You roll over in your bed, a small pained groan escapes your lips as you elevate one bleary eyelid to inspect the clock beside your bed.  The green numbers illuminated there blink back at you, fuzzily at first until finally your sight adjusts and they come into sharp focus.  A dark thought about them may or may not cross your mind at this point…something along the lines of “little suckers are mocking me”.  Irrational,  you know that, but this is the 1000th time that you have awoken from your ‘slumber’ and feel as though you could immediately go back to sleep and sleep another 6 hours straight.  However even then, you aren’t sure if it would shake this bone-wearying fatigue that dogs you.  You swallow. You raise a hand to touch the front of your throat, the same location as your thyroid, and you give it a light stroke–an unconscious gesture on your part to try to soothe the vague discomfort and difficulty that you have with even that habitual action.

You groan a little louder, swing your legs (did I say swing?  Sorry, that is totally misleading for how you are feeling) …manouver your legs gracelessly out of bed and stand up.  You wince, you pause and then you start your ambulation toward the toilet.  The first 10 steps are painful.  Your feet feel as though you are walking on knives and the rest of your muscles and joints are stiff too.  The pain in your feet has receded by the time you make it to the toilet but the rest of your body, you know, will take at least an hour for it to ‘warm-up’.  You sigh and wander off to the kitchen to prepare the first of many coffees for the day, the only legal drug available to you to try and combat the enraging, constant and confusing brain fog through which you try to conduct your day with any semblance of that long-ago remembered efficiency that you used to display…again.  You could weep with frustration.

Does this sound like you?

What I have described in the above scene are some of the many “early” symptoms of an underactive thyroid.

The thyroid gland is a (usually) small butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your neck.  It is responsible for producing the hormone thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), two of the four hormones that it produces, that are known to be essential for our daily metabolic functioning.  The jury is still out as to what role T1 and T2 may or may not play in human functioning, so I won’t mention them further until new information comes to light (a potential blog post for another day methinks).  Dysfunction, manifesting as underactive thyroid, produces many symptoms; the most famous of which are fatigue, and weight issues.

Here is a comprehensive check-list of what a person with an underactive thyroid may experience…How many do you identify with?

Persistent fatigue

Waking unrefreshed

Weight gain

Weight loss

Anxiety

Depression

Weakness

Intolerance to Cold

Intolerance to Heat

Muscle Aches

Muscle Cramps

Foot pain

Poor Appetite

Goiter

Difficulty swallowing

Weakness

Dry & Rough Skin

Hair loss

Coarse Hair

Scant Eyebrows (particularly the outer 1/3).

Swelling or puffiness about the face

Swelling/puffiness about the eyes.

Enlarged tongue

Hoarse/deeper voice

Irregular menstrual periods

Heav menstrual periods

Anaemia

Mental Fog—slowed or laboured mental processing.

Poor memory recall

Increased blood cholesterol levels

Hormonal Imbalances

Blood Sugar Control issues

An underactive thyroid is insidious and it’s easy to miss! Have you had your thyroid function comprehensively investigated?