What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism
At first, you might not notice the signs or symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Symptoms usually begin slowly. But, over time, a faster metabolism can cause symptoms such as:
- Weight loss, even if you eat the same or more food
- Eating more than usual
- Diarrhea or more bowel movements than normal
- Fewer and lighter menstrual periods than normal
- Changes in your eyes that can include bulging of the eyes, redness, or irritation
Hyperthyroidism raises your risk for osteoporosis, a condition that causes weak bones that break easily. In fact, hyperthyroidism might affect your bones before you have any of the other symptoms of the condition. This is especially true of women who have gone through menopause or who are already at high risk of osteoporosis.
Whats The Difference Between Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism
In hypothyroidism, the thyroid doesnt make enough thyroid hormone.
The difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism is quantity. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid makes very little thyroid hormone. On the flip side, someone with hyperthyroidism has a thyroid that makes too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism involves higher levels of thyroid hormones, which makes your metabolism speed up. If you have hypothyroidism, your metabolism slows down.
Many things are the opposite between these two conditions. If you have hypothyroidism, you may have a difficult time dealing with the cold. If you have hyperthyroidism, you may not handle the heat. They are opposite extremes of thyroid function. Ideally, you should be in the middle. Treatments for both of these conditions work to get your thyroid function as close to that middle ground as possible.
Radioactive Iodine Treatment For Hyperthyroidism
If your thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, you have a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Treatment for this condition aims to reduce and regulate thyroid hormone production.
Standard treatment for hyperthyroidism uses radioactive iodine to destroy thyroid cells. This may cause the levels of your thyroid hormone to remain low permanently.
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What To Do If Youre Suffering From Low Thyroid
If youre suffering from low thyroid, or you think you might be, you need to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can. Although having a low thyroid is not immediately life-threatening, the consequences of not getting the right treatment could have devastating effects on your health.
Low thyroid shows itself in many different forms, but the most popular are: fatigue , muscle cramps, joint pains, sore throat and a coarse voice, menstruation problems, weight gain, brittle and thin nails, depression, unable tolerate the cold and weakness among other symptoms.
A lot of cases of low thyroid are very hard to diagnose because the main symptoms are fatigue, joint pains, and the inability to tolerate the cold. These symptoms also show themselves when someone is suffering from flu, which is why people are often misdiagnosed.
If you think youre suffering from low thyroid, you need to make sure your doctor listens to you and understands you symptoms. If you do not get the treatment you need, you could become quite ill, so if theres a chance you have a thyroid problem, dont sweep it under the carpet, make sure you deal with it as soon as you can.
Although low thyroid can make you feel pretty ill, theres not a lot of treatment that can help the issue. Medication can help to correct the problem, but it doesnt help with the depression that people who suffer from low thyroid often get.
Synthetic T4 Hormones To Replace Insufficient Thyroid Hormones
Hypothyroidism is most commonly treated with thyroid hormone replacement therapy, and the most effective way to treat hypothyroidism is with synthetic T4 medication. While these hormones are identical to the natural T4 that the thyroid makes, several factors can affect the exact dosage you need. These include your age, the severity of symptoms, and your overall health profile.
Synthetic T4 is available in a prescription medication called levothyroxine, sold under brand names such as Levothroid and Synthroid. There are many generic versions available, too. Youll want to take care in switching back and forth between brands, as there may be slight variations in doses.
When you first start taking prescription thyroxine hormones, your doctor will prescribe a dosage based on your weight and your blood test results for TSH and free T4 levels. Children, teenagers, and the elderly generally require smaller doses.
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What Is Low Thyroid In Dogs
Dogs with low thyroid disease have thyroids that dont make enough of the hormones needed to keep their metabolisms up to normal.
Their metabolisms slow way down. The dogs:
- Lose their energy
- Become very lethargic
- Start having issues with their coats of fur or hair
Many dogs with low thyroid begin losing their hair, particularly along their tail and flank side.
Low thyroid in dogs can be genetic.
For example, in some dogs, its an autoimmune disease that runs in their family lines.
Which Medications Are Available To Treat Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is a lifelong condition. For many people, medication reduces or alleviates symptoms.
Hypothyroidism is best treated by using levothyroxine . This synthetic version of the T4 hormone copies the action of the thyroid hormone your body would normally produce.
The medication is designed to return adequate levels of thyroid hormone to your blood. Once hormone levels are restored, symptoms of the condition are likely to disappear or at least become much more manageable.
Once you start treatment, it will take several weeks before youll begin feeling relief. Youll require follow-up blood tests to monitor your progress. You and your doctor will work together to find a dose and a treatment plan that best addresses your symptoms. This can take some time.
In most cases, people with hypothyroidism must remain on this medication their entire lives. However, the amount you take may need to be adjusted, especially if you have Hashimotos thyroiditis. To make sure your medication is still working properly, your doctor will likely test your TSH levels yearly.
If blood levels indicate the medication isnt working as well as it should, your doctor will adjust the dose until a balance is achieved.
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Nutrients To Stay Away From If You Have An Underactive Thyroid
Even though many foods are healthy on their own, if you combine them with your thyroid medications, they can make a mess in your body.
- You shouldnt consume iodine supplements if you suffer from hypothyroidism. Some people use kelp or dulse as an addition to their diet, but their high iodine content can affect the production of your thyroid hormones. You should stay away from dietary sources of iodine as well, such as dairy and soy products, and eggs, among other foods.
- It is also recommended to stay away from fiber supplements as they can affect your thyroid medications. Excessive consumption of dietary fiber can also affect the absorption of thyroid medications.
- Furthermore, soy products have been shown to have a moderate negative effect on the absorption of thyroid hormone medications. This does not mean that you need to stay away from soy altogether, but if your diet is rich in tofu, soy milk, and related products, do let your treating doctor know about this as your dosage may have to be adjusted.
If you have hypothyroidism, you should also be careful when combining your drugs with supplements such as:
What Other Problems Can Hypothyroidism Cause
Hypothyroidism can contribute to high cholesterol. In rare cases, untreated hypothyroidism can cause myxedema coma. This is a condition in which your body’s functions slow down to the point that it becomes life-threatening.
During pregnancy, hypothyroidism can cause complications, such as premature birth, high blood pressure in pregnancy, and miscarriage. It can also slow the baby’s growth and development.
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Diagnosis Of Underactive Thyroid
Your GP will ask about your symptoms and examine you. They may also ask you about your medical history.
If your GP thinks you may have an underactive thyroid, theyll ask you to have one or more blood tests. This is to check the level of thyroid hormones in your body. There are two main hormones measured in blood tests.
- TSH . This is made by your pituitary gland to control your thyroid gland. It tells your thyroid to make more hormones if the levels of thyroid hormone in your blood get too low.
- FT4 free T4 . This hormone is made by your thyroid gland.
You may hear these blood tests referred to as thyroid function tests. If you have an underactive thyroid, youll probably have a TSH level above normal and a free T4 level below normal.
If the results of the blood tests show that you have an underactive thyroid, youll usually be treated by your GP. But sometimes, your GP will refer you to an endocrinologist a doctor who specialises in treating hormone problems such as thyroid conditions.
Treating Low Thyroid In Dogs
If your dog is diagnosed with low thyroid disease, well likely recommend starting your dog on a special medication, so he or she feels better quickly.
Youll have to give your dog a pill twice a day throughout his or her life
But the great news is youll quickly see a dramatic and positive change in your cherished companion.
Typically, our veterinarians will check your dogs T4 level about a month after you start the medication to make sure your dog is at the right level.
Then, well likely check your dogs blood level once a year in your annual visit, just to make sure your dog is doing well.
With the right care, low thyroid in dogs is a very manageable disease.
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Natural Remedies For Thyroid Issues
So for starters, the No. 1 natural remedy you need to start to support the thyroid is ashwagandha, which is proven to heal thyroid and adrenal issues. Ashwagandha is known as an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogen herbs mean they help you adapt and deal with stress, and ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine.
Other adaptogenic herbs can include things like tulsi or holy basil also things like rhodiola and ginseng and licorice root. All of those are adaptogen herbs, but ashwagandha may be the most effective at naturally supporting overall thyroid health, especially as a natural treatment for hypothyroidism and Hashimotos. In fact, in the studies on it, it was actually shown to help both hyper and hypothyroid symptoms, which is amazing.
So, you should definitely add ashwagandha to your hypothyroidism diet since it works as a way to treat hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
The No. 2 thing you should consider adding in to overall improve your thyroid function is selenium. The benefits of selenium are critical actually, selenium has very powerful antioxidant-like functions. In fact, studies have shown that selenium helps balance out T4 in your body hormones, so again, taking a therapeutic dose of selenium every day has also been shown to benefit thyroid function.
There are also foods high in selenium you can consume, including:
5. Proteolytic Enzymes
How Is Hypothyroidism Diagnosed
It can actually be difficult to diagnose hypothyroidism because the symptoms can be easily confused with other conditions. If you have any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, talk to your healthcare provider. The main way to diagnose hypothyroidism is a blood test called the thyroid stimulating hormone test. Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests for conditions like Hashimotos disease. If the thyroid is enlarged, your provider may be able to feel it during a physical exam during an appointment.
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Whats The Connection Between Hypothyroidism And Weight Loss
Once youre treated for hypothyroidism, you may lose any weight you gained from low hormone levels. Thats because once your thyroid levels are restored, your ability to manage your weight returns to normal.
If youre treating hypothyroidism but dont see a change in your weight, you may still be able to lose weight if thats a goal for you. Work with a doctor, registered dietitian, or personal trainer to develop a healthy eating plan and exercise strategy to reach or maintain a moderate weight.
Underactive Thyroid And Pregnancy
It’s important for the health of you and your baby that an underactive thyroid is treated properly before you become pregnant.
Tell a GP if you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant and you have hypothyroidism. They may refer you to a specialist for treatment and monitoring during your pregnancy.
Page last reviewed: 10 May 2021 Next review due: 10 May 2024
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Damage To The Pituitary Gland
Less often, low thyroid level comes from a problem outside the gland. The culprit may be the pituitary gland at the base of the brain, which directs your thyroid to make its hormone. If a tumor, surgery, or radiation damages your pituitary, it may not be able to give instructions to the thyroid.
Whatever the cause, medicine can get your hypothyroidism under control. Talk with your doctor about it.
Can Hypothyroidism Be Prevented
Hypothyroidism cannot be prevented. The best way to prevent developing a serious form of the condition or having the symptoms impact your life in a serious way is to watch for signs of hypothyroidism. If you experience any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, the best thing to do is talk to your healthcare provider. Hypothyroidism is very manageable if you catch it early and begin treatment.
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Foods With Excess Sodium
People with hypothyroidism are at an increased risk for high blood pressure, and many processed foods can contribute to high blood pressure because of their high salt content.
That doesnt mean you cant have a salty snack every now and then just stick with the American Heart Associations recommendation for daily sodium intake: ideally a max of 1,500 mg.
Inability To Lose Weight Despite Changing Your Diet And Exercising More
Another huge problem is the fact that many patients with hypothyroidism cant lose weight despite actually trying.
I know from experience that many hypothyroid patients are out there exercising 5+ times per week, they are eating as few as 1,000 calories per day and they still arent losing weight.
They are left confused when they go to the doctor only to have the doctor recommend that they either must be lying or they simply are not exercising hard enough.
I have to point out that the concept of reducing your calories and exercising more has not been shown to actually result in long-term weight loss.
So pushing the eat less/exercise treatment paradigm simply will not work .
We have studies like the biggest loser study which outline exactly what happens with calorie restriction and lots of exercises.
Reducing your calories results in a reduction in your basal metabolic rate that persists for YEARS.
Contestants of the biggest loser showed that on average they were burning less than 700 calories per day than what was expected.
This effect lasted at least 6 years .
How does this fit in with your thyroid?
Your thyroid helps to directly regulate your basal metabolic rate which is the most important factor when determining if you will lose weight and keep it off.
Low thyroid hormone results in a lower basal metabolic rate by reducing energy production and regulating key enzymes in your mitochondria.
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Who Gets Postpartum Thyroiditis
Women who have Type 1 diabetes or those who have a history of thyroid dysfunction are at higher risk for postpartum thyroiditis. Women with a family history of thyroid dysfunction are also at higher risk of developing postpartum thyroid. Presence of microsomal antibodies also makes women more susceptible to thyroid dysfunction including postpartum thyroiditis.
Hypothyroidism Symptoms In Adults
indicates that hypothyroidism symptoms in men may also include erectile dysfunction.
Hypothyroidism symptoms in women may additionally include:
- menstrual changes, particularly irregular or heavy periods
- problems during pregnancy, including anemia
Its also possible to develop hypothyroidism during pregnancy. Symptoms will usually be similar to those of other cases of hypothyroidism.
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What Happens During Surgery For Ptosis
Ptosis surgery is performed under local anesthesia with sedation . The types of surgery to repair the droopy lid include the following:
- The surgeon makes an opening in the skin of the upper eyelid. This allows the surgeon to find the small muscle that raises the eyelid. The surgeon places stitches to tighten this muscle and raise the eyelid. The incision in the skin of the eyelid is then closed with more stitches.
- The surgeon can perform the entire surgery from underneath the eyelid. In this case, the eyelid is flipped and the muscle is tightened from underneath. No skin incision is required for this approach.
After surgery, the doctor will explain how to take care of the eye. It is important for the patient to come back to the doctor after surgery so the results can be checked.
Appointments are usually scheduled for several days to one week after surgery.
Sometimes, the eyelid might still droop a little bit or the eyelid might not close all the way. If the doctor notices this, additional treatment might be recommended. Usually, however, the eyelid is in a better position soon after the operation.
- American Academy of Ophtalmology. What Is Ptosis? Accessed 4/8/2019.
- American Academy for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismuc. Ptosis. Accessed 4/8/2019.
- American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. White Paper on Functional Blepharoplasty, Blepharoptosis, and Brow Ptosis Repair. Accessed 4/8/2019.