girl with thyroid issues feels exhausted

Some have called the thyroid the “canary in the coal mine” of modern life. Thyroid issues can be triggered by a wide variety of modern day influences – from toxic personal care ingredients to urban pollutants – and far too many of us struggle with getting our thyroids in balance. 

Thyroid issues are a shockingly common health inhibitor with far-reaching repercussions and a long list of root issues. We asked functional medicine pro, Dr. Josh Axe, to help us demystify the few tell-tale signs that this essential gland has gone rogue. Here’s everything you need to know…

Pre-menopausal hot flashes, post-dinner hunger pangs and constant fatigue may seem like unrelated symptoms, but they may actually have the same root cause. That’s because the thyroid, a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the throat, is responsible for regulating numerous physiological functions, including temperature, hunger levels and energy expenditure. And when the thyroid isn’t functioning properly, things can go haywire in a hurry.

According to The American Thyroid Association, one in eight women in the United States is impacted by a thyroid disorder at some point during her lifetime. The most common types of thyroid problems are hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid, and hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid.

Thyroid problems are a serious concern that can affect many different areas of the body, but few women know to link their symptoms with their thyroids and, thus, don’t seek the healing support they really need. Below are five common signs that your thyroid is out of whack. If any of these ring true for you, I recommend visiting a functional medicine practitioner to confirm whether your thyroid is at fault.


Persistent fatigue – including lethargy, low motivation for everyday activities, brain fog, trouble concentrating, forgetfulness and muscle weakness – may be indications that you have an underlying thyroid problem. But not all fatigue is due to thyroid malfunction, so it’s important to know how to tell the difference.

If your fatigue is thyroid-related, you will experience difficulty sustaining energy and will likely notice that don’t have the energy for once-normal activities. You struggle to have the energy to workout, despite being an avid exerciser. Your head may feel heavy or tired in the afternoons, and you may also find yourself falling asleep as soon as you sit still for a while.

Moodiness + Anxiety

Both an overactive and underactive thyroid can cause moodiness and sleep difficulties. An underactive thyroid may result in depression, low moods, tearfulness and loss of appetite, while hyperthyroidism may trigger anxiety, nervousness, butterflies, racing heart, trembling and irritability.

The thyroid hormone is directly linked to the regulation and creation of important neurotransmitters such as GABA, serotonin and norepinephrine. When your thyroid malfunctions and the production of the thyroid hormone changes, these neurotransmitters can (and tend to) go haywire, causing these unwanted effects on your mood.

Weight Changes

A low basal metabolic rate often accompanies an underactive thyroid. Because of this, one of the most noticeable symptoms of hypothyroidism is weight gain and trouble losing weight. This weight gain can even be seen with severe eating restrictions because the metabolic rate falls when calories are reduced.

But that doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to gain weight if you’re struggling with an underactive thyroid, and some women don’t. It comes down to individual biochemistry, the quality of foods you consume and how your body uses the calories from those foods.

Feeling Cold

The thyroid gland is often called the body’s thermostat because it helps to regulate bodily temperatures. People with hypothyroidism often have low body temperatures and experience cold intolerance. Feeling cold is a symptom that is easy to ignore, but because of their low body temperatures, people with hypothyroidism are at greater risk of hypothermia, which poses serious risks.

Irregular Menstrual Cycle

Longer menstrual periods with a heavier flow and more severe PMS symptoms, including cramps and bloating, can be a sign of hypothyroidism. An underactive thyroid can also cause periods to be closer together.

With the higher amounts of hormones that are present with hyperthyroidism, periods may be shorter, farther apart and very light. So if you’re experiencing irregular periods, or if you’ve recently noticed a significant change in your periods, it may be time to get your thyroid checked.

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program. 

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  1. New to Hoshimotos. Not new to Hypothyroidism. Tired, anxiety, sleeplessness, losing hair. Itching skin dry skin, mood swings. Cold and hot. Low grade fevers out of the blue. Hypersensitivity to everything. My body aches. It really hurts. Steroids have cause muscle atrophy. Not a pleasant look. Fibromyalgia, Chronic migraines myalgia….. on and on. Everything I look at I CANNOT afford. What do I do. Oh gallstones has been anothe very recently diagnosis along with high cholesterol and high platelets. Yay me

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  3. I’m “old” to your issues, forty years since diagnosed. Here’s what’s helped…First, take your thyroid medication first thing in the morning, no other foods/medications/vitamins until one hour or later. Chelated Magnesium before bed. (Significantly dropped my hair loss by taking this.) Vitamin D3, (Take at lunchtime.), which makes you feel good/happy! I use Palmers oil all over my body, up to 3 minutes after I shower, so it absorbs into my skin, rather than sit on top of my skin for dryness. As for the migraines, I found that the magnesium helped, bananas, H2O (hydration), AND, a water pill that I cut in two for AM/PM seems to work for me. The whole gallstone issue…eat LOW FAT and not after 6 pm. WALK 20-25 min. a day, NO MATTER WHAT. DON’T EAT ANYTHING THAT CONTAINS SOY. This is a big one, if not already, you WILL become “soy sensitive”. It’s caused me many a migraine for up to 10 days. Most chinese food, bottled dressing, bakery is out the door. READ EVERY FOOD LABEL BEFORE YOU PUT IT IN YOUR CART. Time to eat health conscious, it’s a lot easier than reading labels only to find nearly EVERYTHING contains soy. By the way, dairy is a problem for me, except hard cheese??? BUT…remember, that whole gallstone issue and eating LOW FAT (watch your portion and buy low fat hard cheese!!!) Now, for the bad news…weight gain and gain and gain. Diets? The ONLY thing I’ve found that works, for me, is low fat, high protein and water, water, water. I use Bone Broth protein powder in my soups/stews/gravy/pasta sauce for added, low fat protein. It’s like boullion without all the flavorings. It also comes in chocolate/vanilla flavors so I can use it as a meal replacement/addition to a low protein meal. Just read the label if you are FAKE SUGAR SENSITIVE! I drink mine from a water bottle so I can’t smell it, as I’ve also become very sensitive to smells after 40 yrs., so it justs tastes like chocolate to me. I find that I CRAVE sugar. Sugar cravings subside when I eat protein! By the way, I now have a caffeine sensitivity to add to my list. Even “caffeine-free” coffee has some caffeine. Basically, I get panic attacks when I have too much chocolate, cola, coffee, etc. Just another “intolerance” to add to the list. I have learned to drink Club Soda with a twist of lime as my “go to” when I go out to dinner, etc. Now I kinda crave the stuff. Thank goodness the soda industry is making more and more flavored waters. Oh yes, I forgot to tell you, I also am now sensitive to FAKE SUGAR in ANY form. MIGRAINES and rashes. Lastly, if you have any skin disorders that might be associated with this disease, like me, (psoriasis), there is hope. I am undergoing XTRAC therapy (sp?), and there seems to be relief after 40 yrs. of psoriasis takeover. (Thank you, God!) In the last few months I seem to have arthritis in my fingers. I read where this might also be associated and can spread quickly, if this should happen to you, quickly get into a rheumatologist so they can stop it before it gets worse. I got my high cholesterol down through diet, exercise, and vitamins. Ceylon Cinnamon, (check your local health food store), helps to lower cholesterol, I also took Vitamin B and E, along with the low fat, high protein eating plan (with healthy carbs!) and water, water, water to keep the kidneys flushed. (My Don’t despair. Take this as an opportunity to see your body giving you messages that it’s not happy. It’s time to make changes for a new, happy you. Good luck! FYI: There is a Hoshimotos Diet Plan if you Google it. Too restrictive for me after giving up so many things, so I stick with a more Paleo type plan. Go you!

    mary | 08.20.2017 | Reply
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