Thyroid Disease, a plethora of symptoms, Take Action

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thyroid awarenessImage thanks to Hypothyroid Mom/FB

It’s estimated that as many as 59 million Americans have a thyroid problem, but the majority don’t know it yet. The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck, is the master gland of metabolism. When your thyroid doesn’t function, it can affect every aspect of your health, and in particular, weight, depression and energy levels.

Since undiagnosed thyroid problems can dramatically increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, depression, anxiety, hair loss, sexual dysfunction, infertility and a host of other symptoms and health problems, it’s important that you don’t go undiagnosed.

what-is-thyroid-glandThis little ‘butterfly shaped’ gland at the base of the neck, in front of the windpipe has her very own ‘Butterfly Effect’ that needs to be addressed.

Top 10 Signs That You May Have a Thyroid Problem

1] Aches and pains in your muscles and joints, weakness in the arms and a tendency to develop carpal tunnel in the arms/hands, tarsal tunnel in the legs, and plantars fasciitis in the feet can all be symptoms of undiagnosed thyroid problems. (For more information)

2] A feeling of swelling in the neck, discomfort with turtlenecks or neckties, a hoarse voice or a visibly enlarged thyroid can all be signs of a “goiter” — an enlarged thyroid gland that is a symptom of thyroid disease. To help find out if your thyroid may be enlarged, try a simple “Thyroid Neck Check” test at home.

3] Hair and skin are particularly vulnerable to thyroid conditions, and in particular, hair loss is frequently associated with thyroid problems. With hypothyroidism, hair frequently becomes brittle, coarse and dry, while breaking off and falling out easily. Skin can become coarse, thick, dry, and scaly. In hypothyroidism, there is also often an unusual loss of hair in the outer edge of the eyebrow. With hyperthyroidism, severe hair loss can also occur, and skin can become fragile and thin.

4] Severe or long-term constipation is frequently associated with hypothyroidism, while diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is associated with hyperthyroidism.

5] Heavier, more frequent and more painful periods are frequently associated with hypothyroidism, and shorter, lighter or infrequent menstruation can be associated with hyperthyroidism. Infertility can also be associated with undiagnosed thyroid conditions. (For More Information).

goiter1If you have a family history of thyroid problems, you are at a higher risk of having a thyroid condition yourself.

You may not always be aware of thyroid problems in your family, though, because among older people, it is often referred to as “gland trouble” or “goiter.”

So pay attention to any discussions of glandular conditions or goiter or weight gain due to “a glandular problem,” as these may be indirect ways of referring to thyroid conditions.

7] High cholesterol, especially when it is not responsive to diet, exercise or cholesterol-lowering medication, can be a sign of undiagnosed hypothyroidism. Unusually low cholesterol levels may be a sign of hyperthyroidism.

8] Depression or anxiety – including sudden onset of panic disorder – can be symptoms of thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism is most typically associated with depression, while hyperthyroidism is more commonly associated with anxiety or panic attacks. Depression that does not respond to antidepressants may also be a sign of an undiagnosed thyroid disorder. (For More Information – Reserve Seat)

9] You may be on a low-fat, low-calorie diet with a rigorous exercise program, but are failing to lose or gain any weight. Or you may have joined a diet program or support group, such as Weight Watchers, and you are the only one who isn’t losing any weight. Difficulty losing weight can be a sign of hypothyroidism. You may be losing weight while eating the same amount of food as usual – or even losing while eating more than normal. Unexplained weight changes and issues can be signs of both hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. (For More Information)

10] Feeling exhausted when you wake up, feeling as if 8 or 10 hours of sleep a night is insufficient or being unable to function all day without a nap can all be signs of thyroid problems. (With hyperthyroidism, you may also have nighttime insomnia that leaves you exhausted during the day.) (For More Information)

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

thyroid exhaustionAccording to data released by the National Sleep Foundation, two out of every ten Americans sleep less than six hours a night, substantially less than the recommended 8 hours. The average person gets 7 hours of sleep a night, and 40% of adults say that they are so sleepy during the day that it interferes with their daily activities.

However you describe it — exhaustion, weakness, lethargy, or feeling run down, sluggish, overtired, or just plain pooped out — fatigue is a common symptoms of a thyroid problem. You may find yourself needing a nap in the afternoon just to make it to dinnertime. You may sleep ten or twelve hours a night and still wake up exhausted. You may find yourself less able to exercise, and your endurance drops because of weakness or lethargy.

Or you just walk around spaced out on the same amount of sleep that used to leave you feeling refreshed. There are a number of important things to know about the key connection between fatigue and thyroid conditions, and ten of the most important ones are outlined here.

Thyroid patients have shared some of their fatigue-fighting secrets, but here are some of the key things you can do to improve energy and fight fatigue.

BONUS: 10 SIGNS – THINGS TO KNOW About Thyroid Disease and Fatigue.

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