Our thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in the front part of the neck. It produces hormones that are responsible for metabolism and regulating energy, body temperature, and the use of other hormones. It is also responsible for how the body uses vitamins and for the growth and maturation of body tissues.
In a healthy person, there is perfect balance in hormonal production, but when the the thyroid produces too little or too much hormones, things go awry fast. Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid produces too little hormones and hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid produces too much hormones. Both can have all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms. Here are some signs:
Your sleep patterns are off
Changes in your sleep pattern such as sudden trouble falling asleep or staying asleep can be a sign of thyroid problems. When the thyroid is imbalanced, it can produce more hormones than usual. A hyperactive thyroid can over stimulate the central nervous system and thus, lead to insomnia. Consequently, a hypo-active thyroid won’t be producing enough hormones which can affect your energy levels and make you feel tired even after being well rested. If you suspect you may have thyroid imbalance, monitor your sleeping patterns.
So you haven’t changed your diet and exercise regimen but you still notice an increase in weight. An under active thyroid might be the culprit. Less hormones produced by the thyroid means a decrease in metabolism and calorie burning. On the flip side, if you’re always hungry but not gaining weight, or if you’re eating normally but losing weight, an overactive thyroid may be to blame. More hormones produced by the thyroid means an overactive metabolism and you burn through the calories you intake. If you’re experiencing unexplained weight gain or weight loss, you might want to get tested for thyroid imbalance.
The thyroid hormones can affect a woman’s ovulation and menstrual cycle. An overactive thyroid can cause periods that are lighter and further apart. An under active thyroid can cause periods that are heavier, longer, and closely occurring. Irregular periods can cause a whole host of problems altogether, including difficulty conceiving. Low thyroid hormone production can predispose a woman to infertility or miscarriage
Skin, Nails, and Hair
Are you suddenly turning into a lizard with dry, scaly skin, brittle nails, and dry, brittle hair? This imagery is an exaggeration but for some people, this is a reality. Hormonal fluctuation in the thyroid can cause hair loss or thinning hair. Apparently, your eyebrows are the first to go. So if you notice your eyebrows looking a little thin, a thyroid imbalance may be to blame.
You’re hot and you’re cold
Are you always cold most times or all of the time while others have no complaints about the temperature? You may have an under active thyroid. However, if you sweat profusely and feel hot most times, you might have an overactive thyroid.