Common Thyroid Problems to Discuss During Thyroid Awareness Month

Common thyroid problems

January is Thyroid Awareness Month. The thyroid is a critical part of your overall health. However, many don’t have an adequate understanding of this gland. Therefore, we will explain what the thyroid is and common thyroid problems.

Thyroid Function and Common Thyroid Problems

Basic Thyroid Function

The thyroid interacts and regulates nearly all of your hormones. However, the following are particularly essential:

  • The Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) communicates that additional thyroid hormone needs to be produce.
  • The storage or inactive from the thyroid hormone is Thyroxine (T4).
  • Triiodothyronine (T3) is the active form of thyroid hormone, which increases metabolic activity.
  • Reverse T3 inhibits T3 function, which keeps your metabolism from becoming overactive and maintains balance.

Proper regulation of these hormones and keeping them working together is essential for both thyroid health and total body wellness.

Common Thyroid Problems

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is when you have reduced thyroid hormone levels, as a result of an under-active thyroid.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Inability to focus
  • Reduction of metabolic function
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Depression
  • Poor sleep
  • Constipation
  • PMS
  • Chronic yeast infections
  • Brittleness in hair and nails
  • And others

Hyperthyroidism

Conversely, hyperthyroidism is on the opposite side of the thyroid health spectrum. An elevation in thyroid hormone levels causes your body to enter a rushed or overclocked state. Excessive amounts of T4 and T3 triggers hyperthyroidism.

Symptoms  of hyperthyroidism include the following:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Hyperventilation
  • Rushed digestion
  • Excessive burning of calories
  • Heart palpitations
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss
  • Panic attacks and anxiety
  • Increased appetite
  • Muscle fatigue and weakness
  • And others

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s is when your antibodies have actively turned against the body, which makes it view proteins in the thyroid gland as threats. Therefore, this leads to destruction of the thyroid gland, which results in a severe thyroid hormone deficit and hypothyroidism. However, during this destructive process, temporary bursts of thyroid hormone are released as the cells are destroyed. Therefore, a momentary thyroid spike occurs where you may experience symptoms more in line with hyperthyroidism.

If you have Hashimoto’s, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Goiters
  • Tenderness in the neck
  • Insomnia
  • Fluctuations in weight
  • Heat and/or cold intolerance
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Tightness in the throat and difficulty speaking
  • Muscle weakness
  • And others

Graves’ Disease

Graves’ is an autoimmune dysfunction that affects the thyroid in a way that differs from Hashimoto’s. Rather than attacking the thyroid directly, Graves’ Disease is an overproduction of antibodies that are capable of mimicking TSH. Therefore, the thyroid believes it needs to produce greats amounts of both T3 and T4, which results in hyperthyroidism and hyperactivity throughout the body.

Symptoms of Graves’ Disease include the following:

  • Bulging or protruding eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Increased appetite
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Heat intolerance
  • And others

Tips for Thyroid Awareness Month

The following are a few tips for Thyroid Awareness Month:

  • Consume enough high quality protein on a daily process.
  • Avoid foods that contain high amounts of goitrogens if you have an under-active thyroid.
  • Make sure that your liver is healthy.
  • Make sure your diet contains an adequate amount of beneficial fatty acids.
  • Minimize heavy metal exposure.
  • Have your doctor examine your thyroid regularly.

 

If you or anyone you know experiences any of the above symptoms of thyroid diseases, schedule an appointment with our doctors here at Brashear Family Medical Center with the link below!

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