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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

7 Signs of a Thyroid Problem That You Should Not Ignore

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7 Signs of a Thyroid Problem That You Should Not Ignore

An estimated 20 million Americans suffer from some type of thyroid problem. It may be a sad surprise, but approximately 15 million people are silent sufferers of thyroid disease.

This is quite unsettling for anyone who is taken unaware by a thyroid disorder, as it can lead to some serious health complications, such as weight loss or weight gain, infertility, mood changes, etc. If you’re a female aged 35 or above, you have greater risk of acquiring the disorder. What’s more, an underactive thyroid in children can be life-threatening. 

That all sounds like bad news, but a thyroid problem does have solutions once you know what’s going on. 

Huge Responsibility for a Tiny Gland

Breathing, central and peripheral nervous system regulation, heart rate, muscle strength, body weight, menstrual cycles, cholesterol levels, body temperature, and the list continues—this small, butterfly-shaped gland has got a huge job description that includes regulating numerous body systems and releasing hormones.

The one thing that confuses people (and sometimes even doctors) when identifying thyroid disorders is the variety of signs and symptoms that can develop. This makes it tough to detect the root cause of any thyroid problem[1].

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Anatomy of the thyroid

    Are you experiencing sleepiness, a foggy brain, or weight loss? You could be one of the 20 million people with a thyroid problem. If you are nervous about a potential thyroid disorder, these symptoms should ring the alarm for you.

    1. No Sex Drive

    Hypothyroidism is a killer of sex drive. Low libido is often linked with too little thyroid hormone, as the thyroid shares a connection with adrenal glands, as well as sexual hormones. Complaints of low testosterone levels have also been resolved through thyroid treatment.

    Thyroid problems have also been linked to vaginal dryness, which can make sex uncomfortable for women. For men, a thyroid problem can cause hormonal imbalances that can lead to erectile disfunction. Basically, a problem with your thyroid is a problem for your sex life[2].

    2. Dry, Itchy Skin

    Rashes may appear as poor thyroid function weakens your blood circulation, changing the appearance of your skin. Moreover, less sweat is a result of a slow metabolism, which can make your skin dry and flaky due to a lack of moisture.

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    3. Lazy Digestive Tract

    You could be constipated due to the slowing down of your bodily functions because of hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, can force you to visit the restroom very frequently, or you may even suffer from diarrhea.

    Furthermore, you may experience chest pain due to a change in stomach acid. Nausea and vomiting can also occur, so don’t take these symptoms lightly[3].

    4. Irregular Body Temperature

    It’s simple: hypothyroidism will always lower the body temperature, while hyperthyroidism will always increase it. Correct amounts of thyroid hormones regulate body temperature by increasing available energy in the body, and they also increase appetite, pulse, the levels of oxygen delivered to different body parts, and fat buildup, depending on your level of activity.

    Thyroid hormones are also in charge of regulating ATP, which is the energy currency in a cell. This is why your body temperature changes: too much ATP (hyperthyroidism) will cause the body to produce too much heat, and too little (hypothyroidism) won’t produce enough[4].

    It’s important to note that menopause can cause such changes as well, so you’ll need to confirm a thyroid problem with your doctor.

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    5. Unexplained Pain

    Are your muscles causing you pain for no reason? It could be a sign of low thyroid function. Hypothyroidism means less metabolism-controlling hormones, which causes disruption in metabolism activity, which can cause nerve damage.

    6. Fatigue and Forgetfulness

    Are you feeling down and experiencing a constant lack of energy? A lack of hormones may be the reason. This hurts your brain and neurological functioning and causes sleeplessness, constant tiredness, and fatigue. An underactive thyroid turns your mood down as many bodily functions slow down.

    Are you experiencing symptoms of depression? This may be the time to get your thyroid tested.

    7. Weight Gain/Loss

    You are eating the same foods, in the same amounts, but you are still gaining or losing wait. If you can’t button up the same size pants you were wearing before, or your clothes seem to be falling off you, you may have a thyroid problem that’s throwing your metabolism off.

    This has everything to do with the way your body uses energy. We talked about ATP above. If you’re body isn’t using the energy it’s receiving, you will begin to gain weight. If it’s using too much, you will lose weight[5].

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    The Bottom Line

    If you suspect you may have a thyroid problem, having a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test done will help you boil things down to a clear and accurate result. Blood tests and physical exams will help your doctor determine if you have a problem with your thyroid.  

    If your thyroid reports reveal that you have a problem, you descend into depression or panic. Exercise has proved to be quite effective; besides, you can normalize your thyroid functioning by eating the right foods[6].

    Your doctor will aim to bring your thyroid activity back to a normal pace—not too fast or too slow. You must cooperate with your doctor, as negligence can make the disorder lifelong. Medications are helpful in most cases. Either way, waste no time and get diagnosed early—the faster you’re treated, the better you will recover.

    More on Overcoming a Thyroid Problem

    Featured photo credit: engin akyurt via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Office on Women’s Health: Thyroid Disease
    [2] Penn Medicine: How Thyroid Problems Might Be Hurting Your Sex Life
    [3] Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: The thyroid and the gut
    [4] Boost Thyroid: Basal body temperature and thyroid function
    [5] British Thyroid Foundation: Thyroid and weight – the science
    [6] Bel Marra Health: Hypothyroidism diet: Foods for underactive thyroid

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2021

    Learn How To Make Coffee 38 Different Ways With This Stunning Guide

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    Learn How To Make Coffee 38 Different Ways With This Stunning Guide

     

    If you make your own coffee in the morning, chances are you’re only making the same boring kind everyday. Now it’s time to put an end to the cynical habit and turn you into an instant coffee connoisseur.

    For those who don’t know, there are officially 38 different ways to make coffee. All, except decaffeinated versions will give you the same buzz that can either make you extremely productive or give you anxiety.

    The only difference here is taste. And when it comes to coffee, taste matters. A lot.

    Most of the methods and ingredients from the chart above dates back hundreds of years and have been traditionally passed down from generation to generation. Hence, it’s actually possible to tell where a person came from based on the type of coffee he or she drinks!

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