You’re Hot Or You’re Cold…Do You Have A Thyroid Problem?

Your thyroid is the small, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck and its job is to control the speed of your body’s metabolism and to convert food into energy.  When this little organ isn’t functioning properly, it can cause a LOT of problems…especially for women.1,2

It is estimated that 20 million Americans can be affected by thyroid disease and that close to 60% of those are unaware they even have the condition.  Women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid issues and one in eight will develop a thyroid issue during her life.3

There are two types of thyroid problems –  hypothyroidism, where the body has too little thyroid hormone and hyperthyroidism, where too much thyroid hormone is produced.  There could be a number of reasons why your thyroid is on the blink, such as genetics, stress, an autoimmune problem, nutritional deficiencies, or environmental toxins.2 The following are some signs and symptoms of each type.

Hypothyroidism1,2,4

  • Lack of energy
  • Depressed or sad
  • Feeling cold
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Weight gain
  • Forgetfulness
  • Heavier and longer periods
  • Dry skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry hair that breaks and falls out
  • Constipation
  • Sleeping often

 

Hyperthyroidism1,2,5

  • Weight loss
  • Feeling too warm or sweating too much
  • Nervous, jittery, or anxious
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lighter and shorter periods
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Balding, thinning hair
  • Hand tremors
  • More frequent bowel movements

A change in your voice, lump in your throat, or high blood pressure are symptoms of both hypo- and hyperthyroidism, so be on the lookout for these as well.2

Get Tested

If you have one or more of these symptoms, go see your doctor and discuss getting a blood test to determine the levels of these hormones:  thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), Free T3, and Free T4.  After a review of your lab results, you may be prescribed synthetic thyroxine (levothyroxine sodium tablets) for hypothyroidism.  If you have hyperthyroidism, antithyroid drugs may be prescribed, such as methimazole. 4,5

Follow Up

It is important to continue to visit your doctor yearly so that your thyroid hormone and TSH levels can be checked, particularly if you have hypothyroidism.  For both hypo- and hyperthyroidism, family members should be checked as well.4,5

Hormones and Your Thyroid

Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any hormones such as progesterone or estrogen as these can affect thyroid function.  Too much estrogen, for example, can lead to low thyroid levels.6

Listen to your body.  The talking your thyroid gland does can help you stay healthy!

 

REFERENCES:

  1.  http://www.safemenopausesolutions.com/thyroid.html.
  2. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20723100,00.html#a-thyroid-disorder-epidemic—0.
  3. https://www.thyroid.org/media-main/about-hypothyroidism/
  4. https://www.thyroid.org/hypothyroidism/
  5. https://www.thyroid.org/hyperthyroidism/
  6. https://drhedberg.com/hormone-thyroid-connection/.

Published by

Michele Santangelo Murphy

Michele Santangelo Murphy

A dedicated and loyal worker, and also a fan of the Oxford comma, Michele Santangelo Murphy can claim 20 years of pharmaceutical business experience in editing, writing, and marketing for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Wyeth-Ayerst International. Michele’s educational background includes a BA in Journalism from The Pennsylvania State University and an MBA in Marketing from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.