HomeMust ReadWhat Does It Mean If Your Thyroid Is Low

What Does It Mean If Your Thyroid Is Low

Signs Your Thyroid Isnt Working Right

Low TSH: 3 Causes and What it Means if you are Hypothyroid

by The Surgical Clinic |

The thyroid gland is an important part of the endocrine system. This butterfly-shaped organ regulates important hormones that influence many functions in your body. These hormones also influence how well your body performs physically and mentally.

Keep in mind, your body is a complicated and intricate system that operates on many levels of performance. However, over time many factors can build up and disrupt the balance of your body. Specifically, your systems can become overactive or underactive in order to compensate or respond to these factors.

Thyroid function problems, in particular, occur when the thyroid either becomes under or overused. These conditions are called hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, respectively. Both of these conditions can cause several problems. In order to explore twenty signs of thyroid problems, our Nashville, TN surgeons have divided them into ten signs for each of these separate conditions.

What Causes Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism can have a primary cause or a secondary cause. A primary cause is a condition that directly impacts the thyroid and causes it to create low levels of thyroid hormones. A secondary cause is something that causes the pituitary gland to fail, which means it cant send thyroid stimulating hormone to the thyroid to balance out the thyroid hormones.

Primary causes of hypothyroidism are much more common. The most common of these primary causes is an autoimmune condition called Hashimotos disease. Also called Hashimotos thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, this condition is hereditary . In Hashimotos disease, the bodys immune system attacks and damages the thyroid. This prevents the thyroid from making and releasing enough thyroid hormone.

The other primary causes of hypothyroidism can include:

In some cases, thyroiditis can happen after a pregnancy or a viral illness.

What Is Turner Syndrome

Turner syndrome is a rare genetic disorder thatâs found only in girls. It can cause problems ranging from short height to heart defects. Sometimes, the symptoms are so mild that it doesnât get diagnosed until a female is a teen or young adult.

The condition can cause symptoms throughout your life, but treatments and continued research help people manage their condition.

Recommended Reading: Apple Cider Vinegar And Thyroid

Your Doctor Will Never Tell You This: Osteoblasts Communicate With Thyroid Hormone

To understand the role your thyroid plays in bone metabolism, we need to back up a little and talk about how the thyroid works.Your thyroid gland is stimulated by a hormone called TSH , which is secreted by the pituitary gland. The thyroid then produces its main hormone, T4.

But recent research has shown that TSH has a dual function: it also communicates with osteoblasts, the bone-building cells.

Osteoblasts actually have TSH receptors, and they are constantly listening for signals from TSH, which tells them whether to build bone or back off a bit. Its a fascinating balancing act, and

Read Also: Hypothyroidism Double Chin

Whats The Difference Between Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism

Why Your Thyroid Medication May Not Be Working

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.

Recommended Reading: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid

Can Hypothyroidism Be Prevented Or Avoided

There is no known way to prevent hypothyroidism. It is more common in women than men, especially those older than 60 years of age. You also are at greater risk if you:

  • Have a family history of thyroid disease.
  • Have been treated with radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medicines.
  • Have received radiation therapy to your neck or upper chest.
  • Have had thyroid surgery.

How Is Hypothyroidism Diagnosed In Men

Diagnosing hypothyroidism is based on your symptoms and a blood test that measures how well your thyroid is working.

The initial blood test includes checking your thyroid-stimulating hormone level, and your provider may also use an additional test to check your thyroxine level. TSH is a hormone made in a separate gland called the pituitary, and it controls how much T4 your thyroid makes. When T4 levels are low, the pituitary makes more TSH in order to increase the T4 level. In hypothyroidism, this is why TSH levels are high and T4 levels are low.

You May Like: How Long For Armour Thyroid To Leave System

In People Without Known Thyroid Disease

A high TSH in people who are not undergoing thyroid disease treatment usually indicates the presence of primary hypothyroidism.

This is by far the most common form of hypothyroidism, and it occurs because the thyroid gland produces an inadequate amount of thyroid hormones. The pituitary gland senses these low levels and increases the production of TSH.

An elevated TSH may also occur with normal thyroid function due to the presence of antibodies, proteins made by the immune system.

Consider Other Levothyroxine Brands

Thyroid – Why your T3 is low and Why your TSH is high

Levothyroxine is the generic name of the drug marketed under many different brand names. The majority of people first starting treatment will be prescribed the Synthroid brand. Other available brands include Levoxyl, Levothroid, and Unithroid.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tightly regulates the type, purity, and amount of key active and inactive ingredients in a drug, different manufacturers may use different fillers and binding ingredients, some of which may affect drug absorption or trigger adverse symptoms. Changing brands may potentially alleviate unintended side effects. Talk to your doctor about whether this might be right for you.

Don’t Miss: How To Reduce Double Chin Due To Thyroid

Reproductive Changes In Women Could Mean You Have Low Thyroid

Women are at an increased risk for developing thyroid disease. Women are also more likely to develop thyroid conditions after pregnancy and following menopause.

Women may experience a change in their menstrual cycle if their thyroid function is off, says Dodell. Not only might you experience irregularities in your cycle, but hypothyroidism may also cause periods that are much heavier than normal.

Women who are trying to conceive may have difficulties getting pregnant. Therefore, women who are trying to get pregnant or are planning to try and get pregnant in the near future should have their thyroid levels checked, Dodell explains. We also monitor women who are being treated for hypothyroidism closely during pregnancy, since the dose of medication may need to be adjusted.

Menopausal women may experience worsening symptoms. Early menopause is a side effect of hypothyroidism this occurs when the onset of menopause is before age 40.

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 (

21 ).

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.

Read Also: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid

What Causes Hypothyroidism In Pregnancy

In most cases, women with hypothyroidism during pregnancy have Hashimotos disease. This autoimmune disease causes the bodys immune system to attack and damage the thyroid. When that happens, the thyroid cant produce and release high enough levels of thyroid hormones, impacting the entire body. Pregnant women with hypothyroidism may feel very tired, have a hard time dealing with cold temperatures and experience muscles cramps.

Thyroid hormones are important to your babys development while in the womb. These hormones help develop the brain and nervous system. If you have hypothyroidism, its important to control your thyroid levels during pregnancy. If your baby doesnt get enough thyroid hormone during development, the brain may not develop correctly and there could be issues later. Untreated or insufficiently treated hypothyroidism during pregnancy may lead to complications like miscarriage or preterm labor.

Diagnosing Low Tsh Levels

What a High TSH Really Means for your Thyroid + What ...

The most common and effective test for low TSH is a blood test. In addition to analyzing your TSH level, your doctor is looking for T4 and T3 , which the thyroid produces. These three hormones give doctors an indication of which gland they should focus on, the thyroid or the pituitary.

Your doctor may send you to get some imaging testing done to get a look at your glands. An ultrasound can be performed, or a thyroid scan with slightly radioactive iodine and a special camera can look for inflammation or thyroid shrinkage.

Your thyroid may not be taking in enough iodine to produce the hormones it is supposed to to test this, doctors use the radioactive iodine uptake test, which involves a dose of slightly radioactive iodine and a special probe to check for uptake levels.

An antibody test can also be used to check for an autoimmune disorder, such as Graves disease, causing hyperthyroidism.

Read Also: Can You Take Collagen With Thyroid Medicine

How To Treat Thyroid Problems

Now that you know more about the problems that indicate thyroid problems, what should you do? Of course, the first thing you should do is ask your doctor about your symptoms. Depending on your symptoms, you may have another condition that needs to be treated.

However, if you are experiencing several of these symptoms at a time, you most likely have a thyroid condition.

Before you start receiving treatments, first youll need to work with your doctor to get tested. Typically this will include blood tests to check the levels of T4 and T3 in your blood. When the tests come back, your doctor will help you know that to do next.

Usually, treatments include hormone replacement therapy. Iodine supplements may be prescribed in order to treat goiters.

However, if your symptoms are severe, it can be a sign of thyroid cancer. In which case youll need to visit a thyroid surgeon to remove the cancerous cells. Chemotherapy and radiation oncology are also viable options.

Avoid Generics Or Get A Stable Multiple

Some HMOs and insurance companies will automatically override your doctors 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.

November 20, 2014// by Dr Hagmeyer

Normal Thyroid Labs With Symptoms Hypothyroidism Low T3 Syndrome

How is it possible to have thyroid problems with normal labs?

Let me explain.

Your thyroid gland produces predominantly inactive T4. This means that we must convert T4 to T3, called thyroid conversion, in order to have normal thyroid responses. This conversion takes place primarily in the liver and gut mucosa.

Also Check: Soy Milk And Hypothyroidism

What Causes An Overactive Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is found in the neck. It produces hormones that are released into the bloodstream to control the body’s growth and metabolism. These hormones are called thyroxine and triiodothyronine.

They affect processes such as heart rate and body temperature, and help convert food into energy to keep the body going.

In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine or triiodothyronine, which speeds up the body’s metabolism.

There are several possible underlying causes, the most common being Graves’ disease, in which the body’s immune system targets the thyroid gland and causes it to produce too much of the thyroid hormones.

What Does Low Thyroid Blood Test Mean

Low TSH vs Suppressed TSH on Thyroid Medication What you Must Know

Your thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone. When it operates correctly, your thyroid is part of a feedback loop with your pituitary gland that involves a number of crucial steps.

1. First, your pituitary senses the level of thyroid hormone that the thyroid has actually released into the blood stream.

2. Your pituitary then launches a special messenger hormone, called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone . The role of TSH is to promote the thyroid to release more thyroid hormone.

When your thyroid, for whatever factor health problem, stress, surgery, obstruction, for example doesnt or cannot produce adequate thyroid hormone, your pituitary spots this reduction in thyroid hormone, and it moves into action by making MORE TSH, which then activates your thyroid to make more thyroid hormone. This is the pituitarys effort to return the system to regular and normalize thyroid function.

So, a TSH that is greater than typical recommends a thyroid that is underactive and refraining from doing its task of producing enough thyroid hormone. To generalize, then, HIGHER TSH = UNDERACTIVE THYROID/ HYPOTHYROIDISM.

3. If your thyroid is overactive and producing excessive thyroid hormone due to disease, or taking expensive a dosage of thyroid hormone replacement drugs your pituitary senses that there is excessive thyroid hormone circulating, and slows or shuts down TSH production, so that the thyroid will decrease its production of the hormone.

Also Check: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid

Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Tsh Test

Thyroid changes can happen during pregnancy. These changes are usually not significant, but some women can develop thyroid disease during pregnancy. Hyperthyroidism occurs in about one in every 500 pregnancies, while hypothyroidism occurs in approximately one in every 250 pregnancies. Hyperthyroidism, and less often, hypothyroidism, may remain after pregnancy. If you develop a thyroid condition during pregnancy, your health care provider will monitor your condition after your baby is born. If you have a history of thyroid disease, be sure to talk with your health care provider if you are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant.

What Causes Depression

No one knows exactly what causes depression, although it appears to be an illness that may result from the interplay of many biological and environmental factors. Depressive reactions, which can involve sad mood but not the physical signs and symptoms of a major depressive episode, occur as a result of a particular event. Depressed moods can also be a side effect of medication, hormonal changes , or a physical illness, such as the flu or a viral infection. Clinical depression involves a syndrome of many physical and emotional or behavioral symptoms that can occur for no apparent reason in people who are biologically vulnerable to the disorder.

Although the exact causes of major depression and dysthymia are unknown, researchers currently believe that both of these forms of depression are caused by a malfunction of brain circuits that regulate mood, thinking and behavior. Brain chemicals called neurotransmitters are important for healthy nerve cell connections medicines that can regulate the levels and functioning of these chemicals can help to fine-tune the efficiency of how these brain circuits function.

Brain “malfunctions” related to depression can have a genetic component, although genetics alone does not fully explain the risk or emergence of clinical depression. In one study, 27% of depressed children had close relatives who suffered from mood disorders.

What Are the Risk Factors for Depression?

Don’t Miss: How To Reduce Double Chin Due To Thyroid

What Is Depression

Almost all of us feel low sometimes, usually because of a disturbing or difficult event in our lives. But ongoing sadness or despair can be caused by depression, a serious condition that warrants treatment. Talking to your primary care doctor can be a good place to start. Your doctor can screen you for depression and help treat your symptoms.

Depression affects more than 300 million people worldwide — 20% of all women, 10% of all men, and 5% or more of all adolescents. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, and is the second most common psychiatric problem in the U.S. , afflicting about 17.6 million people each year at a cost in the range of about $50 billion a year.

Depression can strike at any age, including in childhood. Between 2013 and 2016, 8.1% of American adults ages 20 and older had depression in a given 2-week period. In 2017, 13.3% of teens ages 12 to 17 reported at least one major depressive episode in the previous year. Among children ages 3 to 17, about 3.2% have diagnosed depression.

However, most people first experience depression when they are in their early thirties, and depression is particularly rife among older adults. Depression is not simply a normal reaction to the challenges of growing older, such as the death of a spouse or friends and the physical limitations of age, but is a medical condition without a known cause.

RELATED ARTICLES

Popular Articles