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11 Signs Your Thyroid Doesn't Work Properly

 The thyroid, a small gland that sits around your windpipe under your larynx (voice box), secretes hormones to control the body's metabolism. This gland is susceptible to malfunctioning and when this happens, it acts in different ways depending on whether it's producing the hormone in excess, known as hyperthyroidism, or not producing enough of it, hypothyroidism. Take a look at this list of symptoms of both thyroid conditions so that you can become aware of a malfunctioning thyroid. If something may be wrong, be sure to visit a doctor as soon as possible.  
 
 
malfunctioning thyroid

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. A likely cause of hypothyroidism is a deficiency of iodine. Generally, hypothyroidism is more common in women than in men, with women over the age of 60 being most susceptible. 

The Symptoms:

You feel lethargic: The thyroid gland produces hormones that control the way the body uses energy. Underproduction of hormones can lead you to feel depressed and sluggish.  

A change in your voice: The thyroid gland and the larynx (the voice box) are located close to each other. It is likely that a dysfunction of the thyroid gland can affect the larynx, causing issues with your voice. 

Thickened skin and thinning eyebrows: Fluid retention is a symptom of hypothyroidism and can cause pain in the muscles and joints. It often manifests around the ankles and feet and worsens with physical activity. 

Poor hearing: While the reason may not be completely known, research has clearly identified links between thyroid malfunction and the loss of hearing. 

Loss of libido: Hypothyroidism causes the metabolism to slow down, meaning that the reproductive organs slow down as well. This can lead to less production of sex hormones thereby affecting the libido. 

malfunctioning thyroid

Hyperthyroidism

This condition is caused by excessive production of the thyroid hormone in the body. 60-80% of hyperthyroidism cases in the U.S. are caused by Graves' disease. Other causes include multinodular goiter, toxic adenoma, inflammation of the thyroid, and an excessive amount of iodine in the diet. Its occurrence is around 2 to 10 times more widespread in women. 

The Symptoms: 

An increase in appetite: This can be a sign of hyperthyroidism as the excessive release of the thyroid hormone in your body may make you feel hungry all the time. The upside to this is that the excess food intake doesn't necessarily make you gain weight since the increased metabolism of the body offsets it.

Excessive urination: A faster metabolism means an increased blood flow and this makes your kidneys filter more, so more urine is produced. 

Excessive thirst: Hyperthyroidism causes excessive urination. Your body needs to replenish its water levels and this makes you crave more water. 

Hand tremors: It's normal to experience mild tremors while keeping your hands and forearms in the same position for long. Yet, as hyperthyroidism speeds up almost all metabolic functions and puts the body in fast-forward mode, the length of time after which the hands would normally start trembling gets reduced. This causes noticeable tremors in the hands and the forearms. 

Bouts of an excessive sex drive: With an increase in metabolism, hyperthyroidism can cause bouts of an excessive sex drive. 

 
malfunctioning thyroid

Lifestyle Tips to Manage Thyroid Malfunctioning

Lifestyle Tips for Hypothyroidism: Follow a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein. To keep your energy levels stable, eat small meals throughout the day. Weight gain is a common symptom of hypothyroidism, so eating healthy can help you manage weight gain. You should also follow an active lifestyle as exercise can help you manage your weight as well as boosts up energy levels and decreases stress which is especially important if you have hypothyroidism.

You can also practice yoga and meditation. As hypothyroidism can lead to lethargy and depression, both meditation and yoga can help you in your battle against these conditions. Another factor you can incorporate is going to bed early. When you feel lethargic and low in energy, common symptoms of hypothyroidism, give your body the sleep it needs to replenish this energy. 

Lifestyle tips for hyperthyroidism: Firstly, avoid iodine. People with hyperthyroidism should not eat foods high in iodine and should also avoid milk and other dairy products. It is also suggested that fish, sushi, shellfish, and seaweed should be avoided. Practicing meditation will also help. As an overproduction of thyroid hormones results in more brain stimulation causing sufferers to feel jittery or anxious. Finally, be sure to drink water as hyperthyroidism causes you to lose a lot of water through urination. 
 

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