Published on March 5, 2024

Feeling Sluggish? It Could Be Your Thyroid

If you’re feeling a little tired and slow, don’t automatically blame the long working hours or the lack of sleep you got last night. While life can sometimes get on top of you, it isn’t the only thing that could be causing you to feel sluggish. The other culprit might be your thyroid. 

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ that sits in the throat, just above the gullet. It’s responsible for ensuring hormonal stability and maintaining your metabolism. 

It does this by generating thyroxine, a kind of regulator for how fast your body burns energy. When there are high levels of this substance in the blood, cells use energy faster, while lower rates lead to lower energy usage. 

Doctors sometimes prescribe thyroxine therapy to people whose thyroid doesn’t naturally produce enough of the compound. Often, they have to remain on the therapy for life and carefully control the dosage to ensure they don’t get too much. 

People can sometimes also get into trouble when they have an overactive thyroid. Again, doctors must provide them with medications that help to bring down the amount of the hormone circulating in the system. 

The Consequences Of An Underactive Thyroid

The consequences of an underactive thyroid can contribute to making you feel sluggish. Many people with the condition easily gain weight and may feel cold all the time. Other problems can include things like constipation, muscle aches, and dry skin and hair.

What’s happening here is that the lack of thyroid hormone in the system is causing everything to slow down. A person who doesn’t have enough thyroxine is much more likely to feel like they can’t get out of bed in the morning or do a full day at work. 

Unfortunately, many people mistake an underactive thyroid for other health problems. For instance, they might blame the constipation on their diet or think that feeling cold is because they are too thin. That’s why it is so essential to go to the doctor and get a professional checkup that can take readings of hormone levels in the body. Once you have data, you can find the proper solutions. 

The Consequences Of An Overactive Thyroid

An overactive thyroid can also create some unpleasant symptoms. However, they tend to be the opposite of those you get when the tissue isn’t producing enough hormones. Many people wind up feeling as if they have too much energy or can’t relax. 

The main symptoms of an overactive thyroid are anxiety, irritability, and trouble sleeping. It can also sometimes manifest as diarrhea because the stomach believes it needs to shuttle food through quickly, ultimately causing water to draw into the colon. 

Weight loss can also be an issue for an overactive thyroid. If you’re losing weight and staying up all night, that might make you feel more tired than usual. 

What To Do About Thyroid-Related Tiredness

The good news is that there are quite a few things you can do to reduce thyroid-related tiredness.

First, you’ll want to see if lifestyle changes make a difference. Many people develop thyroid issues because of problems with their habits. 

Start by eating a healthy diet with plenty of healthy whole plant foods, like whole grains and greens. These can support your body’s energy production and protect the thyroid. If you are worried you aren’t getting sufficient iodine, you might want to try going on a sea kelp supplement. These provide the mineral. 

You can also try improving your sleep, exercising during the day, and better managing your stress. The more you can take control of these factors, the less debilitating thyroid issues will become. You may even discover that the sluggishness disappears as the rest of your metabolism returns to normal. 

If you make changes to your diet and lifestyle and don’t notice any difference in how you feel, seek medical attention. Doctors can measure your hormone levels and tell you if you have a thyroid issue. 

The most common medication you’ll get is levothyroxine, which is a synthetic thyroid hormone. Adding it to your body helps to mimic the natural effects of the thyroid molecule. 

Over time, your doctor will adjust the amount of medication they give you to optimize your metabolism. Sometimes you might need more thyroxine to get the energy burst you want to feel like you can function normally. 

If you have too much thyroxine production, doctors will prescribe medications to bring it down. These work in various ways to block production safely, allowing you to get better sleep and not feel so anxious all the time.

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