We have been hearing on-and-off about how important the proper functioning of the thyroid gland is for the overall health of an individual. When our conversations lean towards unexplainable weight gain that is beyond control even after monitoring our diet, or about menstrual irregularities, the culprit in most of the cases is the thyroid gland that is behaving out of control. The butterfly-shaped gland is located in our neck. Using iodine, it produces hormones that control the way in which energy is used by body’s cells. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland control it, so problems with these tissues also cause thyroid problems. Look for the below five signs that could point you to act further on controlling your thyroid problems.
When you have overworked or feel emotionally stressed about something that’s bogging you at that moment, you are bound to feel tired and exhausted. But that should be once in a while. However if you realise that you need to drag yourself out of bed and an 8 hour sleep just sounds insufficient to you that might be a signal for thyroid level fluctuations. Even if you are a sleep-lover, you should feel fresh once you wake up. Your inability to function throughout the day without a nap should probe you to investigate on the lines of thyroid imbalance further.
2. Digestion Problems
Are you feeling constipated or bloated? Do you have that sensation of heaviness in the stomach that is not ready to go even after treatment? Blame it on your thyroid gland as it controls your bowel function. You might have a sluggish thyroid- hypothyroidism. While persistent diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome can be associated with hyperthyroidism. When you realise that no remedy works on your condition, your doctor is sure to run a battery of tests for thyroid imbalance check.
3. Skin/Hair Problems
Thyroid imbalance is notorious for attacking hair and skin. With hypothyroidism, hair repeatedly becomes fragile, coarse and dry, leading to breaking off and falls out easily. Skin also gets affected and can turn coarse, dry, rough and scaly. In hypothyroidism, the outer edge of the eyebrow experiences an unusual hair loss. This is unique and should alert you on hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism signals a rapid and heavy hair loss. The skin also tends to become thin and frail and can get easily irritated. Do not take this condition lightly and get your thyroid levels checked.
When you experience an abrupt onset of a panic disorder or undergo depression or anxiety, these can point to thyroid malfunction. Though there could be various other factors involved, thyroid angle should not be given a miss. In fact, it should be one of the first paths of assessment when treating depression or anxiety. Depression is typically associated with hypothyroidism while anxiety or panic attacks could be well related with hyperthyroidism. When traditional anti-depressant management (natural or pharmaceutical) fails to show results, watch out for a sign of an underlying thyroid disorder.
5. Menstrual Irregularities and Fertility Issues
Our hormones are very well connected. A slight imbalance in even one specific hormone is sure to create havoc with the rest of the hormones, too. Usually, when a woman faces heavier, more frequent and more agonising periods the signs point to hypothyroidism. On the other hand, shorter, lighter and infrequent menstruation, in extreme cases, even cessation of menstrual cycle entirely can signal hyperthyroidism condition. What follows is infertility or recurrent miscarriage, which is another prominent symptom of undiagnosed thyroid conditions.
If thyroid problems are not detected and treated in the incipient stages, the situation is likely to invite a host of other chronic health issues for the person suffering from the same. Never waste time assuming that these conditions could be normal and try to surmount them as early as you can so that the thyroid levels are kept under control and you are able to lead a near-normal life.