The Thyroid quiz looks for the the major, commonly accepted symptoms of thyroid imbalance (primarily hypothyroidism) and provides you with an idea of just how many of these symptoms you are experiencing. With this information, you are empowered to explore a possible thyroid issue further. Enter your information below to get started.
When it comes to thyroid issues, one the most important things to understand is hypothyroidism vs. hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid under-activity is known as hypothyroidism. When this happens, the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone. This can cause a person to tire easily, experience low body temperature, weight gain, cold hands and feet, dry skin, trouble focusing and potentially, depression.
When the thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroidism), it is producing too much thyroid hormone. This can cause difficulty concentrating, fatigue, nervousness, uncontrollable weight loss, sweating goiter, anxiety, shaky hands, profuse sweating, racing heart and bulging eyes.
Current estimates suggest that 27 million Americans suffer from hypo or hyperthyroidism. Many experts view this as just the tip of the iceberg because they have begun to discover that cases of subclinical hypothyroidism vastly outnumber those that have been diagnosed clinically.
Hypothyroidism: The Undiagnosed Epidemic
According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, diagnosed thyroid disorders are 40% more prevalent than diabetes, making thyroid issues the most common endocrine disorder. Consider then, the strong evidence suggesting that the majority of thyroid conditions go undiagnosed and the numbers become staggering. As a result, thyroid disease is viewed by many experts as one of the silent epidemics of our time. As with many of today’s illnesses, the increased incidence of thyroid disease may be linked to an over-burden of toxins caused by pollution through air, water and food.
When comparing hypothyroidism vs. hyperthyroidism, the differences are staggering, but the effects are equally devastating. If you have any of the symptoms listed above, we recommend exploring them further.
Thyroid stress has a wide variety of negative affects on the body.Every cell in the body relies on the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Symptoms of thyroid stress can range from hair loss to weight gain and goiter (pictured above). Thyroid stress can result in hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid), thyroid disease and thyroid cancer. Each of these can affect the body in devastating ways and start a viscous downward spiral.
Symptoms of Thyroid Stress
- weight gain
- difficulty sleeping
- energy issues
- cold hands and feet
- trouble focusing
- rapid or irregular heartbeat
- hair loss
- excessive sweating
- difficulty concentrating
- skin issues (dry or clammy)
- hair loss
- bulging eyes
- weight loss
- breast development in men
As you can see, the symptoms of thyroid stress are common in our society. This has lead experts to heavily scrutinize current thyroid testing procedures. They have found that even individuals who test negative for thyroid issues can benefit from balancing the this gland and countering causes of thyroid stress.
Image Source: http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Goiter.JPG
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), you have a 4 in 5 chance of picking a potentially dangerous sunscreen to wear. The EWG evaluated FDA pending and approved sunscreen ingredients. Many of these ingredients are nano-sized molecules that penetrate the skin barrier affecting organs and hormone receptors. These chemicals may also cause dysfunction in the reproductive, nervous, thyroid and immune systems. Allergies are also known to occur when wearing skin care products with these ingredients.
- About 30% of sunscreens contain retinyl palmitate or retinol. This chemical reacts to sunlight and may cause hyperplasia, skin tumors and create free-radicals that potentially damage DNA.
- Many of the ingredients in sunscreen may release dangerous free radicals into the skin when blocking UV rays.
- Oxybenzone (a synthetic estrogen), the most common active ingredient in sunscreen has been shown to cause allergic reactions and interrupt hormone activity.
- Another dangerous chemical found in sunscreen is Octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC). It has been shown to cause hormone disruption, immune dysfunction, and allergic reactions.
What Makes a Good Sunscreen?
Many experts teach that there is no good sunscreen. Some even go as far as to say that wearing sunscreen is dangerous because it blocks the absorption of vitamin D by the body. Many of these individuals blame vitamin D deficiency, not the sun, for most skin cancer cases.
When possible, it is a good idea to avoid wearing sun screen altogether. If you must wear it, sunscreens without dangerous ingredients are ideal. Here is a list for the EWG’s top sunscreens.
Top 10 EWG Recommended Sunscreens
- Wear a hat and long sleeve shirt (by far the best form of sunscreen available).
- Aubrey Organics: Natural Sun Sport Stick Unscented Sunscreen, SPF 30
- Badger: Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 30+
- Beyond Coastal: Natural Clear, SPF 30
- Climb On!: Mineral Sunblock, SPF 30
- Doctor T’s Supergoop!: Quickstick, SPF 30
- Elemental Herbs: Sunscreen Sport, SPF 20
- Esse: Sunscreen, SPF 25
- GLACIER CRÈME: Glacier Creme Naked Protection, SPF 30+
- Kabana Skin Care: Green Screen Organic Sunscreen Fragrance Free, SPF 20
The best practice, according to many industry experts, is to get some direct sunlight on your skin daily. Try to stay out for manageable periods of time that will not get you burned. If you will be out for a prolonged period of time, wear clothes that keep your skin covered to avoid harsh burns. Finally, if you must, choose your sunscreen carefully and check out EWG for the latest in sunscreen products, research, dangerous ingredients and healthy tips.
The thyroid gland is an endocrine organ found in the neck. It is shaped like a butterfly that wraps its wings over the trachea. Its sole purpose is to convert iodine into T3 and T4 (thyroid hormones). Every cell in the body relies on these hormones for regulation of their metabolism. When the thyroid is not working properly it can cause hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, non-cancerous thyroid disease and/or thyroid cancer.
Misdiagnosis of Thyroid Dysfunction
As we mentioned previously, experts believe that thyroid issues often go undiagnosed. The reason is that blood tests for the thyroid measure TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels in the blood. This hormone stimulates the production of thyroid hormones when needed by the body.
The problem is that TSH is produced by the pituitary gland, not the thyroid. Experts have shown that if the thyroid is not functioning properly, the TSH will not stimulate the creation of needed thyroid hormones. Therefore, a patients TSH level may be in the normal range, but still they suffer from all the symptoms for hypothyroidism or other thyroid conditions. In addition, the accuracy of TSH tests have been called into question suggesting additional room for error.
Misdiagnosis is thought to be particularly prevalent in overweight people because weight gain and retention is a common symptom of hypothyroidism.
Hazards of Thyroid Misdiagnosis
As you have seen, blood tests for thyroid function may not always be accurate, leading to negative tests for a thyroid condition. As the medical community seeks answers to the patient’s symptom, they may even misdiagnose that patient with another condition that shares similar symptoms to a thyroid problem.
Common Misdiagnoses for Thyroid Dysfunction:
- Sleep Apnea
- Depressive disorders
- Anxiety disorder
- Personality disorders
- Psychological disorders
Steps to Preventing a Thyroid Issues
- Iodine is crucial for the production of thyroid hormones. Seafood, sea vegetables and yogurt all have high concentrations of iodine. A 24 hour Urine Test is an inexpensive method for pinpointing the body’s iodine availability.
- Exercise plays a big role in regulating hormones. It is recommended to be active for at least 30 minutes a day.
- Learn the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction and pay attention to your body
- If you have symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, engage in screening measures and address any issues
There are many excellent resource on thyroid health. Among the best we have found is Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness by Dr. Broda Barnes. For years, he worked with patients who displayed thyroid symptomology but had normal blood tests. He also discovered that body temperature and symptoms were a much better indicators of thyroid health.
Healthy thyroid function is too important to ignore a possible issue. Take ownership of how you feel and if desired seek help from medical professionals that understand how to work with the whole person through integrative diagnosis and therapies.
Many experts agree that thyroid stress is a huge problem in our modern society. The thyroid gland is an important endocrine organ, found in the neck. It is responsible for metabolism, energy, weight, sleep, healthy hair and so much more. A variety of factors are known to put unnecessary stress on the thyroid. Many experts have found that clinical thyroid tests are not accurate when it comes to diagnosing various, less severe levels of thyroid stress. The problem is that even mild thyroid stress can send the body into a viscous downward spiral.
Causes of Thyroid Stress
Lack of iodine in the diet, too much iodine, emotional stress, tumors, excessive soy consumption, some prescription medications and unprotected x-rays are all thought to put stress on the thyroid gland. Of of these sources, lack of iodinein the diet and emotional stress are the most prevalent causes of thyroid stress today. Modern farming practices are though to have depleted iodine in our produce and livestock, however, the consumption of sea vegetables and fish are still good sources. Though it is difficult to pinpoint the exact relationship, many endocrinologists identify a clear connection between emotional stress and thyroid issues. In 2007, Oprah Winfrey was correct to admit that excessive stress had “blown out” her thyroid. Experts have also drawn a connection to depleted zinc levesl (due to emotional stress) and increased thyroid stress.