Have you been feeling ‘not yourself’ and can not really put your finger on why that may be? Have you tried the usual things recommended to be feeling your best such as eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly, but are still not feeling yourself? It may be that you are suffering from a thyroid disorder and it is time to get it checked out.
Statistics show us that more than 30 million Americans will develop some form of thyroid disorder and that up to 60% of people with a thyroid disorder do not know that they have the condition. The difficulty with diagnosing or suspecting a thyroid problem is that thyroid disorder symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other conditions and thus it can be hard to diagnose that the thyroid is the issue.
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a gland that can be found at the base of the neck. It is small and often described as butterfly-shaped. Its main job in the body is to produce hormones that are vital to the healthy functioning of many organs and systems.
The thyroid’s hormones are vital in maintaining the effective functioning of the brain, heart, liver, body temperature, and kidneys. The thyroid gland also takes part in many other critical functions of the body such as digestive enzyme synthesis, stomach acid production, fuel combustion, fat and protein synthesis, blood flow, white blood cell synthesis, and even sex hormone synthesis.
The two key hormones, called T3 and T4, affect the overall health of the human body, particularly metabolism. If the thyroid gland is either over or underproducing these hormones, the metabolic system goes out of balance, resulting in different disorders developing over time. Too much hormone production is called hyperthyroidism, and too little hormone production is called hypothyroidism.
Let’s focus on hypothyroidism – since this condition is prevalent in our population. According to an article published by the US Library of Medicine, 5% of the population is affected by hypothyroidism. It is suspected though, that a further 5% of the population are undiagnosed with hypothyroidism. The symptoms of hypothyroidism can be subtle, slow, and hard to detect. While some people’s conditions can be mild with symptoms being fairly unnoticeable initially, over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause health problems. These problems are long-term and include obesity, infertility, heart disease, and joint pain.
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)?
Hypothyroidism symptoms include
- Weight gain and puffy face
- Dry skin
- Muscle weakness and aches
- Joint stiffness, pain, or swelling
- Thinning hair
- Slowed heart rate
- Changes in memory
- Irregular menstrual periods
These symptoms vary from person to person, but often they develop slowly and subtly over a period of years. A person may not at first notice these symptoms, as they may be experiencing just fatigue and weight gain (slow and gradual), but as the metabolism begins to be affected over the long term, more and more symptoms begin to show. Early detection is very helpful with hypothyroidism and can help you limit the effects of the disorder on the body (such as cardiovascular and joint problems).
Based on the fact that these symptoms often develop slowly, it has been found that thyroid disorder symptoms tend to appear in people as people age. Women are also 5x more likely than men to be affected by hypothyroidism. Other risk factors include:
- A recent pregnancy
- Recent radiation treatment to the head or neck area
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Family history
If you or someone you know falls into these risk factor categories, it would be wise to get your thyroid checked regularly. Detecting thyroid disorder is vital to managing it, which can, in turn, reduce the long-term effects seen when the disorder is untreated.
Other than being checked by your provider, there are other mechanisms that you can use to promote thyroid health. These include:
- Stop smoking
- Using a collar during radiation
- Limiting soy in your diet
- Soy can disrupt hormone levels in the body
- Take supplements for thyroid health
- Several studies have shown that selenium reduces hypothyroid severity.
- Check with your provider for recommended selenium supplementation dosages as these vary per person and too high dosages can have negative effects.
- Thyroid support supplements
- See below for our recommendation
- Regular check-ups at your provider
Since it is well documented that hypothyroidism can be undetected in about half of people who have the disorder, it is important to know the signs and symptoms and to ensure you are doing what you can to boost and protect your thyroid health, particularly if you are showing any of the early signs such as fatigue and low energy, or if you are in any of the risk categories.
At Natural Bio Health, we are dedicated to helping you manage your hormone health. We take a functional and holistic approach to your hormone therapy. We dedicate quality time to you, to discover what your needs are and how to best support you. If you are needing thyroid treatment, we will walk you through the process, guiding you on treatment as well as supplementation.
If you are looking to boost your thyroid health, we offer Thyroid Health, a supplement offering you a Thyroid Boost, Energy Boost and Weight Management. This product provides glandular, nutritional, and enzyme delivery support to promote optimum health benefits. Book a consultation with our staff to determine the best supplements and treatment program for your needs.
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