Research shows that an estimated 20 million Americans suffer from thyroid imbalances –– right now.
And yet, due to the nature of “standard” thyroid tests, most of these people have no idea that their thyroid is the source of their problems.
In this post, I’ll share 4 signs of an underactive thyroid and how to get the full-picture of your thyroid health, including:
- The relationship between your thyroid and weight loss.
- How your thyroid health can affect your overall happiness.
- Why a thyroid problem is actually a whole-body problem.
- And what tests you can take to confirm a thyroid issue.
Sign #1: Unexplained weight gain.
When your thyroid isn't functioning properly, you can gain weight for no reason.
Meaning you could be restricting your calories and working out twice as hard while still struggling to get those numbers on the scale to budge.
This happens because exercise itself doesn’t lead to weight loss. Instead, exercise triggers hormones to boost your metabolism and help you lose fat –– rather than store it.
And one of those hormones is the thyroid hormone thyroxine.
So if you’re having trouble losing weight despite putting in more and more work in the gym, that could be a sign of an underactive thyroid you should get checked.
Sign #2: Being tired all the time.
If you find yourself feeling fatigued for days –– or weeks on end –– that’s a huge red flag that your thyroid may be out of balance.
And I don’t mean the type of fatigue that you’ve earned by staying up all night and not getting enough quality sleep!
Most people with thyroid dysfunction can get a full night’s sleep and they still wake up feeling tired and groggy.
It’s a key indicator for undiagnosed or insufficiently treated thyroid condition.
Sign #3: An unbalanced mood.
The link between depression and thyroid dysfunction has long been known.
People with thyroid issues generally report feelings of anxiety, low-grade sadness and “weepyness.”
When you don’t have adequate levels of thyroid hormones, it’s common to see people gain weight, feel sad, struggle to think clearly and lack motivation to start or complete tasks.
Sign #4: Your body is out of whack!
Poor digestion, constipation, sinus or allergy problems, heavy menstrual periods, headaches/migraines, low body temperature, decreased libido, heart palpitations, blood sugar spikes, aches/pains, and even thinning hair, dry skin and brittle nails.
It’s a long list of symptoms, I know! But a thyroid problem never stops at your thyroid.
Because it impacts your hormones, it’s a whole body problem.
So if you’re feeling as if every aspect of your health is out of whack, your thyroid could be the source.
How to confirm a thyroid issue
One of the most common things I’ve heard from people with thyroid issues is that even after getting tests and treatment from their doctor, they still suffer from thyroid issue symptoms.
This is mostly because they didn’t get a proper thyroid evaluation.
See, the most common thyroid tests only look at TSH and T4 levels, which help us diagnose a thyroid issue.
But TSH and T4 levels only tell us part of the story.
And while medication can push your T4 levels to a “normal range” –– it doesn’t always help thyroid symptoms, because T4 and TSH are inactive hormones.
T3 on the other hand is an active thyroid hormone and is very important to get tested. It’s your fat burning hormone that helps speed up your metabolism, and improves skin, hair, brain, bowel and hormone health.
So to get a full understanding of your thyroid’s health, you need to do a complete test which includes:
- TSH — inactive
- T3 (total and free)
- T4 (total and free) — inactive
- Reserve T3
- T3 uptake
- And antithyroglobulin
It’s a long list, but if you want to put an end to the frustration and finally take your health into your own hands, this test could give you the answers you’ve been looking for.
My recommendation? Take a Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis.
It tests all the things I mentioned above and gives you a full-picture of your thyroid health — often where traditional tests fail.
And as I alway say, try to take a more holistic, natural approach to balancing your hormones and seek help from a board certified functional medicine practitioner (C.F.M.P.) who is trained to look at all aspects of your health.
Because remember, a thyroid problem isn’t just a thyroid problem – it’s an entire body problem!