Thyroid disease is a common problem that can cause symptoms because of over- or under-function of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is an essential organ for producing thyroid hormones, which maintain our body's metabolism. The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck below the Adam's apple.
The pituitary in the brain signals the thyroid to produce it's hormone through the release of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). The TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to produce two different hormones; T3 (7%) and T4 (93%). T4, which contains 4 molecules of iodine, even though produced in abundance is the inactive form and has to be activated in the body into T3, the active form.
The inactive T4 is transported to different parts of the body like the liver, the kidneys and the gut by a transport protein called thyroglobulin. 60% of the conversion from T4 to T3 happens in the liver. A chemical process takes one of the iodine molecules off the T4 and activates into T3. Every cell in the human body has a receptor for T3 to stimulate it to do its function, from your eyes to your muscles even your hair. So you can see that T3 is a very important hormone for the body.
Now that we know what the thyroid produces and why it is important, let us address the factors that can make the thyroid dysfunction. See the thyroid CAN NOT primarily dysfunction, there are many other factor in the body that affect it's working. We will address each one separately in a video series that you can find on our YouTube channel or even at the bottom of this page.
10 Symptoms of thyroid problems
Just as the types of thyroid conditions can vary, so can the symptoms of thyroid problems.
- Nervousness and tremor: These symptoms, along with agitation, can signal an over function of the thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism).
- Mental fogginess and poor concentration: Mental functioning can be affected in both hyperthyroidism (elevated levels of the thyroid hormone) and hypothyroidism (too low levels of thyroid hormones). While sluggishness and depressed mood are often associated with hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism can also lead to a reduced capacity for concentration.
- Menstrual changes: Hypothyroidism is sometimes associated with excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding, while hyperthyroidism can be characterized by scanty or reduced menstrual flow.
- Feeling bloated: Fluid retention is often a sign of an under active thyroid gland.
- Racing heartbeat: An increased heart rate (tachycardia) and palpitations can be symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
- Aches and pains: Muscle aches and pain can accompany different types of thyroid problems.
- Weight gain: A modest amount of weight gain often accompanies conditions in which thyroid gland activity is lower than normal.
- High cholesterol levels: An increase in blood cholesterol levels can occur in individuals with hypothyroidism.
- Heat intolerance: People with an overactive thyroid gland often complain of intolerance to higher temperatures.
- Feeling cold: Conversely, those with an under functioning thyroid may feel constantly cold.