Three Sneaky Signs of Sluggish Thyroid Function
There are many well-known symptoms of a struggling thyroid such as low energy, sluggish metabolism, cold body temperature, and thinning hair. However, here are some early signs that your thyroid is not functioning optimally, even if your thyroid lab tests are in the normal range. Pay attention to your symptoms and give your thyroid some self-care!
1. Lack of Coordination
Do you feel like you’re bumping into things more frequently? This can indicate sub-optimal thyroid function. Here’s what happens: your hypothalamus gland analyzes signals from the body and decides how much thyroid hormone to make. The hypothalamus makes TRH (thyroid-releasing hormone) which signals your pituitary gland to make TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone). TSH then signals your thyroid to make thyroid hormone T4. Researchers found that the hypothalamus also sends TRH to your cerebellum (the physical motion control center in your brain) and activates normal function. Thus, if you are low on TRH it will show up as being clumsy.
So, what do you do? Well, your brain’s decision to make TRH in the first place is controlled entirely by the hormone leptin. If you are gaining too much weight or stuck at a weight that is too high, leptin is not working properly. You can get leptin working well by being in a proper weight loss trend or by maintaining a healthy body weight, which in turn will promote normal and healthy thyroid function. Following the Five Rules of The Leptin Diet is a key approach for improving leptin function. This includes eating a high protein breakfast, eating three meals per day, and cutting out all snacking.
2. Low Iron/ Anemia
Anemia often reflects a lack of iron. Symptoms of low iron include muscle fatigue, shortness of breath, and vertical ridges in the nails. Women, vegetarians, athletes, teens, and elderly individuals generally have higher iron needs. If you don't eat much red meat and are experiencing fatigue, you might need to boost your iron.
So, why does low iron this indicate sub-optimal thyroid function? Many of the genes within cells need iron in order to follow the directions of thyroid hormone. In other words, once biologically active T3 tells the DNA in your cells how fast to go, following those management instructions requires iron. Not enough iron is like not enough workers. Managers like thyroid can scream and yell all they want, but nothing much is going to get done. Scientists now believe that anemia may be one of the first signs of hypothyroidism.
When supplementing iron, we highly recommend taking the iron bisglycinate form. It is far more absorbable than ferrous sulfate and does not cause digestive upset or constipation.
3. Trouble Sleeping
When stress is either extremely intense or has been going on too long, then the relaxed reserves in your nervous system tend to deplete. This gives your brain a wired feeling, meaning you are likely to be more anxious or irritable during the day and have poorer quality sleep at night. This has a major bearing on how your subconscious brain (hypothalamus gland) processes thyroid-related information, directly interfering with the normal production of TRH (thyroid releasing hormone), which in turn affects your overall thyroid system. This can leave you with a mixture of hyper and hypo thyroid symptoms.
You likely feel tired, irritable, and hungry during the day and you typically eat more because it brings temporary relief to these feelings. At night, your subconscious brain is set to hyper-vigilant (circuitry from evolution so that you do not miss a hunting opportunity). In this inappropriate metabolic pattern, thyroid hormone levels are set very slow by your subconscious brain (TRH-related control) so that your body can conserve energy during this misperceived famine. The only way out of this is to relax your system so that it can calm down.
Refreshing exercise and stress-relief activities are essential. Sleep support nutrients such as magnesium glycinate and l-theanine naturally promote relaxation. Basic nutrients that support healthy thyroid function include selenium, l-tyrosine, and manganese. You are not just trying to knock yourself out at bedtime. You want to get a smoother energy production during the day and replenish relaxation reserves.
Paying attention to these early signs of sub-optimal thyroid function can help you take charge of your health and turn around your health trend. Take the Thyroid Quiz to learn more about other common thyroid symtoms. Give your thyroid some love with a healthy lifestyle and the right nutrient support!
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