Are you feeling exhausted all of the time, no matter how much sleep you get? Starting to suspect that there is something draining your energy away?
It is not normal or healthy to feel fatigued all day, every day. If this is the case for you, there is a good chance that there are one or more root causes that are calling out for your attention.
One of the most common causes of low energy is thyroid dysfunction.
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in your throat. Although it is small, it plays a critical role in your health.
The hormones produced in the thyroid are required by almost every cell in the body to function correctly. If you have too much or too little, it can cause serious health concerns.
What are symptoms of thyroid disease?
There are two main types of thyroid disease – hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid hormone) and hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone).
Low thyroid function is quite common and is often caused by an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s.
The symptoms of low thyroid function include:
These symptoms can be caused by other health conditions. But if you are feeling fatigued and have any other symptoms of low thyroid function, it is worth investigating.
An overactive thyroid is less common than under active. It is often due to an autoimmune condition known as Graves’ disease.
In some cases, too much thyroid hormone can lead to fatigue and exhaustion. This is because the excess hormone puts a greater strain on your body and nervous system, leaving you feeling ‘tired but wired’.
What causes thyroid disease?
There is no one cause of thyroid disease, which is why there is not much conventional medicine has to offer when it comes to treatment.
Most cases of thyroid disease are caused by autoimmunity – when the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. Other contributing factors include poor gut health, a low-nutrient diet, hormonal imbalances, gene mutations and some environmental pollutants.
It is common for several of these factors to occur together. But the good news is that many of the root causes of thyroid disease can be corrected using diet and lifestyle changes.
How to uncover if your thyroid is causing your symptoms
Do you suspect that your thyroid is behind your fatigue and other symptoms? Here are two simple steps to take to confirm whether your thyroid is out of balance.
Step 1: Ask your doctor for testing
The first step is to ask your GP for thyroid testing. This is a blood test that most doctors are happy to offer if you are presenting with symptoms that are consistent with thyroid issues.
Unfortunately, most doctors will only test TSH – thyroid stimulating hormone. This does not identify all stages and types of thyroid disease accurately.
If your test results come back ‘normal’ and you still feel that something is not right, there is another option.
Step 2: Work with a practitioner
Holistic practitioners may also be able to offer further thyroid testing. This is not covered by Medicare like your doctor’s testing, but it will help to uncover any further concerns such as thyroid antibodies or low thyroid hormone levels.
If you’re concerned about your thyroid, our naturopath Trish is here to support you. As a qualified health practitioner, Trish can arrange further thyroid hormone testing and create a tailored treatment plan to optimise your thyroid health.
To book an appointment with Trish at our Bundaberg clinic, call us on (07) 41522372