I remember this conversation clearly.
Doctor: "You have a goiter."
Me: "What??! What is THAT? I was 35 years old.
The conversation spiraled thru a list of symptoms that I thought fairly typical in mid-thirties female life. I was tired and had difficulty concentrating, but that's normal, right? I work a lot, have kids, and care for my parents; of course, I am tired! Why yes, there is more hair in my hair brush than typical..." but WHAT?
Dang, it. The thyroid panel test revealed I have low thyroid, specifically Hashimoto's.
It's the OTHER "low T" that no one really talks about.
Low thyroid, or hypothyroidism, is a condition where my thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck that produces hormones that regulate the body's metabolism. It helps regulate the fuel and chemical engine of your body.
A thyroid is a hormone machine designed to keep your body in a perfect equilibrium or “homeostasis” (holding temperature, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels stable). When thyroid hormones are out of whack, effects are seen in almost every cell in your body, even hair follicles.
One of the many reasons that this disorder can go undiagnosed for so many women is that this can just feel like life + aging.
Women are more likely than men to have too little or too much thyroid hormone and are particularly likely to develop thyroid disease during pregnancy and in middle age.
A thyroid panel is a blood test. These tests can be the detectives to help point you to solutions.
This blood test measures the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone in your blood. TSH is produced by the pituitary gland located at the base of your brain.
Our thyroid makes three primary hormones that help with metabolism management.
Thyroid test centers and affordable tests are available at HealthLabs.com; they have excellent reviews (Trust Pilot 4.9 out of 5), many are open Saturdays, and they offer blood tests without needing a doctor’s prescription.
Another solution is PersonaLabs.com. They partner with Quest diagnostics and also have telehealth and affordable pharmacy options.
Not typically, but it is treatable and manageable with daily medication and diet. Thyroid conditions aren’t life-threatening, but can affect your quality of life.
Diet plays a significant role in managing hypothyroidism.
Certain nutrients are needed for the thyroid to produce hormones, including iodine, selenium, and tyrosine. Iodine is found in seafood and dairy products, while selenium is in nuts and seeds. Tyrosine is an amino acid in lean meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can also provide essential vitamins and minerals.
Certain foods can interfere with thyroid function, such as foods high in goitrogens and soy foods. Examples are broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage.
Soy foods contain phytoestrogens compounds that can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body, which can interfere with thyroid hormone production. Examples are tofu, soymilk, and edamame.
Check out the specialty diets section by Balance by BistroMD, a meal prep, and delivery service, if you need inspiration. They have natural ingredients prepared in small batches for delicious meals.
You can consult a physician or nutritionist for tips on managing your low thyroid with a proper diet. They can help you make a meal plan to meet your needs and considers your other health conditions.
We found an online resource that gives you a free shopping list. She's got low thyroid and loves to cook.
There are so many lists of foods we're not supposed to eat as thyroid patients. It's such a bummer! That's why I wanted to put together this list of foods we CAN eat! - Ginny
Hypothyroidism is often 'coupled' with other conditions or diseases. Some of the most common concurrent disorders include:
In summary, hypothyroidism is a condition that can lead to some co-conditions, like depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
A primary treatment is hormone replacement therapy, but a balanced diet and regular exercise can also help manage the condition. Working closely with your doctor to manage your hypothyroidism is necessary.
Several other conditions associated with hypothyroidism, including:
Too much thyroid? That is a thing too.
Hyperthyroidism or Graves' disease is when someone has an overactive thyroid. This is when the thyroid gland overproduces the hormone T4. This disorder is more common in women than men and is associated with hormonal changes after pregnancy or menopause.
With hyperthyroidism, you may experience these symptoms: irritability, anxiety, sleep difficulty, racing heart, and weight loss. In addition, people with hyperthyroidism should AVOID eating large amounts of iodine-rich foods, such as iodized salt, fish, and shellfish.
In 1923, American Thyroid Association was founded. The ATA is dedicated to advancing, understanding, preventing, diagnosing, and treating thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer.
2,700 BC, China, Emperor Shen Nung’s prescriptions mentioned the use of seaweed for the treatment of goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)
Thyroid Disorders are part of the endocrine system.
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