Keep Your Energy
The thyroid is the energy management center of your body. It regulates your cells as the most basic level. Without adequate thyroid function you can experience physical changes.
What does the Thyroid Do?
The thyroid is a small gland located in your throat area that helps manage your metabolism. When it functions properly your energy is stable and your body systems work appropriately.
Here are 10 common symptoms of low thyroid functioning:
- Dry skin: this occurs due because the skin is not as active in replenishing itself and the old skin is not being pushed off at its usual rate. (thick heel callus).
- Hair loss: this happens because the hair follicles are less active due to less energy available- and hair formation is not a life preserving necessity, so your body makes a decision to use the limited energy elsewhere.
- Brittle and slow growing nails: this happens for the same reason as hair loss. Nails are not necessary for life.
- Loss of outer 3rd of your eyebrow: this is an interesting sign, and it happens for the same reason that hair loss and nail changes occur.
- Fatigue: simply put, the cells are not producing energy and the decreased energy they do produce result in a deficit when you are doing your activities of daily living
- Yawning: excessive yawning, indicating an air hunger for your cells, resulting from the decreased energy available for your daily activities.
- Changes in menstrual cycle: the hormone systems are all interconnected and rely on homeostasis and proper functioning. You may miss periods if you are hypothyroid.
- Constipation and sluggish digestion: this is a result of decreased energy available for the cells responsible for the digestion process.
- Muscle and joint pains: our muscles and joints rely on energy to work properly, if there is not enough energy to do so, metabolites can build up resulting discomfort.
- Weight gain: this happens because our metabolism is slowed down; the cells do not have the energy to process our food as energy, so it stores it as fat.
What to do if you have these symptoms?
Checking to see if you have a thyroid problem is as simple as a lab test. The lab test is called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH. When this level is out of the normal range I recommend to further testing identify the specific hormones that are abnormal.
Some endocrinologist’s prefer to have the TSH drawn as a fasting lab, so don’t eat 8-12 hours before this lab test. There are other lab tests in addition to the TSH that can help identify if the issue is an autoimmune issue like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or something else. The lab will usually have a range for the results and any number higher or lower than that range should be evaluated by your medical professional.
If you identify with some of these common symptoms, see your primary care provider for evaluation! You can also visit my Ulta Lab Test Nursechrisp site and order the lab test at a discounted rate to see what your TSH level is. If it is normal, then you can will know that this condition is not a contributing factor to your symptoms.
How Is Low Thyroid Treated?
The treatment for a simple hypothyroid condition (the absence of a more serious illness) is an oral thyroid supplement. Your doctor will monitor with blood draws and will adjust the does to ensure an adequate level.
What if my Level is Normal?
If your thyroid level is normal and you still experience some of these symptoms improving your lifestyle can help.
Here are my recommendations:
- No processed foods
- No added sugar
- No fast food
- Walk 10,000 steps per day
- Get 7-8 hours of quality sleep per day
- Eat wholesome foods in the right quantity
- Limit alcohol to one drink per day
- Pray/meditate daily
- Drink enough water
- Limit medications
Whether you have an identified thyroid issue or not, excess weight at mid-life needs to be addressed so that you can be as healthy as you can be! Improving your nutrition through clean eating along with increasing daily movement is the way to do it!
I would love to guide you through the maze of choosing eating and movement plans! I have written an ebook called, Second Chance at Health – Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating that simplifies this for you!