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7 Early Warning Signs of Hypothyroidism You Should Not Ignore

Hypothyroidism explained

Hypothyroidism is a condition with insufficient thyroid hormone in your bloodstream, and your metabolism slows down.

Hypothyroidism may not cause noticeable symptoms in the early stages. However, over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause several health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility, and heart disease.

The thyroid gland is located in the front lower part of your neck. Hormones released by the gland travel through your bloodstream and affect nearly every part of your body, from your heart and brain to your muscles and skin.

The thyroid controls how your body’s cells use energy from food, a process called metabolism. Your metabolism affects your body’s temperature, your heartbeat, and how well you burn calories. If you don’t have enough thyroid hormone, your body processes slow down. That means your body makes less energy, and your metabolism becomes sluggish.

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

The opposite is hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone. However, the link between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism is complex, and one can lead to the other in certain circumstances.

Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism or the way the body uses energy. Many of the body’s functions slow down if thyroxine levels are low.

About 4.6 percent of the population aged 12 years and above in the United States has hypothyroidism.

The production of thyroid hormones is regulated by the pituitary gland’s thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

A big problem with taking thyroid hormones over a long time is that the thyroid will become lazy and dependent on the hormones.

Instead of only masking the symptoms, it’s crucial to understand the potential root cause of hypothyroidism so you can do something about it.

T4 is the primary hormone the thyroid makes — but it’s not the active form of the thyroid hormone. It’s the precursor to T3, which is the active form. A problem with the liver or kidneys can affect this conversion.

A deficiency in selenium or zinc can also affect this conversion. In addition, two hormones affect the conversion and production of thyroid hormones: estrogen and cortisol.

90% of hypothyroid problems are Hashimoto’s.

A permeability issue with the gut can lead to an immune problem where you develop antibodies against certain things. Gluten sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances have also been linked to hypothyroid problems — especially Hashimoto’s.

Another significant factor in Hashimoto’s is inflammation. If you can get rid of inflammation, I think you could see a lot of improvement. Vitamin D and selenium are essential natural remedies for Hashimoto’s.


Symptoms of hypothyroidism

Thyroid hormones affect multiple organ systems, so the symptoms of hypothyroidism are wide-ranging and diverse.

The thyroid creates two thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These regulate metabolism, and they also affect the following functions:

  • brain development
  • breathing
  • heart and nervous system functions
  • body temperature
  • muscle strength
  • skin dryness
  • menstrual cycles
  • weight
  • cholesterol levels

Seven early warning signs of hypothyroidism include:

1. Loss of the outer part of the eyebrows

2. Thinning, dry hair

3. Decreased cold tolerance

4. Slow metabolism

5. Weight gain all over

6. Feeling tired

7. Depression


Symptoms of hypothyroidism commonly include:

  • fatigue
  • weight gain
  • cold intolerance
  • slowed heart rate, movements, and speech
  • joint and muscle pain, cramps, and weakness
  • constipation
  • dry skin
  • thin, brittle hair or fingernails
  • decreased sweating
  • pins and needles
  • heavy periods, or menorrhagia
  • weakness
  • high cholesterol
  • puffy face, feet, and hands
  • insomnia
  • balance and co-ordination issues
  • loss of libido
  • recurrent urinary and respiratory tract infections
  • anemia
  • depression

Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash


If left untreated, the following symptoms can manifest:

  • hoarseness
  • puffiness in the face
  • thinned or missing eyebrows
  • slow heart rate
  • hearing loss
If it develops in children or teenagers, the signs and symptoms are generally the same as in adults.

However, they may also experience:

  • poor growth
  • delayed development of teeth
  • poor mental development
  • delayed puberty

Hypothyroidism develops slowly. Symptoms may go unnoticed for a long time and may be vague and general.

  • Symptoms vary a great deal between individuals, and other conditions share them. Therefore, a blood test is the only way to obtain a concrete diagnosis.

The best remedies for hypothyroidism

Determine the underlying cause

Doctors usually carry out a physical examination, take a medical history, and send it to a laboratory for analysis.

The most common blood test is the TSH test. This detects the amounts of TSH in the blood.

If the TSH reading is above average, the patient may have hypothyroidism. Conversely, if TSH levels are below average, the patient may have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.

The T3, T4, and thyroid autoantibody tests are additional blood tests used to confirm the diagnosis or determine its cause.

The doctor may run a complete thyroid panel, testing levels of T3 and T4, TSH, and thyroid autoantibodies to establish the health and activity of the thyroid gland fully.

There may also be tests to check cholesterol levels, liver enzymes, prolactin, and sodium.

Take trace minerals

  • Selenium. Selenium, a mineral needed for thyroid hormone production, helps protect the thyroid from damage caused by oxidative stress. The thyroid contains high amounts of selenium, and a deficiency can lead to thyroid dysfunction (1).
  • Iodine. Iodine is critical for thyroid function. The only known role of iodine is to support thyroid hormone production. Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) are thyroid hormones that contain iodine. Therefore, iodine deficiency causes thyroid disease (23).
  • Zinc. The mineral zinc is required for thyroid hormone production. Therefore, an optimal zinc concentration is needed for healthy levels of T3, T4, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) (4).
  • Iron. The thyroid needs iron to convert T4 into T3, the active form of thyroid hormone. Therefore, iron deficiency is associated with thyroid dysfunction (5).

Other nutrients, including B vitamins and vitamins A and E, are also needed for optimal thyroid function. Being deficient in one or more nutrients can negatively affect thyroid health and increase your risk of thyroid disease (6789).

For most people, following a nutrient-dense diet rich in whole foods is enough to maintain optimal thyroid function.

Avoid gluten.

However, specific populations may need to supplement their diet with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to maintain overall health, including the health of the thyroid.

These populations include people on restrictive diets, pregnant or breastfeeding, and those with a thyroid condition or other health issues.

Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash


Takeaway

Research shows that some vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients may benefit people with certain thyroid conditions.

However, developing a supplement regimen based on your specific needs and health issues is essential.

Your body naturally goes through changes as you get older. If you notice a significant difference in how you feel or your body responds, talk with your doctor to see whether a thyroid problem may affect you.

Disclaimer: Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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