Thyroid Issues

Are you experiencing a total lack of energy as if your engine is burnt out with symptoms of depression, fatigue, and weight gain. Or are you feeling constantly “revved up” and “wired but tired” at bedtime? In both cases, the root cause may be your thyroid.

The thyroid – a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck – makes hormones that control the way your body uses energy. Your thyroid controls your metabolism, which is how your body turns food into energy, and also affects your heart, muscles, bones, and cholesterol.

While thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goitre (enlarged gland) to life-threatening cancer, the most common thyroid problems involve an abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Too little of these vital body chemicals can lead to hypothyroidism. If there is too much of these hormones, it results in a condition called hyperthyroidism.

Although the effects of thyroid problems are often unpleasant and uncomfortable, most thyroid conditions can be managed well if properly diagnosed and treated.

Frequently GPs carry out blood tests to provide insights into how a person’s thyroid gland is functioning. Nevertheless many people are told that their results are normal even when they have all of the classic thyroid symptoms such as:

  • Tiredness to point of exhaustion
  • Weight gain
  • Sensitivity to the cold
  • PMT and period problems
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Low mood

If you are experiencing thyroid symptoms or have been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, contact Feel Good Nutrition to discuss your symptoms with a nutritional therapist who can offer advice on a diet plan, specific supplements and lifestyle changes that may help ease your condition.

Details of a typical Feel Good Nutrition program towards improved thyroid health:

  • Investigation of the root cause of your thyroid symptoms
  • Explanation of how what you eat affects your thyroid function and the best type of diet to optimise it depending on whether it is overactive or underactive
  • Possible nutrient deficiencies you may have and food or supplement recommendations to allow you to correct them
  • A diet and lifestyle program to help ensure that your body has all of the ingredients necessary for abundant energy, optimum weight and balanced hormones
  • Tips to help you improve related lifestyle factors which can impact thyroid function e.g. stress management and improved sleep quality

Hypothyroidism (underactive Thyroid) stems from an underproduction of thyroid hormones. Since your body’s energy production requires certain amounts of thyroid hormones, a drop in hormone production leads to lower energy levels, causing you to feel weak and tired.

Many people who suffer with hypothyroidism are undiagnosed. Older adults – particularly women – are more likely to develop hypothyroidism than younger adults. Hypothyroidism also tends to run in families.

If hypothyroidism is not treated, it can raise your cholesterol levels and make you more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. During pregnancy, untreated hypothyroidism can harm your baby. Luckily, hypothyroidism is easy to treat.

Causes of Hypothyroidism?

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: In this autoimmune disorder, the body attacks thyroid tissue. The tissue eventually dies and stops producing hormones. Other autoimmune disorders occur with this condition and other family members may also be affected by this condition.
  • Removal of the thyroid gland: The thyroid may be surgically removed or chemically destroyed as treatment for hyperthyroidism.

Lithium: This drug has also been linked as a cause of hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism (overactive Thyroid), on the other hand, happens when the thyroid becomes overactive and produces too much of its hormones. Hyperthyroidism affects women 5 to 10 times more often than men, and is most common in people younger than 40. People with hyperthyroidism have problems that reflect over activity of the body’s organs, resulting in such symptoms as sweating, feeling hot, rapid heartbeat, weight loss, and sometimes eye problems.

Hyperthyroidism can occur in several ways e.g.

  • Graves’ disease: The release of excess hormones is triggered by an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the thyroid, causing it to spill out too much hormone.
  • Toxic adenomas: Nodules (abnormal growths or lumps) develop in the thyroid gland and begin to secrete thyroid hormones, upsetting the body’s chemical balance. Some goitres may contain several of these nodules.
  • Sub-acute thyroiditis: Painful inflammation of the thyroid causes the gland to enlarge and “leak” excess hormones, resulting in temporary hyperthyroidism, which resolves spontaneously.
  • Pituitary gland malfunctions or cancerous growths in the thyroid gland: Although rare, hyperthyroidism can also develop from these causes.
  • Postpartum thyroiditis: This is a type of hyperthyroidism that occurs in a small percentage of women within months of delivery. It last only a few months, followed by several months of reduced amounts of thyroid hormone production by the gland. Typically these women fully recover normal thyroid function.
  • Ingestion of excess thyroid hormone can result in hyperthyroidism.