10 Signs Your Thyroid Isn’t Functioning Properly
Thyroid hormones, like all body chemicals, need to be within a certain range for optimal health. A malfunction in the thyroid gland that results in the production of either too much or too little of the hormones will adversely affect wellness in many ways.
Hyperthyroidism, the disorder involving an overproduction of thyroid hormones, speeds up the metabolism and manifests in symptoms that are the opposite of those caused by hypothyroidism. As the disorder can appear similar to other health problems, it can be hard to diagnose. Thyroid disease is common, so if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it may be time to get these hormones checked.
Hypothyroidism is the condition of too little production of thyroid hormones and tends to affect women more often than men. The disorder slows the metabolism and usually develops gradually over a period of years.
Some of the symptoms closely resemble other conditions, such as menopause, or are associated with just growing older, causing too many people to ignore what might be an easily remedied condition. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, ask your physician to run a test. It doesn’t take long, and you might be glad you did!
A number of medical conditions can cause low energy levels, however, if you are dragging throughout the day, feel depressed and beleive you need to sleep more than nine hours a night to feel good, you may have an underactive thyroid gland. On the other hand, if you are experiencing sudden anxiety or trouble sleeping, you may want to get checked for hyperthyroidism.
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2. Weight Gain or Weight Loss
Experiencing unexpected changes in your weight that you can’t quite explain? Your thyroid gland may be to blame. You may have hypothyroidism if you’ve gained a modest amount of weight despite efforts to curb your calories and increase your activity. However, you may have hyperthyroidism if you’ve suddenly lost weight despite eating the same amount of food. If this sounds familiar, ask your physician to run some tests.
3. Slow or Fast Heart Rate
As you might expect, the hormones produced by the thyroid influence the functionality of nearly every organ, including the heart. If you experience heart palpitations or unexplained changes in blood pressure, it’s possible there’s a trigger: Your changing heart rate. A slow heart rate may indicate an underproduction of thyroid hormones, while a fast heart rate, irregular heart rate or palpitations may signify an overproduction.
4. Constipation or More Frequent Bowel Movements
Thyroid hormones regulate digestion, so bloating and constipation can occur with low levels, and bowel movements that are more frequent can manifest with high levels.
5. Mental and Emotional Problems
Hypothyroidism will have a suppressing effect on the brain and nervous system, leading to impaired memory and depression. Hyperthyroidism will overstimulate the brain, producing nervousness, irritability, anxiety and difficulty sleeping.
6. Unhealthy Hair and Skin
Thinning hair is a sign of imbalances in thyroid hormone production — over or under. Thinning skin and brittle hair, however, is usually an indication of a spike in the thyroid hormones.
7. Increased Sensitivity to Cold or Heat
The slowed metabolism of hypothyroidism is associated with greater sensitivity to cold, and the accelerated metabolism of hyperthyroidism is linked to an intolerance of heat. Pay attention to the temperatures at which you are comfortable and don’t be afraid to check in with people around you. If you’re responding to hot or cold temperatures abnormally, don’t hesitate to get it checked out.
8. Muscle and Joint Disorders
An underproduction of thyroid hormones can cause muscle aches or tenderness as well as painful, stiff and swollen joints. Overproduction of the hormones can lead to muscle weakness.
9. Menstrual Changes
Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding is sometimes a sign of hypothyroidism, and scanty or reduced-flow is a symptom of hyperthyroidism.
10. Swelling or Enlargement in the Neck
Puffiness in the face can be a signal of inadequate thyroid hormones, and an enlargement at the base of the neck may be an indication that the thyroid gland has become larger due to hyperthyroidism.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.