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What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Thyroid

How Are Hypothyroidism And Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Diagnosed

Check Your Thyroid Symptoms

To diagnose hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, doctors ask about a person’s symptoms, do an exam, and order blood tests. The tests measure:

  • Thyroid hormone levels, particularly thyroxine and thyroid-stimulating hormone . TSH is a hormone made in the . More TSH is released into the blood when the brain and pituitary sense that the levels of thyroid hormone in the blood are too low. TSH stimulates the thyroid to work harder to make more thyroid hormone.
  • Some antibodies . High levels of these antibodies in the blood are a sign that the gland is being attack by the immune system in Hashimoto’s. The two antibodies commonly measured are thyroglobulin antibodies and thyroid peroxidase antibodies .

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.

How Does Your Thyroid Gland Work

Thyroid hormone production is regulated by a feedback loop between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and the thyroid gland. Hypothalamic thyrotropin-releasing hormone stimulates pituitary thyrotropin synthesis and secretion.

In turn, TSH stimulates production and release of T4 and T3 from the thyroid gland. When enough T4 is produced, it signals to TRH and TSH that there is enough thyroid hormone in circulation and not to produce more.

About 85% of the hormone produced by our thyroid gland is T4, which is an inactive form of the hormone. After T4 is made, a small amount of it is converted into T3, which is the active form of thyroid hormone.

To complicate matters, T3 also gets converted into either Free T3 or Reverse T3 . Its the Free T3 that really matters in all of this, since its the only hormone that can attach to a receptor and cause your metabolism to rise, keep you warm, keep your bowels moving, mind working, and other hormones in check. The role of Reverse T3 is not well known, however, I do see it elevated in persons under extreme stress and those who have mercury toxicity.

And finally, Hashimotos thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease, is the most common form of hypothyroidism and its numbers are rising annually. An autoimmune disease is one in which your body turns on itself and begins to attack a certain organ or tissue believing its foreign.

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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.

Avoid Generics Or Get A Stable Multiple

Doctors Explain The Best Diet For A Bad Thyroid

Some HMOs and insurance companies will automatically override your doctor’s requested brand and supply you with a generic levothyroxine made by one of many different manufacturers.

There is nothing inherently wrong with generic drugs. The problem with this practice, however, is that you may be switched from one generic brand to the next every month without even knowing it. And, each time you are, you may receive a product that has a slightly different potency or is closer to the expiration date that you might otherwise prefer.

To ensure medication consistency, ask your doctor to write “no generic substitution” or “DAW” on the prescription. If your insurer threatens a higher drug copay, ask your doctor to write a motivation outlining why the specific brand is necessary.

If your insurer denies your request, try asking doctor to write a prescription for a six-month drug supply. Once received, check to ensure the drugs are all from the same manufacturer and are within the expiration date for at least the next six months.

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How Does Hypothyroidism Affect Your Metabolism

The thyroid hormone helps control the speed of your metabolism. The faster your metabolism, the more calories your body burns at rest.

People with hypothyroidism make less thyroid hormone. This means they have a slower metabolism and burn fewer calories at rest.

Having a slow metabolism comes with several health risks. It may leave you tired, increase your blood cholesterol levels, and make it harder for you to lose weight .

If you find it difficult to maintain your weight with hypothyroidism, try doing moderate or high intensity cardio. This includes exercises like fast-paced walking, running, hiking, and rowing.

Research shows that moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise may help boost your thyroid hormone levels. In turn, this may help speed up your metabolism (

Summary

People with hypothyroidism usually have a slower metabolism. Research shows that aerobic exercise can help boost your thyroid hormone levels. Additionally, eating more protein may help boost your metabolism.

Several nutrients are important for optimal thyroid health.

Is Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy A Problem

Left untreated, hypothyroidism during pregnancy can affect both mother and baby. However, thyroid medicines can help prevent problems and are safe to take during pregnancy. Many women taking thyroid hormone medicine need a higher dose during pregnancy, so contact your doctor right away if you find out youre pregnant.

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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.

Surgical Removal Of Part Or All Of The Thyroid

Hypothyroidism: Signs, Symptoms and What You Need to Know

When surgeons remove part of the thyroid, the remaining part may produce normal amounts of thyroid hormone. But some people who have this surgery may develop hypothyroidism. Removing the entire thyroid always results in hypothyroidism.

Surgeons may remove part or all of the thyroid as a treatment for

  • hyperthyroidism
  • a large goiter
  • thyroid nodules, which are noncancerous tumors or lumps in the thyroid that can produce too much thyroid hormone
  • small thyroid cancers

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Do You Have Thyroid Symptoms With Normal Lab Results

    According to the American Thyroid Association, 12+ percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition. An estimated 20 million Americans have a thyroid disorder or disease. As many as 60 percent of those affected are unaware of their condition. Women are affected by thyroid disorders more often than men.

    If you tell your doctor you are concerned about thyroid problems, he or she will probably order a lab test. But what if the test comes back negative, yet your symptoms persist? Lets say you cant lose weight, always feel tired, and just feel terrible in general. You and your doctor are probably baffled by your normal thyroid blood test results.

    Some thyroid problems cause symptoms without showing up on the standard thyroid panel. For example, you may be symptomatic but cant detect the issue because your thyroid labs are in the normal range? If so, you may suffer from a less common thyroid disorder or thyroid-related dysfunction.

    How Long Does It Take To Recover From Thyroid Surgery

    It will take your body a few weeks to recover after your thyroid is surgically removed . During this time you should avoid a few things, including:

    • Submerging your incision under water.
    • Lifting an object thats heavier than 15 pounds.
    • Doing more than light exercise.

    This generally lasts for about two weeks. After that, you can return to your normal activities.

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    What Is Postpartum Thyroiditis

    Postpartum thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid after giving birth, affects 10% of women. It often goes undiagnosed because symptoms are much like the “baby blues” that may follow delivery. Women with postpartum thyroiditis may feel very tired and moody.

    Postpartum thyroiditis typically happens in two phases, though not everyone with the condition goes through both phases:

    • The first phase starts 1 to 4 months after giving birth and typically last 1 to 2 months. In this phase, you may have because the damaged thyroid leaks thyroid hormones out into the bloodstream.
    • The second phase starts about 4 to 8 months after delivery and lasts 6 to 12 months. In this phase, you may have because the thyroid has lost most of its hormones or because the immune attack is over and the thyroid may recover later.

    Too Much Thyroid Hormone Medicine

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    Some people who take thyroid hormone medicine for hypothyroidism may take too much. If you take thyroid hormone medicine, you should see your doctor at least once a year to have your thyroid hormone levels checked. You may need to adjust your dose if your thyroid hormone level is too high.

    Some other medicines may also interact with thyroid hormone medicine to raise hormone levels. If you take thyroid hormone medicine, ask your doctor about interactions when starting new medicines.

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    Why Is Hypothyroidism So Under Diagnosed In The Usa

    Many symptoms of thyroid imbalance are vague and most doctors spend only a few minutes talking with patients to sort out the cause of their complaint.

    Most conventional doctors use only one or two tests to screen for problems. They are not checking FT3, RT3 or thyroid antibodies.

    Most conventional doctors use the normal lab reference range as their guide only. Rather than listening to their patients symptoms, they use optimal lab values and temperature as their guide.

    Radiation Treatment Of The Thyroid

    Radioactive iodine, a common treatment for hyperthyroidism, gradually destroys thyroid cells. If you receive radioactive iodine treatment, you probably will eventually develop hypothyroidism. Doctors also treat people who have head or neck cancers with external radiation therapy, which can also damage the thyroid if it is included in the treatment.

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    Are There Different Types Of Thyroid Removal Surgery

    If your healthcare provider determines that your thyroid needs to be removed, there are a couple of ways that can be done. Your thyroid may need to be completely removed or just partially. This will depend on the severity of your condition. Also, if your thyroid is very big or has a lot of growths on it, that could prevent you from being eligible for some types of surgery.

    The surgery to remove your thyroid is called a thyroidectomy. There are two main ways this surgery can be done:

    • With an incision on the front of your neck.
    • With an incision in your armpit.

    The incision on the front of your neck is more of the traditional version of a thyroidectomy. It allows your surgeon to go straight in and remove the thyroid. In many cases, this might be your best option. You may need this approach if your thyroid is particularly big or has a lot of larger nodules.

    Alternatively, there is a version of the thyroid removal surgery where your surgeon makes an incision in your armpit and then creates a tunnel to your thyroid. This tunnel is made with a special tool called an elevated retractor. It creates an opening that connects the incision in your armpit with your neck. The surgeon will use a robotic arm that will move through the tunnel to get to the thyroid. Once there, it can remove the thyroid back through the tunnel and out of the incision in your armpit.

    • Are not at a healthy body weight.
    • Have large thyroid nodules.
    • Have a condition like thyroiditis or Gravess disease.

    What Is Normal Thyroid Function

    10 Urgent Signs Your Thyroid Is In Trouble

    It’s first helpful to understand how the thyroid works to understand your thyroid blood test results.

    The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system, located at the base of the neck. The hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and the thyroid gland all work together to regulate thyroid hormone function. Thyrotropin-releasing hormone from the hypothalamus signals the release of thyroid-stimulating hormone from the pituitary gland. TSH then stimulates, as the name implies, the production of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland.

    The thyroid gland produces an inactive thyroid hormone called thyroxine and an active thyroid hormone called triiodothyronine . The inactive thyroid hormone converts peripherally to either activate thyroid hormone or an alternative inactive thyroid hormone .

    Hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis

    As mentioned, the thyroid gland gets input from the hypothalamus via the pituitary gland. In return, free T3 and free T4 send feedback to the hypothalamus and pituitary glands to regulate normal function.

    When the hypothalamus senses low thyroid hormone levels, it increases TRH, causing the pituitary gland to increase TSH. The elevated TSH levels then increase thyroid hormone production, returning the body to normal function.

    Small changes in free T3 or free T4 can result in significant changes in TSH. However, small changes in TSH may not reflect significant changes in free T3 or free T4.

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    Who Is At Risk For Hypothyroidism

    You may be more likely to have hypothyroidism if you:

    • Are a woman
    • Are older than age 60
    • Have had thyroid problems or thyroid surgery in the past
    • Have a family history of thyroid problems
    • Have certain conditions, such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
    • Have Turner syndrome, a genetic condition that affects women
    • Are pregnant or have had a baby within the past 6 months
    • Have an iodine deficiency. Your body needs iodine to make thyroid hormone.

    What Is Hypothyroidism

    The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that drapes across the front of your windpipe.

    If you place your fingers on the sides of your Adams apple and swallow, youll feel your thyroid gland sliding under your fingers.

    It releases thyroid hormone, which controls the growth and metabolism of essentially every part of your body.

    The pituitary, a tiny gland in the middle of your head, monitors your physiology and releases thyroid-stimulating hormone . TSH is the signal to the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormone .

    Sometimes TSH levels increase, but the thyroid gland cant release more thyroid hormone in response. This is known as primary hypothyroidism, as the problem begins at the level of the thyroid gland.

    Other times, TSH levels decrease, and the thyroid never receives the signal to increase thyroid hormone levels. This is called secondary hypothyroidism.

    Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid, can cause a variety of signs and symptoms. This article will help you recognize and understand these effects.

    Here are 10 common signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism.

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    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.

    What Happens If Hypothyroidism Is Not Treated

    What Are Some Bad Thyroid Symptoms?

    Hypothyroidism can become a serious and life-threatening medical condition if you do not get treatment from a healthcare provider. If you are not treated, your symptoms can become more severe and can include:

    • Developing mental health problems.
    • Not being able to maintain a normal body temperature.
    • Having heart problems.
    • Developing a goiter .

    You can also develop a serious medical condition called myxedema coma. This can happen when hypothyroidism isnt treated.

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    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

    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.

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    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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