Almost every single cell in the body needs thyroid hormones to function. So just this fact alone should serve to tell you that the thyroid working optimally is of huge importance to whole-body health. It should not then be of any surprise that so many symptoms can occur when the thyroid is not functioning correctly.
Some of the symptoms that occur when the thyroid isn’t functioning properly may seem ‘strange’ and not related and may even sometimes totally baffle doctors. But this is simply because this organ is under-appreciated and doesn’t get the focus it truly deserves in conventional medicine.
Types of Thyroid Imbalances & Their Respective Symptoms
When the thyroid is not functioning well, it leads to either a state of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is where the thyroid is producing too much thyroxine hormone. Which then can increase the metabolism and cause symptoms including (but not limited to) unexpected weight-loss, rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating and irritability. Whereas when a state of hypothyroidism exists, this is where the thyroid is producing too little thyroxine hormone. This can then lead to a slowing down of the metabolism and cause symptoms including (but not limited to) fatigue, low-grade depression, fluid retention, low sex-drive, cold sensitivity, constipation, dry skin, thinning hair and unexplained weight gain.
How a Thyroid Disorder is Correctly Diagnosed
To correctly diagnose a thyroid disorder, your healthcare provider should first listen to the symptoms you have been experiencing and then order a broad thyroid panel of blood tests and assess each patient individually based on the results of each set of results combined.
A broad thyroid blood test panel includes testing thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels as well as free T3, free T4, thyroid antibodies and reverse T3 testing. The results are best interpreted according to the functional medicine ranges as the ranges are narrower and are based on optimal readings of a healthy population. Whereas conventional blood test interpretation is a large cause for 6.71% of the population in Europe walking around with both undiagnosed hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism as the ranges are too just broad, with patient symptoms not always being taken into account also.
It is extremely important to test thyroid antibodies too when assessing true thyroid health as if there is a thyroid disorder, then this can check to see if thyroid antibodies may be the case. High thyroid antibodies may mean that you have an underlying autoimmune thyroid issue which can cause heart disease and many other serious issues if it is not managed correctly.
So, the moral of the story is if you are experiencing any ‘strange symptoms’, they may not be so strange after all and it would be wise to check the health status of your thyroid. This applies to both men and women as thyroid issues can affect both sexes.