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Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Hints Your Thyroid Might be in Trouble

That small butterfly shaped gland in your neck, called thyroid, is more important than you think. Here's why.

You may have heard about the small butterfly shaped gland on your neck, called a thyroid, but never understood why it was so important. Here is why.

Your thyroid is the powerhouse of your body. It releases hormones that act on almost every organ on your body. And most importantly it controls your metabolism, which determines how much calories you burn. When your thyroid isn’t working correctly it makes it almost impossible to lose weight. Here are a few common and obvious symptoms of a low functioning thyroid:

Weight gain
Dry hair and skin
Brittle nails
Swollen face

You have always been able to take a hint. But some hints are a little too subtle. Here are three weird hints, that aren’t as obvious, your thyroid isn’t working correctly.

1. Seeing at night is getting more and more difficult
Driving at night has never been a problem, but lately you have been feeling the opposite of “Fast and the Furious” at night. Vitamin A is a precursor of rhodopsin, the photopigment found in rods within the retina of our eye that helps us to see at night. Thyroid hormones are required in the conversion of carotene to Vitamin A. If your thyroid is not functioning, Vitamin A will be deficient in the body. Without Vitamin A, "night blindness" occurs. [1]

2. Your skin is looking more yellow
If you have noticed that your skin is more yellow than usual without sun exposure it could be due to your thyroid. As mentioned above, thyroid hormone is required to convert carotene into Vitamin A. If carotene cannot be converted, it will build up in the blood stream called carotenemia and deposits in the skin causing it to turn yellow. So wait, you mean that episode when Arnold turned orange from eating too much carrots in Magic School Bus was real? I guess, if he had thyroid disease…and a more yellowish hue, as well.[2]

3. Unexplained Stomach upsets
If regular is how you describe your coffee, but you can never quite use that word to describe your bowel movements, you may have a thyroid problem. Your thyroid is responsible for mobilizing and metabolizing food through the GI (gastrointestinal) tract. Decreased gut motility results in constipation, one of the most common complaints of patients with hypothyroidism. In addition, the slow movement of food through the gut can cause harmful bacteria to overgrow. These overzealous bacteria cause bloating and worse of all, difficulty absorbing medications and essential nutrients from your diet.[3]

What to do
A non-functioning thyroid can cause a whole slew of symptoms that I will describe in other articles. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are concerned about the health of your thyroid, contact your ReDefine Life Practitioner. A simple blood test can be ordered to test the function of your thyroid. We will then guide you using our proprietary roadmap on healing your thyroid that includes a customized nutrition plan, exercise plan, and/or supplements to get this small but important gland back on track and REVERSE your symptoms.

Article Written by: Gerdie Jean-Smith M.D, MBA Board Certified Family Medicine, Board Certified Geriatrics. ReDefine Life Physician

1. 2020. The Mechanism For Vitamin A Improvements In Night Vision. [online] Available at: <,%2C+%22night+blindness%22+occurs.> [Accessed 8 August 2020].

2. Heymann W. R. (1992). Cutaneous manifestations of thyroid disease. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 26(6), 885–902.

3. Lauritano, E. C., Bilotta, A. L., Gabrielli, M., Scarpellini, E., Lupascu, A., Laginestra, A., Novi, M., Sottili, S., Serricchio, M., Cammarota, G., Gasbarrini, G., Pontecorvi, A., & Gasbarrini, A. (2007). Association between hypothyroidism and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 92(11), 4180–4184.

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