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How to Know if Your Thyroid Isn't Functioning Properly

Doctor show a model of the thyroid gland
The thyroid is a very small gland that affects major systems throughout the body.

What's Covered in This Article?

Located at the base of the neck this butterfly-shaped gland is crucial to the functioning of all your major organs. What happens when the thyroid is not functioning properly? Many health conditions are connected with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism including weight gain, weight loss, various cancers, hair loss, depression, anxiety and much more. Let's take a look at how your thyroid functions, what you can do to support your thyroid health, and what are warning signs that your thyroid may be out of balance.

Woman learning about thyroid levels.
Maintaining healthy thyroid levels is essential to good health.

How Your Thyroid Works

Part of the endocrine system your thyroid makes chemicals called hormones that help control your bodies functions. It sits just below your voice box, near the base of the neck. Your thyroid is responsible for making the hormones T-3 & T-4. These hormones are released to the bloodstream and help to regulate your metabolism, heart rate, breathing, cholesterol levels and even menstrual cycles. It is vital that the levels of these hormones are never too high or too low. The hypothalamus and the pituitary glands in the brain work together to maintain these levels.

Poor sleep is a hypothyroidism symptom
Thyroid levels can affect your sleep patterns.

Warning Signs Your Thyroid is Not Working Properly

The American Thyroid Association reports that nearly 20 million individuals in the United States have some sort of thyroid condition.

They go on to estimate that as many as 60% of these people are unaware that their thyroid is not functioning properly.

Sometimes your thyroid can become overactive or underactive. That's when you start to have a problem.

Why do Thyroid Levels Fluctuate?

According to, here are few reasons your thyroid levels may fluctuate:

Taking other medicines

Some medicines can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb thyroid hormone. The following medications can cause your thyroid hormone levels to fluctuate:

  • Oral contraceptives

  • Iron, calcium or biotin supplements

  • Anti-depressants

  • Corticosteroids

  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs

Eating certain foods

Cruciferous veggies like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower may interfere with thyroid hormone production if you have an iodine deficiency (goitre or hypothyroidism). Even high fibre foods, soy and walnuts can interfere with the absorption of thyroid medications. If you want a diet plan for your thyroid treatment, it is best that you consult a nutritionist.

Changing weather

TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone can change along with the weather. TSH drops during the warm months and naturally rises in the coldest months. Doctors normally adjust the medication by reducing the dosage during warmer days and increasing it during the colder periods.

The most common conditions associated with thyroid disfunction:

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)

When your thyroid doesn't make enough hormones it can slow down your metabolism causing drastic weight gain, you could feel depressed or sluggish along with these other common symptoms:

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Tiredness and fatigue

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Weight gain

  • Dry skin and hair

  • Depression

  • Sensitivity to cold temperature

  • Frequent, heavy periods

  • Joint and muscle pain

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)

Hyperthyroidism happens when there is too much secretion of the hormones from the thyroid gland, resulting in increased activity of your body cells or body organs and may lead to these symptoms:

  • Anxiety

  • Irritability or moodiness

  • Weight loss

  • Nervousness

  • Hyperactivity

  • Sweating or sensitivity to high temperatures

  • Hand trembling

  • Hair loss

  • Missed or light menstrual periods

A mother hugging her child
Thyroid imbalance can lead to metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome

According to, metabolic syndrome is a group of five conditions that can lead to heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other health problems. Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed when someone has three or more of these risk factors:

  • High blood glucose (sugar)

  • Low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in the blood

  • High levels of triglycerides in the blood

  • Large waist circumference or “apple-shaped” body

  • High blood pressure

Although each of these is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, when a person has three or more and is diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, the chance of developing a serious cardiovascular condition increases.

How can I improve my thyroid?

Making healthy lifestyle choices can help improve the function of your thyroid. Here are the best ways to support your thyroid:

Watch your Diet

Limit or avoid your intake of processed foods, trans fats, refined sugar, preservatives, and dyes. A balanced diet is key to maintaining a healthy thyroid for life.

Stay Active

Exercise boosts your metabolism which, in turn improves your thyroid function! Try and opt for low-impact exercise especially if you're already having thyroid problems

Schedule regular doctor visits

It's important to continue to follow up on the matter if you have had thyroid problems in the past.

Iodine deficiency has also reportedly been linked to autoimmune disease of the thyroid and increased risk of thyroid cancer. Research has indicated iodine deficiency might also

increase the risk of prostate, breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancer. Hair loss and skin dryness have also been reported symptoms. From RLC Labs: i-Throid™ contains the ideal balance of iodine and iodide to keep your thyroid happy and functioning properly.

Click here to buy i-Throid™

For Information, call (323) 986-5100 Email:


The thyroid is a controls most of the essential body functions needed for healthy living, including mental health, weight control, sleep quality, mood and so much more. It is important to support your thyroid balance with healthy lifestyle modifications including diet and exercise. Taking a supplement for thyroid support can also be one of the best ways to ensure you're supplying your body with what it needs to function properly.

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