Many people experience symptoms of low thyroid function despite their blood tests showing that everything is normal. Generally, thyroid screening tests such as TSH will only pick up the more serious cases of thyroid disease, but even mild dysfunction and sub-clinical hypothyroidism can cause debilitating symptoms such as fatigue, low mood and stubborn weight problems. It is possible for your thyroid tests to read normal at the same time as your body making antibodies which attack your thyroid. Below is a list of possible signs your thyroid could be in trouble.
- Weight Changes – Sneaky weight gain or difficulty losing weight despite a good diet and plenty of exercise is the most common complaint among people with an underactive thyroid or sub-clinical hypothyroidism.
- Debilitating fatigue, depression and anxiety are some of the most disruptive symptoms of poor thyroid health.
- Menstrual Irregularities & Fertility Issues – Undiagnosed and untreated thyroid disease can be a cause for infertility as well as sub-fertility and menstrual problems such as absent or heavy bleeding. In a recent study, a total of 394 infertile women visiting an infertility clinic for the first time were investigated for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Of 394 infertile women, 23.9% had an underactive thyroid. Int J App Basic Med Res 2012;2:17-9
- Hair & Skin changes- if you have started to notice your skin become dry or rough, your hair feeling course, dry, brittle or falling out more than usual, this could be a sign your thyroid needs some help.
- Family History – If you have a family history of thyroid problems, you are at a higher risk of having a thyroid condition yourself. Some older family members may refer to thyroid problems as gland trouble or goiter, or may suggest their weight problems are glandular.
Why should you be concerned? Low-normal thyroid function is more of a heart attack risk than smoking, cholesterol or hypertension. Sub-clinical hypothyroidism is linked with atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Low-normal thyroid function contributes to 60% of heart attacks!
According to the Australian Prescriber, underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism occurs in 10% of the adult population and 90% of these cases are autoimmune. ie. where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. Women are approximately 7 times more likely than men to suffer with hypothyroidism and it commonly occurs 2-12 months after childbirth or around menopause.
Feel more energetic and enthusiastic, lose weight naturally and reduce your risk of ongoing health problems with the professional help of your Naturopath.
Written by: Anne – Marie McDonald B.Nat