There are several telling signs that your thyroid may have an imbalance. Learn what they are and what you can do to rebalance your thyroid naturally.
The thyroid is responsible for regulating many of the body’s essential functions, yet the signs of imbalance can go undetected easily.
Knowing what to look out for, such as changes in mood or energy levels, skin appearance, and texture, and fluctuations in weight, are all indicators of something else happening at a deeper level.
Noticing these changes early on and seeking care from a professional trained to prevent the progression of thyroid imbalance, not just prescribe the symptoms away, is key to lasting well-being and overall health.
Understanding the Thyroid’s Regulatory Functions
The thyroid is a small but very important gland in the neck responsible for regulating your metabolism, heart rate, weight, and body temperature. It also plays an important role in fertility, cognitive function, and regulating cholesterol.
The thyroid does all of this by producing hormones, the main being thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which are secreted into your bloodstream to regulate how your body uses fats and carbohydrates for energy and the production of protein.
However, when the thyroid is secreting too much or not enough of the necessary hormones, you can experience problems such as fatigue, changes in mood including depression, sudden weight gain or loss, problems sleeping, and more.
These isolated symptoms are easily dismissed, but as they persist can lead to serious complications and chronic disease. An imbalanced thyroid can lead to growths around the thyroid gland in the form of nodules or Goiter, Grave’s disease, Hashimoto’s disease, and cancer.
Many factors contribute to the thyroid becoming imbalanced. It could be a cause of genetics as it runs in families, a post-partum effect of pregnancy, taking certain drugs and medication, radiation, viruses and bacteria, and the most common: antibodies signaling an autoimmune disease.
Because the warning signs of potential thyroid imbalance are typically not alarming on their own, it is essential to work with a skilled medical provider who is trained in a root-cause approach and can begin treatments to rebalance the thyroid before it progresses.
Thyroid Hormone Imbalance: Too Much and Not Enough
When dealing with hormones in the body, the key to well-being is balance. Maintaining equilibrium of the right hormones released into the bloodstream signals proper functioning of the body’s systems. Thus, there are consequences when you have an imbalance of hormones.
Depending on the cause of the thyroid imbalance and the amount of time that it has gone untreated, there are several likely scenarios. The most common way of categorizing a thyroid imbalance is either having too much hormone production: hyperthyroidism or, not having enough hormone production: hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism – Not Enough Hormone Production (underactive thyroid)
Hypothyroidism is a condition where your thyroid doesn’t produce enough necessary hormones. It is the more common condition of thyroid imbalance and may be difficult to detect early on.
Symptoms that may indicate your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones:
- Brain Fog
- Sudden and significant increase in weight
- Skin and digestive Problems
- Mood changes/depression
There are several known causes for hypothyroidism, however, the most common is autoimmune related, meaning that your immune system’s antibodies attack your own tissues.
Most often, the onset is a person’s genetics mixed with lifestyle or environmental factors that cause the thyroid to slow or stop producing the necessary hormones.
Family history of thyroid imbalance, age, autoimmune disease, and other life events, such as pregnancy, taking certain medications and radiation therapy are common risk factors for developing hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism – Too Much Hormone Production (overactive thyroid)
Hyperthyroidism is a condition where your thyroid makes and release high levels of thyroid hormone.
Symptoms may include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Weight loss
- Increased appetite
- Anxiety, nervousness, feeling shaky
- Menstrual changes
- Intolerance to heat and excessive sweating
- Bulging of the eyes
- Hair loss
- Muscle weakness
Hyperthyroidism can be caused by Graves’ disease, thyroiditis, thyroid nodules and consuming excess iodine. You also may be more at risk for this condition if you have a family history of thyroid disease, have Type 1 diabetes or consume more iodine than recommended.
Do you suspect you have a thyroid condition? Contact us to schedule an appointment.