The thyroid is a butterfly shaped organ at the lower part of the neck and is one of the largest endocrine glands in the human body. This one gland makes proteins, controls the metabolism and also controls how sensitive your body is to other hormones. As many as 60 million Americans may have a low functioning thyroid and not know it since the list of symptoms is lengthy and can be attributed to many other conditions. Many people go from one doctor to the next until a thyroid condition is finally diagnosed. Once it is, the symptoms are easily treatable and health is restored.
Some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are:
For at least one week take your temperature when you first wake up before eating or drinking anything. If your temperature is consistently below 98.0 degrees it could indicate hypothyroidism. Another indication of low body temperature is feeling cold even when others around you might feel warm.
Even after a full eight hours of sleep, you might feel tired and have low energy throughout the day. You may find yourself falling asleep while trying to watch a movie or just sitting at your desk, and you may need to nap frequently.
This is usually one of the biggest indicators of hypothyroidism. Most people with a low functioning thyroid will gain weight easily and have a hard time taking it off even with proper diet and exercise. You can try one diet after another yet the pounds stubbornly stay on.
With an undiagnosed thyroid condition you may experience a whole range of mood swings, everything from depression and anxiety to panic attacks. You might find yourself crying for seemingly no reason or getting angry over small things.
Brittle Hair And Nails
In people who have hypothyroidism their hair and nails tend to be thin and brittle. Your hair might break and fall out easily, and your scalp could be itchy and dry.
Muscle And Joint Pain
First thing in the morning when you’re getting out of bed is when you might notice muscle and joint pain the most. You could feel stiff and sore and find moving around difficult.
If you suspect you have a thyroid problem you can ask your physician to run some blood tests. If your thyroid hormone levels are low you might be started on hormone replacement therapy. Most typically patients are given a prescription for synthetic hormones like Synthroid. Your doctor will want to have your blood tested regularly to find the correct medication dosage and get your symptoms under control. Most people recover from their hypothyroid symptoms within a few months though need to take the medication for life.
Natural Thyroid Treatment
Although the FDA hasn’t approved natural thyroid treatments, many people have had positive results with supplements such as bladderwrack, ashwagandha, guggul, or the amino acid tyrosine. A diet high in fiber and daily exercise are also helpful in regulating thyroid function.
If you think you might have a thyroid problem, make an appointment to see your physician and talk about possible tests and treatment. You’ll soon find your symptoms fading and your health and energy regained.