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What Is Under Active Thyroid Disease

Can Hypothyroidism Cause Erectile Dysfunction

Thyroid Disease : Skin Symptoms of Thyroid Disease

In some cases, there can be a connection between untreated hypothyroidism and erectile dysfunction. When your hypothyroidism is caused by an issue with the pituitary gland, you can also have low testosterone levels. Treating hypothyroidism can often help with erectile dysfunction if it was directly caused by the hormone imbalance.

How To Increase Exercising Safely

Start with maintaining your normal activities and add in 10% increments of exercise time per week at the most. Adding more than that will stress the body and block any fat or weight loss.

It is always prudent to underestimate what your body can handle than to overshoot and pay the consequences, especially when in the recovery stage of thyroid disease.

To fit within a normal body rhythm, calisthenics and light strength training can be great to do in the mornings, and then a light after-dinner stroll for 10-20 minutes.

Stretching, chi-gong and yoga can be restorative for the thyroid and safe exercises to start with when you are in the recovery stage of thyroid disease .

After you exercise, gauge how you feel the days following your activity. Did you feel better or worse? If you felt worse, its a sign you may have pushed yourself too much and you need to lower your workout intensity and time.

If you felt better, you could consider maintaining that level for a while longer or again increase another 10% of the time for next weeks activities. Every time you do so, check in on how your body felt to gauge whether you can keep increasing activity or not.

Key Insight: Check out this great video about how to add exercise back, gently, into your routine .

Potential Dangers Of Having Hypothyroidism

Because the body is expecting a certain amount of thyroid hormone, the pituitary will make additional thyroid stimulating hormone as a way to prompt the thyroid to produce more hormone.

This extra work at signaling the thyroid gland to keep producing TSH may cause it to become enlarged, leading to he formation of a goiter . Left untreated, the symptoms of hypothyroidism will usually progress. Rarely, complications can result in severe life-threatening depression, heart failure, or coma.

Hypothyroidism can often be diagnosed with a simple blood test: the thyroid hormone panel. In some persons, however, it’s not so simple and more detailed tests are needed. Most importantly, a good relationship with a good endocrinologist will almost surely be needed.

Hypothyroidism is completely treatable in many patients simply by taking a small pill once a day. However, this is a simplified statement, and it’s not always so easy. There are several types of thyroid hormone preparations and one type of medicine will not be the best therapy for all patients.

Many factors must be considered in establishing a personalized plan for the treatment of hypothyroidism and it is different for every patient.

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How Does Thyroid Disease Affect Pregnancy

Pregnancy-related hormones raise the level of thyroid hormones in the blood. Thyroid hormones are necessary for the baby’s brain development while in the womb.

It can be harder to diagnose thyroid problems during pregnancy because of the change in hormone levels that normally happen during pregnancy. But it is especially important to check for problems before getting pregnant and during pregnancy. Uncontrolled hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause problems for both mother and baby.

Hyperthyroidism that is not treated with medicine during pregnancy can cause:

  • Premature birth
  • a serious condition starting after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Preeclampsia causes high blood pressure and problems with the kidneys and other organs. The only cure for preeclampsia is childbirth.
  • Thyroid storm
  • Fast heart rate in the newborn, which can lead to heart failure, poor weight gain, or an enlarged thyroid that can make it hard to breathe
  • Low birth weight
  • Miscarriage

The Link Between Thyroid Disease And Cholesterol

When your thyroid goes haywire, it can have a great impact ...
  • High cholesterol is linked to hypothyroidism .
  • A sudden drop in cholesterol can be a warning sign of hyperthyroidism .
  • Treating thyroid disease can correct cholesterol levels.
  • Cholesterol drugs can affect thyroid disease and its treatments.

This article talks more about why thyroid disease and high cholesterol are linked, the problems that can cause, and how to manage both conditions at once.

Read Also: Is Orange Juice Good For Thyroid

How Many Of These Signs And Symptoms Do You Have


Dry, pale, and cool skin Moist, velvety, and warm skin like a babys Dry skin with deep cracks and scale Deep, noticeable lines on your palms and soles Yellowish-orange color on your palms and soles Doughy and swollen face, especially on your eyelids, lips, and tongue Widening nose Sweating less than before Goiter Protruding eyes Flushing on your face and red palms Darker skin in the creases of your palms, on your gums, or elsewhere in your mouth Rashes, especially in the creases of your skin Painless lumps and patches of scaly, discolored skin, and the affected skin feels hard and waxy Reddish spots on the skin that come and go

Protruding eyes

When eyes protrude, its often a sign of thyroid disease.

Painless lumps and patches of scaly skin feel hard and waxy

Lumps on discolored skin that feel hard and waxy can be a sign of thyroid disease.


Thinning eyebrows on the outer edge Coarse, dull, dry, and brittle hair that breaks easily Soft and fine hair with lots of shedding Thinning hair or balding patches Growing more slowly Dry, itchy scalp and dandruff Less hair on your legs, arms, and other areas


Thick, dry, and brittle with visible ridges Soft, shiny, and easily crumble Growing more slowly Peel, crumble, or break easily Lift up Curved with swollen fingertip and thickening skin above the nail

Curved nails with swollen fingertip


Itchy skin without a rash Untreatable and itchy hives

Existing skin disease

Memory Loss And Brain Fog Is A Sign Of Hypothyroidism

The brain is a major target organ for thyroid hormones. This is why the onset of hypothyroidism can affect brain function.

Clinical trials and functional imaging studies of the brain confirm that advanced hypothyroidism is associated with cognitive decline- largely reversible with treatment .

In contrast, subclinical hypothyroidism is not linked with major neuropsychiatric problems, although studies show small deficits in memory and executive function do occur. This is most often described by patients as experiencing brain fog.

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Do You Experience These Underactive Thyroid Symptoms And Signs

If you have an underactive thyroid you may experience any number of these warning signs.

Generally speaking, problems tend to develop slowly over a number of years. It really depends on the severity of thyroid hormone deficiency and the length of time youve had it.

You should see your doctor to your TSH levels if youre experiencing three or more of these signs, and be sure to get a copy of the results.

About Joe Leech, Dietitian

Joe Leech is a university-qualified dietitian from Australia.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science, followed by a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2011.

Learn more about him on the About page.

Joe Leech, Dietitian

Complications Of Hashimotos Disease

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Complications of untreated Hashimotos disease may include:

  • Goitre the thyroid gland enlarges. In severe cases, the throat looks as if a tennis ball is lodged under the skin. Occasionally, a large goitre can interfere with breathing or swallowing.
  • Emotional problems low thyroid levels can increase the risk of depression and libido problems, such as reduced sex drive.
  • Heart conditions low levels of thyroid hormones allow levels of the bad cholesterol to rise. This can increase the risk of heart disease, including heart attack. In some cases, Hashimotos disease causes other cardiac conditions such as heart enlargement or heart failure.
  • Congenital defects the unborn baby of a woman who has untreated Hashimotos disease risks various birth defects including cleft palate, and heart, kidney or brain malformations.
  • Myxoedema this severe form of hypothyroidism produces symptoms and signs which may include unnatural sleepiness, extreme sensitivity to cool temperatures and coma. This condition may be fatal in severe cases. However, myxoedema is a very rare complication of untreated Hashimotos disease.

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Signs Of An Underactive Thyroid: Do You Know What To Look For

Home » Hypothyroidism » 13 Signs of An Underactive Thyroid: Do You Know What To Look For?

By Joe Leech, Dietitian

Also known as an underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism is caused by a defect in the thyroid gland that leads to low thyroid hormone levels.

Estimates suggest it affects up to 8.5% of people from Western countries, and around 20 million Americans .

Whats more worrying, however, is that up to 60% of people are undiagnosed, often because we dont realise what the symptoms of an underactive thyroid are.

This is a researched list of the major signs and symptoms to look out for. If you have three or more symptoms, you should check your thyroid hormone levels at the doctor.


Underactive Thyroid Disease Means Thyroid Hormone Levels Are Too Low

An underactive thyroid means thyroid hormone levels are too low. Its called hypothyroidism. Not having enough thyroid hormone slows down your body and its systems.

Symptoms reflect that slow down. People with an underactive thyroid:

  • Feel cold all the time
  • Gain weight unexpectedly
  • Experience menstrual problems in some cases

Hashimotos thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism.

There are various causes of an underactive thyroid. In the United States, Hashimotos thyroiditis is the most common cause. Hashimotos thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland. Other causes of hypothyroidism include problems with the thyroid gland itselfsuch as inflammationor a faulty pituitary gland. If the pituitary doesnt make enough TSH, the thyroid gland doesnt know it needs to make thyroid hormone.Treatment is fairly straightforwardthyroid hormone replacement. Its a daily medicine you take for the rest of your life. That may not sound so great at first. But once you and your doctor find the right dose, its a matter of sticking to it. And youll want to stick with it because replacing thyroid hormones will make you feel your best. Periodic monitoring will make sure your dose is still right and keep you feeling good.

Overactive thyroid disease means thyroid hormone levels are too high.

The symptoms are the opposite of hypothyroidism. People with too much thyroid hormone may:

  • Feel hot all the time
  • Sweat a lot

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Monitor Your Soy Intake

Soy may hinder the absorption of thyroid hormones. If you drink or eat too many soy products, you may not be able to properly absorb your medication.

Its especially important that caregivers monitor the soy intake of infants who need hypothyroidism treatment and also drink soy formula.

Soy is found in:

  • soybeans
  • soy sauce

You need steady doses of the medication to achieve even levels of thyroid hormone in your blood. Avoid eating or drinking soy-based foods for at least 4 hours before and after you take your medication.

Surgical Removal Of Part Or All Of The Thyroid

10 Signs and Symptoms that You Have an Underactive Thyroid ...

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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Constipation Is A Sign And Symptom Of Hypothyroidism

Constipation is a commonly reported sign, one that usually resolves after correcting a thyroid hormone imbalance.

The mechanism behind this link is unclear, though many propose it is because of the gut-thyroid connection.

Much like high cholesterol that was listed above, note that chronic constipation on its own is very unlikely to indicate hypothyroidism .

Low Thyroid & High Cholesterol

One measurement of thyroid function is a hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone . Made by a small gland at the base of the brain called the pituitary, TSH tells your thyroid how hard to work.

High TSH levels mean you have an underactive thyroid. Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Slow heart rate

Studies show that people with high TSH levels have much higher total cholesterol and LDL levels than people with normal thyroid tests.

Any of these can be fatal.

High cholesterol raises heart disease and stroke risk even more.

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Symptoms Of An Underactive Thyroid

Many symptoms of an underactive thyroid are the same as those of other conditions, so it can easily be confused for something else.

Symptoms usually develop slowly and you may not realise you have a medical problem for several years.

Common symptoms include:

  • pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers
  • irregular periods or heavy periods

Elderly people with an underactive thyroid may develop memory problems and depression. Children may experience slower growth and development. Teenagers may start puberty earlier than normal.

If you have any of these symptoms, see your GP and ask to be tested for an underactive thyroid.

Read more about getting tested for an underactive thyroid

Should I Exercise If I Have A Thyroid Disease

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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.

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How Are Thyroid Diseases Diagnosed

It can be hard to tell if you have a thyroid disease. The symptoms are the same as many other health problems. Your doctor may start by asking about your health history and if any of your family members has had thyroid disease. Your doctor may also give you a physical exam and check your neck for thyroid nodules.

Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may also do other tests, such as:

  • Blood tests. Testing the level of thyroid stimulating hormone in your blood can help your doctor figure out if your thyroid is overactive or underactive. TSH tells your thyroid to make thyroid hormones. Depending on the results, your doctor might do another blood test to check levels of one or both thyroid hormones in your blood.
  • Radioactive iodine uptake test. For this test, you swallow a liquid or capsule that holds a small dose of radioactive iodine . The radioiodine collects in your thyroid because your thyroid uses iodine to make thyroid hormone.

High levels of radioiodine mean that your thyroid makes too much of the thyroid hormone. Low levels mean that your thyroid does not make enough thyroid hormone.

  • Thyroid ultrasound. The thyroid ultrasound uses sound waves to make a picture of the thyroid on a computer screen. This test can help your doctor tell what type of nodule you have and how large it is. You may need more thyroid ultrasounds over time to see if your nodule is growing or shrinking.
  • Burst & Interval Training

    Burst training involves short bursts of high-intensity-style exercise for 30 60 seconds followed by one to two minutes of recovery periods5.

    Instead of walking or jogging for an hour, a burst exercise may look like this:

  • Warm up for a few minutes at an easy pace.
  • Sprint as hard as you can for 30 60 seconds.
  • Recover by walking or jogging for 1 3 minutes, allowing your heart rate to come back down.
  • Repeat steps 2 and 3 for a total of 4 8 minutes.
  • Cool down for a few minutes at an easy pace.
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    Southern Cross Medical Library

    The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.

    Could You Have Thyroid Disease And Not Know

    Hypothyroidism hormone produce infographic vector ...

    Often we think of the brain or the heart as the engine in our bodies. These organs are critical in keeping us alive and, directly or indirectly, control every single function in our body. While that may be true, a gland in the shape of a butterfly is equally as important and plays a major role in our health.

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    What Is Liothyronine

    Liothyronine is a manufactured form of triiodothyronine . Armour Thyroid® contains both T4 and T3 and is extracted from the thyroid gland of pigs. It contains about four times as much T4 as T3. In humans, the usual ratio of T4 to T3 is 14 to 1, so Armour Thyroid® extract has a much higher proportion of T3 than humans usually have.

    UK guidelines recommend that T3 and combinations of T4 and T3 should not routinely be prescribed. The Royal College of Physicians does not recommend that T3 should ever be prescribed. It says there is not enough evidence that it helps patients and not enough evidence to be sure it is not harmful. Clinical practice guidelines worldwide do not recommend or support the routine use of combination therapy.

    The NHS recommends that:

    • Treatment with liothyronine should never be started in primary care .
    • Patients who are currently taking liothyronine should be reviewed by a consultant NHS endocrinologist with a view to switching to levothyroxine if appropriate.
    • The British Thyroid Association states that a small number of patients have symptoms which do not improve on levothyroxine. For these, a consultant NHS endocrinologist may recommend a carefully monitored trial of liothyronine.

    You can find out more from the further reading links to CKS hypothyroidism, Armour Thyroid® and NHS England guidance.


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