Thursday, October 06, 2005

Hormones run amok

Published October 6, 2005

Generally, women are more emotional and for some reason we tend to get tired. I’ve heard it said this is because we are ‘hormonal’. Do yourself a favor and refuse to go down in a ball of flames on “it’s your hormones dear”. It could be something as simple as your thyroid gland.

Jump starting things may hinge on getting the thyroid checked. Do you know this little regulator gland basically controls your whole body and all its functions? I aced my anatomy class in school and college as it was one of my favorite classes. But there should have been a whole unit study on hormones and their functions because these little guys can make life a bleak living hell or a Sunday picnic. Unfortunately, my teachers didn’t talk much about the thyroid gland in anatomy class. They probably didn’t want to let us know that the homecoming queen of 1979 would be 300 pounds, tired, divorced, bald and depressed by the time she was thirty years old unless, of course, she had her thyroid checked. That would have been helpful for her to know. For something that wrecks so much havoc on your system, the pills to fix it look like little jewels. They are wonderful.

The thyroid gland is often overlooked for people suffering for symptoms that are seemingly psychosomatic or depressive in nature. A lot of hard working people are afraid to discuss symptoms with their doctors that they find embarrassing but it’s amazing that a little glad like the thyroid can be responsible for so much of what ails us. There are excellent resources at the library from endocrinologists that have studied the thyroid and I can recommend The Thyroid Solution for those wanting to investigate their own symptoms before seeing your physician. Keep in mind a few things I found helpful when I had my thyroid tested.

1. Normal levels of thyroid vary from person to person, so if you have symptoms, you should at least try supplements to see if your levels stay safe and your symptoms go away.
2. Sometimes, you may seemingly have enough thyroid hormone but there are different thyroid hormones and one may be low or too high and your blood tests won’t explain why your hair is falling out and you want to stay in bed for a year. By trying both hormone supplements for T3 and T4,, you will be able to see if ‘cold hands warm heart’ is a stupid saying, which it is. Body temperature for people with thyroid symptoms is basically lower than normal.
3. Thyroid medications have to be taken with discipline and on an empty stomach. The levels of hormone in your blood stream need to be monitored by your physician like anything else. So they won’t help you unless you follow the instructions. There is a difference between hypo and hyper so ask your physician.
4. Be good to yourself and be good to your thyroid. A happy thyroid is a happier you.

My thyroid and I know each other a lot better now after all these years and in case you’re wondering, I wasn’t the homecoming queen of 1979.

Tammy Maher is a resident of El Dorado Hills and bi-weekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her at

No comments: