If your thyroid is out of balance, it can have major effects on your entire health. Women are 5-8 times more likely than men to have thyroid problems. And as you get older, you’re more likely to have hormone problems.
Several things can cause your thyroid to become imbalanced. But with the right treatment, your hormones can get back on track, making you feel healthy again. Our team of providers at Nutura Clinic in Portland, Oregon, are here to help.
In this blog, we explain more about thyroid hormone imbalances.
Where is your thyroid gland?
Your thyroid gland is a small gland, about two inches in diameter. It’s located across your windpipe, just below your voice box. Even though it’s small, it controls many functions in your body.
Your thyroid gland controls all your body’s systems, from your metabolism to your breathing. Your thyroid produces hormones, but when your hormone levels are off, it can affect your health in a lot of different ways.
Causes of thyroid imbalances
An estimated 20 million Americans have thyroid problems. Many things can cause thyroid imbalances. Some of the most common causes include:
- A family history of thyroid disorders
- Autoimmune disorders (e.g. lupus, pernicious anemia, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Taking medication that’s high in iodine
- Age over 60, especially if you’re a woman
- A previous history of radiation treatment on your thyroid
The two types of thyroid disorders
If you have a thyroid disorder, it may be one of two types: hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is when your body produces too little of the thyroid hormones TSH, T3, or T4. Many people who have hypothyroidism are unaware of their condition. Some of the times when your body produces too little thyroid hormone may be if you have a condition called thyroiditis, if you’re immediately postpartum, or if you’ve gone through menopause.
Some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Unintended weight gain
- Chronic tiredness
- Inability to tolerate cold temperatures
- Slow recovery after exercise
If you suspect that you may have hypothyroidism, you should make an appointment with the providers at Nutura Clinic. We can test your thyroid hormones to confirm a diagnosis.
If you produce too much of the thyroid hormones, you may have a condition called hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can be caused by thyroiditis, a condition called Graves’ disease, nodules on your thyroid gland, or excessive iodine.
Hyperthyroidism can cause several symptoms, including:
- Unintended weight loss
- Excessive sweating
- Trouble sleeping
- Vision problems
If you suspect that you have hyperthyroidism, it’s best to get tested sooner rather than later.
As you get older, you’ll likely notice that your body’s hormone production has declined. It’s a normal part of the aging process, but it’s not one that you have to accept. You may notice that you have some of the following symptoms:
- Lower sex drive
- Lack of energy
- Sleep problems
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Loss of muscle mass
- Vaginal dryness in women
Many people discover that supplementing their hormones with bioidentical hormone therapy relieves many of these symptoms.
If you’re interested in what hormone replacement therapy can do for you, contact the providers at Nutura Clinic today to schedule a consultation by calling our office or requesting an appointment online.