Hashimoto’s/thyroid disease

Hypothyroidism vs. Hashimoto’s Disease

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ in our neck which regulates energy and metabolism. It affects almost all body functions including blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, metabolism, and growth.

Hypothyroidism is a problem with the thyroid gland; Hashimoto’s is a problem with the immune system. In Hashimoto’s (an autoimmune disease) the immune system gets confused and mistakenly attacks a part of our own body.

Thyriod Glands

Causes of Thyroid Dysfunction:

  • Genetics
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Thyroid Surgery
  • Environmental factors
  • Medications

What are the Symptoms of Thyroid Dysfunction?

Symptoms of thyroid dysfunction vary depending on an individual, and since adrenal fatigue often accompanies thyroid dysfunction, many of the symptoms of these two conditions overlap.

Below is a partial list of the most common symptoms people with imbalanced thyroid hormones experience.

Underactive Thyroid

(Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s Disease)
  • Cold intolerance—especially hands and feet
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Decreased libido
  • Dry hair and dry skin
  • Brittle nails
  • Muscle cramps
  • Depression
  • Decreased menstrual flow
  • Swelling in the front of the neck (goiter)

Overactive Thyroid

(Hyperthyroidism/Grave’s Disease)
  • Feeling hot
  • Sweating
  • Problems falling asleep
  • Racing thoughts
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Forgetfulness
  • Elevated heart rate and heart palpitations
  • Anxiety, nervousness, or irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Menstrual problems
  • Diarrhea

You don’t have to experience all of these symptoms to be diagnosed with a thyroid imbalance. Having only 3–4 symptoms might be a sufficient indication of your thyroid function. Take a Thyroid quiz to find out if you have a thyroid imbalance.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

To diagnose thyroid disease, a complete blood test is necessary that includes TSH, free T3 and T4, total and reverse T3, thyroid peroxidase antibodies, and antithyroid antibodies. A thyroid ultrasound will also be considered as part of the diagnosis workup.

Thyroid dysfunction treatment involves a multidisciplinary approach which may include medication, nutritional counseling, exercise regimen, sleep and stress management counseling, and an overall healthy lifestyle counseling.

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