Did you know one in every eight women will develop a thyroid condition during her lifetime, according to the American Thyroid Association? In many cases, thyroid symptoms can be mistaken for other conditions. It’s important to do your research, understand the symptoms and causes, and know what to be watching for in your body. Thyroid health is important!
1. Having a thyroid disorder is common, but frequently misdiagnosed.
The symptoms of a thyroid condition often masquerade as other problems. Lab tests can come back normal, even when there is an issue. Ask for the T3 and T4 tests in addition to the normal thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test.
2. Thyroid disorders are more common in women.
Thyroid conditions are most common after pregnancy and menopause.
3. Thyroid disorders can be aggravated by stress.
When your body is stressed, it produces cortisol. Over time, this will make your thyroid work double-time in order to release the proper amount of thyroid hormone. In general, chronic stress opens your body to develop an autoimmune thyroid disorder.
4. Untreated thyroid disorders can become deadly.
Even mild symptoms can worsen if untreated. Hypothyroidism can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Hyperthyroidism can create vision problems, as well as heart issues. According to the American Cancer Society, thyroid cancer has been increasing among women and men in the last several years.
5. Symptoms can differ.
Hypothyroidism is more common and can cause exhaustion, increased weight gain, depression, constipation, and hair loss. Hyperthyroidism can create heart palpitations, anxiety, and muscle weakness.
6. The best results are obtained through lifestyle changes.
Your diet and lifestyle impact your overall health. Try reducing your consumption of caffeine or sugar, as this will minimize fatigue caused by a thyroid issue. We know sugar and caffeine are hard to cut out, but you will find an overall health boost by eliminating them. Instead of sugary snacks, opt for high-protein snacks, like nuts, legumes, and organic, grass-fed meats. Protein can help normalize your thyroid.
It can be helpful to limit grains, because these will boost your estrogen, thus affecting your thyroid negatively. To balance your hormones, try eating more healthy fats, like avocado, coconut oil, and wild-caught salmon.
To reduce stress, we encourage regular exercise or a calming practice like yoga.
If you suspect you have a thyroid disorder, make an appointment with our doctors today!