All You Need To Know About Thyroid Problems
According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, about one in eight women will develop a thyroid problem in her lifetime, and many women find that bioidentical progesterone helps with the symptoms.
The late Dr John Lee, who was the pioneer of bioidentical natural progesterone cream usage for women at menopause, wrote that he was very surprised in his own medical practice with the much greater numbers of women than men taking thyroid supplements.
Dr Lee also noticed that these women were suffering from oestrogen dominance, where their oestrogen levels are not in balance with their progesterone as is common at menopause, or after a hysterectomy.
He used bioidentical natural progesterone to correct this situation and rebalance their hormones.
What does the thyroid do?
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the neck that influences metabolism and the function of the kidneys, heart, liver, brain and skin.
It has such a vital impact on your health that it is important to make sure it is functioning normally.
It produces hormones that control the speed of your metabolism — the system that helps the body use energy. Thyroid disorders can slow down or rev up metabolism by disrupting the production of thyroid hormones.
When hormone levels become too low, or too high, you may experience a wide range of symptoms. Many of them are ones women commonly associate with menopause so you may not immediately spot there could be a problem.
For instance you may feel tired all the time, have brain fog, weight gain, low temperature, or hair loss. No? Then strange as it may seem, the opposite may be true for you with feeling jittery, sweaty, or anxious as it depends on whether you have low or high thyroid levels.
If this great regulator of body and mind goes haywire then these are the most common symptom.
1. Weight gain or loss
An unexplained change in weight is one of the most common signs of a thyroid disorder. Weight gain may signal low levels of thyroid hormones, this is hypothyroidism and is the most common condition.
In contrast, if the thyroid produces more hormones than the body needs, you may lose weight unexpectedly. This is known as hyperthyroidism.
2. Swelling in the neck
A swelling or enlargement in the neck is a visible clue that something may be wrong with the thyroid. A goiter may occur with either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Sometimes swelling in the neck can result from thyroid cancer or nodules, lumps that grow inside the thyroid. Thyroid cancer is uncommon and is among the least deadly. The main symptom is a lump or swelling in the neck, and only about 5% of thyroid nodules turn out to be cancerous.
The swelling can also be due to a cause unrelated to the thyroid but always needs to be checked by your doctor.
3. Changes in heart rate
Thyroid hormones affect nearly every organ in the body and can influence how quickly the heart beats. People with low thyroid may notice their heart rate is slower than usual but high thyroid levels may cause the heart to speed up.
It can also trigger increased blood pressure and the sensation of a pounding heart, or other types of heart palpitations.
4. Changes in energy or mood
Thyroid disorders can have a noticeable impact on your energy level and mood. Low thyroid tends to make people feel tired, sluggish, and depressed.
High thyroid levels can cause anxiety, problems sleeping, restlessness, and irritability.
5. Hair loss
Hair loss is another sign that thyroid hormones may be out of balance. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause hair to fall out.
In most cases, the hair will grow back once the thyroid disorder is treated.
6. Feeling too cold or hot
Thyroid disorders can disrupt the ability to regulate body temperature. People with low thyroid levels may feel cold more often than usual.
Hyperthyroidism tends to have the opposite effect, causing excessive sweating and an aversion to heat.
7. Something else?
Low thyroid, the most common found in women, can cause many other symptoms, including:
• Dry skin and brittle nails
• Numbness or tingling in the hands
• Abnormal menstrual periods
Hyperthyroidism can also cause additional symptoms, such as:
• Muscle weakness or trembling hands
• Vision problems
• Irregular menstrual periods
Is it your thyroid, or just menopause?
Because thyroid disorders can cause changes in menstrual cycle and mood, the symptoms are sometimes mistaken for menopause.
If a thyroid problem is suspected, a simple blood test can determine whether the true culprit is menopause or a thyroid disorder — or a combination of the two.
When left untreated, hypothyroidism can raise cholesterol levels and make you more likely to have a stroke or heart attack. In severe cases, very low levels of thyroid hormones can trigger a loss of consciousness and life-threatening drop in body temperature.
Untreated hyperthyroidism can cause serious heart problems and brittle bones.
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease. This is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the thyroid gland. The result is damage to the thyroid, preventing it from producing enough hormones.
Hashimoto’s disease tends to run in families and your doctor will usually prescribe thyroid medication such as Thyroxine.
If you have Graves’ Disease that is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. This is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland and triggers the release of high levels of thyroid hormones.
One of the hallmarks of Graves’ disease is a visible and uncomfortable swelling behind the eyes and again our doctor will prescribe medication or in more severe cases the removal of the thyroid gland altogether.