Your thyroid gland produces hormones that aid in cellular and tissue functions throughout your body. When the thyroid gland is not functioning correctly, a number of signs and symptoms can occur. Furthermore, a malfunctioning thyroid can cause a host of health conditions. For example, if your thyroid does not produce an adequate amount of thyroid hormones, you will be diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Conversely, if too much thyroid hormones are created, you will be diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Let’s take a look at the top seven signs your thyroid may not be working properly.

The American Thyroid Association reports that up to 20 million Americans have a thyroid condition. Unfortunately, an estimated 60 percent of those who have thyroid disease are unaware of their condition. Women are over eight times more likely to have thyroid problems than men. Below are some signs your thyroid may not be functioning properly.

Bowel Changes

The thyroid gland produces hormones that help regulate your digestion. When the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormones, your digestive system can become sluggish, leading to abdominal cramping, gas, nausea, and constipation. If the thyroid gland is producing too much thyroid hormone, gut motility can increase, resulting in gas, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping.

Brain FogHypothyroidism Condition

Are there days when confusion seems to reign supreme? Does it feel like you are walking around in a fog? If so, your thyroid may not be functioning properly. Hyperthyroidism can interfere with your ability to focus. Hypothyroidism, on the other hand, can cause forgetfulness and brain fog.

Goiter

A goiter is a painless, abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland or the surrounding tissues. This swelling can be caused by hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, cancer, or a cause that is unrelated to the thyroid. Typically, a goiter causes no problems; however, if the goiter becomes large, you may experience a dry cough, experience breathing difficulties, or it can become difficult for you to swallow.

Infertility

Hypothyroidism can affect your ovulation cycle, resulting in infertility. When you have low thyroid hormones, your body may not release an egg. Those with hyperthyroidism can have an irregular period, which is lighter than normal. Hyperthyroid women may have trouble conceiving, experience miscarriages, or their baby can experience health issues while in the womb.

Sleep ProblemsAdrenal Fatigue

Thyroid conditions can interfere with your sleep. When you suffer from hyperthyroidism, different body functions increase, which can cause you to feel jittery or wired. You may experience a racing pulse and anxious thoughts which can prevent you from getting to sleep. With hypothyroidism, your thyroid gland does not make an ample amount of thyroid hormone, which can cause you to feel exhausted or fatigued, even after getting a full night’s sleep.

Temperature Issues

If you have a thyroid issue, your body may have difficulty regulating your core temperature. When your thyroid overproduces thyroid hormones, your core temperature can rise, which can cause you to feel hot all of the time. Conversely, when the thyroid gland underproduces thyroid hormones, your core body temperature decreases, which can make you feel cold most of the time.

Unexplained Weight Gain or Weight Loss

If you experience an unexpected change in your weight, it can be a sign of a problem with your thyroid gland. When your thyroid is not functioning properly and is producing too much thyroid hormone, your metabolism will be ramped up so high that it will be impossible to maintain your body weight. Instead, you will lose weight unexpectedly.  If your thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormone, your metabolism will decrease, your body will begin storing fat, and you will begin gaining weight. Hypothyroidism can make it extremely difficult to lose weight, even with diet and exercise.

 

Thyroid specialist doctorThyroid issues can be treated once a proper diagnosis has been made. This small gland creates hormones that influence every organ and system within the body. There are two thyroid hormones – T3 and T4. Both of these thyroid hormones travel from the thyroid gland to various parts of the body (the heart, brain, liver, skin, bones, etc.) via the bloodstream. When the thyroid hormones get to the various parts of the body, your genes that regulate specific bodily functions are activated. A malfunctioning thyroid gland can affect numerous systems throughout the body, causing a plethora of symptoms. In the beginning, the symptoms can be so mild that you do not even realize that you have a thyroid problem. Over time, these symptoms can worsen. Unfortunately, the symptoms of a malfunctioning thyroid gland can mimic a number of other health issues.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it may be time to have your thyroid checked by an integrative thyroid specialist. In order to diagnose your thyroid condition, a variety of blood tests, along with a physical exam and imaging tests may be required. Thyroid blood tests measure the amount of thyroid hormone in your bloodstream.