The thyroid gland regulates the body’s internal temperature by secreting two hormones that control how quickly the body burns calories and uses energy. If the thyroid secrets too much hormone, hyperthyroidism results. Conversely, hypothyroidism is caused by an underproduction of thyroid hormone.
The thyroid can be affected by poor diet, fluoride in water, excessive consumption of unsaturated fats, endurance exercise, pesticide residues on fruits & vegetables, alcohol and drugs. However, ‘Hashimoto’s disease’, where the body produces antibodies against it’s own thyroid, is believed to be the most common cause of underactive thyroid.
laundry list of symptoms including fatigue, loss of appetite, weight gain, muscle weakness / cramps, painful premenstrual periods, migraines, constipation and depression.
Measuring serum hormone levels (blood tests) as well as an iodine absorption test can determine thyroid function. If you suspect yourself of having an underactive thyroid you can self-test by …
- Keeping a thermometer by your bed at night.
- When you wake in the morning, placing the thermometer under your arm and holding it there for 15 minutes, without moving.
- A temperature of 36.4 or lower may indicate an underactive thyroid.
Keep a temperature log for 5 days and if your readings are consistently low, consult a health care provider.