Underactive thyroid

Underactive thyroid occurs in approximately 7.1% of the female population and just 0.5% of men in UK. Hashimotos disease accounts for 90% of all incidences of underactive thyroid.

Symptoms of underactive thyroid

Symptoms cross over with a lot of other conditions. A comprehensive thyroid blood test is the best method of diagnosis.

Symptoms can include;

● Fatigue/ exhaustion
● Weight gain without increasing food intake
● Brain fog and memory problems
● Sensitivity to cold
● Thinning or straw-like hair
● Brittle, slow growing nails
● Dry skin
● Joint pain
● Constipation
● Irregular or heavy periods

Causes of underactive thyroid

The main causes include

● autoimmune thyroid disease – aka – Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
● stress and cortisol overproduction
● treatment for hyperthyroidism, which can cause the thyroid to swing into hypothyroidism
● radiation therapy
● thyroid surgery
● iodine deficiency
● certain environmental chemicals such as fluoride, triclosan and chlorine
● certain medications, such as lithium

Hashimotos is an auto immune condition, where the body attacks healthy tissue, in this case thyroid gland.

The causes of Hashimotos include

● stress & Hypothalmus/Pituitary/Adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction
● diet lacking in key nutrients that support the thyroid particularly
● gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease
● leaky gut or gut dysbiosis
● previous infections or current undetected infections
● toxin exposure
● electromagnetic frequency exposure
● Vitamin D deficiency
● blood sugar imbalances

 

Fertility

Thyroid hormone is crucial to fertility, as during the embryonic phase significant amount of growth occurs and this growth is driven and regulated by thyroid hormones. Low availability will limit the ability of the embryo to develop,

amh thyroid

Thyroid hormones are level 4, which means they are highly dependent on optimum functioning of  Levels 1, 2 & 3. Having an under active thyroid can cause hormone imbalances and miscarriage. Eltroxin is the standard medication used in Ireland for this condition and is often used at low dose (25mg) for those who are borderline and trying to conceive. Nutrition and lifestyle changes designed to improve fertility and hormone balance can positively influence your ability to succeed to conceive. It can take some time to get achieve this balance, so start early!

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