Guest Author - Colleen Forgus
Do you suspect you have a thyroid imbalance? Have you tried to lose or gain weight, but no matter what you seem to do the scale doesn’t change and you are out of energy to keep trying? Do you know that something just doesn’t feel right in your body – irritability, brain fog, anxiety – but you don’t know what to call it? Have you addressed symptoms with your doctor only to be told it is stress or aging or, even worse, that it is all in your head?
Thyroid imbalance is a frequent problem, but sadly, physicians often overlook it as a source of problems. Testing for a thyroid imbalance can be tricky. Fluoride, a toxic cousin to iodine, can mimic iodine in the thyroid by indicating that the thyroid is functioning normally on blood tests, when this is actually far from the truth.
I believe it is so important to listen to our bodies. You know when something doesn’t feel right, regardless of what a doctor may or may not tell you. When you don’t get answers to help you know why you are feeling poorly, feelings or anger or frustration may set in. Educating yourself about the many symptoms of thyroid imbalance is the first step to feeling well. The more educated you become about thyroid disorders, the better equipped you will be to address issues with your doctor.
Even people who are being treated for a thyroid disorder may continue to experience symptoms associated with thyroid imbalance. Finding the exact combination of hormones and addressing adrenal depletion and toxicity in the body can be a delicate balancing act. It may take time and persistence on your part, but stick with it and do your best to keep a positive attitude. Adjusting medication can be an on-going necessity. A “one size fits all” approach is absolutely not the answer to addressing thyroid issues.
Common symptoms associated with a malfunctioning thyroid include: autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus; dry eyes, skin and/or hair; thinning hair, especially at the front top of the head; cold or hot hands and feet; bloating; constipation; fatigue; insomnia; anxiety; depression; mood swings; irritability; fluctuating calcium levels in the blood; unexplained weight gain or loss; inability to gain or lose weight when you try; loss of concentration.
While thyroid imbalance affects both men and women, women do suffer with thyroid issues more frequently than men. This can be attributed to the overall hormone fluctuations women experience. In fact, some people have actually referred to the thyroid as the “third ovary”. Pregnancy, menstrual disorders and menopause are all events that seem to correspond with the onset of a thyroid imbalance. Difficulty becoming pregnant or maintaining a pregnancy are also associated with a malfunctioning thyroid. Men may also experience low sperm count when the thyroid is underactive.
Remember that you are in control of your body. Find a doctor who is willing to listen and work with you to address your concerns. Try to be patient as you adjust thyroid medications to find the proper balance to work in your body. Yoga, massage and meditation may help you on your journey to achieve thyroid balance.
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