Adam Learner, L.Ac, and the team at Family Acupuncture and Wellness have treated many patients with thyroid disorder. Their approach is highly personalized and based on your situation, symptoms, blood tests, and goals. Thyroid disorder is remarkably common, but many people don’t even realize they have a problem.
Most common thyroid disorders
There are several different conditions that affect how your thyroid works, but the most common is hypothyroidism. When you have hypothyroidism, your thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormone for your body to function well.
Other conditions include:
- Hyperthyroidism, where your thyroid makes too much hormone
- Thyroiditis, or an inflamed thyroid
- Thyroid cancer
- Thyroid nodules
Women are about eight times more likely to develop a thyroid problem than men. Hashimoto’s disease is the most frequent cause of hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s is an immune system disorder that causes your body to attack your thyroid, which causes damage, and slows the production of hormones.
Your thyroid is really important
Your pituitary gland produces a hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone, which does exactly what its name says: it signals your thyroid to produce a hormone called T3. Some of that T3 converts to T4. Between them, T3 and T4 influence a surprising number of functions in your body.
Your thyroid controls your body’s metabolism and influences how fast you burn calories, your energy levels and sleep cycles, your heartbeat, and many others. If you have hypothyroidism, your symptoms may develop very slowly, making them more difficult to recognize.
The word “fatigue” may not be strong enough to describe how tired you feel when your thyroid isn’t working properly. You may want to nap all the time, or you may be so tired it’s difficult to think clearly.
Even if you’re sleeping more than usual, you may still feel tired. Worse, you may feel that you’re unmotivated and unable to do the things you used to enjoy doing.
People with hyperthyroidism, or too much thyroid hormone, often feel the opposite. They may have trouble sleeping, feel nervous or jittery all the time.
Unexplained weight fluctuation
When your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormone, it’s effectively signaling to your body to hang on to calories. You burn fewer calories, and you may well gain weight even without changing your diet or exercise routine.
The feelings of tiredness and exhaustion may limit your activity level, compounding the problem. And, another effect of not having enough thyroid hormone may make you feel hungrier than normal, too.
Hyperthyroidism may cause unexplained weight loss, along with a decreased appetite.
Have you noticed a change in your hair loss pattern? Your hair grows in a cycle, and some of it is always falling out and some is regenerating. When you don’t have enough thyroid hormone, your follicles don’t function properly and your hair doesn’t regenerate normally.
You may notice that your hair loss pattern has changed, or that the texture of your hair has changed.
Along with losing hair, you may notice your skin is drier than usual. That’s because thyroid hormones are involved in the process of forming new skin cells. Dry skin can be a symptom of numerous conditions, but if you notice your skin worsening steadily, especially if you have other symptoms, hypothyroidism may be the cause.
Because your thyroid is involved in so many different bodily processes, there are many symptoms. However, the symptoms may form very slowly, so that you don’t notice. Or, they may seem disconnected and vague.
If you’re concerned about unexplained symptoms like exhaustion, weight gain, and the others mentioned in this post, book an appointment at Family Acupuncture and Wellness for a personalized evaluation.
New patients can schedule online, or call 603-556-8908 to book an appointment that suits your schedule.