thyroid

The Thyroid

“An overactive thyroid turns you into the energizer bunny on steroids…but thinner….and more hysterical…with diarrhoea. An under active thyroid turns you into Eeyore’s less fun big brother…..sad and chubby…..and also constipated.”

What’s a thyroid?

You may not have heard of thyroid disease, but the key to understanding it is the concept of balance. I use the example of food (my favourite thing) to demonstrate. Food is necessary for life but if you have too much food you feel sick and hate yourself; if you don’t have enough food you are hangry and your loved ones dive for cover. In the same way, the thyroid and the hormone it produces are necessary for life, but too much or too little will throw our whole system out of whack.

The thyroid gland sits in your neck just below the Adam’s apple and produces a hormone called thyroxine which regulates your metabolism. The thyroid is like Goldilocks; its job is to produce the right amount of thyroxine to keep your metabolism balanced, not too fast and not too slow, but just right. The thyroid receives messages from the pituitary gland which sits in your brain and collects information about how your body is doing and what your body needs. Between the two of them they regulate our breathing, heart rate, digestion, fertility, menstruation, our mood, our energy levels and basically our ability to function as a normal human person in everyday life.

Thyroid disease is more common in women; because obviously we don’t have enough to deal with. Thyroid disease has many causes but the result is either an overactive thyroid or a lazy thyroid. An overactive thyroid turns you into the energizer bunny on steroids…but thinner….and more hysterical…with diarrhoea. An under active thyroid turns you into Eeyore’s less fun big brother…..sad and chubby…..and also constipated. Often the most distressing symptom of thyroid disease is the psychological effects, depression and anxiety, too much or too little energy. People often do not feel like themselves and this can have a severe impact on their relationships, career and their happiness.

Thyroid disease is very common, causes significantly distressing symptoms and is treatable. Below I have made a list of the common symptoms of an overactive or underactive thyroid. If you have any concerns it is worthwhile seeing your doctor because if it is your thyroid, treatment is available so that you can get back to being the awesome human being that you are.

I have not gone into the causes of thyroid problems, because there are so many and by now you’ve probably stopped reading. The cause is important as it will help define treatment, which may vary from medication to surgery. If you would like more information the best person to speak to is your local doctor. If you must Google (and some of us can’t help it), I have included a link below that has some useful information, Wikipedia is not bad either.

https://www.thyroidfoundation.org.au/

 

Hyperthyroidism (Over active)
Weight loss
Heavy, frequent periods and infertility
Anxiety, nervousness, fatigue
Palpitations, feeling short of breath
Excessive sweating
Tremors
Diarrhoea

 

Hypothyroidsim (Under-active)
Weight gain
Heavy periods and infertility
Random bleeding between periods
Depression and fatigue
Poor memory, slow thinking
Muscle weakness
Feeling extra cold
Dry skin and hair loss
Constipation