According to the WHO, thyroid pathology has more than 200 million people worldwide. In Russia, according to various estimates, up to 15% of the population suffers from thyroid disease. In turn, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists reports at least 30 million Americans with similar disorders (and at least 15 million more have not been diagnosed with the disease).
How not to be among them? Listen to the signals that your body can (probably) send you.
Feeling tired and lack of energy
These are problems associated with many conditions, but most of all they are associated with hypothyroidism, a disorder caused by a lack of thyroid hormones. If even in the mornings, after a long sleep, you feel a lack of energy, then it is worth considering – it is quite possible that your “butterfly” has failed.
“Fatigue is the number one sign,” says an integrative medicine specialist, Dr. Robin Miller, co-author of the Smart Womans Guide (Smart Woman’s Guide to MidLife & Beyond). “And the lack of energy immediately after waking up is the main message to immediately go to the doctor.”
A feeling of swelling and augmentation in the neck, difficulty swallowing and a hoarse voice, as well as a feeling that you are wearing a turtleneck, and she is squeezing the neck – all this can also be a warning symptom, and therefore, an occasion to sign up to an endocrinologist.
People with hypothyroidism often complain of constipation. This is simply explained – disruption of the production of hormones causes a slowdown in the digestive processes. “This is one of the three most common symptoms of hypothyroidism,” says Dr. Miller.
Conversely, overactive thyroid work can cause diarrhea or increased peristalsis – an important sign of hyperthyroidism.
There is a direct link between irregular cycles and thyroid problems. Longer menstrual periods with severe and even more convulsions may be a sign of hypothyroidism.
In turn, during hyperthyroidism, the periods between cycles become shorter, menstruation passes faster, in four days. “I always ask my patients about their cycle, as a rule, after answering, I understand the reason for the common problems,” says Dr. Miller, and just in case reminds that excessively long periods of the cycle can also talk about anemia.
Spleen and melancholy
A feeling of depression or a sad mood can also be a symptom of hypothyroidism. It is believed that insufficient production of thyroid hormones can affect the level of serotonin (otherwise, the hormone of good condition) in the brain. It is not surprising that your mood may be “below the baseboard”.
By the way, women have problems with the thyroid gland 10 times more often than men.
Nervousness and anxiety
But in the case of hyperthyroidism, on the contrary, too many hormones are produced. As a result, some organs work in the enhanced mode, the metabolism works in the overdrive mode. It is precisely from such a race that constant feelings of anxiety and feelings of nervous tension arise.
Changes in appetite and taste buds
Increased appetite may be a sign of hyperthyroidism. The link between the first and second is direct – the stronger the hormone levels are, the stronger the metabolism, and therefore, the greater the feeling of hunger.
Elevated levels of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism) can cause concentration problems. A low (hypothyroidism), on the contrary, cause forgetfulness and “blurred.”
“When we treat patients for hypothyroidism, they are often surprised at how quickly their therapy clears up as a result of therapy, and how much sharper they can think in the future,” says Dr. Miller. “By the way, many women think that memory problems and other cognitive impairments are characteristic of menopause and nothing can be done about it, but more often the reason lies in the thyroid gland failures. Keep this in mind.”
Unwillingness or even lack of sexual desire can be a side effect of a thyroid disorder. Most often this is the reason for the lack of hormones.
However, sometimes a decrease in libido can happen against the background of excess weight. Pain in the body can also play a role.
Do you increasingly notice heart failure in the chest? Does the heart skip a beat or two and freeze, then howl up and starts to work faster? Sometimes you may even feel a heartbeat in the throat or neck … Such symptoms may be a sign of an increased level of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism).
The skin is dry and itchy – most often it is associated with a slower metabolism (caused by insufficient production of thyroid hormones). When it decreases sweating. The skin loses moisture, becomes dry and flaky.