The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck, produces hormones that influence almost every organ, tissue, and cell in your body.1 It controls your metabolism – the rate at which you produce energy from nutrients and oxygen – and affects your body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and more.
According to the American Thyroid Association, more than 20 million Americans have a thyroid condition and almost 60 percent of them are unaware of it.2 The most common form is hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid.
Women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems.2 Hypothyroid symptoms in women are varied and can include unexplained weight gain, feeling tired, irregular periods, infertility, feeling cold, brain fog, and muscle cramps.
10 Signs of an Underactive Thyroid:
1. Feeling tired after 8 to 9 hours of sleep or needing to take daily naps.
2. Cold hands and feet, feeling cold when others are not or having a body temperature consistently below 98.5.
3. Weight gain or the inability to lose weight.
4. Poor memory, brain fog or difficulty concentrating.
6. Irregular periods, infertility, and low sex drive.
7. Mood swings, depression or anxiety.
8. Elevated levels of LDL and total cholesterol.
9. Dry, cracking skin and excessive hair loss.
10. Muscle pain or cramps.
How to Restore Thyroid Function
Conventional treatment for hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone replacement in the form of a prescription medication such as Synthroid® or Levoxyl®. Some doctors may also prescribe Nature-Throid or Armour thyroid, which are natural dessicated thyroid extracts.
Other ways to support healthy thyroid function include nutrients such as iodine and selenium. Your body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones and selenium for the activation of thyroid hormones. Natural herbs such as ashwagandha, Korean ginseng, and guggul can also be used to restore thyroid function.3-8
- Available at: http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/thyroid/how-your-thyroid-works. Accessed January 26, 2017.
- Available at http://www.thyroid.org/media-main/about-hypothyroidism. Accessed January 19, 2017.
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- Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 1999 Apr;19(4):209-11.