Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland rests in front of your windpipe in your neck and is essential to thousands of processes throughout your body. It is especially important in metabolism, energy, and cellular growth.
Your thyroid secretes several hormones, most notably thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which are frequently measured by functional medicine providers. Most general practitioners will only look at the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to screen for thyroid function, which unfortunately does not give the whole story.
TSH is what the brain is telling your thyroid to do, it is not what the thyroid is actually doing, which is why checking other levels is important to get the full thyroid function picture. In addition, checking for thyroid antibodies to assess if there is an autoimmune condition going on is also important.
An estimated 12 percent of the population suffers from thyroid disorder at some point in their life – and women are eight times more likely to have thyroid issues than men. This doesn’t mean men don’t experience hyperthyroidism – in fact, a thyroid imbalance is often missed in men due to this association.
Initial symptoms of hypothyroidism are often attributed to ‘getting older’, or other medical conditions, and readily dismissed. Typically, a person with hypothyroidism doesn’t end up in a doctor’s office until their symptoms have seriously progressed or if there are coinciding conditions exacerbating the condition.
19 Signs You Have Hypothyroidism
When your thyroid isn’t producing sufficient thyroid hormones, it can cause a large number of symptoms. Here are the 19 most common signs of hypothyroidism:
Increased cold sensitivity
Joint pain and stiffness
Anxiety and Panic attacks
Muscle aches and pains
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Elevated blood cholesterol
Low heart rate
Irregularities in menstrual cycles
What many people don’t realize is hypothyroidism doesn’t typically just happen. There are root causes and compounding issues, which lead to an impaired thyroid response.
Sometimes the dysfunctional thyroid response is the body trying to protect itself. For example, when someone has experienced serious trauma and the thyroid responds in a protective fight-or-flight response, which over time can make you very sick.
6 Underlying Causes of Hypothyroidism
Most people with hypothyroidism have underlying causes, which contributes to their hormone imbalances. Some of the most common root causes include:
- Food sensitivities
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Impaired stress response
- Impaired ability to handle toxins
- Leaky gut (Intestinal Permeability)
- Chronic low grade infections
It’s possible to identify underlying causes and triggers of your personal thyroid condition and take the right steps to put it in remission.
Many doctors don’t know or talk about the possibility of putting thyroid conditions in remission, but there are countless stories of people who were able to do just that through carefully identifying their root causes and triggers and working to reduce their impact on their life.