Thyroid Hormone Imbalance
Isn’t it ironic how often we hear about the thyroid gland being an integral part of our body, yet only a few actually understands what it does? When you read books or online publications that discuss hormone imbalance, it’s very likely that you also get to see the mention of thyroid hormone imbalance. That’s because, there are several overlapping symptoms between thyroid imbalance, sex hormone imbalance, and adrenal imbalance.
In case you’re not aware, your thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located below your larynx (voice box). Its main job is to produce and secrete the iodine-containing hormones T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine), which are responsible for stimulating every tissue in the body to produce proteins and increase the amount of oxygen used by cells. In order for the thyroid to function optimally, it should release sufficient amounts of thyroid hormones.
The common symptoms that are associated with thyroid imbalance include the following:
- Extreme fatigue
- Lack of energy
- Unexplained weight gain
- Joint and muscle pain
- Dry skin
- Brittle nails and hair
- Itchy scalp
- Hair loss
- Irregular periods
- PMS symptoms
- Breast milk formation
- Cold/heat intolerance (especially when everyone else is comfortable)
- Low sex drive
- Heart palpitations
- Puffiness in face and extremities
- Swelling, tenderness, or feeling of tightness in neck or throat
- Hoarseness or coughing
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Bruising/clotting problems
- Slowness or slurring of speech
- Memory loss
- Fuzzy thinking
Donna White’s The Hormone Makeover mentioned that women are more vulnerable than men to suffer thyroid problems, with hypothyroidism often surfacing during perimenopause. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. The symptoms that are associated with hypothyroidism include extreme fatigue, depression, forgetfulness, and some weight gain.
According to the American Thyroid Association, an estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, and women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems. If you suspect that some of the thyroid problems symptoms are present in you, the best thing you can do is to consult your doctor. Most physicians will order a blood a blood test called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test to check whether or not your thyroid is functioning properly. Your professional health care provider will be able to administer supplements or suggest lifestyle change through diet plans in order to balance your thyroid hormones, as well as the other hormones in your system.