Discussions on "Thyroid imbalance" in "General Health Problems" forum.
30th Oct 2011, 01:11 AM #1
Do you suffer from fatigue?
Are you irritable, depressed, anxious, or panicky?
Are you bothered by changes in your skin, nails or hair?
Do you experience constipation?
Do you feel cold or hot when others don't?
Are you struggling with weight gain?
Do you have sleep problems?
Are you forgetful or do you have problems focusing?
Are you burdened by disorganized thinking?
Do you feel burned out from having acted on excessive energy for several months?
Are you listless, or are you disconnected from your friends and family?
Do you have joint aches and pains, muscle cramps?
Do you have high cholesterol?
Have you been diagnosed with depression or anxiety?
Are you taking an antidepressant, but still feeling that your mind and mood are sub-par?
If you have some of these symptoms, it could be an indication that you have a thyroid imbalance (too much or too little thyroid hormone in your system). More than 20 million people, most of them women, have a thyroid imbalance.
Thyroid Imbalance: A Hidden Epidemic
Thyroid imbalance (too much or too little thyroid hormone) is a hidden epidemic that causes a wide range of physical and mental symptoms. Thyroid imbalance can be misdiagnosed or remain undiagnosed for a long period of time because the symptoms are similar to symptoms of so many other conditions and can masquerade as fatigue, depression, anxiety, postpartum depression, menopause, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and arthritis. Most primary care physicians are
not quite acquainted with how important a perfect thyroid balance is for optimal physical and mental health and are not adequately trained to deal with all of the components of thyroid imbalance.
Testing Your Thyroid
The most sensitive and useful thyroid test to diagnose thyroid imbalance is TSH, the pituitary hormone that regulates the functioning of the thyroid gland. You need to know, however, that you may have low grade thyroid imbalance even though your TSH level is "read" as normal. Low grade thyroid imbalance can actually cause or precipitate symptoms that are out of porportion to the
You can become hypothyroid as a result of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the autoimmune condition that can destroy your gland over time and make your thyroid level decline gradually.
You can also become hypothyroid as a result of the treatment of Graves' disease. An underactive thyroid can also be caused by surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid gland. It can also be caused by other types of inflammation of the thyroid, such as subacute thyroiditis (a viral illness
that can damage the thyroid gland), and silent thyroiditis (another form of immune attack on the thyroid gland). Postpartum thyroiditis, radiation to the head and neck, deficiency of iodine, and deficiency of important nutrients, such as selenium, can also make your thyroid slow down. Some
medications and disorders of the hypothalamus, or pituitary gland, can also result in
Graves' disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. In this condition, the immune system sends signals to the thyroid to make it produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormone.
Other causes of hyperthyroidism are autonomous thyroid nodules (nodules that take over the function of the gland and produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormones) and multinodular toxic goiters (several hyperactive nodules that produce too much thyroid hormone). Silent thyroiditis and
subacute thyroiditis typically cause high thyroid hormone levels for a few weeks due to release of preformed thyroid hormones caused by the inflammation. The transient hyperthyroidism is typically
followed by underactive thyroid and then restoration of normal thyroid function in most people. Many
patients with subacute thyroiditis or silent thyroiditis will continue to have some deficiency in thyroid hormone, often minimal, that can affect them.
Common symptoms of hypothyroidism
Aches and pains in joints and muscles
Dry and itchy skin
Hair loss, including loss of eyebrow hair
Feeling cold even in warm temperatures
Milky discharge from breasts
Heavy Menstrual Periods
Inability to focus and pay attention
Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism
Feeling hot and becoming intolerant of warm temperatures
Irregular menstrual periods
Increased frequency of bowel movements
Emotional mood swings
Treatment of Hypothyroidism; Hormone Replacement
The conventional treatment of hypothyroidism is synthetic T4 or Levothyroxine. Levothyroxine is
taken in a pill form and, in the right amount, will normalize your thyroid levels.
Some of the T4 taken by mouth gets converted into T3 which is the active form of thyroid hormone.
Your doctor will typically aim at normalizing your TSH level, which is the pituitary hormone that regulates the thyroid gland.
A normal TSH indicates that you are getting the right amount of medication. However, despite achieving and maintaining normal blood tests, you may continue to suffer from fatigue, low grade depression, and weight gain. The solution may be the use of a well balanced combination of the two
thyroid hormones T4 and T3, in the right amounts.
Treatment of hyperthyroidism
There are three types of treatments available for patients with Graves' disease:
Radioactive Iodine, medications, (PTU or methimazole) and surgical removal of a big portion of the gland. The treatment choice offered by your doctor should be tailored according to your specific
clinical situation. Do not follow stereotypic recommendations!
30th Oct 2011, 07:14 PM #2
Re: Thyroid imbalance
How to Prevent Thyroid Disease
- Be careful about too much soy. Excessive soy isoflavones may trigger or worsen hypothyroidism, goiter or nodules. Some doctors advise avoiding soy supplements and powders and eating no more than one small serving of soy foods daily.
- Don't feed infants soy-based formulas. There's evidence that this can contribute to later risk of thyroid disease.
- Drink bottled water. Fluoride in water, and a rocket fuel manufacturing by-product known as perchlorate, are substances in water that may trigger or worsen the risk of thyroid problems.
- When it comes to iodine, think moderation. Too little or too much iodine -- including taken as kelp or bladderwrack -- can increase your risk of hypothyroidism or goiter.
- Stop smoking. Smoking can damage the thyroid, and may worsen some existing thyroid conditions.
- Reduce your stress. Reducing stress using effective mind-body techniques can play a part in preventing thyroid disease.
- A healthy diet, exercise, proper nutrition, and stress reduction can all minimize the chance of developing thyroid disease.