Sex hormones in males — particularly testosterone — decline with age, this is known as andropause. Although thyroid conditions predominantly affect females, 15 in 100 people affected by them are male. Thyroid conditions have an impact on andropause.

Aging and decreasing hormone levels

The rate by which testosterone levels decline varies from person to person. It’s affected by many chronic conditions, including obesity, as well as severe emotional stress a person might experience (1).

Testosterone decline is very gradual. It usually takes many years for a person to start experiencing symptoms.

The hormones that start to decline when males are in their mid-twenties include (2…

Having a healthy and functioning thyroid as a pregnant person is necessary for prenatal development — from the moment of conception. This is because the thyroid only starts developing and functioning around the beginning of the second trimester, when the embryo becomes a fetus (1).

Even in the second and third trimester the fetus is dependent on the mother as a source of iodide (1). A pregnant mother is the source of about one third of T4 hormone for the fetus, and the placenta is responsible for converting T4 to T3 hormone (1).

A pregnant mother’s thyroid hormone contribution towards…

Thyroid function changes with age. Typically TSH increases, while T4 levels stay mostly unchanged, and T3 levels drop (1, 2).

Most hypothyroidism diagnoses occur during middle age.

Signs of hypothyroidism in middle-aged people

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid can often be confused with symptoms of heart problems, neurological disorders, or gastrointestinal disorders (3). The most common symptoms are (4):

  • Fatigue
  • Slow digestion
  • Brain fog
  • Weight gain
  • Problems with sleeping

Hypothyroidism in middle-aged people can exacerbate already present diseases, such as (5):

  • Anemia (with unusually large red blood cells and low hemoglobin, macrocytic anemia)
  • High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia)
  • Kidney dysfunction

How the thyroid changes as people age

The thyroid shrinks and becomes flatter with age…

Thyroid activity changes as people age — the organ slowly becomes less active (1).

Aging-related changes in the thyroid

Several changes in the thyroid are likely to occur with age (2–6):

  1. The thyroid becomes smaller and harder to feel in the neck
  2. TPO and Tg antibodies (a sign of Hashimoto’s) become more frequent over the age of 60
  3. Iodine levels (a necessary component of thyroid hormones) are lower than they used to be
  4. It takes a long time for the body to produce T3 and T
  5. It takes longer to clear T4 from the body
  6. rT3 increases with age
  7. The daily 24 hour rhythm of…

Incorporating seaweed into the diet can be beneficial, as it contains nutrients including iodine (1). Seaweed is an umbrella term for different types of sea vegetables. Kelp is a popular type of brown seaweed.

But there are some risks that come with eating seaweed — the concentration of iodine and arsenic can be very high in certain types of seaweed (2, 3). Currently, law doesn’t require nutritional supplements to:

  • list iodine or arsenic content
  • indicate a safe portion size in order to prevent excess iodine and arsenic intake, which is of a concern for people with thyroid conditions (4)

Seaweed and kelp nutrition

The…

If a person loses a lot of blood while giving birth, the pituitary gland can get harmed — this is known as Sheehan’s syndrome (postpartum pituitary necrosis). Damage to the pituitary gland can prevent it from producing hormones, including TSH and prolactin (1).

Signs and symptoms of Sheehan’s syndrome can be mild, and potentially not present for weeks or months after birth. They include (2, 3):

  • Absence of lactation (agalactorrhea)
  • Hot flashes
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation

How is Sheehan’s syndrome diagnosed?

Sheehan’s syndrome is diagnosed through testing blood markers, including (1):

  • TSH, fT3, and fT4
  • Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), Luteinizing hormone (LH), and…

Thyroid hormone deficiency present at birth

Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is a condition where there is a lack of thyroid hormones in a baby from the moment of birth (1).

Thyroid hormones are essential for normal human growth and development, especially during the first few years of life. A universal newborn screening was developed four decades ago to help prevent the many consequences of CH.

Types of congenital hypothyroidism

CH affects 1 in 2,000 newborns. There are several variations of the conditions (2–7).

Based on the severity (4):

  • Severe congenital hypothyroidism — needs to be treated immediately
  • Mild congenital hypothyroidism

Based on the cause (4, 6, 7, 8–12):

Primary congenital hypothyroidism

  • 90% of cases
  • Caused by problems in thyroid development or an inability of…

In the past few months there has been a lot of attention on supplements that can improve your ability to fight colds.

Supplements can help strengthen your immune system and many of them are taken to improve thyroid function.

Recent research has shown that vitamin D and zinc are two major supplements that aid in fighting the severe effects of many acute illnesses that affect the respiratory system (1, 2).

Both vitamin D and zinc are highly beneficial for thyroid function and reducing Hashimoto’s flare-ups.

Vitamin D and your immune system

Vitamin D plays a critical role in helping your immune system function optimally by (3):

  • Blocking molecules that promote inflammation
  • Reducing lung damage
  • Strengthening your immune system

Adults who are at risk of vitamin D deficiency include (4):

  • People with celiac…

Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (also known as morning sickness) are common — occurring in 8 in 10 pregnant people (1). Sickness usually improves and stops around weeks 16 to 20 (1).

For about 3 in 100 pregnant people, nausea and vomiting are very severe — this is known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). HG can cause problems with keeping food and drink down, some people require hospital treatment (1).

Symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum (1):

  • Severe nausea and vomiting (lasting longer than 20 weeks)
  • Fatigue
  • Thirst
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Weight loss
  • Low blood pressure

The connection between hyperemesis gravidarum and thyroid health (2–5)

Thyroid hormone levels change during pregnancy in order to support embryo growth…

When you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness, it usually plays a dominant role in your day-to-day life. Taking medication on time, tracking health habits, planning, worrying. It’s important to have downtime, when you can enjoy and produce more feel-good molecules.

In 1976, Norman Cousins published an account of Adam Smith describing the potential medicinal benefits of laughter in the New England Journal of Medicine (1). Yet science seemed a bit reluctant to accept that there are benefits of laughter therapy, as research was lacking sufficient evidence (2).

However, laughter has been proven to help alleviate health issues by (3, 4):

Dr. Vedrana Högqvist Tabor

CEO @Boost_HealthApp|| TEDx speaker || Cancer hunter || Hashimoto’s patient|| Parentpreneur || Learning from own mistakes since 1977

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