7 Signs that you might have Thyroid Problems
7 Signs that you might have Thyroid Problems
Feeling tired all the time? Having issues going to the loo? Difficulty sleeping? All of these problems can be caused by a thyroid condition.
There are two main types of thyroid problems: Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Both conditions are due to the thyroid gland not functioning properly.
Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid is underactive. Hyperthyroidism Is when your thyroid is overactive.
The thyroid gland is important for growth, development and metabolism. It’s vital that the little 5cm gland functions properly … because it plays an important role in all systems of the body.
In this article we’ll discuss the symptoms that can occur due to thyroid conditions, as well as natural ways to boost thyroid health.
What Is The Thyroid
Firstly, What Is The Thyroid…And Why Should You Care?
The thyroid gland is a vital butterfly-shaped gland in the neck. It's responsible for metabolism, growth and development. Hence it's imperative that we keep our thyroid glands happy and functioning optimally. The two main hormones secreted into your blood by the thyroid gland are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Your body must continually release thyroid hormones to maintain homeostasis.
In some cases a thyroid can completely stop working. If this happens people will need to take thyroid hormones for the rest of their life. Just about every organ in the human body is affected by thyroid hormones. Such as your bones, digestion, brain development, as well as heart and muscle. Therefore it is important to keep an eye out for early warning signs of thyroid issues. Your thyroid gland can be underactive or overactive. Hence the symptoms are on both sides of the spectrum. For example an underactive thyroid can lead to you feeling cold while an overactive thyroid can result in you feeling hotter than normal. The amount of thyroid hormone released is controlled by the master pituitary gland.
1. Toilet Issues Connected to the Thyroid
Your thyroid plays a role in both peeing and pooping. Hence toilet issues can be an early warning sign of an imbalance in your thyroid. Hypothyroidism can lead to constipation and heartburn/acid reflux disease (GERD). This is because of slower digestion or metabolism. While hyperthyroidism can lead to more bowel movements or diarrhoea because of an overactive thyroid and sped up metabolism.
Thyroid disease can impact the proper functioning of your kidneys. As with most of the other symptoms associated with thyroid dysfunction, the issues are at either side of the scale. Thyroid hormones (TH) are required for the growth and development of kidneys, as well as for water and electrolyte homeostasis. Therefore to keep properly hydrated, you need your kidneys and thyroids to be working well. If your kidneys are not functioning as they should, then the metabolism and elimination of TH can be impacted.
Learn more: The 5 Best Plant Sources of Electrolytes
2. High Cholesterol & Thyroid Issues: Is there a Connection?
The amount of thyroid hormones circulating in your blood can impact the amount of cholesterol. High cholesterol is one of the most common signs of thyroid problems. If you have high cholesterol, you may also have a problem with your thyroid gland. This is because these two conditions are interrelated.
The thyroid gland produces hormones that control your body’s metabolism and energy levels. Hence thyroid problems can also make you feel tired all the time. It also regulates how fast your heart beats and how efficiently your body uses oxygen. When you have problems with the thyroid, it can lead to weight gain and fatigue. It can also cause high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
3. The Connection Between Your Thyroid & Mood
Often we point to external factors that we feel impact our mood. Yet, there are several lifestyle and metabolic factors that can alter how we feel and behave. Impacting all areas of our lives. Thyroid disease can seriously impact mood. Interestingly, the more severe the thyroid disease, the more intense the mood swings can be. Hyperthyroidism can lead to anxiety, tension, mood swings, sleep disturbances and a short temper.
If a person has an overactive thyroid, then they might feel hyperactive and find it hard to sit still. While a person with an underactive thyroid may feel lethargic or even depressed. An overactive thyroid can result in sleepless nights, this can impact mood negatively as people need quality rest to perform in the world. While a person with an underactive thyroid might find it hard to get out of bed. Which is equally as detrimental to quality of life.
4. Always Thirsty? It Could Be Your Thyroid
Due to the connection between your thyroid, kidneys and electrolyte balance - a dysfunctional thyroid can lead to perpetual thirst. That’s because you need electrolytes to absorb water. If your body doesn’t have enough electrolytes, then no matter how much water you drink, you’ll always be thirsty. To combat this, you can add electrolytes into your daily routine.Electrolytes can be added to your drinking water in powder or tablet form. Some foods rich in electrolytes include: spinach, kale, broccoli, beans and almonds. An overactive thyroid can also mean that you always feel hungry, due to a faster metabolism.
5. Always Too Hot or Too Cold?
Being too hot is often attributed to the menopause and hot flashes. Yet, in some cases, it’s due to a different hormonal imbalance. Such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. People with hyperthyroidism may feel especially hot, and people with hypothyroidism will feel the cold. This could mean that their hands are really cold in winter time.
In both instances it’s to do with the speed of their metabolism. People with a slow metabolism will feel colder than normal, while those with a fast metabolism will radiate heat, or sweat more. Even when the temperature is relatively mild. The best way to fix this is to balance your thyroid by choosing some healthy lifestyle options. Such as exercise, nutrition, and reduced stress.
6. Thyroid Issues Can Impact Sex Life
There are several reasons that an underactive thyroid can lead to a reduced interest in sex. As the bodies processes slow down, there’s a natural reduction in sex drive. Additionally, a slower metabolism can lead to weight gain that might make people feel like they are not so inclined to take their clothes off as they used to be.
Hypothyroidism can make your skin dry and itchy. This can also mean that there is a lack of arousal and lubrication. Meaning that sex can be painful and feel like something to be avoided. This is especially true in women. While men with thyroid disease can experience erectile dysfunction.
Learn more: 9 Natural health tips to support menopause
7. Joint & Muscle Issues
Thyroid disease (either underactive or overactive) can cause muscle issues, such as a loss in muscle mass and muscle weakness. Not good news for gym bros! This is because the thyroid is required for both skeletal muscle development and muscle growth. Hypothyroidism can break down muscles, leading to muscle and joint pain. For this reason, it's advised that only low impact exercise is suitable for people with severe hypothyroidism. Exercises such as yoga, pilates, swimming or walking.
Muscle weakness can also be experienced with hyperthyroidism. This can be caused by a condition called thyrotoxic myopathy, or Graves disease. Muscle tenderness and wasting of muscles can also occur with an overactive thyroid. This is common in the shoulders and hips. There can also be swelling and stiffness in joints due to thyroid disease.
Learn more: Are You Properly Hydrating Your Muscles?
Natural Treatments to Boost Thyroid Health
To treat thyroid conditions naturally, we must first understand what’s the root cause of the imbalance. Essentially, your thyroid is made to function optimally. Toxins, exercise and diet can seriously impact how our thyroid works, and whether or not they function optimally. Some studies have observed that people who live in polluted areas, in areas with high levels of PCBs, or pesticides, as well as those living near petrochemical plants, are more likely to have thyroid problems. These toxins are known as “endocrine disrupting chemicals.”
Hence boosting detoxification pathways can help enhance thyroid function. Drinking adequate water, exercising regularly and sweating can help. As well as eating a balanced diet and supplementing with detoxification agents like glutathione, vitamin C and NAC can begin to reduce the damage caused by thyroid disrupting chemicals. Aerobic exercise can improve levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). And resistance training can help boost T4 (Thyroxine) concentration. Too much or too little T4 can signal thyroid disease.
Secretly, hormones run our lives. If they’re out of balance, then a whole slew of health conditions can bombard our life. Even mood issues can sneak up on us if our hormones, especially the thyroid glands are out of whack. All of our hormones are interconnected and controlled by the master gland - the pituitary gland. It’s important to make sure that your thyroid glands are working properly to live a full life. Iodine, and detoxification supplements can begin to bring our thyroid glands back into balance.
Written by Rowanna Watson, who has a passion for natural health. Rowanna is an expert in all areas of holistic health, plant-based nutrition, detoxification Written by best-selling author and integrative nutrition health coach and personal development.
Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.