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5 Signs That You May Be Suffering From A Thyroid Problem

5 Signs That You May Be Suffering From A Thyroid Problem

Located above the Adam’s apple, the thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that can have a huge impact on various bodily functions. According to The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, about 30 million U.S. citizens have a thyroid disorder and half of them are silent sufferers who are undiagnosed. In addition to this, women are 10 times more susceptible to thyroid disorder than men.

The thyroid produces a hormone which regulates your body’s metabolism, temperature, and heartbeat. When your thyroid is over- or underactive, it’s known as a thyroid disorder. If it’s underactive, it produces too little of said hormone and vice versa. So, what causes the thyroid to go haywire? It could be an autoimmune attack, genetics, stress, pregnancy, toxins in the environment, or nutritional deficiencies. Whatever the reasons, you should be able to spot some key signs of this silent killer. Here are 5 of the most crucial signs of thyroid disorder:

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1. You are feeling tired, depressed, or anxious.

Feeling exhausted and having little or no energy are issues related to various medical conditions, but they are strongly linked with Hypothyroidism (the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of its hormone). If you feel tired all day even after a full night’s sleep, that is a clue that your thyroid is not working properly. Having too little of the hormone in question in your bloodstream means that your muscles are not getting that get-going signal. Further still, the hormone deficiency can also have an impact on the level of “feel good” serotonin in the brain, which causes depression.

If you feel anxious all day long, you might have Hyperthyroidism (the thyroid gland produces too much of its hormone). Flooded with continuous “all systems go” messages, your whole body may spin into overdrive. If you are unable to relax and feel jittery all day long, that means that your thyroid may be “hyper.”

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2. Your blood pressure is not normal.

High blood pressure can be a symptom of a thyroid disorder. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism have been pointed to as culprits. By some estimates, people who suffer from hypothyroidism are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure than those who do not. One popular theory is that low levels of thyroid hormone can slow the heartbeat, which can in turn adversely affect blood vessel wall flexibility and the heart’s pumping strength. Both may cause high blood pressure.

3. Your appetite or taste buds are altered.

Too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) results in feeling hungry all of the time; therefore, increased appetite can be a sign of thyroid disorder. Furthermore, people with hyperthyroidism never gain weight and, in most of the conditions, they are underweight. If you are underweight and unable to gain weight after you’ve exhausted all of your options, then you should consider getting your thyroid checked as early as possible.

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On the other hand, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can alter your sense of smell and taste. People suffering from hypothyroidism start gaining weight. If you are overweight and unable to lose weight, then you should also consider getting your thyroid checked.

4. The shape of your neck feels abnormal.

A lump in your throat or a change in your voice could be an important sign of a thyroid hormone disorder. You can check this by taking a good look at your neck to see if you can detect any signs of swelling around your thyroid. You can physically check your own thyroid at home using the following instructions:

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Take a hand mirror and watch your throat area as you swallow water. You should be looking for any protrusions or bulges in the thyroid, which is above your collarbone but below your Adam’s apple. You can try this many times to get an idea about the position of your thyroid gland. If you see anything that is suspicious or lumpy, see your doctor.

5. Your hair is thinning or falling out.

Brittle, dry hair that falls or breaks out can be a sign of hypothyroidism. Having too little of the thyroid hormone disrupts the hair growth cycle and puts many follicles into the “resting” mode, which results in hair loss. Sometimes, this hair loss happens all over your body.

Keeping Your Thyroid In Check:

Thyroid disorder is considered a “silent killer because many people ignore its symptoms and its symptoms are associated with other ailments. Relying on the above-mentioned signs, you can easily detect the presence of thyroid disorder. If you find that you have any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Featured photo credit: Consumerreports.org via article.images.consumerreports.org

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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