How to know if you have a thyroid condition

How to know if you have a thyroid condition

When it’s working like it should, you probably don’t even notice. When it’s off, you’ll likely know it. Your thyroid regulates many of your body’s internal functions. When you have a thyroid condition, there are several signs that can occur. But with healthy food choices, you can ensure proper thyroid health.

According to Dr. Stephanie Thurman, a family medicine physician with Aurora Health Care, thyroid function can sometimes vary between hypoactive, lower than normal function, or hyperactive, higher than normal function.

“Your thyroid is kind of like an internal metronome, it helps your body stay in sync,’’ says Dr. Thurman. “It regulates everything from your heart rate, your internal temperature and overall metabolism.”

She explains that some signs to look for if your thyroid is hypoactive:

  • Severe fatigue
  • Very dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Cold intolerance

Signs your thyroid is hyperactive:

  • High heart rate or heart racing
  • Diarrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Heat intolerance

“The good news is that you can do some things to help promote thyroid health,’’ says Dr. Thurman. “A lot of that is tied to what you eat. You want to reduce inflammation in your diet and include more vegetables and fruit.”

She suggests a Mediterranean-type diet to help reduce inflammation in your body and including four to five servings of vegetables per day, three to four servings of fruit, and plenty of lean protein such as chicken and fish. Healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados are also healthy options.

“You also want to avoid processed foods,’’ says Dr. Thurman. “They are often high in refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and trans fats and can increase inflammation which can increase the risk of autoimmune flare ups including thyroid disease.”

Are you trying to watch your weight? Take a free online quiz to learn more about your healthy weight range. 

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  1. What about routine thyroid level testing????

  2. Once it was established that my thyroid was under active, I have blood work done every 6 months to make sure I’m taking correct level of Synthroid. (Levothroxine)

  3. If you have a solid mass on your left side and 4 nodules on the right side of your thyroid and had a biopsy done but it came back inconclusive years ago and now you’re losing your hair and it’s hard to swallow. Could you have thyroid Cancer?

  4. I now have hypoactive thyroid post surgery. I have no thyroid I find it is extremely hard to lose weight, I have done a lot of different diets and eating habits with no luck, but to gain weight. it’s very frustrating.
    Any suggestions

  5. Many thyroid issues can be attributed to insufficient iodine intake. Iodine is crucial for thyroid health. Taking medications does not usually fix this problem. Eating lots of sea vegetables like seaweed and seafood and taking supplements should be considered. These are easy ways to maintain thyroid health.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.