Today I want to explore the clinical signs and symptoms of a sluggish thyroid.
If your thyroid is working even sub-optimally, the ramifications are profound – weight gain only being one of the danger signs.
Also, check your symptoms and see how likely you are to have a thyroid problem.
The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system that secretes hormones to regulate body functions such as burning fat for energy and for maintaining proper blood lipid levels.
When the thyroid gland is “sluggish,” production of thyroid hormones slows down, resulting in diminished metabolic activity in the body.
Suboptimal thyroid function is often overlooked by mainstream doctors, because the “normal” reference range for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is far too broad. Plus TSH alone is not a reliable marker of subclinical thyroid issues. As a result, if a person falls into the “normal” range, doctors are hesitant to consider a thyroid problem despite the obvious symptoms reported by the patient.
Naturopaths and Functional health practitioners use pathology very differently, to pick up the early stages of change, the thyroid hormone function, and any root drivers to the symptoms.
We call this holistic or functional medicine.
Physical SIGNS to watch out for:
We’ve put together a list of physical signs to keep an eye on that might be a symptom of a thyroid conditions.
- Outer third of eyebrows thin (as seen in the picture)
- Fat accumulation around thighs, buttocks, belly and ribs.
- Fat reservoir on back of neck over the C7 bone area. Also called a Dowager’s Hump.
- Unsteady gait. Many people are actually unaware of this sign, and are more likely to notice the ‘mystery bruises’ left on body from bumping into things, particularly the thighs from hitting desks or tables.
- Dry Hair and skin. Sometime the skin begins to look even scale-like for some individuals.
- Slow or halted speech. Our brains need a lot of thyroid hormone to work well, so when the hormone levels are low, our speech speed and memory recall changes. If there is too much of the hormone, then speech usually is fast and erratic.
- Deeper or hoarse voice. If the thyroid is enlarged, it can affect the voice box, changing the voice. Some people even report getting a ‘tired’ voice at the end of the day.
- Puffier eyes, hands, and/or feet. This is due to fluid retention because low thyroid hormones slow down all eliminatory processes.
- Constant feeling of cold. The fingers and tip of the nose are cold to the touch. It should be notes that this can be masked by menopause symptoms.
- Weight gain. Even though nothing has changed in the diet/lifestyle, but the weight keeps on gaining.
- Thyroid tongue. Scalloped edges on the tongue indicate thyroid problems and iodine deficiency. The tongue is also thicker.
Why this matters
Sub-optimal thyroid conditions can severely impact upon your quality of life, and eventually leads to other medical conditions which are often treated with surgery or drugs – and the root of it all, the thyroid, is ignored.
Sub-optimal thyroid hormone slows everything down. One of the first signs is weight gain, usually followed with higher cholesterol levels. Menstrual irregularities pile on, with painful periods, clotting bleeds, and more serious genealogical issues building off that. Blood pressure can become a problem, and brain fog is a symptom that we are just expected to put up with!
But it does NOT have to be this way. There is a much more sophisticated choice available to gain optimal health.
It starts with a call with a Lucy Rose thyroid expert …