an unfiltered showerhead.

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Are Swimming Pools Sabotaging Your Thyroid

Amy Myers, MD

Amy Myers, M.D. is a functional medicine physician, trained and certified by The Institute of Functional Medicine. Dr. Myers earned her Doctor of Medicine at the LSU Health Science Center, and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Dr. Myers retired from her functional medicine clinic, Austin UltraHealth, where she served thousands of patients, to empower those who were failed by conventional medicine. Shes a 2x New York Times bestselling author, and the founder and CEO of the health & lifestyle e-commerce brand, Amy Myers MD®.

Summer is in full swing, and if its anywhere near as hot where you live as it is here in Texas, youre probably spending lots of time trying to cool down at the pool. While swimming can be a great way to escape the heat and socialize with family and friends, the chlorine in the water has the potential to disrupt your thyroid function. Lets take a look at how chlorine impacts your thyroid, and how to minimize its effects.

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 About Other Treatments That I Hear About

When you have cancer you might hear about other ways to treat the cancer or treat your symptoms. These may not always be standard medical treatments. These treatments may be vitamins, herbs, special diets, and other things. You may wonder about these treatments.

Some of these are known to help, but many have not been tested. Some have been shown not to help. A few have even been found to be harmful. Talk to your doctor about anything youre thinking about using, whether its a vitamin, a diet, or anything else.

How Can You Know If Your Anxiety Is Caused By Your Thyroid

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Only a doctor can diagnose hypothyroidism. Iodine tests, T4 tests, and tests for thyroid stimulating hormone are the primary methods of diagnosis. You should never diagnose yourself. Many people have attributed their anxiety to thyroid hormone imbalances only to find out that their thyroid is functioning properly. It’s easier for many to believe that their severe anxiety symptoms are caused by a physical problem, not their mental health. Yet even if thyroid problems run in your family it’s still more likely that your anxiety is not caused by your thyroid, but by other factors in your life.

Thyroid disorders should also have other symptoms, since the thyroid plays a role in several other functions. A small sample of these symptoms includes:

  • Cold intolerance
  • Low heart rate
  • Fatigue

Additional symptoms may occur if the thyroid has been malfunctioning for a long period of time.

Ask any anxiety expert and they’ll tell you that even if it’s obvious you have anxiety, it’s never a bad idea to go to the doctor and get these issues checked out. While thyroid hormone dysfunction is not nearly as likely as simply suffering from anxiety, it’s still something that can occur, so testing it is advantageous.

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