Signs You Might Have A Thyroid Problem
When your thyroid stops working as it should, you can experience a variety of symptoms that might seem unrelated or even odd. From chills and brain fog to thinning hair and weight gain, if your thyroid isnt functioning well, you may be experiencing symptoms that are subtle and hard to characterize.
Women are more likely to experience issues with their thyroid, but anyone can suffer thyroid problems. Recognizing the symptoms of an overactive or underactive thyroid is the best way to get the treatment you need.
You’re Having Digestive Problems
We know constipation is an embarrassing topic that no one likes to discuss, but if you can’t boot your bowel issues, it might be time to call up your doctor. Without enough of the metabolism-controlling thyroid hormone, many of your body’s functions slow down. One of these functions is the action of the digestive tract, which will start to slow down. Hypothyroidism can weaken the contraction of the muscles that line your digestive tract, causing stool to move too slowly through the intestine. If your sluggish digestive tract isn’t due to hypothyroidism, consider eating a banana. The super fruit is rich in fiber to help increase stool weight, potassium to help you avoid bloating and cramping, and prebiotics to help feed good gut bacteria and improve digestion.
It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
Youre not sleeping well. You feel anxious and irritable. Your heart seems to be beating faster than normal, almost pounding out of your chest. Maybe youre just overwhelmed. Or maybe, your thyroid gland is wreaking havoc on your body.
You may have hyperthyroidism also known as overactive thyroid a disease of the thyroid, which is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck just below your Adams apple.
When the thyroid gland works properly, it produces the right amount of the hormone thyroxine, which travels in your blood to all parts of your body and impacts your metabolism and hormone balance. When your thyroid makes more thyroxine than your body needs, it speeds up many of your bodys functions, such as metabolism and heart rate.
Hyperthyroidism means your bodys going to be running faster, explains Anessa Alappatt, MD, Fairborn Medical Center.
Click play to watch the video or read video transcript.
What is hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism and what are their symptoms?
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves disease, an autoimmune disorder that overstimulates the thyroid gland. Women are more likely than men to have thyroid diseases. One in eight women will develop thyroid problems during her lifetime.
You May Like: Hypothyroid Double Chin
Do You Feel Exhausted No Matter How Much Sleep You Get
TH stimulates the brain, so when too little thyroid hormonea condition called hypothyroidismis coursing through your veins, body functions slow down, leaving you feeling sluggish and with zero energy, says Bianco. You mood may be in the basement as well, since its thought that the production of too little thyroid hormone can lower levels of serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter in the brain. And you may start forgetting where your keys are, since your hippocampus needs TH to function, too.
Thyroid Nodule Symptom # : A Lump In The Neck That You Can See Or Other People Can See
- What to do about it?
Thyroid nodules that the patient can see, or somebody else can see should almost always be examined by an ultrasound test. Depending on the characteristics of the nodule , the nodule may need a needle biopsy. Almost all thyroid nodules that can be seen should have a FNA thyroid needle biopsy.
Read Also: Tsh Receptor Antibody Positive
What Are The Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can vary from person to person and may include4
- weight loss despite an increased appetite
- rapid or irregular heartbeat
- nervousness, irritability, trouble sleeping, fatigue
- shaky hands, muscle weakness
- frequent bowel movements
- an enlargement in the neck, called a goiter
In older adults, 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 doctor about hyperthyroidism if you or your loved one shows these symptoms.
Thyroid Tests And Thyroid Optimal Ranges What To Expect At The Doctor
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:
- Thyroglobulin Antibodies
You May Like: Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help Thyroid Problems
You Have High Cholesterol Levels
Even though your doctor doesn’t typically look for thyroid problems during your check-ups, he or she will often measure your cholesterol levels. High blood cholesterol levels can put you at risk of getting heart disease, but they also might be indicative of a thyroid problem.
According to Dr. Srinath, “Hypothyroidism causes reduced clearance of cholesterol particles, so LDL and triglycerides may be elevated in a hypothyroid patient.” Looking to lower LDL levels? Try eating overnight oats. The fiber called beta-glucan in this cereal grain has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 5 to 10 percent.
See your doctor to get checked for high cholesterol levels, and when you’re looking to change your diet to lower these levels, consider these 17 Foods That Lower Cholesterol.
A Special Caution For Women
Pregnant women or women who want to become pregnant in the next 6 months should not use radioactive iodine, as the treatment can destroy the fetus’s thyroid and impair its development. In fact, women should wait a year before conceiving if they have been treated with the therapy. Women who are breast-feeding should also not use radioactive iodine.
Don’t Miss: Do You Need To Fast For A Thyroid Test
What Happens If Hypothyroidism Is Not Treated
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.
If An Underactive Thyroid Is Not Treated
It’s unlikely that you’d have many of the later symptoms of an underactive thyroid, because the condition is often identified before more serious symptoms appear.
Later symptoms of an underactive thyroid include:
- a low-pitched and hoarse voice
- a puffy-looking face
- thinned or partly missing eyebrows
- a slow heart rate
Recommended Reading: Atrophic Thyroiditis
How Can I Treat A Thyroid Imbalance
Dr. Tates holistic approach to healthcare treats your imbalanced thyroid as an essential part of the entire body rather than an isolated concern. She works to understand the root cause of the imbalance to ensure you receive the best care.
At Grassroots Healthcare, we work to recommend a course of treatment that alleviates symptoms while improving the health of your thyroid. Depending on your symptoms, test results, and health history, Dr. Tate may recommend nutritional supplements, a healthy eating plan, medications, and changes to your lifestyle.
If youre experiencing symptoms of an imbalanced thyroid, the caring team at Grassroots Healthcare in Tulsa, Oklahoma, can help. Schedule your appointment today by visiting us here.
You Might Also Enjoy…
Think Your Thyroid Is Out Of Whack Answer These 8 Questions To Find Out
Period problems could be one sign.
ICYMI: Your thyroid is kind of a big deal. The butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck takes iodine, found in many foods, and converts it into thyroid hormones . And thats important because “every tissue and every cell is sensitive to TH,” says endocrinologist Antonio Bianco, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. TH impacts everything from metabolism to cognitive function to body temperate to energy levels. But for one in eight women, this essential regulator goes on the fritz, producing too muchor too little TH, according to the American Thyroid Association.
While experts arent sure exactly what makes your thyroid go haywire , at least 30 million Americansthe vast majority of them womensuffer from a thyroid disorder, and half of them are undiagnosed, according to The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Thats because its easy to brush off common symptoms as signs of everyday stress or aging.
If you answer yes to more than one of the questions below, ask your family doctor to run a simple blood test to check your hormone levels. Your doc may be able to suggest treatment options that can help your thyroid get back on track.
You May Like: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Hyperthyroidism
How Do Doctors Treat Hyperthyroidism
Your doctor will treat your hyperthyroidism to bring your thyroid hormone levels back to normal. Treating the disease will prevent long-term health problems, and it will relieve uncomfortable symptoms. No single treatment works for everyone.
Your treatment depends on whats causing your hyperthyroidism and how severe it is. When recommending a treatment, your doctor will consider
- your age
- When part of the thyroid is removed, your thyroid hormone levels may return to normal.
When part of your thyroid is removed, you may develop hypothyroidism after surgery and need to take thyroid hormone medicine. If your whole thyroid is removed, you will need to take thyroid hormone medicine for life. After surgery, your doctor will continue to check your thyroid hormone levels.
Researchers are looking into new ways to treat hyperthyroidism. An example is radiofrequency ablation , a new approach to treating thyroid nodules that cause hyperthyroidism.5,6 RFA is used mainly in cases where medicines or surgery wont help, and is not yet widely available.
Thyroid Hormone Is Needed To Make Hydrochloric Acid
That means without it you cant break down food to get all the nutrients you need to heal your hypothyroidism. This is why heartburn can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. There are truly a lot of ways thyroid disease can affect the gut. Read more about how your digestive symptoms may be due to a thyroid disorder.
You May Like: Does Collagen Interfere With Thyroid Medication
Who Should Be Tested
If you think you have symptoms of a thyroid problem, ask your doctor if you should be tested. People with symptoms or risk factors may need tests more often. Hypothyroidism more frequently affects women over age 60. Hyperthyroidism is also more common in women. A family history raises your risk of either disorder.
You’re Just Not Hungry All Of The Sudden
If you’re regularly one to eat good size meals and snacks and all of the sudden food seems unappealing, consider a thyroid imbalance if you have other symptoms mentioned here. A thyroid disorder will affect your appetite, and this is often one of the first symptoms to occur. If your lack of hunger lasts for more than a week, see a doctor to get your hormones tested, and in the meantime, please do try to eat anyway!
Recommended Reading: Armour Thyroid Medication Weight Loss
Hypothyroid Medication And Treatment
When I found out I had Hashimotos, I had to go on thyroid medication to get enough thyroid hormone. The most common medication that doctors prescribe for hypothyroid is Synthroid, which contains T4 only. Other T4 only medications include Tirosint and Levoxyl. That will work for you if youre converting T4 to T3, but it wont do a thing for you if you if your problem lies with conversion.
People with conversion problems will feel better on combination T4/T3 medications like Nature-Throid, Armour, or a custom-compounded formula.
Less commonly, doctors will prescribe a T3-only thyroid medication, like Cytomel.
Tests For An Enlarged Thyroid
Your doctor will feel your neck and may do blood tests to check your thyroid hormone levels. Other tests used to diagnose an enlarged thyroid gland include an ultrasound and a thyroid scan.
If you have heartburn, the following can help prevent throat tightness and other symptoms:
- avoid overeating
- avoid foods that trigger it
- take antacids or acid-blocking drugs
For a sore, tight throat caused by infection, pain relievers such as ibuprofen can ease the discomfort. You may also need a prescription for antibiotics from your doctor for bacterial infections like strep throat. You can gargle with a mixture of salt, baking soda, and warm water, or suck on a throat lozenge. Rest your voice until you feel better.
Anaphylaxis is treated under close medical supervision and with a shot of epinephrine. Other medications like antihistamines and corticosteroids may be necessary as well.
The treatment depends on what caused the tightness in your throat.
Read Also: Can I Take Collagen With Hypothyroid
Whats The Difference Between Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism
In hypothyroidism, the thyroid doesnt make enough thyroid hormone.
The difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism is quantity. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid makes very little thyroid hormone. On the flip side, someone with hyperthyroidism has a thyroid that makes too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism involves higher levels of thyroid hormones, which makes your metabolism speed up. If you have hypothyroidism, your metabolism slows down.
Many things are the opposite between these two conditions. If you have hypothyroidism, you may have a difficult time dealing with the cold. If you have hyperthyroidism, you may not handle the heat. They are opposite extremes of thyroid function. Ideally, you should be in the middle. Treatments for both of these conditions work to get your thyroid function as close to that middle ground as possible.
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.
You May Like: Side Effects Of Levothyroxine In Women
Signs Your Thyroid Is Off
Are you feeling off lately? Like your mood is off, youre tired all the time, and your appetite has changed? There are a number of conditions that can lead to these symptoms and other signs of irregularity, but often times when patients have gone through the ringer with their health, theres one particular problem that continues to go unnoticed: thyroid issues. Investigating the condition of your thyroid may be the last piece of the puzzle when it comes to finding out whats causing your health problems.
The team at AOC Physicians has experience diagnosing and treating thyroid and parathyroid issues using medication, alternative therapies, and minimally invasive surgery. So, if youre feeling off and have been evaluated for several other health conditions, none of which have determined why youre feeling the way you do, it may be time to consider the health of your thyroid.
What Is A Thyroid Gland?
Moreover, researchers are still trying to figure out what causes thyroid imbalances in the first place. Possible causes include genetics, an autoimmune disease, stress, nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxins, and pregnancy, but there is no set-in-stone cause of hypo- or hyperthyroidism.
Imbalanced Thyroid: What To Look For
Top 10 Symptoms Related to Thyroid Issues
Does An Enlarged Thyroid Cause Symptoms
Anatomical changes to your thyroid, such as changes to the size or shape of your thyroid, are most often found incidentally.
Patients are often quite surprised that they even have a thyroid issue until they are notified by their physician during a routine exam.
Problems which cause changes in the shape and size of thyroid usually do NOT cause problems with the production of thyroid hormone.
This is important because the symptoms associated with dysregulated thyroid hormone production are often profound and easy to identify.
Instead, disorders to the shape and size usually are asymptomatic.
What this means is that they do NOT cause any symptoms.
Now, this isn’t true for all disorders because there are always exceptions.
These issues might present as problems swallowing, changes to your vocal cords or a change in your voice, or a bulge that is noticeable in your neck.
Occasionally, if your enlarged thyroid is due to swelling or inflammation, then you might also experience pain when touching your neck.
Some conditions which result in an enlargement of your thyroid gland are reversible and may go away on their own while others may persist and cause permanent thyroid damage .
Hopefully, you’re beginning to understand that in order to really understand what is happening with your thyroid gland you will need further evaluation.
Also Check: Collagen And Thyroid