Has Your Thyroid Gone Awry?
The thyroid is one of the smallest organs in the body but one of the most important. Thyroids are butterfly-shaped glands located in the neck, in front of the windpipe. These glands are part of the endocrine system and manage hormones that keep the body’s metabolism in check. Furthermore, the thyroid helps with growth and development, reproduction, and even body temperature. Thyroid disorders are common. When disorders happen, the body responds in several ways to show that things have gone awry.
Is your thyroid underactive?
For the body to run smoothly, the thyroid regulates the right amount of hormones at the right times. When the thyroid is not functioning well, there can be an overproduction of hormones or an underproduction of hormones. Underactive thyroid conditions are called hypothyroidism. With hypothyroidism, the gland does not produce enough T3 and T4 hormones. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus use these hormones to distribute others to cells for proper functioning.
What’s behind your hypothyroidism?
An underactive thyroid is more common in women than men and often happens in people over 60. Most women experience hypothyroidism during pregnancy. Other reasons include an iodine deficiency, previous thyroid surgery, or radiation therapy to the neck. Some people inherit thyroid deficiencies or have a disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Hypothyroidism symptoms are varied and easily identified. Luckily, some treatment options work to alleviate these symptoms.
Look for an irregular period
The thyroid plays an essential role in the hormones needed for menstruation. Hypothyroidism could cause periods to be heavier and longer. Periods also become infrequent. Irregular periods due to an underactive thyroid increases the risk of infertility.
Are your skin and hair too dry?
Thyroid problems can slow down the skin’s natural oil production, called sebum. The reduction of sebum can cause dry, flaky skin and hair. To keep things under control, use a moisturizer for the skin that’s free of parabens and chemicals. The moisturizer should contain humectant ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. For hair, try vitamins A, C, E, and omega-3 supplements, which can improve hair health.
Look out for constipation
A reduction of thyroid hormones can slow down the digestive process. People with underactive thyroids are more likely to suffer from constipation. To deal with this symptom, try a probiotic supplement that contains billions of healthy live bacteria. Probiotics bring much-needed balance to the intestines and help with a healthy digestive system.
Unexplained weight gain
A slowed metabolism is a byproduct of reduced thyroid hormones. The processes in cells slow down, including weight management. The result could be unexpected weight gain that’s hard to lose. For weight gain, medication to restore hormonal balance may be best. However, a balanced, healthy diet free of processed foods and sugars can help with weight management.
Are you way too tired?
Hormones help maintain constant energy levels throughout the day. Underactive thyroids can cause energy fluctuations due to a slowed metabolism. Even with a full night’s sleep, hypothyroidism could cause tiredness. To fight fatigue, consider a sugar-free diet or those high in processed foods and fats. Take naps in the day to manage energy levels, especially during a busy day.
Hypothyroidism is depressing
Imbalanced hormones can cause unwanted mood swings. People who go through periods can find bouts of depression come easily. Address those sluggish moods with alternative treatments like meditation and yoga.
Take the symptoms of underactive thyroid seriously
Hypothyroidism will show multiple symptoms. If these impact the quality of life, seek medical help immediately. Once a doctor confirms the condition, hormone medication can help restore the balance. At the same time, these helpful supplementary treatments can make things easier. For more information about managing thyroid disorders, speak with a healthcare provider.