It’s estimated that about 12 percent of the U.S. population will suffer from some type of thyroid disorder during their lifetime. Thyroid problems may be common, but they are often undiagnosed, with many people never seeking out and receiving the treatment they need to feel better. Those with thyroid problem symptoms may face other illnesses and a feeling of being unwell without energy through no fault of their own. Here’s what you need to know about your thyroid.
What Is the Thyroid?
The thyroid is a small organ located at the base of your neck. Its job is to create and produce hormones. These hormones move through the body, helping to control the various activities of organs, cells, and tissues. In a healthy person, the thyroid produces the right amount of hormone to regulate these functions properly. However, sometimes the thyroid can produce too much or too little hormone, leading to changes in the way the body functions. When there is too much or too little produced, it’s called thyroid disease. There are several types of diseases that may occur.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland. There are various glands throughout the body. All of them have the specific job of creating and releasing hormones to help your body function. The thyroid creates hormones for numerous vital functions in the body, including breathing and heart rate. When the thyroid doesn’t work as it should, it can lead to an impact on other organs.
For example, in those with hypothyroidism, it does not produce enough hormone. In hyperthyroidism, it produces too much. Both have an impact on what’s happening in your body.
How Does the Thyroid Function? What Does It Do?
Thyroid hormones help in various ways, including releasing and controlling hormones that manage the body’s metabolism or the process it uses to break down food into usable energy. This energy is used throughout the body to keep all of the systems operating as they should.
To do that, the thyroid uses a few specific hormones. That includes T4 (thyroxine, which has four iodide atoms) and T3 (triiodothyronine, which contains three iodide atoms). These hormones help to tell the cells located throughout the body how much energy to use. When balanced properly, the metabolism is working at its best, and cells are functioning as they should. The thyroid’s job is to create more hormones when the body uses these during the metabolism process.
So, what controls the thyroid’s function? Located at the center of the skull just below the brain is the pituitary gland. This gland helps to control the amount of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream. When there is a lack of enough hormones present, it sends out its own hormone to help adjust that. This is called TSH, or thyroid stimulating hormone. TSH helps to tell the thyroid to get back to a balanced level with hormone production.
Each of these components must work at the right level and consistently to ensure that a person has ample energy to function. That includes everything from breaking down food to running a mile to cells flushing toxins from them.
How Thyroid Disease Impacts Your Health
Several types of thyroid problems can occur. Here is a look at some of those conditions and how they may impact the way you feel.
- Hyperthyroidism: In this condition, there is an overproduction of hormone. This means the energy is used too quickly. This means there is not enough energy being produced over the long term. Most people with this condition feel tired all of the time. Your heart may beat faster, and you may lose weight without trying. Some people also feel anxiety.
- Hypothyroidism: This condition occurs when there is too little hormone produced. When this happens, it can make a person feel tired and weak. Sometimes this leads to weight gain and difficulty with tolerating cold temperatures.
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: In this condition, there is not enough production of thyroid present, indicating hypothyroidism. It is a specific type of hypothyroidism called an autoimmune disorder. In this condition, the body’s immune system attacks and damages the thyroid.
- Graves’ disease: In this type of hyperthyroidism in which the entire thyroid gland is overactive. It produces too much hormone and can cause an enlarged thyroid gland.
- Thyroiditis: This condition can be painful to some people. It also occurs with an overproduction of the thyroid. In this condition, the thyroid releases stored hormones, leading to a significant release of hormone at one time. This can go on for weeks or even months.
Other ailments can occur as well. A person is at a higher risk of these complications of they have a family history of thyroid disease, a medication conditions such as type 1 diabetes, lupus, or primary adrenal insufficiency, or if they are taking some types of medications, such as amiodarone.
Symptoms of Thyroid Disease
How do you know you have this condition? It’s hard to know this because the only diagnosis typically comes from a blood test. However, this is not a typical test that doctors run. That’s why the first step is to understand the common symptoms a person may experience.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid include:
- Trouble with irritability, nervousness, and anxiety
- Losing weight without trying to do so
- Having a lump on the neck, which indicates an enlarged thyroid gland
- Difficulty with sleeping
- Trouble with muscle weakness and tremors
- Feeling sensitive to heat
- Vision changes
Symptoms of hypnotherapies or underproduction of thyroid include:
- Feelings of being tired
- Gaining weight without changing eating habits
- Frequent and heavy menstrual periods
- Dry or coarse hair
- Experiencing forgetfulness
- Intolerance to cold temperatures
If you’re experiencing these types of experiences, it’s time to find help. Even if you feel okay and not ill, correcting these levels may give you more energy and improve your overall quality of life.
Finding the Right Solution to Thyroid Disease
It’s important to know that there are treatment options available to help most people start to feel better when it comes to thyroid disease. While there are medications that may help, there are also a few other things you should know about treating thyroid disease. Specifically, it’s important to learn the underlying cause of the condition and work to fix that. While medications may be able to balance thyroid levels, they don’t always deal with the underlying cause of the problem, and that’s a concern.
One of the most important things to know is that, in many people, the cause of thyroid disease is directly related to gut health. Low thyroid levels, for example, can cause leaky gut. In other cases, it is possible for poor gut health to directly impact and suppress the function of the thyroid. This is most likely to happen in those who have autoimmune disorders that create Hashimoto’s or Grave’s disease.
The microbiome in the gut is critical to the wellbeing throughout the body. If a person struggles with a condition like celiac disease or leaky gut, that’s contributing to the function of the thyroid. More so, if the thyroid is not functioning properly, that contributes to the health of the gut.
Recognizing this is important for many reasons. Specifically, when we know that an autoimmune disorder is behind the condition, it is possible to work to correct that need. For conditions like leaky cut and celiac, it may be beneficial to improve diet and to use a probiotic like MegaSporeBiotic. This helps to refuel and replenish the healthy bacteria levels in the gut, so important to its overall function. By adding good bacteria to the gut, it can help to overcome imbalances present there, helping to foster overall improvement in health.
If your thyroid is the underlying cause of your gut health problems, it needs to be addressed as well. There are numerous steps you can take to do that, including improving diet, of course. Yet, you have to know there is a problem present to know how to address it. That’s where testing is so important.
Why Blood Tests for Thyroid Problems Are So Important
The only real way to know what is happening and why it is occurring is to have a comprehensive blood test completed. These tests help to test the levels of TSH, Free T4, T3, and Free T3 hormones in the bloodstream. Each of these levels must be balanced for your body to use energy properly. You cannot know from just symptoms that your thyroid is misfunctioning. However, with blood tests, it’s possible to see what is happening and sometimes why as well.
If you suspect that you may have a thyroid disorder of any type, request a thyroid blood test kit from Paloma, our affiliate partner. They also offer thyroid health consultations virtually, so you can get the help you need.
Unsure of Where You Stand?
It’s hard to know what to expect when you experience symptoms of thyroid problems. To help you learn if you need to take action, we’ve created a short quiz to help you. When you complete the quiz, you’ll receive a free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment and Report along with free Coaching Sessions to help you move beyond these symptoms and restore your health and overall wellbeing. Take our quiz now to learn more.
Ready to Learn More?
If you’re worried about your thyroid’s function, it’s time to take action. We encourage you to watch a short, informative video that can provide you with the information you need. You can also learn about the most critical step you can take now to end thyroid disease naturally. Watch now to get started.