Our BodyOur Gyno Health

The Common and the Less Recognized Thyroid Disorder Symptoms

The thyroid gland is an integral part of our metabolism, but affects the function of every organ system. So young or old, your health is significantly affected by the slightest abnormality in the function of your thyroid.

We need proper nutrition of produce the thyroid hormone which has four molecules of iodine for every thyroid hormone molecule. The thyroid molecules circulating are T3 and T4. 80% of T3 is made in tissues by the release of an iodine molecule from T4. This tissue level production is very important, and is responsible for most of the circulating T3 we find when we draw a blood level of thyroid. But some T3 is still in the tissues themselves and cannot be accurately reflected by standard blood level testing. For the best thyroid management, often it is important to evaluate signs and symptoms in your body regardless of test numbers.

Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) is an enzyme normally found in the thyroid gland. A TPO test is what we use to detects antibodies against TPO in the blood. The presence of TPO antibodies in your blood suggests that any thyroid gland disfunction is an autoimmune disorder, such as Hashimoto’s disease or Graves’ disease. Antibodies are critically important to attack unhealthy cells or tissue in our body. In autoimmune disorders, the immune system produces antibodies that attack normal tissue. Antibodies that attack the thyroid gland can cause some of the symptoms below.

Dry Hair: Nails can be cracked and brittle. If this is just due to lack of attention to nails, simple cleansing, care of cuticles, and shaping should heal the nails. If they continue to be brittle, maybe there is a nutritional or hormonal cause that needs attention.

Constipation: In some cases the symptoms of hypo and hyperthyroidism can be similar, but typically women with hyperthyroidism have more frequent periods of constipation

Muscle Stiffness: The thyroid gland hormone calcitonin regulates the calcium levels in our body which can in tern affect how our muscles respond. Normal stiffness, a bit in the morning, a bit before your warm-up yoga, or after really pushing yourself in the gym is fine. If you get to the point that you have chronic muscle aching or joint stiffness, you may need thyroid evaluation.

On Edge: Many mood symptoms can be associated with the elevated cortisol levels triggered by an inactive form of T3 called reverseT3

Irregular Periods: This can be a sign of overactive or under-active thyroid, and can translate into lack of ovulation and infertility in some cases

Weight Gain: Normal thyroid levels mean the levels that we find 95% of the population, optimal levels, especially for weight control is a level that we see in 65% of the population

Brain Fog,Lives In Slow Motion, Depression: Most women with emotional issues and thyroid disease have other mood issues.

Skin changes: Dry Skin, Wrinkled Skin, Broken Out Skin: Thyroid disease controls cellular metabolism of the organs of the body, and this is our largest organ.

Sex Problems, Low Libido, Less Intense Orgasms

Tenderness and swelling of the thyroid gland itself.

Hoarseness: The function of the thyroid gland can affect the vocal cords as well as the soft tissues that make up our voice.

Cold : body temperature can be lower than 97.6 F

Migrating Pains: This is probably related to the metabolism and the effects on muscles.

Hair Loss: Many causes of hair loss exist, and thyroid is just one. Low B12 due to deficient stomach acid and elevated cortisol can have wide ranging effects in the woman with hypothyroidism, so sometimes it’s not just a matter of balancing thyroid but a matter of being sure both mind and body are sound!

Low Vitamin D: Even if you vitamin D consumption (or sun production) is adequate, those with thyroid problems may find themselves low in D due to digestive issues secondary to the thyroid dysfunction causing poor D absorption through the skin.

Anemia: Not specifically caused by hypothyroidism, but does make it worse

Thyroid testing is relatively simple, cost effective, and you should come in to get your thyroid tested if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. And if you suffer from one of the conditions above, there are potential cures.


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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