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20 Signs Your Thyroid Isn’t Working Right

The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, can have a dramatic impact on a huge variety of bodily functions.

The thyroid gland is part and parcel of the endocrine system, which is a collection of glands that produce all-important hormones responsible for metabolism, growth, sexual function, sleep, and mood. 

Located above Adam’s apple, your thyroid produces thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which regulates, among other things, your body’s temperature, metabolism, and heartbeat. Things can start to go wrong when your thyroid is under-or over-active.

If you have hypothyroidism (a sluggish thyroid), your TSH levels will be high, as your body is trying to stimulate more thyroid hormone activity. If you have hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid), your TSH levels will be low, as your body is trying to stop excessive thyroid hormone production.

It could be due to genetics, an autoimmune attack, pregnancy, stress, nutritional deficiencies, poor liver detox, or toxins in the environment. Thyroid hormones touch every aspect of the body – from the brain to bowels – so diagnosing this disorder can be challenging.

Thyroid disorders are complicated, fickle, and highly individual – meaning thyroid issues are going to look very different for each person.

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What Is Your Thyroid Telling You?

I have always been interested in finding the root cause of disease. When I became sick about eight years ago with what I knew to be ‘typical thyroid symptoms’, I was very unfamiliar with the overall condition. Instinctively, I began the difficult quest of researching and evaluating everything I could get my hands on.

I soon learned that there were some clear discrepancies in regards to how thyroid disease was diagnosed and treated. I trusted my early TSH level reading (a common marker for thyroid function), which my doctor had told me was “fine and in the normal range”. I went on for a few more years still feeling unwell but still researching. I learned that more detailed tests were needed to explore the depth of a possible autoimmune thyroid condition. I asked my doctor (well, I actually insisted) to test for thyroid antibodies and to both our surprise (more my relief really), I was told I had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

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