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January 25, 2010 at 5:15 PMComments: 1 Faves: 0

Hair and Skin Problems? Weight issues? Fatigue? Check Your Thyroid!

By Erin Froehlich More Blogs by This Author

Feeling miserable?

Check your thyroid!

Thyroid problems - which can cause a wide range of symptoms - are very common with more than 20 million Americans having been diagnosed with a thyroid condition. And here's the kicker - experts believe many more people suffer from the disease yet go undiagnosed. Why? Most people have little to no knowledge of what their thyroid is or does normally, let alone what happens when there's a problem with it. Unfortunate too, because doctors rarely check for thyroid disease unless prompted.

Mary Shomon, author and thyroid patient advocate would like to see this change.

"Even with the efforts of the past decade, we still have a long way to go in terms of thyroid awareness. People are struggling with obesity, depression, infertility, menopausal symptoms, low libido, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, and many other issues, and yet the majority of Americans have never had a thorough thyroid checkup. If properly informed, diagnosed and treated, some of these people would feel and live well, because they will discover that their symptoms were actually due to overlooked and untreated thyroid problems all along!"

Why Thyroid?

The thyroid is butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck. Like other glands, the thyroid's job is to secrete hormones that are delivered throughout the body. In the case of the thyroid gland, these hormones help to regulate body temperature and metabolism (the process that determines how much energy you take in and use). The thyroid is extremely important to the normal function of a multitude of body systems, so when it goes wrong, serious problems can develop. They all start with too little or too much thyroid hormone secretion.

Hypothyroidism (Slow or Underactive Thyroid)

Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid problem and effectively slows down normal body processes. It can be caused by a number of conditions including a missing or underdeveloped thyroid, a surgical thyroid removal, radiation therapy, drugs, insufficient nutrients, nodules (lumps on the thyroid), infections, or atrophy. The most common cause is Hashimotoi's thyroiditis - an autoimmune disease.

To treat the condition, doctors normally prescribe drugs to replace missing hormones, though some patients prefer to use a natural alternative, desiccated thyroid. Hypothyroidism is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions because of patients' unfamiliarity with the condition.

Symptoms can be wide-ranging and seemingly unrelated, and include:

  • Brittle Nails
  • Cold Intolerance and Low Body Temperature
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Dry, Coarse, Scaly Skin
  • Facial Puffiness
  • Frequent Yawning
  • Frequently Sick
  • Hair that is Dry, Coarse, Brittle, Breaking, and Falling Out
  • Heavy or Irregular Menstrual Periods
  • Hoarse, Gravelly Voice
  • Joint Pain
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Memory Problems
  • Mood Swings
  • Tiredness, Fatigue
  • Trouble Conceiving
  • Trouble Thinking Clearly
  • Weakness
  • Weight Gain

Chances of developing a hypothyroid condition increase with age, and hypothyroidism is more common in women than in men. Risk also increases with diabetes, vitiligo, pernicious anemia, smoking,frequent stress, or prematurely grey hair.

Suspect you may have this problem? HelloLife offers both a supplement, Thyrofast and a homeopathic medicine, Thyroveev for a safe, natural non-prescription approach to hypothyroid symptoms. 

Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)

Hyperthyroidism is condition in which the thyroid creates an overabundance in thyroid hormones, resulting in the speeding up of body processes. Hyperthyroidism can be caused by nodules or lumps on the thyroid emitting extra hormone, an overdosage of thyroid hormone replacement drugs, or infection, but it is most commonly caused by Grave's Disease, another autoimmune disorder.

To treat the hyperthyroidism, doctors will conventionally use radioactive treatments to disable the thyroid, which means the patient will become hypothyroid and will require thyroid hormone replacement drugs. However, others are now prescribing anti-thyroid drugs, or thyroid removal in rare cases, with the hope of avoiding radiation. Why trade one condition for the other? Hyperthyroid is harder to control than hypothyroid, and carries the added risk of heart attack if left untreated.

Common symptoms of hyperthyroid include:

  • Aching Joints
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea or Increased Bowel Movements
  • Difficulty Concentrating, Memory Problems
  • Excessive Hair Loss
  • Exercise Intolerance
  • Eye Problems, Feelings of Grittiness, Easily Irritated, Puffy or Bulging Eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling Excessively Hot
  • Frequent Urination
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Increased Appetite
  • Increased Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Jumpiness, Tremors
  • Mood Swings
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Nails that Split and Break
  • Nausea
  • Rapid Weight Loss
  • Rapid Heart Beat
  • Restlessness, Constant Foot Tapping
  • Skin Changes - may cause a range of skin changes, from increased acne, increased vein visibility (especially around eyes), bruising, may even make skin smoother due to rapid cell turnover.

Hyperthyroid is most common in those with a family history of thyroid problems, and most commonly appears in women in their 20�s. Smoking also increases risk of developing the condition, and eye problems tend to be more severe in hyperthyroid patients that smoke.

Help Your Thyroid

If you suspect that your thyroid is out of balance, schedule an appointment with your physician. Not only can you finally get relief from a number of unpleasant, confusing symptoms, but you may also prevent a more serious health condition from occurring in the future. Additionally, you may want to check in with a holistic health practitioner who can help you make lifestyle changes to support your thyroid and overall health. Sure, you are relieved to know the "root cause" of all those symptoms, but what is causing the thyroid imbalance? It's interesting to note that the main causes of under- and overactive thyroid are both autoimmune diseases. Holistic health practitioners have an excellent way of looking at the big picture, and may have some helpful hints to naturally normalize your immune system and encourage a normal thyroid as well.

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1 Comment

  • my dear friends, i am writing this blog from my experience and with the help of some experts in ayurvedic, yoga and acu-puncture field.i have suffered from Hypo-Thyroid for more than 12 years. this disease has been dis-abling for me as i had not been in touch with a good endochrinologist.
    over the years curosity and a chance encounter with a very experienced ayurvedic doctor opened my eyes to this disease and it causes. i wanted to share this as some of the causes were a shock to me and will be to you as well as some modern doctors too.

    I have been working with a large MNC for several years and have to travel all over india. during one of these trips (banglore)i met a ayurvedic doctor from kerala at an local eatery. it was rush hour and no palce to sit, we had shared our table. seeing my restricted eating habits lead to a chat where we introduced ourselves. this ayurvedic doctor was traveling for his hospital to all major metros over india. his insight into thyroid was amazing and the addtional symptoms and causes mentioned were eye opening. later over the years i have seen some additional symptoms
    (added to the thyroid symptoms list by alopathic doctors which were known to this ayurvedic doctor from years, maybe decades). this chance encounter with this doctor opened the door. we later met in delhi too, where i had invted him to my place. i then enquired and met a few other ayurvedic, yoga and acu-puncture specialist. Amazingly the older people practicing over decades too had similar views. it dawned to me the inadequate info with people on this simple but sometimes disabling disease.

    Read completely this blog and ever word has been verifed by one of the experts.
    (kindly spread the word as this disease can been reduced to a great scale)
    (i have written this blog too late, a couple of years as i did not know the extent many people suffered due to it)

    A few common but now known reasons

    my keralite doctor had in year 2000-01 told me to use iron, steel utensils, non-sticks were a big NO. today a debate over Teflon has been raging for quite some time. similarly toxins, chemicals(house-hold cleants/insectides), heavy metals (lead, lithium (in cell battries) ) too are resposible too swing the gland (these toxins effect a range of organs, effecting their functions as well as creating tumors or nodules). some time the swing of the thyroid gland is temprary and a doctor start medication which should later be stopped however sometime a doctor who is not a
    expert at thyroid would not do so which effects a patient badly. hence a good endochrinologist is a must. severve throat infect lasting days/weeks, exposure to constant heat/pressure on neck region (in some industry this is a common working environment) too lead too an imbalance of the gland. exposure too radiation has a big and immediate effect of the thyroid galnd.

    my googling showed chemicals (triclosan, perchlorate, man-made fluoride, bromine) found in toothpastes, soaps as well as plastics too is responsible.

    Now a major reason which seems controversial today but was a shock to me too which lead to my interest to investiage further about this disease. since it is a taboo topic, may be this info is not well known. frequent mastarbation, yes my dear friends no one would say yes to this reason. my chance encounter with my ayurvedic doctor today more of a friend, had shocked with this news. even some patients who later were settled with this idea had accepted they mastarbated frequently. later they even said that after doing so they felt a high pulsating effect on the thyroid gland. according to our ayurvedic doctor mastarbation is not bad, but when done frequently or as a habit it would definately lead too thyroid. lack of information would put many youngsters at risk. 1 - 2 month of the bad habit can give a life-time of the disease. nature has given us a means of pro-creation as well as enjoyement, but to use it just as a means of pleasure by would have negative results. this cause i found that all the well experienced ayurvedic, acu-puncture/pressure people were aware of. but all of them said there is no immediate cure in their field to cure this
    disease. the reason they mentioned about mastarbation is that it is an aggressive act and is more than physical contact and requires the brain to release a lot of energy. the same happens during an sexual but the frequency is not that high. our brain controls the entire body the heart, lung, liver, digestive system and the endocrine glands. in the act the brain is in an over drive puting excessive pressure on the endocrine glands, at the same moment energy and minerals are lost which effects all these systems. all the organs are linked to the brain are through the
    neck and through the base of the neck region. hence over a period of time it leads to this disease.Hence my dear friends now u know what leads to this disease, hence prevent it. As i said before all this has been verified by experts in ayurvedic field . hence do not use ignorance but an open mind as well as actual observence of yourself too keep your body in good health.

    I am trying to put this info on atleast 20 sites , too spread the word

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