We have so many women come to us feeling tired and sluggish, experiencing weight and fertility issues, and overall, just feeling a little off. When we ask if they have had their thyroid tested, they often have been told their thyroid is “fine”. Unfortunately, once we do some digging, we see that only the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) has been tested.
Although the TSH is useful, it only provides us with one piece of the puzzle, and it does not accurately tell us how the thyroid is functioning. To truly understand thyroid function, we need to test a full thyroid panel that includes your TSH, T4, T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies. We also will look at certain nutrients that play a role in thyroid function including Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, and urinary iodine.
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a small butterfly gland that sits in the front of your neck below the voice box. The thyroid gland, when functioning properly is responsible for producing thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones are vital as they are responsible for regulating the bodies metabolic rate, energy production, body temperature, growth, and reproductive function.
How the thyroid impacts our hormones and fertility
Our thyroid health has a huge impact on menstruation, ovulation, and fertility. Thyroid problems can lead to irregular menstrual cycles or the absence of menstruation altogether. This in turn can reduce the chances of conceiving. Thyroid dysfunction can also increase the risk of miscarriages and premature births. For this reason, we encourage every client to get their thyroid levels checked who are wanting to conceive.
Thyroid issues can also often arise in the postpartum phase too. It is estimated that 7-10% of new mothers will experience postpartum thyroiditis. This is because during pregnancy and early motherhood your thyroid glands are sensitive to changes in your immune system and nutritional status, and so this is a time where your thyroid is susceptible to having issues.
Signs and symptoms you may have a thyroid problem
Like many of the delicate elements of the human body, there are a number of issues that can arise with the thyroid gland.
When your thyroid gland is underactive, its known as hypothyroidism. This slow and sluggish function is caused when your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of T4 and T3 hormones needed to carry out their many functions.
Typical hypothyroidism symptoms include:
- Weight gain
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Impaired memory
- Thinning hair
- Menstrual cycle irregularities/ infertility
When the thyroid becomes overactive, it produces too much thyroid hormone. With too much T3 and T4 in the body, metabolism in the body is accelerated and brings an array of harmful signs and symptoms, these include:
- Increased appetite
- Increased sensitivity to heat
- Unexplained weight loss
- Sleeping difficulties
- Increase in bowel motions
How can Mungbean Health help you?
Once we have interpreted your results, we can create a tailored treatment plan to help manage your symptoms and get your health back on track. So, if you are experiencing exhaustion, low moods, infertility, and weight gain, it could be your thyroid! Book in an appointment with one of our experienced Naturopaths to help you optimise your thyroid function.