Thyroid disease affects every single cell in your body. This is because there are thyroid receptors in every cell of your body. It is estimated that more than half of people affected by thyroid disease, don't know it yet. Women are 10 times more likely to experience thyroid problems, probably due to the interaction of female hormones.
Broadly speaking, thyroid disease can be divided into hypoactivity or hyperactivity of the thyroid. However, many times, these two actions of the thyroid can be the result of both of the main two thyroid diseases - Hashimoto Thyroiditis and Graves' disease.
Hashimoto Thyroiditis was named after the Japanese physician Hakaru Hashimoto who first described the disease in 1912. Grave's Disease was named after the Irish doctor Robert James Graves in 1835. Both diseases are autoimmune and attack the thyroid, though with differing effects. Sometimes, people can have both diseases which are diagnosed by assessing thyroid hormone levels and antibody tests.
Symptoms of these disease can therefore also overlap, depending at what stage each disease is. For example, weight gain is a common symptom of Hashimoto and weight loss for Graves' disease though often these are reversed depending on each body's response to the autoimmune attack.
An overview of thyroid dysfunction is illustrated here:
As you can see, symptoms vary greatly and it takes a bit of detective work to tie these together and investigate for thyroid disease. Sometimes, blood testing does not give an immediate black and white result. This is especially common in the early stages of thyroid disease and sadly, patients are often told, they are 'fine', when they don't feel 'fine' and are often told they just have anxiety/depression. As you can see, depression is a common symptom of thyroid disease - however, anxiety is even more common and frequently dismissed as a symptom of physical disease.
As the thyroid is so widely involved in body mechanics - it is not surprising that ignoring thyroid health can have devastating long term effects. Undiagnosed and further, untreated thyroid disease can be linked with many illnesses and symptoms. Just some of these can include:
Depression, anxiety, miscarriage, infertility, vertigo, eye disease, insulin resistance, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, stroke, heart attack and congestive heart failure.
Take thyroid health seriously - your body and mind will thank you for it.
If you would like further help with your thyroid health, please contact me.
I have also started a Thyroid Health group on Facebook, linked under the Tolle Totum Health Facebook page. You can access this group here.
In the meantime, eat well. 🥬🍎🥑🍓🐟🥦🍣🌱
Photo credit: Psychology Today
The purpose of this blog is to make people aware of the physical causes of anxiety and panic attacks and that there are solutions and options for dealing with it.
Where to start? Anxiety has been the bane of most of my life. However, for quite a large amount of time, I didn't really understand what anxiety was, what caused it and why it was happening to me. I think a lot people can identify with this. Anxiety is very common - and indeed, talking about it, has made it something we now talk about often. At what point, however, does anxiety become a real problem? Sure, we all have anxiety about public speaking, starting a new job perhaps, or going to the dentist. When does anxiety become an issue that affects your everyday life?
Anxiety symptoms can include several of the following: shortness of breath (or episodes of deep breathing), racing heartbeat, constant and repetitive thoughts, disturbed sleep pattern, exhaustion, unsettled digestion, increased sweating, easily startled, trembling, shaking and headaches. These an further culminate in an 'anxiety attack' or 'panic attack'. This is a more severe form and can include: rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, nausea, fear of dying. This can be a very scary experience and I advise that you seek medical advice to find out what could be causing these panic attacks.
So what is anxiety? Anxiety is a complex set of biochemistry events that are orchestrated within your body. It can involve neurotransmitters such as serotonin, GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid), adrenalin & noradrenalin (or epinephrine & norepinephrine), dopamine and thyroid hormones. All of these are involved in a beautiful dance of harmony within the human body. However, sometimes, these neurotransmitters can behave in an erratic and unusual way that can result in anxiety that is beyond 'normal' levels of anxiety. I have purposefully quoted 'normal' as everyone is different and we fit on a scale of normality that may be normal for some people and not for others. The key is finding out what is 'normal' for you. In fact, many people are suffering from anxiety and may not even know that they have anxiety - and the key here is - why they have anxiety.
So anxiety can occur from factors within the body and of course, from factors from outside the body. This can be an outside event, such as trauma from a car accident, earthquakes, etc. but, importantly, anxiety can also come from internal events. These can be from self-induced factors such as drugs like caffeine, nicotine, cannabis and alcohol. Yes, usually cannabis has a calming effect on the body and brain - but often, cannabis (in particularly high THC cannabis, not medical cannabis) can cause the opposite, in particular with long-term use. This can create a vicious cycle, where individuals will feel anxious, then use nicotine, cannabis and/or alcohol to help them calm down in the short-term, but in the long-term, some individuals can be much more anxious as a result. The key here is noticing that these substances can cause this issue. Many people are unaware of this problem and it may take someone close to that person to point this out.
There are also other causes of anxiety. Nutrition plays a key role in anxiety - the body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals to support neurotransmitter production, so a deficiency in these from a poor diet or poor gut health, will often predispose the body to an imbalance of neurotransmitters which can cause havoc with your emotions and mental health. Good nutrition and gut health is vital in supporting the body and mind.
Diseases such as thyroid disease are often a hidden cause of anxiety and panic attacks. I began my journey into natural health after a 20 year struggle with anxiety and panic attacks, finally resulting in a diagnosis of thyroid disease. I now specialise in helping people discover and treat thyroid disease.
More on this in my next blog.
I am a chemical produced by the body that acts as a neurotransmitter.
I help regulate stomach acid and boost libido, support the brain and help fight off infection.
Oestrogen increases my production.
Too much of me can result in nausea, headaches, vertigo, flushing, rapid heartbeat, stomach aches, diarrhoea, nose congestion and asthma.
I am also present in food and drinks and can also cause the body to produce more of me. Some foods and drinks can cause a strong reaction in some people because of me.
The body produces me to ward off allergies but I can also cause an over-reaction. I have an important role in making you itch.
Have you guessed who I am?
I am Histamine....
Histamine is a protein produced by mast cells, a type of white blood cell. Too much histamine can be due to mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) where excess histamine is released. Excess histamine can also be caused by poor gut function.
Oestrogen can increase histamine levels in the body by stimulating mast cells and at the same time, reduce the body's ability to clear excess histamine from the body. This combination can also cause heavy periods and period pain.
If you need help assessing whether or not you have a possible issue with histamine, you can contact me here.
Photo credit: Nicole de Khors
Samira Manners - registered naturopath, medical herbalist and nutritionist.