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. 🥬🍎🥑🍓🐟🥦🍣🌱
Samira Manners - registered naturopath, medical herbalist and nutritionist.