Hypothyroidism vs. Hyperthyroidism
Your thyroid is responsible for many different functions in your body. It produces thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism, cardiovascular system, and brain. These hormones travel through your blood system into every part of your body to ensure all your organs are working properly. If there is too much (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) of these hormones, your body will suffer various symptoms. Have you had your thyroid checked recently?
Causes of Thyroid Dysfunction
There are two main causes of thyroid dysfunction. Poor nutrition is one cause, especially diets deficient in iodine and zinc. Even vitamin D deficiency can be a contributing cause. Diets that are low in carbohydrates have been shown to put a strain on the health of your thyroid.
The second cause of thyroid dysfunction is an autoimmune disease. Hashimoto’s Disease is one form of hypothyroidism in which the body’s immune system begins to attack the thyroid. Keeping your gut bacteria healthy is imperative to improving your immune system and combating any autoimmune disease.
Symptoms of Thyroid Problems
Since thyroid hormones are what regulate so many functions of your body, too much or too little of these hormones can cause various extremes in symptoms. There is a middle ground for a normally functioning thyroid. Let’s look at some possible varying symptoms of hypo- and hyperthyroidism.
- Hair loss and dry, scaly skin
- Inability to lose weight, despite diet changes
- Exhaustion even after a full night’s sleep
- Constipation and hemorrhoids
- Extremely light or missed periods
- Depression or anxiety
- Slower than normal resting heart rate
- “Brain Fog”, sluggish, forgetful
- Get cold easily
- Low libido
- Inability to gain weight, hyperactive metabolism
- Diarrhea or loose stools
- Heavy periods
- Jittery and anxious, tremors
- Heart palpitations
- Excessive sweating
- Difficulty conceiving, early miscarriage
- Difficulty concentrating
Other symptoms of a thyroid condition include muscle and joint pain, swollen neck (goiter), and carpal tunnel syndrome. Women are more likely than men to develop thyroid issues. Family history and genetics may also play a role.
Get Your Thyroid Checked – Properly
The American Thyroid Association reports that 20 million Americans suffer from some form of thyroid disease. However, nearly 60 percent are unaware of these issues. This may be largely due to insufficient thyroid testing. If you have concerns about your thyroid health, be sure to be your own best advocate. Request additional hormone testing to reveal underlying causes that may not show up on a simple routine exam.
Some endocrinologists remain misinformed about thyroid testing. This has led to misdiagnoses or complete dismissal of thyroid conditions. Visit the resources via our Wellness Observance Calendar to find more information on the tests to request from your physician.