Thyroid Problems: Myths vs Facts

The thyroid is a gland that makes and stores hormones that help regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and the rate at which food is converted into energy. Thyroid hormones are essential for the function of every cell in the body.  

Myths vs Facts

Myth: Thyroid problems always cause weight gain.

Fact: While weight gain can be a symptom of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), it is not a universal characteristic. Thyroid disorders can also lead to weight loss in some cases, particularly with hyperthyroidism. Other symptoms such as fatigue, mood changes, hair loss, and changes in heart rate can also occur alongside thyroid problems.

Myth: Thyroid problems only affect older people.

Fact: While thyroid problems are more common in older individuals, they can affect people of any age, including children and adolescents. Conditions such as hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) can occur at any stage of life.

Myth: Thyroid problems are always easy to diagnose.

Fact: Diagnosing thyroid problems can be challenging because the symptoms can be subtle and overlap with other conditions. Sometimes, symptoms may be attributed to different causes before the underlying thyroid problem is identified. Accurate diagnosis often requires a thorough evaluation of symptoms, physical examination, and specific blood tests.

Myth: Only women can have thyroid problems.

Fact: While thyroid disorders are more common in women, they can affect men as well. Women are around five to eight times more likely to develop thyroid problems, especially autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. However, men can also experience thyroid disorders, and their symptoms and treatment options are similar to those in women.

Myth: Thyroid problems are solely caused by iodine deficiency.

Fact: While iodine deficiency can lead to thyroid problems such as goiter (enlarged thyroid), it is not the only cause. Thyroid disorders can result from various factors, including autoimmune diseases (like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease), genetic predisposition, certain medications, radiation exposure, and other underlying conditions.

Myth: Thyroid problems can be cured with dietary supplements or alternative treatments.

Fact: Although some dietary supplements may claim to support thyroid health, they are not a substitute for medical treatment. Thyroid disorders typically require proper medical diagnosis and treatment, which may involve medication, lifestyle modifications, or, in some cases, surgery. It is important to consult a healthcare professional for appropriate management of thyroid conditions.

The thyroid is a very hot button issue.  A consultation with Dr. Rueda at Twin Cities Integrative Medicine to assess where your health is and if you have thyroid issues can make all the difference in the world with your weight, energy and overall well-being.

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