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thyroid cancer

  • Just in the past 10 years the number of Americans potentially affected by thyroid disorders has more than doubled. It can be estimated that one in five of us have a problem with our thyroid. One in five! Even more frightening is the number of thyroid cancers being discovered. According to the American Cancer Society, there is twice the number of new thyroid cancers now as compared to 1990.

    Thyroid Disorders Can Be Blamed for Causing These 38 Symptoms, plus more…

    Thyroid hormones primarily influence our metabolism but can cause a wide range of symptoms when out of balance:

    Symptoms and Signs of Hypothyroidism

    • Fatigue, feeling “wiped out”
    • Cold hands and feet
    • Require excessive sleep
    • Gain weight easily
    • Neck and back pain
    • Constipation
    • Depression
    • Headaches which are worse in the morning and improve throughout the day
    • Dry/thinning hair
    • Dry skin
    • Heavy menstrual bleeding or irregular periods
    • Hoarse or raspy voice
    • Yellow skin
    • Slower thinking
    • Slower speech or movement
    • Slow heart rate
    • Infertility
    • Intestinal problems including bloating and heartburn
    • Osteoporosis
    • Hypoglycemia
    • Neuro-degeneration (nerve damage and death of neurons found in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease)

    Symptoms and Signs of Hyperthyroidism

    • Heart palpitations (experienced as a “pounding” of the heart)
    • Irregular heartbeat (Arrhythmia)
    • Feeling “hyper”
    • Increased heart rate-tachycardia (above 100 beats per minute)
    • Nervousness
    • Unusual sweating
    • Loss of weight
    • Insomnia
    • Intestinal problems (diarrhea, increased frequency of bowel movements, bloating)
    • Depression
    • Changes in menstrual patterns
    • Increased sensitivity to heat
    • Anxiety
    • Loss of mental clarity (brain fog)
    • Weakness
    • Bulging eyes
    • Skin rash

    Thyroid problems can alter our appearance (thinning hair, weight changes), our emotions (depression, anxiety), and even our cognitive abilities (brain fog, loss of mental clarity and memory).

    How can a thyroid disorder cause so many different symptoms?
    The answer is simple—every cell in our body is designed to be influenced by thyroid hormones for its basic metabolic function. When there is too much or too little thyroid hormone available for the cell’s metabolism, our body experiences a decline in optimal cellular function. Every cell in our bodies can potentially be affected by a thyroid disorder…it can be a brain cell, a cell comprising the heart, or a skin cell. Various bodily functions and organs can cease operating optimally when thyroid hormones are skewed causing a wide range of symptoms.

    Explain how I can have symptoms listed under both Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism.
    The most common thyroid problem in the US is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This is an excerpt from “What’s Wrong with My Thyroid?”

    “It is typical for a patient with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis to have symptoms of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. The most common symptom is fatigue but someone with Hashimoto’s can also present with a racing heart, a feeling of being “on edge” or nervousness, and brain fog or loss of mental clarity. Some patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis report experiencing a feeling of weakness in their legs along with marked fatigue during activity. Someone with Hashimoto’s may find they need a longer period of time to recover following physical activity than others.

    Hyperthyroidism symptoms are evident when the thyroid has produced too much of a thyroid hormone called thyroxine. This creates “hyper” signs and symptoms by accelerating the body’s metabolism significantly. Typically these symptoms will include an inability to gain weight or sudden loss of weight, sweating, rapid and irregular heart rate, nervousness, diarrhea and irritability.

    Hashimoto’s disease causes the release of too much thyroxine when the thyroid gland is under an active attack by the body’s immune system. During the attack the thyroid tissue is destroyed and any thyroxine within this tissue is released into the body causing a surge of this hormone into the bloodstream. This is the reason a person with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can experience temporary bouts of hyperthyroidism with a subsequent return of hypothyroidism symptoms.

    After the attack has leveled off there is less of the thyroid gland able to produce thyroid hormones. Decreased amounts of thyroid hormones are demonstrated by a slowed metabolism. Weight gain, constipation, fatigue, slowed heart rate, and depression are several symptoms that reflect this “hypo” or decreased thyroid hormone output, otherwise known as hypothyroidism.

    Hashimoto’s is a gradual destruction of the thyroid gland by the body’s immune system. Often, a person will suffer with Hashimoto’s for years before seeking help. Even then, traditional allopathic treatment is typically only directed toward achieving a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) blood level in the “normal” reference range, not necessarily the more accurate functional range used by more experienced practitioners. Although thyroid hormone replacement treatment is necessary at times, the underlying autoimmunity problem needs support as well or the thyroid gland will continue to be destroyed. It is common for patients who are taking thyroid replacement hormones to continue to experience symptoms since these other health issues are left unaddressed.

    Another important point is a person with Hashimoto’s has an autoimmune problem that may not stop at just attacking the thyroid gland. Other organs, including the pancreas and brain, are all at risk. It’s vital to diagnose and treat this condition as early and completely as possible.

    To learn more about thyroid symptoms/signs and natural treatment options log on to On this site you can take a Thyroid Quiz and receive a personalized analysis of your responses, informative videos, register for an upcoming seminar, and sign up to receive our newsletter and/or The Thyroid Report by Dr. Frank Lanzisera.

    Frank Lanzisera, DC, director of Lanzisera Center in Tampa, and Lisa Lanzisera, DC are the authors of What’s Wrong with My Thyroid?—12 Steps to Detox Your Thyroid and Lose Weight, Wheat Gluten: The Secret to Losing Belly Fat & Regaining Health Get Help from the Gluten "GO-TO" Docs (Volume 1) and Wheat Gluten. Their books are available at:

  • Thyroid Symptoms
    Symptoms involving the thyroid gland, whether they stem from hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Graves' disease, or Hashimoto's thyroiditis, reflect the damage to the various systems and organs of the body.

    Thyroid Gland
    Damage to the thyroid gland affects the body's metabolic rate. As a result, weight can be easily gained (hypothyroidism) or lost (hyperthyroidism). Hashimoto's disease can cause both weight loss and gain depending on the phase of autoimmune destruction of the thyroid gland.

    Cold hands and feet are related to a low metabolism caused by hypothyroidism while sensitivity to heat is linked to hyperthyroidism.

    Cardiovascular System (Circulatory)
    The cardiovascular system responds to minimal changes in the amount of circulating thyroid hormones.

    Hyperthyroidism induces a hyper-dynamic cardiovascular state which manifests by a faster heart rate, higher systolic and diastolic function i.e. higher blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and reduced exercise performance.

    Insomnia is often associated with hyperthyroidism. Some of the symptoms and signs of hyperthyroidism can make sleep difficult. The stress of having a "racing" heart or palpitations, rapid pulse (above 100 beats per minute is considered tachycardia), and higher blood pressure can cause lack of sleep. Insomnia can also be related to a decreased amount of serotonin production that is linked to gut issues which are often seen with thyroid problems.

    Hypothyroidism is characterized by the reverse- a lowed heart rate and lower blood pressure. With lowered thyroid hormones in circulation there is an increased risk of atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction (heart attack).

    Nervous System
    The central nervous system (CNS) can be greatly affected by a thyroid disorder. The CNS reacts to both too little and too much thyroid hormone. Too little hormone causes mental sluggishness or "brain fog" while too much hormone induces anxiety and nervousness. Depression is commonly associated with thyroid conditions.

    Recent studies have linked hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's disease with accelerated brain degeneration and development of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease.

    Reproductive System
    Hypothyroidism can be related to heavy menstrual flow, miscarriage, and infertility in women. Hypothyroidism can decrease the absorption of the sex hormone, progesterone, by the body's cells which can upset the menstrual cycle. Hypothyroidism can also cause constipation which can delay the body's normal elimination of another sex hormone, estrogen.

    Digestive System
    Chronic constipation is associated with hypothyroidism while diarrhea or frequent bowel movements are linked with hyperthyroidism. These symptoms are partly due to altered metabolism but also are created by faulty digestion beginning in the stomach. Hypothyroidism can reduce the production of stomach acid by its effect on the hormone, gastrin. When too little gastrin is produced, this reduces the amount of stomach acid (HC1). Bloating, G.E.R.D., heartburn, intestinal inflammation, decreased food digestion and more can result from the lack of normal HC1 levels.

    Food allergies are consistently seen in those presenting with thyroid problems. Beyond gluten sensitivity, which most people are aware of, there are other food allergens to which patients will test positive.

    Excerpt from "What's Wrong with My Thyroid?":

    Anemia is diagnosed in 20-60% of patients with hypothyroidism and is often the first sign of hypothyroidism. Anemia caused by an iron or B12 deficiency begins in the stomach and stems from low stomach acid also known as hydrochloric acid or HCl. Hypothyroidism causes the hormone, gastrin, to decrease.

    The production of stomach acid, HCl, depends on the hormone gastrin. So when gastrin is diminished there is less stomach acid. Less stomach acid hinders the absorption of such vital nutrients as B12, iron, and calcium.

    The most common symptom of anemia is fatigue which is also the hallmark symptom of hypothyroidism.

    Adrenal Glands
    Thyroid function is intricately tied to our adrenal health. Part of a comprehensive, functional medicine thyroid treatment plan usually involves adrenal gland support for the following reasons:

    • Adrenal fatigue causes the thyroid receptors on cells to lose their sensitivity to thyroid hormones
    • Adrenal fatigue can decrease the conversion of T4 to T3 to a usable form
    • Adrenal fatigue decreases the efficiency of the immune system barriers in the gut, lungs and the blood/brain barrier
    • Adrenal fatigue inhibits absorption of thyroid hormone into cells
    • Adrenal fatigue disrupts the interchange between the hypothalamus and pituitary gland with the thyroid gland
    To learn more about thyroid symptoms/signs and natural treatment options log on to On this site you can take a Thyroid Quiz and receive a personalized review, view patient videos, register for an upcoming seminar, sign up to receive our free newsletter and/or The Thyroid Report by Dr. Frank Lanzisera.