How To Tell If You Have an Overactive or Underactive Thyroid
Thyroid problems are not only easy to misdiagnose, but easy to miss altogether, initially anyway. This is because many of the early symptoms can also be a casualty of getting older. It takes several weeks or months for a cluster of symptoms to form that start to point to an underlying health problem.
Between Diagnosis & Treatment
Things can start off simply enough. It might be with changes to your skin and hair; maybe its joint pain, increased fatigue, weight fluctuations, and menstrual changes. For women especially, it can be easy to mistake the symptoms with the hormonal changes of menopause.
As you begin to look closer, and the symptoms worsen, thyroid problems tend to come into focus. This may not be something that you ever thought you would confront, but the sooner you deal with the underlying problem, the better you will feel.
The best way to look at thyroid problems is as two extremes on the same line. On the one hand, you have an underactive thyroid that slows everything down; it impacts weight gain, energy level, and digestive processes. On the other, an overactive thyroid speeds everything up; you might lose a noticeable amount of weight, start experiencing heart palpitations, and develop an anxiety disorder.
The longer things go untreated, the worse it will get. What’s the worst case scenario? Well, for an overactive thyroid, you might experience a thyroid storm. An underactive thyroid can bring on adrenal failure and life-threatening coma. As you may have guessed, neither outcome is acceptable.
Look at the Full Spectrum
The best way to diagnose thyroid problems at either end of the spectrum is to get a full thyroid panel. This blood test does more than just look at two misleading hormone levels; it looks at the entire metabolic process that your thyroid gland goes through to produce thyroid hormone.
The levels at each stage of the process will give your specialist an idea of whether or not your gland is overactive or underactive. Treatment for either outcome needs to be adjustable.
This applies to more than just dosage adjustments. It also encompasses your choice of medication. The best thyroid treatment specialists will make sure to put each individual patient on the right medication for them specifically. They also incorporate dietary and supplemental changes to support immune health.
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