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.
What Happens If Your Thyroid Is Out Of Balance
If your thyroid gland isnt working quite right, this could lead to lots of problems. Your thyroid produces important hormones that regulate many functions in your body. If your thyroid is having problems, you could experience weight gain, a lack of energy, mood challenges, and other symptoms.
If you suspect you have a thyroid problem, Dr. Vandana Kumra and her team at ENT New York can give you a thorough exam and put you on the path to better health.
Is There A Higher Risk Of Developing Thyroid Disease If I Have Diabetes
If you have diabetes, youre at a higher risk of developing a thyroid disease than people without diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. If you already have one autoimmune disorder, you are more likely to develop another one.
For people with type 2 diabetes, the risk is lower, but still there. If you have type 2 diabetes, youre more likely to develop a thyroid disease later in life.
Regular testing is recommended to check for thyroid issues. Those with type 1 diabetes may be tested more often immediately after diagnosis and then every year or so than people with type 2 diabetes. There isnt a regular schedule for testing if you have type 2 diabetes, however your healthcare provider may suggest a schedule for testing over time.
If you have diabetes and get a positive thyroid test, there are a few things to you can do to help feel the best possible. These tips include:
- Getting enough sleep.
- Taking all of your medications as directed.
- Getting tested regularly as directed by your healthcare provider.
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Its Hard To Lose Or Gain Weight
If you are on a diet and exercise program that should result in weight loss, but you arent losing any weight you may need an increased dosage of thyroid hormone medication for your hypothyroidism, or a reduction in antithyroid drugs. If you are trying to gain weight, and despite increased caloric intake, you are not gaining or youre losing weight you may need to increase your dosage of antithyroid drugs to treat your hyperthyroidism.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Thyroid Nodules
Most thyroid nodules do not cause symptoms and are not cancerous. Some thyroid nodules make too much thyroid hormone, causing hyperthyroidism. Sometimes, nodules grow so big that they cause problems with swallowing or breathing. About one-third of nodules are found by the patient, another third by the doctor, and the other third through an imaging test of the neck.
You can sometimes see or feel a thyroid nodule yourself. Stand in front of a mirror and raise your chin slightly. Look for a bump on either side of your windpipe below your Adam’s apple. If the bump moves up and down when you swallow, it may be a thyroid nodule. Ask your doctor to look at it.
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What Does Your Thyroid Do
The easier question to answer is, what doesnt the thyroid do? Your thyroid secretes hormones that regulate pretty much everything your body does, like:
- Menstrual cycles
- Brain function
Those are only a few of them. A complete list of everything the thyroid does would have you scrolling for days. Thats why its so crucial that it works, and why it can ruin your life if it doesnt. Too little thyroid hormone and it feels like your whole body is asleep and youre carrying a sack of rocks on your back. Too much, and you feel panicky and turbocharged, not in a good way.
Thyroid Disorders That Cause Hyperthyroid
Your thyroid can work overtime for various reasons.
Graves disease. Graves disease is an autoimmune condition where your immune system attacks the thyroid. Instead of destroying the tissue, it binds to thyroid receptors which activates hormone production. Then, it floods your body with too much hormone.
Subacute thyroiditis. When your thyroid gland is inflamed, thyroid hormone can seep out. This form of hypothyroidism is temporary usually, it lasts only a few weeks.
Hypothalamus and pituitary miscommunications. When the hypothalamus detects low thyroid hormone levels, it releases thyrotropin-releasing hormone , which tells the pituitary gland to release thyroid stimulating hormone . TSH then tells the thyroid to ramp up thyroid hormone production. When one of these misfires, you dont make the right amount of thyroid hormone.
Adenomas, or nodules. When bumps develop on the thyroid, they can become active and secrete thyroid hormone. Nodules can be benign or cancerous, so if you have them, get them checked out by your functional medicine doctor.
Thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer can cause hyperthyroidism, or it can decrease thyroid function and cause hypothyroid symptoms.
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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.
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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Depression And Brain Fog
Finally, because your body cant use energy as efficiently, your nervous system slows down. Combined with the feelings of fatigue, you can feel sluggish, experience mood swings, and see signs of depression. Patients who receive hormone replacement therapy usually report improvement for depressive symptoms.
What Common Symptoms Can Happen With Thyroid Disease
There are a variety of symptoms you could experience if you have a thyroid disease. Unfortunately, symptoms of a thyroid condition are often very similar to the signs of other medical conditions and stages of life. This can make it difficult to know if your symptoms are related to a thyroid issue or something else entirely.
For the most part, the symptoms of thyroid disease can be divided into two groups those related to having too much thyroid hormone and those related to having too little thyroid hormone .
Symptoms of an overactive thyroid can include:
- Experiencing anxiety, irritability and nervousness.
- Having trouble sleeping.
- Experiencing an intolerance to cold temperatures.
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Here Are 5 Red Flags That Your Thyroid Medication Is Not Working Optimally For You Despite Normal Lab Work
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
Common Problems: Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism
More than one in 10 people will develop a thyroid problem in their lifetime, estimates the American Thyroid Association . Many of these problems can lead to either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
The more common of the two, hypothyroidism, happens when the thyroid makes too little hormone. This underproduction can slow down body functions like digestion and metabolism, leading to symptoms such as tiredness, weight gain and constipation. Up to 3.7% of people in the United States have hypothyroidism.
When the thyroid makes too much hormone, it’s known as hyperthyroidism. This overproduction can speed up your body’s functions, leading to symptoms like restlessness, weight loss and diarrhea. Just 0.8% of people in the United States have hyperthyroidism.
Though the two conditions can cause opposite symptoms, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism share something in common: They are each the result of an underlying problem, usually an autoimmune disorder. For example, the autoimmune condition Hashimoto’s disease can cause hypothyroidism, while Grave’s disease can lead to hyperthyroidism. If you have a thyroid problem, your healthcare provider will be able to help you determine the underlying cause.
Other causes include too much iodine or thyroid nodules and prior thyroid treatments . Thyroiditis, which is when the thyroid becomes inflamed, can also cause hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
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Getting A Diagnosis And Treatment
Together with a physical exam and medical history, diagnostic tests are necessary to determine if you have a thyroid problem.
Your doctor may order blood tests to detect the levels of the hormones TSH, T4 and T3 in your blood, which can indicate hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. You may also need to take a thyroid antibody blood test, which can help diagnose underlying autoimmune diseases that can cause hormonal imbalances.
Some people may also need an ultrasound. This scan uses sound waves to take pictures of the thyroid gland and can identify thyroid nodules that may be affecting thyroid function.
If you are diagnosed with a thyroid problem, know that there are treatments available. Many people take medications to balance their hormones, while some may need thyroid surgery or radioiodine therapy. Being proactive is critical to your thyroid health, so share your concerns, ask questions and partner with your care team to find a treatment plan that works for you.
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How Thyroid Medication Treats Hypothyroidism
The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating cellular metabolism, growth, and development. When the thyroid does not produce enough hormone, it can slow down all body systems.
Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Fatigue and malaise
- Dry skin
Thyroid hormone replacement medication can relieve the above symptoms and improve your overall health and quality of life.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition, is often the cause of hypothyroidism. Chronic inflammation from Hashimoto’s can lead to the thyroid gland’s eventual failure, making it unable to produce enough thyroid hormone. Surgical removal, radiation, thyroiditis, and damage to the pituitary gland can also cause hypothyroidism. No matter the cause, people with hypothyroidism often need thyroid replacement medication.
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At Home Thyroid Blood Test
If you are on too much thyroid medication, your thyroid-stimulating hormone test will likely be on the lower end of the reference range. Your doctor may also check your T4 and T3 levels. If these are on the upper end of the reference range, that may also indicate overmedication.
It is also helpful to track your symptoms to have a log of what you are experiencing and what time of day. This information helps your doctor assess factors that cause dosage or absorption issues that may not show up in your blood work.
Schedule a virtual consultation with a thyroid doctor:
What Is Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer happens when cancer cells form from the tissues of the thyroid gland.
Most people with thyroid cancer have a thyroid nodule that does not cause any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you may have swelling or a lump in your neck. The lump may cause problems swallowing. Some people get a hoarse voice.
To tell if the lump or nodule is cancerous, your doctor will order . Most thyroid nodules are not cancerous.
For more information about thyroid cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute’s thyroid cancer page.
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Do Your Jeans Fit Differently
An underactive thyroid slows your metabolism to a snails pace, says Bianco. And when your body converts fewer calories into energy it can lead to weight gain. Andinsult, meet injuryyou may also retain fluids since your kidneys might also slow down how quickly they excrete water. But if your thyroid is operating at warp-speed, you might lose weight, even if youre still scarfing down the same amount of food.
Weak Nails And Thinning Hair
Your hair and nails are constantly growing. One important function of the thyroid gland is sending hormone signals to trigger hair and nail growth. With hyperthyroidism, the extra hormones tell your body to increase the growth of your hair follicles and nails in a shorter period of time. While it would seem that your nails growing fast would be a positive side effect of thyroid dysfunction, that isnt the case. This forced growth is too fast. As a result, your body has to stretch its natural resources, which can lead to thin and brittle hair and nails.
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Common Signs Of Thyroid Disease In Children
The thyroid gland which is located at the front of the neck near the clavicles is responsible for the rate of all metabolic and chemical processes in our body, in every cell, tissue and organ. Thyroid gland disorders consequently have a profound effect upon the human body. When the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone , the condition is called hyperthyroidism. When the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone , the condition is called hypothyroidism. Thyroid problems can occur at any age infants can even be born with a thyroid problem!According to the American Diabetes Association and the Pediatric Endocrine Society, parents should look for the following symptoms that may indicate problems with their childs thyroid.
Signs of hyperthyroidism can include:
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism in children and adolescents is an autoimmune condition called Graves disease which causes the body to produce antibodies that stimulate the thyroid gland uncontrollably, making too much thyroid hormone.
Signs of hypothyroidism can include:
Who Is At Risk For Thyroid Cancer
About three times as many women get thyroid cancer as men. The number of women with thyroid cancer is also going up. By 2020, the number of women with thyroid cancer is expected to double, from 34,000 women to more than 70,000 women.
Thyroid cancer is more common in women who:
- Are between the ages of 25 and 65
- Had radiation therapy to the head or neck, especially in childhood, to treat cancer
- Have a history of
- Have a family history of thyroid cancer
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