I recently have learned quite a bit about the thyroid and the signs of a thyroid problem in my personal struggle with hypothyroidism. Learn what your thyroid’s function is and exactly where it’s at. I explain how important it is to have a healthy thyroid and the different symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Learn about T3 and T4 and even about an anti-suicidal spray commissioned by the U.S. Army!
We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. For more information, see our disclaimer.
What Is Your Thyroid?
To understand how you can have an underactive thyroid or even thyroid problems you first need to understand what your thyroid is. The thyroid is a small, 2 inches wide, butterfly shaped gland located right below your adam’s apple. Trouble finding it?
Hold some liquid in your mouth, tip your head back, and swallow and you should be able to see your thyroid move.
I know all this! Take me to the Thyroid Treatment Kit!
What Does Your Thyroid Do?
Next you might be wondering on what the thyroid’s function is. What does your thyroid actually do? Your thyroid is part of the endocrine system and it plays a very important role in the body. The thyroid secretes thyroid hormones, T3 & T4 into your blood stream which is then distributed to almost every cell in your body.
Some of the functions in your body that your thyroid directly affects are:
- metabolic rate
- muscle strength
- body temperature
- cholesterol levels
- heart rate
- menses or menstrual function
- nervous system development
Do you know that during gestation, how your baby’s spine grows and develops is affected by your thyroid? In fact if a baby is severely lacking in TH (thyroid hormones) he may develop cretenism. This is a severe disorder that includes deafness, ataxia, and mental retardation.
Did You Know?
Your thyroid uses iodine to create its hormones. If a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding, double the normal iodine intake is recommended for normal fetal development!
Hopefully by now you realize how vital it is to ensure your thyroid is healthy and working properly!
You develop thyroid problems when your thyroid is producing either too much or too little TH.
How Does Your Thyroid Know To Produce Thyroid Hormones?
The process of producing TH is actually pretty simple. It begins in the hypothalamus which secretes Thyrotropin–releasing hormone (TRH). TRH also called thyroliberin or thyrotropin-releasing factor (TRF).
TRH travels to the pituitary gland and causes it to secrete Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH). TSH then travels to your thyroid and tells it how much thyroid hormones to release. The majority of your TH that is released by your thyroid is Thyroxine or T4. The thyroid then converts a small portion of T4 into T3 or the Triiodothyronine hormone.
Did You Know?
TRH has a calming affect and relieves depressive, suicidal, and anxious thoughts. So much so that in 2012, the U.S. Army granted $3 million dollars to the Indiana University School of Medicine. The grant was for this team to develop an anti-suicidal spray for the troops. TRH works quickly and can cross the blood brain barrier easily through the nasal cavitiy.
What causes Thyroid Disorders or Abnormal Thyroid?
Now you may be wondering how your thyroid gets out of whack! What causes thyroid disease or how do you develop an abnormal thyroid? Your thyroid levels can become out of control by the attack of disease and inflammation.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) may be caused by problems with the pituitary gland so that not enough TSH is produced. Temporary inflammation and medications may also restrict your TH and cause low thyroid levels.
In fact, if your thyroid hormones fall low enough it can lead to loss of conciousness, a drop in your body’s temperature, and can be life threatening. Hashimoto’s disease is a common autoimmune disorder that causes hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) may be caused by an autoimmune disorder called Graves disease. Some of the symptoms are protruding or puffy eyes, anxiety, and tremors. More than 3 million people in the U.S. suffer from Grave’s disease annually.
A person may also notice swelling in the neck which is usually attributed to a goiter. A goiter can be a symptom of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Future tests must be done to determine if the cause if due to an overactive or underactive thyroid.
Another sign of a thyroid problem are thyroid nodules. A person may discover a painless lump on their thyroid. Thyroid nodules may cause hyperthyrodism but normally they do not affect your thyroid hormones.
However thyroid nodules can develop into cancer and even cause hoarseness by affecting your vocal cords.
Thyroid nodules can also limit your breathing, affect your swallowing, and cause you to feel a tickle in your throat. This usually means a nodule has grown large enough and is pushing down on your esophagus or windpipe.
How Do You Check Your Thyroid Function?
Radioactive iodine uptake test
There are several tests that check your thyroid function to determine if its healthy or not. A patient may be given a radioactive uptake iodine test where she is given a radioactive iodine in pill or liquid form.
This iodine then collects in their thyroid. A thyroid scan is then performed to check how the radioactive iodine shows up in the thyroid.
The focus is on how much iodine your thyroid has absorbed and the location of it in your thyroid gland.
Besides blood tests and physical examination, a thyroid ultrasound is often used to check thyroid nodules. This ultrasound utilizes sound waves and it is very effective.
The thyroid ultrasound displays an accurate picture of nodule size and whether or not the nodule is filled with fluid or a solid.
Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy
Thyroid fine needle aspiration biopsy involves inserting a very fine needle into the thyroid and removing cells and fluid. This is used most often to see if thyroid nodules are cancerous.
It can also be utilized to treat cysts. The procedure takes about 20 minutes.
Did You Know?
A very small amount, 10%, of thyroid nodules are actually cancerous. The rest are benign and harmless and are called adenomas.
Thyroid Blood Test
There are various blood tests that are used to check your thyroid function. Most often general blood tests that check the T4 or TSH levels are administered first. It these tests show abnormal thyroid levels, then more specific tests are administered.
Did You Know?
High TSH Levels = Hypothyroidism
Low TSH Levels = Hyperthyroidism
There is controversy on the thyroid function blood tests administered as naturalists and others well versed in thyroid disorders report that in general, medical doctors rely on the broad blood tests instead of ordering specific blood tests. These include:
Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies
The opposing view is that many people suffer from thyroid dysfunction and problems, but their symptoms go undetected because general practitioners rely on blood tests that do not provide an accurate picture of the patients’ condition. You can further explore this debate here.
30 Signs of a Thyroid Problem
Hyperthyroid (Overactive Thyroid) Symptoms
- Excessive Sweating
- Weight Loss
- Fast heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Feeling Irritable
- Hair Loss
- Sensitivity to Heat
- Muscle Weakness
- Pounding Heart Sensation
- Trembling Hands
- Vision Issues
- Abnormal Menstrual Periods
- Swelling around the neck
Extreme hyperthyroidism causes brittle bones and serious heart problems.
Hypothyroid (Underactive Thyroid) Symptoms
- Dry Skin & Brittle Nails
- Weight gain
- Tiredness & Sluggishness
- Mental Fog, Unable to Focus
- Fluid Retention
- Feeling Depressed
- Hair Loss
- Unable to tolerate cold, feeling cold all the time
- Muscle and Joint Pain
- Periods are longer than normal; bleeding is excessive
- Slow heart rate
- Numbness or Tingling in Hands
Per Mayo Clinic it is more common for women older than 60 to have hypothyroidism. A person may also be susceptible to an underactive thyroid because of their genetics. Swelling around the neck may also be a sign of hypothyroidism.
Long term, a person with an underactive thyroid may also be come obese or infertile and suffer from heart disease.
My Struggle with Hypothyroidism
I am currently 34 and looking back on my life, I can say I first notice the symptoms of an underactive thyroid as a teenager. From the get go, I had terrible and painful menstrual periods that would leave me curled up on my shower floor puking.
Our family moved to the United States when I was 14 years old and I suffered greatly at school from the constant AC that the Americans seemed to so greatly love.
I remember my hands turning literally purple and my entire body appeared blotchy. I would try to dress as warm as I could while I watched my peers run around in short sleeves complaining about the heat.
I was first introduced to coffee and I often used that to try and warm up, not realizing how detrimental it was to my body.
I have struggled with chronic depression from I was a young child. In recent years as I have begun to take active steps in regaining my health I now attribute the physical component of that to being severly anemic and suffering from an underactive thyroid.
I also often felt numbness or tingling in my hands.
I would slather tons of lotion on my legs and I couldn’t figure out why my skin was always so dry. In the dead of winter it was the worse and the skin on my hands and legs would crack and bleed.
My nails were soft and bent easily and I could never grow the strong, long nails I admired on my peers’ hands.
During my college years, as my thyroid disorder grew worse so did my symptoms. My depression increased and the mental fog took over.
There were many times I would read an article and forget almost instantly what I had read. It was hard to remember my studies and although I generally made good grades, it was an uphill struggle.
Constant fatigue plagued me and constipation coupled the diuretic effects of coffee. I had terrible edema or fluid retention with my 1st pregnancy, my feet and ankles swelled up to double their size.
Throughout the years, I sought help from many doctors, describing my symptoms and not once did any practitioner mentioned a thyroid disorder.
Instead, most of my symptoms were blamed on being anemic and suffering from endometriosis. However, after my first child, my symptoms that were blamed on endometriosis had all but disappeared.
When I became pregnant with my 2nd child, three years ago, I was so badly anemic, I had to have iron infusions at the hospital.
Taking the Road Back To Health
I would say that since the birth of my daughter, I have begun to take my health back. I began taking a natural iron supplement and as my iron built up, I began to feel a little better. However, the majority of my symptoms were still present.
1 year ago is when I began to be more intentional about my health and really try and figure out what was going on.
I remember feeling so absolutely tired, depressed, and feeling as if I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. My face was pale, and it was hard to think coherently. I was freezing even in the summertime.
By this time through research and visiting a naturalist, I had learned about thyroid disorder. So I made an appointment at a local doctor.
Once there I described my symptoms to the nurse practitioner who saw me. For the first time ever, I heard the words, “that sounds exactly like you have a thryoid problem.”
I couldn’t believe it and was super excited when she ordered the blood tests. And then the results came back. Per the general thyroid function tests I was given, my thyroid was perfectly fine.
I still remember the nurse’s voice at the end of the phone as she gave me my results. She made me feel as if I was a hypochondriac and that I was making up my symptoms.
Thank God I knew better than the nurse practitioner.
I bought a book on Thyroid Disorders and began to learn all about my hypothyroidism.
I was astonished that although all my symptoms pointed to a book perfect underactive thyroid, the medical doctors refused to follow their original instinct but blindly believed a general test.
I learned that there were ways around general practitioners refusing to administer more specific thyroid function tests. I strongly encourage you to do a google search in the area where you live.
There are many walk-in labs that will perform the needed tests for you. You will also want to find a naturopathic or professional who specializes in natural thyroid treatment.
Treating my Hypothyroidism
The next step of course was actually treating my underactive thyroid. When it comes to medications, I try to stay as natural as possible and avoid prescription drugs.
Thankfully I had found a natural and organic company who products I trust and whose customers rated at a very high 4.9.
Here is part of their history directly from their site:
“Dr. Edward F. Group III founded Global Healing Center in 1998 with the goal of providing the highest quality natural health information and products. He is world-renowned for his research on the root cause of disease.
Under his leadership, Global Healing Center earned recognition as one of the largest natural and organic health resources in the world (Global Healing Center, 2018).”
In addition to his other degrees, Dr. Group has these certifications from the Natural Healing Institute of Naturopathy.
- Naturopathic Practitioner Degree (NP)
- Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN)
- Holistic Healing Practitioner (HHP)
- Certified Clinical Herbalist (CCH)
Natural Thyroid Treatment Kit
I ordered the natural thyroid treatment kit that they sold and started taking it per the instructions. By day 4, I felt like a different person!
That unhealthy feeling of tiredness and sickness began to drain away and I discovered I actually started to have energy to do things!
I am now on day 15 and I can attest that this thyroid treatment works!!! I have been walking, swimming, and finding energy to be way more active.
I can now take walks with my husband and feel good about it instead of barely making it in the door exhausted.
My thinking is more clearer than ever and as I’m studying and reading, I’m astounded at how much material I can recall. Writing is so much more easier and not a chore as it was before.
I am happier! Although my depression is not completely gone, I’m amazed at how much more resilient I am to life’s stressors.
I notice how much easier it is to brush off negative situations. I notice how much more I’m enjoying life. I know how much more I’m smiling.
My relationship has improved with my husband since taking this thyroid treatment. I feel more like the woman he fell in love with.
My temperature has regulated and I now feel like a normal person. No more bundling up. I even enjoy AC now, although in moderate amounts.
Here are the three medicines included in their thyroid treatment kit:
Nascent Iodine- Perhaps the most important part of the treatment as your thyroid must have iodine to produce hormones. Nascent iodine is more easily absorbed by the body.
The suggested use is 3 drops immediately washed down with purified water. If you have ever used iodine on cuts as a child, you will recognize the taste.
Here’s a tip from using it: Place the drops further back on your tongue so the taste is not as strong.
Take Detoxadine once daily. Most people report better results 30 minutes before you eat in the morning.
Global Healing’s Detoxadine contains glycerin instead of alcohol so its easier on your digestive system. Here is a description from their site:
The iodine is from “300 million-year-old salt deposits located more than 7,000 feet below the earth’s surface.
It is an extremely pure nascent iodine that is both concentrated and free of additives and toxins. Each drop is loaded with 650 micrograms iodine and it’s screened for radiation (Global Healing, 2018).”
Selenium- Derived from 100% organic mustard seed- This is a trace mineral with anti-oxidant properties.
It provides immune support for your body and helps produce glutathione peroxidase which protects your thyroid. Selenium is a must for thyroid health.
Suggested Use is one capsule daily with food.
Vegan Safe B-12:
Vitamin B-12 naturally suports your cardiovascular and nervous system health. It also helps to build your red blood cells and is a source of energy!
Global Healing’s Vitamin B-12 is formulated so that it does not have to be metabolized by the liver and is safer and more effective.
Suggested use is 1 ml held in your mouth for 15 seconds and then swallowed.
I usually take this the same time as the Detoxadine as most people find it more effective when taken 30 minutes before eating in the morning.
Although I have never had a bad experience, Global Healing offers a 100% No-Risk 180-Day Money Back Guarantee.
I hope this post has been useful to you and that you have much better understanding of how your thyroid works and why it is important to recognize the 30 signs of thyroid problems!
If you try this natural thyroid treatment kit, please let me know about your experience as I would love to hear feedback!
Cheers, Mrs. G