Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Check your neck

Did you know that January is national Thyroid Disease Awareness month? I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, an autoimmune thyroid disease, at the same time as my Celiac Disease. In fact, my thyroid disorder is what prompted my physician to check for Celiac Disease in the first place! Many people might not know the close connection between your gut and your thyroid but the gut plays an important role in throughout your body. All the nutrients that your body needs are absorbed in the your small intestines (gut). If they are not functioning properly, say because you are allergic to what you are eating and they are inflamed, then you will not be able to get the nutrients that you need to function. Your muscles won't get the nutrients they need to be strong or even to work properly, your brain won't have energy, and your skin and other organs cannot function at their best. The inflammatory markers can carry over to all your organs as well, like your thyroid. Your thyroid is responsible for regulating your metabolism which plays a vital role in how your body absorbs your food as well. It creates a vicious cycle.
Different thyroid disorders have different symptoms. Many women experience issues during or after pregnancy. Here are the two most common issues with the thyroid:
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone. Symptoms may include any of the following: feeling run down, slow, depressed, sluggish, cold, tired, having dry skin and hair, constipation, muscle cramps, or weight gain. Women may have a heavier menstrual flow. Some patients have a swelling in the front of the neck due to thyroid enlargement (a goiter).
Hyperthyroidism refers to any condition in which the body has too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms may include weight loss, nervousness, irritability, increased perspiration, a racing heart, hand tremors, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, increased bowel movements, fine brittle hair, and muscular weakness—especially in the upper arms and thighs. In Graves' disease, a bulging of one or both eyes may occur.
Know your body. It could save your life. For more in-depth information visit American Thyroid Association

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