Exhausted? Gaining weight? Feeling foggy? Thyroid symptoms can show up where you least expect them and are often confused as indicators for other conditions.
What Is the Thyroid and What Does It Do?
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that regulates energy production and metabolism throughout your body. Thyroid hormones are involved with nearly every function of your body, including:
- Regulation of your heart rate and cardiac output
- Regulation of respiratory rate and oxygenation
- Regulation of body temperature
- Regulation of cholesterol levels
- Regulation of skin, hair, and nail growth
- Regulation of intestinal movement
- Muscle contraction
- Mood stabilization
- Food metabolism
- Ovulation and menses
- Energy production
Since the thyroid influences so many systems in your body, if it produces too much or too little hormones, it can have a major impact on your health and well-being.
There are two main disorders of the thyroid: hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. If your thyroid becomes underactive, it produces too little of the thyroid hormone. This is called hypothyroidism and is the more common condition between the two. If your thyroid becomes overactive, it produces too much of the thyroid hormone. This is called hyperthyroidism.
Other common thyroid disorders are thyroid nodules, thyroiditis, and thyroid cancer.
Key Signs and Symptoms of a Thyroid Disorder
There are several symptoms associated with thyroid problems. Below we discuss five key signs and symptoms to look out for to determine if you could have a thyroid condition.
- Changes in your weight
- Changes in your energy levels
- Changes in your mood
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Digestive Issues
Functional Medicine Approach to Thyroid Disorders
Functional medicine doesn’t just assess the whole picture when it comes to your thyroid disorder. It looks at why it isn’t functioning optimally and determines the root cause of the dysfunction. Common root causes of thyroid issues are adrenal dysfunction, poor gut health, nutrient deficiencies, inflammation, low activity levels, lack of sleep, and chronic stress.
While these natural treatments might not replace medications for everyone, they will likely improve your thyroid function or reduce your symptoms.Read More About How Do I Know If I Have Thyroid Issues? Key Signs and Symptoms