Your thyroid gland plays a vital role in controlling your weight, maintaining your energy levels, keeping your immune system strong and boosting your mood. It struggles to cope with the overload of toxins and pollution which have become a constant in our environment these days.

No one organ in your body functions independently of the others, and this is very much the case with the thyroid gland. The health of your liver, adrenal glands, immune system and reproductive system all affect the function of your thyroid gland. Your thyroid gland should be treated holistically, whereby your diet, lifestyle and other health conditions are addressed – otherwise your thyroid hormone levels may be normal, but you will still feel far from well.

Conventional medicine treats thyroid conditions by either supplementing with thyroid hormone if the gland is underactive, or destroying or removing the thyroid if it is overactive. Did you know that changing your diet and using nutritional and herbal medicine can help you greatly if your thyroid is problematic? It is important to remember that correcting your thyroid hormone levels is just one part of your health solution – it does nothing to address why the thyroid condition developed in the first place.

If you’re always feel a bit off or unwell, you may have a thyroid problem. It is estimated that one in 20 people will experience a thyroid disorder in their lifetime; this figure is one in 14 for women. Thyroid disorders are very common in the third and fourth decades of life, and after the age of sixty.

Is your thyroid gland working as it should?

Check out our thyroid health checklists – are you suffering any of these symptoms?

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)

These are all the possible symptoms; you will not necessarily experience every one of them.

  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Weight gain for no apparent reason
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Slow, weak pulse
  • Goitre (enlarged thyroid)
  • Depression
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor memory
  • Mental confusion
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Ageing skin
  • Scalp hair loss and loss of hair from eyebrows
  • Constipation
  • Deeper, hoarse voice
  • Muscle weakness, especially of the arms and legs
  • Slow reflexes
  • Carpel tunnel syndrome
  • Aches and pains in muscles and bones
  • Infertility
  • Fluid retention
  • Puffiness around the eyes

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)

The following symptoms may develop:

  • Rapid pulse and heart palpitations
  • Fast heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Feeling overly sensitive to heat
  • Increased sweating
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Inability to sleep
  • Irritability, anxiety, nervousness and even panic attacks
  • Diarrhoea or frequent bowel movements
  • Hand tremors
  • Mood swings
  • Goitre
  • Raised, thickend skin over the tops of the feel or shins
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Thin, moist skin
  • Menstrual periods become very light or stop altogether
  • Joint pains
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Brittle nails
  • Eye complaints, especially bulging or gritty eyes
  • Muscle weakness, particularly in the shoulders and thighs
  • Angina worsens in people with heart disease

If you are experiencing the kind of symptoms which could indicate your thyroid is in trouble, please talk to your healthcare professional and ask to have your thyroid levels tested. You can also call our friendly naturopaths on 02 4655 8855 to find out more or visit our Camden Clinic.

Dr Cabot and Margaret Jasinska’s book, “Your Thyroid Problems Solved” is a great read and offers advice, eating plans and much more for those suffering from thyroid disorders.