If you’re a woman over 35 the chances of having a thyroid disorder are high. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck and has many bodily functions.
According to The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, 30 million Americans have a thyroid disorder and half are undiagnosed. Integrative medicine specialist Robin Miller, MD says women are as much as 10 times as likely as men to have a thyroid problem.
The thyroid hormone (TH), produced by the thyroid, regulates your body’s temperature, metabolism and heartbeat. It may underwork or overwork. When it underworks it produces too little TH, when it overworks it produces too much. Genetics, an autoimmune attack, pregnancy, stress, nutritional deficiencies, or toxins in the environment may cause all of this. Thyroid hormones reach our brain and bowels so it’s difficult to diagnose it.
Hypothyroidism is the disorder that’s the result of too little thyroid hormone and it results in feeling tired and having no energy. “Fatigue is the number one symptom I see,” says Dr. Miller. “It’s the kind of fatigue where you’re still tired in the morning after a full night’s sleep—that’s a clue that you’re not simply sleep deprived; your thyroid may be underactive.”
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