Did you know that Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder in Australia, affecting around 1 in 33 Australians?
Hypothyroidism is a condition characterised by an underactive thyroid gland, affecting hundreds of thousands of Australians and millions of individuals worldwide.
The thyroid is a butterfly shaped hormonal gland that is important for controlling the speed of every process in the body, including metabolism, heart rate, body temperature, digestion, cell maintenance, cognitive development and muscle movement.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce an adequate amount of thyroid hormones, which are crucial for regulating metabolism and overall bodily functions. While hypothyroidism is a prevalent health concern, awareness of its symptoms, diagnosis, and available solutions remains essential.
Despite the myriad symptoms of hypothyroidism, many aren’t aware of the condition and it can often be misdiagnosed as depression or menopause, or people simply put them down to the fast pace of life or getting older. So, below we shed light on the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism and explore viable solutions to mitigate its impact on individuals’ lives.Recognising the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism is key to early detection and effective management. While the manifestation and severity of symptoms may vary among individuals, some common signs include:
1. Fatigue and lethargy: Individuals with hypothyroidism often experience persistent fatigue, feeling excessively tired despite getting adequate rest.
2. Weight gain and difficulty losing weight: Sluggish metabolism can lead to unexplained weight gain and make it challenging to shed weight.
3. Cold intolerance: Hypothyroidism affects the body’s ability to regulate temperature, causing sensitivity to cold temperatures.
4. Dry skin and brittle nails: Insufficient thyroid hormones can result in dry, flaky skin and brittle nails that are prone to breakage.
5. Hair loss: Thinning hair or significant hair loss is another common symptom, affecting both men and women.
6. Depression and mood swings: Hypothyroidism can impact one’s mental health, leading to feelings of depression, irritability, mood swings and low libido.
7. Muscle aches and joint pain: Individuals may experience muscle weakness, stiffness, or generalized pain in the muscles and joints.
8. Cognitive impairment: Difficulty concentrating, memory loss and brain fog are reported by many individuals with hypothyroidism.
Lucy Herron, CEO of The Lucy Rose Clinic, a leading integrative hormonal and thyroid clinic, says it’s important for those suffering from unexplained symptoms to share how they are feeling with an expert who specialises in hormonal conditions so that they can undergo comprehensive testing.
“We’ve seen time and time again how easy it is for people who are living with a chronic illness to fly under the radar and not receive the help and support that they need. It is all too easy in this fast-paced life to put these symptoms to the side and assume there is no serious cause as it looks from the outside like there is nothing wrong,” said Lucy.
“The key to understanding the underlying cause of thyroid conditions lies in comprehensive testing across a complete spectrum of nutritional, hormonal and biochemical pathways, not just the routine thyroid test (TSH) that is usually carried out by GPs to establish thyroid dysfunction.”
“We encourage all Australians who are suffering from symptoms that could indicate a thyroid condition to reach out and speak to an expert practitioner. From there, functional testing can be undertaken, the condition identified if present and a personalised treatment plan prescribed to achieve a better quality of life.”While hypothyroidism is a chronic condition, thankfully there are several natural solutions available to manage its symptoms effectively and enhance the quality of life for affected individuals who do not necessarily want to go onto prescription medication.
Below are some potential solutions:
- Lifestyle modifications: Adopting a healthy lifestyle can greatly assist in managing hypothyroidism. Regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in nutrients and adequate sleep can help support thyroid function and overall well-being.
- Stress management: Chronic stress can worsen hypothyroidism symptoms. Employing stress reduction techniques can promote emotional well-being and support thyroid health. Ongoing stress elevates the adrenal hormone cortisol, which effects thyroid hormone production, leading to fatigue, weight gain, and brain fog. Take your pick from many wonderful stress-busting activities available, such as meditation, yoga, massage, sauna, and exercise. Stress management also helps immune system function, lower high blood pressure, anxiety, and benefits all chronic disease symptoms.
- Dietary considerations: Some studies suggest that certain dietary changes, such as incorporating iodine-rich foods (such as seafood, dairy products, and seaweed) or avoiding goitrogens (substances that can interfere with thyroid function), may be beneficial. You should also ensure that you are having ample Omega-3 fatty acid food in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA have been shown to reduce inflammation and to also prevent it from starting. Include these foods into your diet daily; oily fish, flaxseed oil, nuts and seeds. Key nutrients required for healthy thyroid hormones are; selenium, iodine, zinc, magnesium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin A, B vitamins and amino acids, particularly tyrosine.
- Supplements: Adding supplements to your diet can be beneficial, but taking the correct supplements in the dose that will benefit you should be tailored by a naturopath or nutritional medicine practitioner. Most people with hypothyroidism find benefits from the following supplements; magnesium, iodine, zinc, selenium, vitamin D, B vitamins, stress relieving herbs such as withania, anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric and high potency fish oil, and a high quality probiotic to support a healthy gut membrane and immune system.
- Regular monitoring and follow-up: Individuals diagnosed with hypothyroidism should adhere to regular check-ups and thyroid function tests to ensure treatment is working and to identify is it needs adjusting.
Hypothyroidism is a prevalentable condition that can significantly impact an individual’s well-being if left untreated or undiagnosed. Recognising the symptoms and seeking comprehensive testing and assistance are crucial steps toward effective management. Through appropriate treatments, individuals can successfully navigate the challenges posed by hypothyroidism and enjoy a happy and healthy life.
More information about thyroid conditions and treatments can be found on
The Lucy Rose Clinic website, https://thelucyroseclinic.com.au/. By Lucy Herron, CEO The Lucy Rose Clinic
Founded in 2012, The Lucy Rose Clinic is an Australia-wide naturopathic Thyroid and Hormonal Health Clinic. They use a combination of the latest scientific and natural health research combined with state-of-the-art functional testing to identify the cause of their patients’ symptoms. They then use the results of their testing to develop a personalised treatment plan to return their patients to optimal health and vitality.
Read more Wellness blogs HERE