30 days of Hormone Balancing (3) – Check your thyroid

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No 3 – Check your thyroid

shutterstock_174233561Thyroid dysfunction is a very common occurrence in women, and most commonly affects women over 40.

The thyroid gland influences every system, organ and muscle in your body; hence it’s potentially wide ranging effects.

 Statistics suggest that at least 10% of adult females have reduced thyroid function.  As well as causing symptoms related to metabolism and energy as listed below  it can have also have consequences for a woman’s menstrual cycle and her reproductive abilities. Even minimal hypothyroidism can increase the likelihood of miscarriage.

 

Common symptoms of an under-active thyroid

  • Frequently feeling tired and lethargic. Often have trouble waking in the morning. Tend to need more sleep than other people and have a tendency to fall asleep during the day if opportunity arises.
  • Fluid retention leading to puffiness around the face (especially eyes), hands, ankles and feet
  • Constipation
  • Frequent muscle cramps and joint aches and morning stiffness
  • Skin becomes drier and tends to itch more
  • Hair becomes drier, more coarse and brittle
  • Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
  • Feeling cold when other people feel warm
  • Heavier and more frequent menstrual periods
  • Loss of libido
  • infertility
  • Depression
  • Slow thinking

If you have four or more of the symptoms listed above, it would be worth asking your doctor to give you a blood test to check  for an under-active thyroid.

You can also do a simple test at home by measuring your temperature.  You need to record your basal body temperature, which is your body temperature when resting.

How to test your basal metabolic rate using the Barnes Axillary Temperature Test:
1. Before retiring to bed, shake down an oral thermometer and place it within easy reach of the bed.For best results use an electronic thermometer
2. Immediately upon waking, place it under the armpit until reading is ready to take. It is important that you remain still and quiet in order to get an accurate reading.
3. Note the temperature and if possible plot onto a graph.
4. Try to do this at the same time each day.
5. Test for at least 3,  and preferably 5 consecutive days.
6. Your temperature should fall between  36.6oC and 36.8oC.

NB: For women basal temperature will vary during the menstrual cycle and so for greater accuracy it is best taken on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th days of your cycle. Post menopausal women and men can check their temperature on any three days.

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