Symptoms involving the thyroid, whether they stem from hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, or Hashimoto’s disease, reflect the damage to the various systems and organs of the body.
Damage to the thyroid gland affects the body’s basal metabolic rate. As a result, weight can be gained easily as in hypothyroidism or lost easily as in hyperthyroidism. Hashimoto’s disease can cause both weight loss and weight gain depending on the phase of autoimmune destruction of the thyroid.
Cold hands and feet are related to a low metabolism as in hypothyroidism while feeling hot can be linked to hyperthyroidism. Dry skin is another related symptom to thyroid disorders.
Cardiovascular System (Circulatory system)
The cardiovascular system responds to minimal changes in the amount of circulating thyroid hormones in the blood.
Hyperthyroidism induces a hyper-dynamic cardiovascular state which manifests by a faster heart rate, higher systolic and diastolic function (higher blood pressure), atrial fibrillation, and reduced exercise performance.
Hypothyroidism is characterized by the reverse – a slowed heart rate and lower blood pressure. With lowered thyroid hormones in circulation there is an increased risk of atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction (heart attack).
Insomnia is often associated with hyperthyroidism. Some of the symptoms and signs of hyperthyroidism can make sleep difficult. The stress of having a “racing heart” or palpitations, rapid pulse, and higher blood pressure can cause insomnia. Insomnia can also be related to a decreased amount of serotonin production that is linked to issues in the gut.
The central nervous system can be greatly affected by a thyroid disorder. The central nervous system reacts to both too little and too much thyroid hormones. Too little thyroid hormone causes mental sluggishness or “brain fog” while too much induces anxiety and nervousness. Depression is another symptom that is commonly associated with a thyroid disorder. Hypothyroidism can interrupt normal glucose metabolism which also can cause fatigue, irritability, and light-headedness. To evaluate and treat neurological components of thyroid disorders, we recommend neurofeedback therapy when indicated. To learn more visit www.clearmindtampabay.com
Hypothyroidism can be related to heavy menstrual flow, miscarriage, and infertility in women. Hypothyroidism can decrease the absorption of progesterone by the body’s cells which can upset the menstrual cycle.
Chronic constipation is a common symptom of hypothyroidism and diarrhea is common in cases of hyperthyroidism. These symptoms are partly due to altered metabolism but also are created by faulty digestion beginning in the stomach. Hypothyroidism can reduce the amount of stomach acid by its effect on the hormone gastrin. When too little gastrin is produced this reduces the amount of hyrdrochloric acid (HC1) or stomach acid. Bloating can result from not enough HC1.
Leaky gut syndrome and gluten sensitivity are often associated with thyroid disorders. In our office almost 100% of thyroid patients test positive for gluten and other food allergies.
Fatigue can result from hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease for several reasons. Anemia is commonly associated with these two conditions and can result in fatigue but there also impaired glucose metabolism and neurological affects that can decrease the body’s energy.