Millions of Americans today suffer from thyroid dysfunction, and many of them do not even know it. Startling enough, over 80% of people who suffer from poorly functioning thyroids do not show problems on standard thyroid tests. Knowing some common symptoms of thyroid problems can help you get proper treatment early.
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system that produces our body’s hormones. When the thyroid is not working properly, chances are the adrenals, the pineal gland, the hypothalamus, and all of the other glands are not working optimally either.
Neck Pain or Swelling
One common sign of thyroid problems is persistent neck pain. More specifically, a subluxation in the C3 through C7 vertebrae in your neck can be a major indication of problems with your thyroid. When your thyroid is not working optimally, it becomes inflamed and swollen. This pushes one of the nearby vertebrae out of place, causing a subluxation in the cervical spine.
Low Energy & Poor Sleep
Feeling sluggish and tired all the time is another sign of poor thyroid function. When your thyroid is not producing enough thyroxine (T4) and/or triiodothyronine (T3), it can affect your energy levels during the day as well as your sleep at night. Thyroid issues can cause insomnia or poor quality sleep in many people. If you find yourself always feeling tired during the day, despite sleeping enough hours at night, it is very likely that your thyroid is not working well.
Another common sign of thyroid problems is joint pain anywhere in the body. Achiness, swelling, or a feeling of “being out of place” in any joints is your body’s way of telling you that your thyroid is not functioning properly. Most commonly this can show up in the neck and shoulders, wrists, elbows, or hips. Bursitis and carpal tunnel syndrome are frequent joint problems as well that indicate thyroid problems.
Hair & Skin Problems
A frequent, though not well-known, sign of thyroid issues is hair and skin problems. Dry, brittle, or thinning hair is a telltale warning that your thyroid is struggling. A dry, flaky, scalp is another sign as well. Also, if you notice that your eyebrows are thinning out, especially at the outer corners, then your thyroid is likely not working optimally. Dry, rough, and itchy skin are other warning signs of hypothyroidism or related thyroid issues. Hypothyroidism can also cause your skin to develop a yellowish tinge as a result of your body’s decreased ability to convert beta-carotene to vitamin A.
Sudden Weight Changes
One last major sign of thyroid problems deals with sudden weight changes. If you have sudden weight gain or struggle to lose weight despite exercise and a healthy low-calorie diet, chances are your thyroid is not working well and you may have a case of hypothyroidism. If you find yourself losing weight rapidly, you might have hyperthyroidism, a condition where your body overproduces thyroid hormones.
If you find yourself suffering from one or more of these symptoms, there are things you can do to improve your thyroid function. Thyroid conditions can be managed and fixed naturally with proper diet and supplementation.