Thyroid Problems, Let Me Explain..

Hey guys! I thought I would make this blog since I know I talk a lot about Hashimoto’s on social media and you see me with healthy smoothies ALL the time! So let me explain. With this blog I also want to bring awareness to thyroid health. Thyroid issues is something many people suffer from yet not many people are aware of it.

Statistics

  • More than 12% of American population will develop a thyroid issues in their life time.
  • 20 million Americans will have a thyroid disease.
  • 60% of those people will be unaware they have a thyroid issue.
  • Hypothyroid and Hyperthyroid effect more women than men.
  • Hashimoto’s tend to run in families.
  • Thyroid may happen during pregnancy and after childbirth because of the drastic change in hormones. 10% of women have postpartum thyroiditis.
  • People 60 and older are more likely to suffer from thyroid issues. So..

What is your thyroid? And what does it do?

Your thyroid is a butterfly shape gland that is located in your neck . It is the gland that produces hormones that assist in many of your body functions.

woman in black tank top with braided hair
Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

From your digestion, to how fast or slow your heart rate is. How your body uses energy and the list goes on.

So, what happens when your thyroid has an imbalance ? Two things can happen Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism.

Hypothyroidism

This is a condition when your thyroid produces less hormones. In other words your thyroid becomes underactive. With an underactive thyroid your body will tend to slow down. Your heart rate, metabolism, and your energy. With hypothyroidism you are more likely to suffer from depression. Your energy is low and so is your mood.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroid is a condition where your thyroid is just that, a hyper thyroid. Your thyroid produces too many hormones and will make your body speed up. That includes your heart rate, your metabolism, you are more perceptive to panic attacks, and anxiety. Because your body is running at a quick pace your body goes on overdrive.

So now that we know what your thyroid does. What is Hashimoto’s?

Hashimoto’s

It is a disease when your immune system mistakes the thyroid gland as foreign to your body so it attacks it. It does this by creating anti bodies against it. Over time your immune system will slowly destroy your thyroid. People that suffer from Hashimoto’s will tend to suffer from Hypothyroidism as well since your immune system will be destroying your thyroid therefor producing less hormones. However, Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s is not the same. Hypothyroidism is a condition, Hashimoto’s is a disease.  People with Hashimoto’s may go from hypothyroid symptoms to hyperthyroid symptoms. This happens when your thyroid gets a sputter of life which causes symptoms of Hyperthyroidism. People with Hashimoto’s are more sensitive to other autoimmune disorders and diseases like Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis , Pernicious Anemia, Addison’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, Celiac Disease, etc.

Prevention

Unfortunately, thyroid issues are very difficult to detect. Many general doctors will only give you an over all test for your thyroid. This unfortunately does not give a good picture of the issue. On average it takes about 10 years for a person to finally get a diagnoses. Even if you have a lot of the symptoms there is not much doctors can do if the general test shows nothing wrong. Some people actually get turned away by their doctors and get told that there is nothing they can do if your blood work doesn’t show anything, which  believe it or not is common. The only thing doctors can do is wait until there is enough damage to your thyroid so they can begin to prescribe you artificial hormones.

I wasn’t prescribed medication until I had cold episodes where out of nowhere I got extremely cold I had to cover myself with four blankets, two sweaters, and a t-shirt. I would get so tense and would have extreme shivers. I would only be able to relax my body until I began to sweat. That would follow with fever on and off for a couple days. I would see flashes of light and I got extremely weak.

This is why it is extremely important to get checked every year. It is important because if there is any damage to your thyroid the faster you begin treatment the better it will be for your thyroid.

Symptoms

Hypothyroidism

*Feeling tiered constantly
*Weight gain or trouble loosing weight
*Loss of hair specially on the outside of eyebrows
*Muscle and joint pain
*Feeling cold constantly
*Constipation
*Dry skin
*Depression or feeling blue
*Having trouble concentrating
*Irregular periods
*Infertility
*High cholesterol
*Swelling of the face
*Change in vision
*Enlarged thyroid
*Palpitations
*Constant headaches

Hyperthyroidism

* Excessive sweating
* Always hungry
* Hot flashes
* Hyperactive
* Irritability
* Restlessness
*Mood swings
* Panic attacks
* Fast heart rate
* Insomnia
* Irregular periods
* Puffy eyes
* Weight loss
* Muscle weakness
* Problems w/ fertility
* Dizziness
* Itchiness

Hashimoto’s

People with Hashimoto’s will have symptoms like a hypothyroid patient but may also have symptoms of a hyperthyroid  as I explained earlier. I definitely get symptoms from all over the spectrum.

If untreated Hashimoto’s can lead to complications such as goiters ( which is when your thyroid gland becomes enlarged therefor your neck looks swollen). Heart failure is another complication. Myxedema/ myxedema coma may also occur. This is on severe cases and it is triggered by extreme stress on the body. For example, infections or extreme cold. If a female becomes pregnant while having an untreated thyroid issue the child has a possibility of having birth defects.

Plan Of Action

That is why it is very important to one to ask about your family history and thyroid issues. Have your thyroid checked annually. If thyroid issues runs in your family talk with your doctor about getting a more comprehensive test for your thyroid. If you have some of the symptoms make sure you insist on a comprehensive thyroid test even if it does not run in your family. Many times patients get dismissed because a lot of the symptoms can be dismissed as simple body aches and pain.

I know if you have some of the symptoms on these lists and you haven’t gotten any explanations it can difficult. I know it is frustrating but stay strong. Remember, you can do this!

“Living with Hashimoto’s disease is a constant battle that you cannot afford to lose”

-Marina Gutner, PHD

 

Sources:

https://www.thyroid.org/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hashimotos-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20351855

https://www.steadyhealth.com/articles/hashimotos-disease-hyperthyroidism

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