The thyroid is this little butterfly shaped organ that lives in the throat and often gets overlooked by doctors. Unfortunately, if it isn’t healthy it has an incredible ability to wreak utter havoc on our health. In fact, conservative estimates say 1 in 5 women will be impacted by some form of thyroid disease in their lifetime.
Symptoms are often hard to differentiate so many people don’t even realize they’re sick, they just know they don’t feel good. Add to that, the painful problem that a lot of doctors misdiagnose this disease because of outdated reference ranges and people are left walking around sick, tired and unaware that there are actually ways to feel better.
Have you ever wondered if you or a loved one has a thyroid issue? Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of what the symptoms look like.
You might be having a thyroid problem if…
- You’re experiencing a fatigue that knocks you off your feet and no amount of caffeine seems to remedy it.
- Your hair is falling out in chunks — like it’s clogging your drains and not really growing back — or it’s super thin and getting thinner no matter what you do.
- You’re suddenly extremely anxious and overwhelmed and even struggling with mild bouts of depression (and have not had feelings like this before.)
- You’re having reactions to things you eat — upset stomach, bloating, diarrhea then alternating with constipation and just not feeling good after a meal.
- Your beautiful skin is looking dull or even gray. It’s dry, and you can’t seem to keep it moisturized no matter how much cream you apply.
- You’re breaking out with premenstrual acne.
- You’re experiencing severe PMS.
- You’re struggling with infertility or have suffered one or multiple miscarriages.
- You feel like you’re living in a constant fog — you know life is happening around you, but it feels like a haze.
- You find yourself with a short temper, getting frustrated at family and friends and not really sure why.
If any of these things resonate with you, it might be time to get your thyroid checked.
Why does this little gland cause such a variety of issues?
The thyroid gland produces a hormone that impacts every organ in the body. In a nutshell, when you’re not producing enough thyroid hormone, you go into hypothyroid mode. When you produce too much thyroid hormone, you become hyperthyroid.
People who are hypothyroid sometimes have the autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s. While people who have hyperthyroid issues often have the autoimmune condition called Graves’ disease. Once you get one autoimmune condition, your body becomes susceptible to more in the future.
Sounds like a vicious cycle, right? It can be, especially if it’s left untreated. But here’s the good news — there are ways to balance your body so you can start feeling like your fun, vibrant self again soon!
What you can do right now:
Get the right diagnosis — This probably sounds generic, but you’d be surprised how many people are told they’re fine when they are actually sick. It all dates back to the 1950s when scientists put together reference ranges for thyroid health. Instead of selecting healthy people for the study, they chose young people, older people and even folks with hypothyroidism! This skewed the results, and for decades people have been getting the wrong diagnosis. There is a new reference range available but not all doctors use it, so be sure to grab a copy of your results and make sure they are read correctly.
Get on the right medicine dosage — For a lot of people, thyroid medication is very helpful but there’s a catch: it’s a very sensitive type of drug, which means that too much is harmful to the patient and too little isn’t effective. It’s important to work with your doctor to figure out the right amount for you.
Eat clean — You’ll find that most thyroid experts recommend eating a clean diet such as Paleo or Autoimmune Paleo. These diets not only have incredible amounts of nutrients in them, but they also help support your gut health. Depending on the severity of your condition, keeping it bland may be your best bet while you’re working to get better. But don’t worry- you’ll be able to add more foods once you know what you’re sensitive towards and which ones you can eat. Hint: gluten, soy, and dairy are not your friend. If you eliminate them today, you may see quite an improvement in your health (and skin!) within a few days.
Balance those adrenals — Our adrenals are essential to healthy living. When these tiny guys go into distress, you’ll experience debilitating fatigue and anxiety just to name a few of the lovely side effects. It’s important to limit caffeine, get a good night’s rest and discover how to manage stress. Stress can play a big role in getting better so find some pilates, a quiet corner to read, or take a nice walk to unwind and relax 🙂
Take care of your gut — This is part of the eating right section but let’s take it a step further. Not only do you want to eat well to get the essential nutrients, but you also want to make sure your gut is healthy so it can actually absorb the goods you’re giving it. Bone broth is a great option for soothing and strengthening your gut health.
Get rid of those toxic agents — Being a conscious consumer pays off big time when it comes to your health. Take a little inventory of your medicine cabinet and what do you see? Peek under your sink and see what cleaning supplies you have and then head to the shower and see what ingredients are in your shampoo and conditioner. You might be shocked by the harmful chemicals listed. Eliminating the toxic exposure in your life will help you get your groove back.
The Skin and Thyroid Connection
Choosing what cleaning and personal care products we introduce to our family is important because of the way our body absorbs what we put on it. Our skin is our largest organ so when we rub on lotion or rinse with a hand wash, the ingredients in those products can be directly absorbed into our bloodstream.
The thyroid tends to catch and not release what passes by, which can lead to a toxic build up over time. When there is a toxicity build up, nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities, and hormonal imbalances, the skin is greatly impacted. This is why you’ll see manifestations of dull, dry skin, premenstrual acne, hives, rashes and even facial swelling with people who are suffering from various types of thyroid disease. Their body isn’t processing vitamins and nutrients correctly, and their thyroid hormone is off kilter.
Is there a solution?
Many people experience a lot of these symptoms and aren’t sure what to do next. We know it can feel daunting but we have some exciting news to share! Our good friend and colleague, Dr. Izabella Wentz is a pharmacist and thyroid disease overcomer who decided that living with all of these symptoms just wasn’t for her. Izabella spent years researching and testing different lifestyle modifications she could do to help herself get better.
She successfully reversed her symptoms and is now living her life to the fullest and is sharing her research with the world!
Dr. Izabella has helped thousands of people recover their health, and she is inviting our community to join her for an exclusive viewing of her new documentary series called The Thyroid Secret. She lifts the veil on thyroid disease, exposes the myths, and shines light on the truth: that you can get your health back.
Dr. Izabella interviews over 100 experts who share their knowledge about how they help their patients prevent and treat the symptoms of thyroid disease. You’ll also hear from over 50 former thyroid patients who are living healthy, symptom-free lives!
Join us March 1st starting at 6pm ET to watch the world premiere of this new series. You can reserve your spot for free right here. We hope you’ll join us!
This post was written in collaboration with Annmarie Skin Care and Dr. Izabella Wentz.
“General Information/Press Room.” American Thyroid Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.
Mayo Clinic Staff Print. “Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).” Symptoms and causes — Hypothyroidism — Mayo Clinic. N.p., 10 Nov. 2015. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.
Wentz, Dr. Izabella. “Thyroid, Hashimoto’s And Your Skin — Dr. Izabella Wentz.” DR. IZABELLA WENTZ, PHARM D. N.p., 10 Jan. 2017. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.
Wentz, Dr. Izabella. “Are Your Adrenals Sabotaging Your Health? — Dr. Izabella Wentz.” DR. IZABELLA WENTZ, PHARM D. N.p., 01 Feb. 2017. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.