If you’re feeling low on energy, gaining weight, having joint pain and multiple food allergies, these may be some signs your thyroid is out of whack! Insufficient levels of thyroid hormones such as T3 and T4 can wreak havoc on your skin, your weight, your energy, your mood, and how well you tolerate and digest foods. Several things can cause your thyroid to quit functioning properly, such as eating highly goitrogenic foods, eating too much sugar, eating allergenic foods, eating too many processed foods and inorganic produce and meat. Check out these symptoms to find out if your body is dishing out signs your thyroid is out of whack.
1. Unexplainable Sudden Fatigue
One of the top signs your thyroid is out of whack is debilitating fatigue. It comes on quickly, regularly and often in the earlier parts of the day, such as mid-morning or afternoon, and becomes a regular issue. The thyroid is responsible for providing you with long lasting energy to get through the day, therefore fatigue can be one of the first symptoms showing that something is wrong. If you feel tired after eating, it could be a certain food that is aggravating your thyroid. If the fatigue is constant and persistent for a period over 2 weeks, seek professional health advice, or implement thyroid-supportive foods. You can find more about a thyroid supportive diet in the sources below.
2. Poor Digestion
Diarrhea is often associated with hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, while constipation is often related more to hypothyroidism, or low thyroid. Gas, flatulence and bloating are all signs of a poorly functioning thyroid as well. The thyroid is directly associated with all functions of the body that play a role in digestion. When the thyroid suffers, so will your digestion. Restoring healthy gut bacteria by eating fermented and probiotic rich foods is a great way to restore levels of healthy bacteria in the body to help the gut function better.
3. Extreme Weight Gain or Loss
Constant weight gain that occurs when a person lives a healthy, active lifestyle may be a symptom of hypothyroid disease. On the other hand, constant weight loss may be a side of hyperthyroidism. The thyroid controls important hormones in the body and functions that lead to weight gain or loss, therefore removing foods that harm the thyroid should be a priority in helping the body reach a healthy balance.
4. Breathing Issues
If you find yourself out of breath constantly, almost as if having a panic attack, it could be your thyroid. From a firsthand experience, I would become terribly short of breath after eating goitrogenic fooods such as soy, broccoli, cabbage and peanuts. When I removed them, I never had an issue again. Goitrogenic foods slow down thyroid functioning and can harm your breathing since the thyroid is located in your throat. If you find yourself out of breath and eat problematic foods, consider removing them immediately from your diet.
Depression can be a symptom or a result of many things, which makes it an often overlooked symptom of thyroid disorders. Depression onset can occur when the thyroid isn’t functioning well due to low levels of needed hormones in the body that the thyroid is responsible for making.
6. Body Pain
Body pain often occurs with thyroid disorders due to inflammation that occurs and certain autoimmune disorders. The body believes certain foods are invaders and will try to respond by giving off a reaction, much like an allergy, that an invader has entered the blood stream. Removing problematic foods that cause joint pain issues is one of the most important things to do in order to solve this problem. It's always a good idea to remove the top allergens such as soy, dairy, peanuts, gluten and eggs. Also consider eliminating vegetables in the nightshade family that can cause the same issues, such as eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes and peppers.
7. A Visible Goiter
If you notice an unusually enlarged throat, then it could be a sign that you have a goiter, or an enlarged thyroid. This should be a major warning sign. Goiters usually occur with thyroid disorders known as Graves' Disease or Hashimoto’s Disease. Problems that may coexist because of a goiter are trouble swallowing, breathing, hoarseness, tightness in the throat, or even speaking normally.
8. Rapid Heart Beat
One symptom of a poorly functioning thyroid is when your heart feels like it is beating out of your chest. A constant rapid heartbeat is one sign that your thyroid may be having to work double time to try to keep up with your body's demands.
9. Vision Problems
Having problems with your vision is one other symptom of a poorly functioning thyroid that you need to consider. It often accompanies other symptom mentioned here, and you won't necessarily need eyeglasses or contacts to correct this if that is the case. Before considering that you have a true vision problem, consider you thyroid first. See a doctor to get your thyroid levels tested.
10. Low Tolerance for Heat
I've struggled with a low thyroid before, and I can attest that this symptom is one that is a definite sign of a thyroid imbalance. If you can't tolerate heat or get overheated quickly, it could be your thyroid. Your thyroid is a gland, just like your sweat glands, and they all interact with one another to try to bring the body into balance.
11. Low Tolerance for Cold Weather
Just like you may be sensitive to hot weather, a low tolerance for cold weather is one other common sign in a poorly functioning thyroid. If you are cold all the time, especially in your hands and feet, one of the first things to consider is a thyroid disorder.
12. You're Moody-a Lot
All of us women are moody from time to time, but if your moods fluctuate more than normal and you feel like you have a constant sense of PMS, a thyroid imbalance could be to blame. Your thyroid glands are a hormonal gland in your body, and any type of hormone imbalance will affect your mood.
13. You're Just Not Hungry All of the Sudden
If you're regularly one to eat good size meals and snacks and all of the sudden food seems unappealing, consider a thyroid imbalance if you have other symptoms mentioned here. A thyroid disorder will affect your appetite, and this is often one of the first symptoms to occur. If your lack of hunger lasts for more than a week, see a doctor to get your hormones tested, and in the meantime, please do try to eat anyway!
14. You're Sleeping More and Still Tired
Fatigue is a sign of a poorly functioning thyroid as I mentioned above. Yet, fatigue isn't the only sign to consider regarding your sleep when it comes to your thyroid. If you're getting more sleep than normal, such as clocking longer hours each night or taking naps everyday and you're still tired, consider your thyroid. Waking up tired and needing a nap everyday and still being tired afterwards is a sure sign something isn't right.
15. Certain Foods Worsen Symptoms
One thing I noticed when my thyroid was out of whack was after I would eat soy, broccoli or peanuts, my symptoms such as fatigue, pain, bloating and headaches almost doubled in intensity. I read some books on hypothyroidism and found out that those specific foods were part of a group called goitrogens, which are known to lower the functioning of the thyroid in sensitive individuals. When I removed the foods, the symptoms almost disappeared.
16. Multiple Food Allergies
If you're extremely sensitive or allergic to multiple types of foods, your thyroid levels could be out of whack. When certain chemicals and compounds in various foods and food groups interact with the thyroid, it can affect some people differently than others. If your thyroid is especially sensitive, or you're already prone to a thyroid issue, certain foods may be hard for you to tolerate and may even cause an allergy. This doesn't always mean your thyroid is out of whack, but should be a symptom you pay attention to closely.
17. Facial Swelling
Many people with a thyroid disorder develop a goiter in the neck, which appears as a large lump. Even if that doesn't happen to you, one symptom you may experience is facial swelling. I noticed this during my bout of hypothyroidism, and my cheeks were extremely puffy, while the rest of me was actually losing weight. It all has to do with fluid imbalance in your body. Your thyroid is a gland that directly affects fluids in your body, which can cause the imbalance. You may also notice swelling in your hands and feet as well.
18. Extreme Bloating
Our hormones directly affect our digestive system and when your thyroid becomes off balance, it not only affects your digestion, but will also cause extreme and ongoing bloating. Whether you have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, bloating is one sign that almost all people with a poorly functioning thyroid experience. Bloating associated with a thyroid disorder isn't the same as the bloating you get after a big meal, but is instead something you suffer from all the time.
19. Ongoing Constipation
Since digestion is affected, ongoing constipation is one sure sign that your thyroid may be off balance, especially if you have other symptoms mentioned here. Even if your digestion seems to be working okay, but constipation becomes a sudden issue, please do consider your thyroid. If constipation isn't something you normally suffer from, or you're eating a clean, high fiber diet, consider your thyroid. In the meantime, try to drink more water, eat more green vegetables and eat foods high in soluble fiber like oats, pumpkin, chia seeds and sweet potatoes to help remedy the situation quickly. Don't take laxatives, which may just worsen things and aren't good for you anyway.
20. Your Period Stops
One sign that your thyroid may be off balance is that your period stops. If you have other symptoms that I've mentioned here and your menstrual cycle stops, it very well could be your thyroid. All your hormones work together and when one is out of balance, the other will be affected. If your menstrual cycle is usually normal, then see your doctor to get tested.
21. You're Just Not in the Mood
If your libido seems to be nonexistent these days, and you're constantly tired, never hungry or have any other symptom mentioned here, it is probably your thyroid. A low libido is one of the first signs of an out of whack thyroid. Since your hormones are out of balance, they will directly affect your libido, causing you to lose any interest in sex whatsoever.
If you suspect you have signs of a poorly functioning thyroid, then please see your medical doctor for help. You can also check out the resources below for more information. Have you ever had problems with your thyroid?