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9 Thyroid Warning Signs You Should Know
Do you know the signs of a malfunctioning thyroid? Doctors believe that many thyroid problems are under diagnosed because many thyroid symptoms overlap with other conditions and diseases. If you have several of the warning signs listed below, have your thyroid function tested right away.
A thyroid is only a tiny gland located in your neck, but it has one of the most influential jobs in the body. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate many bodily activities, including the metabolism, how fast your heart beats, brain function, liver and kidney function, and even the health of your skin.
Although some people suffer from an overactive thyroid, it is far more common in the United States to suffer from an underactive thyroid. An underactive thyroid slows down many of the body’s systems, leading to weight gain, sexual dysfunction, depression, mood swings, and other unhealthy side effects. Thyroid disorders can be linked to many conditions, including pregnancy, chemicals, iodine levels, genetics, and autoimmune disorders.
According to The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, up to 59 million Americans have thyroid disorder. Many of these disorders are undiagnosed, because many of the symptoms are similar to that of other conditions. Below is a list of 9 common thyroid warning signs. If you have one or more of these troubling conditions, ask your doctor to test your thyroid as soon as possible.
Are you often tired? If you get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, yet still feel tired, your thyroid could be to blame. Thyroid tiredness also has other side effects, including overall sluggish behavior and an increased sensitivity to cold. Tiredness alone may not indicate a thyroid disorder, but in conjunction with some of the other symptoms listed below is probably symptom of a sluggish thyroid.
Your thyroid itself could become enlarged in some cases. The thyroid is located at the base of the neck near your collarbone. You can check for lumps or enlargement yourself.
If you have weak arms, a tendency to have carpal tunnel, and have unexplained pain in your muscles and joints, your thyroid could be to blame. Additional signs can be an inability to grip things properly and the inability to raise your arms above your head. You may have frequent cramps or tingling pain in your arms and legs.
Your thyroid can affect your hair and skin in a major way. A malfunctioning thyroid can hurt the health of your skin and hair. In fact, hair loss is one of the number one side effects of an underactive thyroid. Your hair will turn brittle, dry, and coarse. It may fall out and break easily. Your skin may thin and become more fragile. Strangely, hair loss around the outside of the eyebrow is also a symptom of thyroid problems.
A sluggish thyroid can lead to sluggish bowels, which causes constipation. An overactive thyroid can lead to irritable bowel syndrome. If you have bowel issues without any other causes, your thyroid might be to blame.
Heavy, frequent, and painful periods are one of the main side effects of a sluggish thyroid in women. An overactive thyroid may cause missed periods or short, light periods. In either case, fertility can be compromised in females with thyroid issues.
If you have high cholesterol that is non responsive to diet or cholesterol medications, it could be due to an underactive thyroid. Cholesterol levels rise when the body is under stress, and a sluggish thyroid places great stress on all of the body’s systems, which have to work harder to make up for the hormonal imbalance in the body.
Panic disorder, sudden depression, or unexplained anxiety could be a sign of a sluggish thyroid. Depression is associated most with a slow thyroid, while anxiety and panic attacks are more likely with an overactive thyroid. In some cases, depression caused by a sluggish thyroid may not respond to traditional antidepressants.
Often, a sluggish thyroid leads to weight gain. Why? One of the thyroid’s main functions is to regulate the metabolism. If the metabolism is slow, it will be harder to lose excess weight. If you have trouble losing weight (and you already have a healthy diet and exercise plan in place), your thyroid could be to blame. Healing your thyroid will help you succeed in your weight loss goals. According to research, a sluggish thyroid can result in a fast 20 pound weight gain within just a few weeks.
If you have some of the above symptoms, and you receive a confirmation that you have thyroid issues from your doctor, you don’t have to take thyroid hormones to heal your thyroid. In some cases, the side effects from the medications may cause additional problems in the body. Common side effects from thyroid medication include bone density loss, anxiety, insomnia, and heart palpitations.
However, many vitamins and minerals have been shown to also reduce thyroid malfunction and boost thyroid function. These supplements can also help slow down an overactive thyroid.
According to the site Thyroid UK, B vitamins are essential to the health of the thyroid whether you have an underactive or overactive thyroid. B vitamins are responsible for regulating many of the body’s processes. B vitamins regulate energy production, nervous system function, wound healing, and mood. Vitamin B6, B9, and B12 regulate the immune system and the nervous system. B vitamins reduce levels of homocysteine in the body, which is associated with heart disease.
Taking B 8, B12, and B9 can lower homocysteine levels. A 2000 study conducted by the University Hospital and Institute for Cardiovascular Research Vrije Universiteit in The Netherlands showed that a supplement mix of vitamin B6, B9, and B12 was able to reduce Homocysteine levels in participants. A 2009 study conducted by Aga Khan University showed that many patients with hypothyroidism were low in vitamin B12 levels.
These two complexes are required for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Many patients with hypothyroidism are low in acetyl L-tyrosine and L-phenylalanine levels according to numerous thyroid studies. One study from Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital in Canada conducted in 2003 showed that supplementation with acetyl-L-tyrosine, in combination with L- phenylalanine, was able to restore the balance of amino acids necessary for thyroid health in adult participants.
Selenium is a hormone that is necessary for the production and conversion of thyroid hormones. Without selenium, the thyroid cannot function to its full potential. In some cases, individuals with hypothyroidism may improve the function of the thyroid by taking selenium supplements. Iodine is also necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. In fact, a deficiency of iodine can cause the malfunction of the thyroid and can even cause the gland to enlarge. A 2001 study from The University of Hong Kong in 2001 found that many individuals with thyroid disorders were low in iodine. However, too much iron can also lead to thyroid problems. Researchers recommend not exceeding 600mcg of iodine per day. A 1993 study from the Free University of Brussels showed that selenium supplements improved the effectiveness of iron and thyroid hormone treatments.
Zinc is a powerful mineral that not only boosts immune function and overall growth and development, but it is also responsible for manufacturing thyroid hormones. Studies have shown that many patients with thyroid disorders are unable to absorb zinc from food sources as well as individuals without thyroid problems. A study from 1990 conducted by the University G. d'Annunzio in Italy looked at the role of zinc and thyroid problems in patients with Down’s syndrome. The researchers found that giving zinc supplements to patients with Down’s syndrome was able to reduce the incidence of subclinical hypothyroidism in study participants.
Manganese and copper are two minerals that can boost thyroid function. According to some animal studies, deficiencies in copper and manganese were tied to an increase for thyroid problems. Two studies from 1975 published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research found that animals with low manganese and copper levels were more likely to have a sluggish thyroid. The same mineral deficiencies could also lead to thyroid problems in humans.
The role of magnesium in thyroid disorders has been studied for several decades. Research dating back to the 1930s has examined the role of this mineral and how it relates to thyroid function. These studies have shown that magnesium is an essential mineral for thyroid health. A lack of magnesium can lead to a sluggish thyroid, which can also increase heart disease risk. A study from 1984 published in the American Journal of Nutrition found that rats who had low magnesium levels were more likely to have an enlarged thyroid gland.
The health of your thyroid is essential to the health of your body. Without a properly functioning thyroid, your risk for getting heart disease and other undesirable diseases increases significantly. Luckily, you can protect the health of your thyroid and your entire body by giving your thyroid the fuel it needs to function properly in the form of vitamins and minerals.
Eat these vitamins and minerals through food, and add supplements to your diet to ensure you fill any gaps left in your everyday diet. Within a few weeks, you should find that your thyroid function starts improving and you feel better than ever before.
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