Ep 020: Top 8 Thyroid Symptoms & Cure

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Welcome to another episode of Rock Bottom Wellness. I’m your host, Tiffany Flaten. Today, I’m on my own talking about the Top 8 Thyroid Symptoms and Cure. But, does a cure actually exist? 

This is a topic I know all too well about. In fact, I believe I struggled with un-diagnosed thyroid symptoms until I was diagnosed with cancer in my 30s. That’s when the symptoms I was having were highlighted and then in talking with so many other people and reading so many books about this condition, I realized that I had ALL of them. And so do many others. I could probably talk about 101 symptoms but I work holistically with people and I really try to help people manage their stress. So, we’re going to stick with only eight. 

  1. Fatigue. I think this is THE most common one and THE most overlooked because it can really be caused by just about anything. Any time you are a little sleepy, we can’t just assume you have a thyroid problem. However, if you have chronic and debilitating fatigue, especially, that you’ve noticed becomes almost daily and has been creeping in over time, it’s quite possible it’s a thyroid problem. You may feel like a hibernating bear when your thyroid function is low. 

    2. Weight Gain/Weight Loss Resistance. When you have depressed thyroid function, your metabolism tanks. Instead, any energy your body has is used for basic function. It’s not really up for burning the energy you take in in the form of calories and the body is really efficient at storing any excess as fat. This combined with the body’s overall decreased energy burning leads to weight gain. Often, this can be between 15-30 pounds within a year of a hypothyroidism diagnosis. If you eat a healthy diet, get enough exercise and you’re gaining weight, your thyroid could very well be the culprit. In this case, take a look at other areas of your life that could be impacting your weight and find someone who will look at all the thyroid numbers and not just your TSH and T4. 

  • Feeling cold all the time. When you burn calories, you produce heat. When you have a thyroid condition, your metabolism (calorie burning) is down regulated so it’s common for thyroid patients to feel cold when no one else does in the same conditions or place. Thyroid hormones crank up the thermostat on brown fat and brown fat is important in maintaining body heat in cold conditions. If you’ve noticed you’re feeling colder than normal lately, your thyroid may be the reason. 

3. Joint pain and muscle weakness.  When your metabolism is down-regulated, it causes a process called catabolism which is a breakdown of tissue to be used for energy. When this happens in thyroid patients, muscle weakness is a common complaint as well as pain in the joints. Muscle cramps can also be common in thyroid patients even when not associated with recent exercise. This is why it is SO important to get the right testing and the right treatment so you can handle the right exercise that is beneficial and helps maintain muscle mass and your joints healthy. 

Loss of Hair. This is one that I hear about all the time and is one of the tell-tale signs for me when my thyroid meds aren’t on par. It’s also one of the symptoms I’ve noticed is ignored when talking with health care practitioners about symptoms that could be related to thyroid. I’m not sure why. It happens to 40% of patients that are 40 years and older. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1497160/) There can be other hormonal issues that contribute to hair loss but if accompanied by some of the other things mentioned, it’s likely that your thyroid is low functioning. 

  • Depression. Studies have shown that over 60% or women and over 50% of men with a thyroid condition tend to have feelings of depression. This is also true with anxiety. (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cen.12956) This is one of the most frustrating co-conditions. It typically is treated with medications which can take a lot to figure if they work for you and often need several changes in dosing to find the “just right” level. It’s like the goldilocks situation and can cause even more anxiety and depression alone. 
  • Poor concentration and memory. Brain fog and recall are common complaints with thyroid patients. That’s a huge symptom people complain about with the patients I work with in my practice. Occasional issues with this may not be a problem, but if the problem persists and affects your overall health and well-being it very well could be your thyroid function. Often, people feel their reaction to things is slower. Tasks are harder. 
  • Dry Skin and Hair. Another common complaint by many.  Like everything else that seems to be caused by a slowing of function when it comes to the thyroid, our skin cells and hair follicles are also slow to turn over. This can appear as dry, flaky skin as well as dry and unhealthy looking hair. It often breaks off and won’t really grow. People have also mentioned to me that hair color doesn’t “stick” to their follicles and the expensive trips to the salon have been for nothing. 

 

What’s the Cure?

First, let’s define “cure.” Here’s a couple. 

  • to relieve (a person or animal) of the symptoms of a disease or condition
  • a substance or treatment that cures a disease or condition

People often shy away from using the word cure. But once you find out if your thyroid isn’t functioning well, we can “cure” these symptoms in part by looking at nutrient deficiencies. This is where I come in. When you look at cellular level nutrients and analyze them under the lens of the individuals’ symptoms, you can go a long way to giving relief to the patient. It can happen in quite a short order, actually. It’s so important to know this information and have a plan that fits your specific needs. Thyroid patients struggle so much and feel unsupported and alone so much of the time. I’m often the last resort for people. And, I’m happy to say, most of the people I work with get relief of their condition when they have the right support in play which may include thyroid meds, targeted nutrition as well as an assessment of other hormones. So, in the end, if you are relieved of your symptoms and you start feeling amazing and improving your overall health and wellness, would you say you’re cured? Cure is different than done...you may have to keep working on your health but when you understand the information discussed here, you are a long way to long-term health. 




 

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