Symptoms of Thyroid Disease: What Every Woman Should Know

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It is normal for us all to struggle with feeling blue and losing weight, or even gaining weight at times. It can also be said many of us are so busy it can be difficult to do exercise or yoga. But if you are struggling with any of those symptoms daily, it might be linked to poor performance in your thyroid gland. I explain the common signs and symptoms of thyroid disease. What exactly causes thyroid issues?

What are the signs and symptoms of thyroid disease? What causes thyroid disease?

Overview of Thyroid Health

Almost 25 million Americans live with thyroid disease, with 50% unaware they have it. And most of these sufferers are women. 

What is the Thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck that produces hormones.

It is located in the front, center-most part of the neck. This is about midway and in between the underneath part of the chin and the dip at the base of the neck in front.

Hormones are chemical messengers that coordinate and control the body’s metabolic rate, growth, development, and reproduction.

What Does the Thyroid Do?

It produces hormones and regulates body temperature by releasing them into the blood. The thyroid controls how quickly your body uses energy (calories) and stores fat, regulates the menstrual cycle, and influences mood.

It serves as the thermostat of the body and regulates temperature, energy, and metabolism. It is also responsible for controlling everything from your menstrual cycles to your mood.

The thyroid gland also plays an important role in the development of the brain, eyes, and sexual maturation.

Poor thyroid function is divided into three types: hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and autoimmune thyroid diseases.

What’s a Normal Functioning Thyroid?

A malfunctioning thyroid gland can make it difficult to lose weight, but may not cause you to gain weight.

If your thyroid gland works properly, it produces a thyroid hormone that helps convert food into energy and controls the amount of fat in your body.

Excess fat around your ribs, wombs, or neck (called a “buffalo hump”) is a sign of an underactive thyroid gland. Some women may notice that their breasts grow too fast or not as quickly as they would like.

The thyroid gland controls the amount of hair and body oil you make. If the gland is not working properly, it may cause excess hair or acne.

The thyroid gland does not produce estrogen, but it influences levels of estrogen and other hormones. If your thyroid gland is not working properly, your body can over- or under-produce them.

Thyroid Problems

Thyroid problems are common in women. Most women with thyroid problems don’t even know it. The symptoms of thyroid problems often do not appear until much later.

The most common thyroid problem is an underactive thyroid gland. This can cause tiredness, feeling cold, and weight gain.

Sometimes women with this problem also tend to be clumsy, which makes them more prone to falling.

Women can also have an overactive thyroid gland. This can cause weight loss, trouble sleeping, and dry hair or skin. Women may also have a rapid heart rate and extreme irritability.

The cause of thyroid problems is unclear. Thyroid problems are believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, including stress.

What is Thyroid Disease?

Thyroid disease is a health condition that affects the thyroid gland in the neck. It can cause problems with energy, weight, mood or cognitive function.

There are many forms of thyroid disease, but the most common are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

The Thyroid Gland Keeps the Body in Harmony

How do you know if you have a thyroid issue?

What are the Common Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Disease?

There are many symptoms that will clue if your thyroid is over-functioning or under-functioning. Here are a few common signs and symptoms of thyroid disease to be aware of.

Weight Struggles Associated with Thyroid Issues

Your thyroid might be responsible for your weight struggles. It can be the culprit if you have tried exercise and diet without success.

However, losing substantial amounts of weight may be a potential sign of hyperthyroidism. It never hurts to visit your doctor for some blood work.

Energy Issues Surrounding Thyroid Problems

If you have a thyroid issue, you often have energy issues. When your thyroid is running poorly, you may also experience more fatigue than usual.

Low energy is a common symptom of a poorly functioning thyroid. If you have an overactive thyroid, you will feel more agitated than usual. 

Sleep Issues Can Be a Sign of Thyroid Issues

Your thyroid can have a significant effect on your sleep. With a low functioning thyroid, you may feel like you sleep way more than usual, but still wake up feeling not relaxed and unrested. It also feels like you have dream-disrupting or poor sleep.

If, however, you feel like you are very active, this can also be a sign of a hyperactive thyroid or adrenal overdrive.

Mood Swings Can Be a Symptom of Thyroid Disease

Hyperthyroidism is a type of thyroid condition that may make you feel blue for no apparent reason. It will make you feel down or even depressed.

If you feel angry, irritable, or more worked up than usual, it might mean your thyroid is hyperactive. 

Low or High Appetite Surrounding Thyroid Disease

If you have a low functioning thyroid, you may experience an increase in your appetite. This is due to the fact that your dialed-down metabolism signals your brain that you do not have enough fuel to burn.

Low thyroid function will lead you to crave more carbs and sugar for energy to overcome fatigue.

If you are experiencing any or all these common signs and symptoms of thyroid disease, it may benefit you to visit your doctor for some blood work.

Thyroid irregularity can be treated, and many people can function, if not better, once the issue has been identified.

You do not have to live with a low functioning thyroid. Start paying attention to your body now to see if there are areas you can help it perform better!

Can Thyroid Issues Cause Me to Lose My Hair?

It is possible that thyroid issues might cause hair loss, but many people have not experienced hair loss associated with their thyroid problems.

Things You Can Do at Home to Help Thyroid Disease

Treatment of thyroiditis is usually the same as for almost any other condition.

It involves a combination of medications, lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) and possibly surgery if the condition persists or is associated with other symptoms, including weight loss, palpitations or high blood pressure.

What lifestyle changes should I make while on thyroid medication?

Keeping a healthy diet and exercising are important.

A healthy diet is low in saturated fat, salt and cholesterol, and high in complex carbohydrates, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. Eating a well-balanced diet helps keep the thyroid working normally.

A Healthy Lifestyle Should Include:

Exercise is important for everyone, but especially for those with hypothyroidism, because it helps keep the body’s metabolism at normal levels. Exercise for your thyroid gland.

Some research suggests a mild exercise program can help increase the efficiency of the body’s use of thyroid hormones. However, it is unclear whether exercise alone will increase “normal” thyroid function.

Watch your weight. Dieting can worsen hypothyroidism by causing the body to secrete excess thyroid hormone, which leads to a greater breakdown of muscle and bone mass.

Weight gain can also worsen hypothyroidism by causing the body to secrete excess thyroid hormone, which leads to a greater breakdown of muscle and bone mass.

You might also want to read: What Foods Should People Avoid For Thyroid Issues?

Drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration, which can set in even if you are not suffering from hypothyroidism, can worsen the condition.

Do not drink alcohol excessively. Alcohol can lower the effectiveness of levothyroxine and increase your risk of hypothyroidism.

Continue with your medication as prescribed by your doctor. The symptoms of hypothyroidism can be improved with the proper treatment.

If you are taking levothyroxine, take it simultaneously daily. Do not take more than your doctor or pharmacist recommends, especially if you are taking thyroid hormone replacement for an extended period.

Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking thyroid hormone replacement for a long time. Some medications can cause hypothyroidism, particularly when taken for more than a year.

Let’s Discuss Symptoms of Thyroid Disease

Did you know some of these common signs and symptoms of thyroid disease before reading this article?

Let me know in the comment section below.

I would also love to hear what you think, or take a photo and tag me @Eat_Your_Nutrition on Instagram. I love seeing your photos. #EatYourNutrition #LauraVillanueva

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Symptoms of Thyroid Disease: What Every Woman Should Know
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