What do you know about your thyroid?
Are you tired, depressed, cold, irritable? Do your joints swell? How is your memory? Maybe you are having difficulty losing weight even though you have tried everything. Do you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, muscle cramps, or difficulty swallowing? If so, you need to have your thyroid checked. These symptoms can be due to low thyroid.
The thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins and works with the sex hormones, adrenal glands, and neurotransmitters (blood chemistry that affects our moods, mental function and physical well-being).
Perhaps you have had your thyroid lab done and your doctor said it was “normal.” You look good on paper but you know you are not well. You have even noticed hair loss. Your doctor says, “It’s probably stress.” It could be. However, since almost everyone today is feeling stressed, we would be a bald headed nation.
When you gradually get out of bed in the morning the first thing you see in the mirror are the puffy eyes and eyelid swelling. Not a welcome sight. You may also see the outermost portion of your eyebrows thinning or missing. Your hair looks dry and brittle.
Purpose of the thyroid
Thyroid hormones help the cell function to produce energy. The thyroid gland produces more T4 (80%) but it is inactive. T3 is 20% of the thyroid hormones and is active. The majority of T4 is converted to T3 inside the cells of the body.
Every cell in the body has receptor sites for thyroid hormones! If your thyroid gland is not functioning well, it can affect every organ in your body producing multiple symptoms.
Prevalence of thyroid issues
The problem is according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, more than 57 million Americans suffer from a thyroid problem but 50% go undiagnosed!
The good news is once you have the right tests done and see a doctor knowledgeable in thyroid function, you can live an energetic, happy, healthy life without the above symptoms.
The right thyroid tests are the place to start.
Suggested Thyroid labs
TSH Thyroid-stimulating hormone
Free T 3
Free T 4
Reverse T 3
Thyroid peroxidase antibodies
Is your doctor just ordering a TSH? You need more.
Sadly, we see patients whose thyroid glands are slowly destroyed year after year until finally they are diagnosed with low thyroid (hypothyroid). Unfortunately, their treatment options are limited to just thyroid hormone replacement.
Low thyroid can be caused by an autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s). Imbalances of the endocrine system, toxins, medication, gluten sensitivity, nutrient deficiencies, stress, surgery, pituitary gland dysfunction and inflammation can all compromise your thyroid function.
- Thyroid nodules
50% of people age 50 have thyroid nodules
60% of people age 60 have thyroid nodules
70% of people age 70 have thyroid nodules
If there are more than 1 nodule present and maybe tender – there are often benign.
If a solitary non painful nodule it is important to rule out thyroid cancer.
You deserve your best life. You deserve normal thyroid function.