Here Are The 12 Signs You Need Know To Tell If Your Thyroid Is Out of Whack
For years, I suffered from all sorts of health issues and no one in the medical community seemed to know what the issue was.
I thought I had thyroid issues and every time I went to the doctor and they tested me they said everything was fine despite the that I had the majority of the symptoms mentioned below.
Finally, after much frustration, I went to a functional doctor who did a complete workup on me and he discovered that I had hypothyroid issues.
It was a relief to finally know what was wrong after feeling horrible for years.
That is why it is so important to advocate for your health since no one else will.
Here are signs your thyroid may be off too.
Hormones are chemicals that dictate many aspects of human health. From when a woman is able to conceive a child, to pregnancy, energy levels, and even body temperature – all of these bodily functions are controlled to some degree by a delicate balance of hormones. When they fall out of that optimal balance, you may notice some symptoms and problems, and a source for some of these issues is the thyroid.
“The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that sits low on the front of the neck,” says Dr. Rocio Salas-Whalen, a triple board-certified endocrinologist and the founder of New York Endocrinology in New York City. “The thyroid gland’s primary function is to produce thyroid hormones, which regulate your metabolism, among other vital body functions like body temperature, muscle strength, menstrual cycle and more.”
But the thyroid can sometimes get off-kilter, producing either too much thyroid hormone or too little. When the thyroid isn’t producing enough hormone, that’s called hypothyroidism. A too-active thyroid causes hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis, says Dr. Anthony F. Firek, an endocrinologist with the Riverside University Health System in Moreno Valley, California. “Both conditions can cause significant problems for patients, impair quality of life and become life-threatening.”
1. Altered heart rate, aka your pulse
“The symptoms that a patient may have are quite numerous and span all of the body systems,” Firek says. But a concerning and common one that could signal hypothyroidism is a slow pulse rate. Thyroid hormones help regulate how frequently your heart beats, and as such, too little hormone can result in a slower rate. In severe cases, this can lead to abnormally low heart rate and coma.
2. Weight and appetite fluctuations
“Unintentional and/or unexplainable weight gain or weight loss” can be an indicator that the thyroid isn’t working properly, Salas-Whalen says. The amount of hormone your thyroid is releasing can also impact how hungry you feel, so you may notice that your appetite has changed. Weight gain and reduced appetite are associated with hypothyroidism, while weight loss and increased appetite can be signs of hyperthyroidism.
3. Hair loss
Both hypo- and hyperthyroidism can lead to hair loss. The disruption of the production of thyroid hormones can change the way hairs develop at the root and may prevent new hair from growing in where an old hair has fallen out.
4. Skin changes
The American Academy of Dermatology reports that several skin-related symptoms are commonly seen in people who have thyroid problems. Dry, cracked skin that’s cool to the touch is often seen in people with an underactive thyroid. For those with an overactive thyroid, increased sweating and flushing of the face may be more prevalent, noticeable symptoms.
5. Fatigue and weakness
Fatigue and weakness can occur in both hyper- and hypothyroidism. Initially, someone with an overactive thyroid gland may feel energetic, but as the condition persists, that flush of energy can disappear and leave them feeling rundown and exhausted.
6. Heat or cold intolerance
The thyroid gland controls your body’s ability to keep warm or cold as needed in the environment you’re in. “Think of it as your cooling and heating system at home but much more complex,” Firek explains.
7. Bowel problems
Increased bowel movements can be a sign of too much thyroid hormone, while constipation could indicate that your gastric motility – or how quickly food and waste moves through the digestive system – has slowed because of not enough thyroid hormone.
8. Eye issues
Eye issues, including dry eye and altered vision, can occur with thyroid problems. In particular, an autoimmune disease called Graves’ disease “can affect the eyes, causing excess dryness, double vision, bulging of the eyes, and if severe, blindness,” Firek says.
9. A lump in the throat
Also called a goiter, a swelling of the thyroid gland can produce a noticeable lump in the throat that may be obvious to touch or sight. “A goiter is just a generic term that indicates an enlarged thyroid gland,” Firek explains.
10. Mental and mood changes
Brain fog or other cognitive changes, irritability, depression or other mood changes can all be signs of problems with the thyroid. In some cases, the mental health implications of thyroid hormone disorders can mimic psychiatric issues.
11. Sleep issues
Because the thyroid helps regulate your body temperature, it’s also involved in your sleep-wake cycle – your body temperature naturally falls as you head towards sleep. Too much thyroid hormone can lead you to feel jittery and wide awake, causing insomnia and other problems falling or staying asleep.
12. Menstrual changes in women
The menstrual cycle is also heavily influenced by the thyroid gland. Either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can lead to irregular menses with changes in menstrual flow (heavy or light periods), frequency (how often you’re menstruating) and/or duration (how long your cycle lasts).
If you have any of these symptoms please see a doctor, but I would suggest a functional doctor instead of a western medical doctor, and here’s why.
Most medical western doctors are not concerned with the bigger picture and how the body functions but are only concerned with slapping a bandaid on it with more medications.
A functional doctor looks at you as a whole and is able to see you in your entirety and treat you as such. They will be able to catch something like this which at times most of their tests will not catch as I discovered when I went to a traditional doctor.
Take your symptoms seriously folks, your health depends on it.