Sluggish thyroid syndrome is a condition characterized by hypofunction of the thyroid gland. A more accurate term is hypothyroidism. Inadequate secretion of thyroid hormone during neonatal development can result in both mental and physical retardation. Deficiency of thyroid hormone affects all body functions.
- Autoimmune thyroiditis. The most commonly indicated cause of hypothyroidism is autoimmune thyroiditis, otherwise known as Hashimoto’s disease.
- History of hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is commonly found in patients previously treated with radioiodine or antithyroid medications or surgery. This is more frequent in older women.
- Radiotherapy. Radiation therapy for head and neck cancer in older men can cause hypothyroidism.
- Chronic lymphatic thyroiditis
- Atrophy of thyroid gland with aging.
- Lithium, iodine compounds, and antithyroid medications.
- Infiltrative diseases of the thyroid. This includes amyloidosis and scleroderma.
- Iodine deficiency and excess.
Sluggish Thyroid Symptoms
Early sluggish thyroid symptoms are mostly nonspecific.
- Extreme fatigue. This makes it difficult for the patient to participate in a full day’s load.
- Skin conditions. Hair loss, brittle nails, and dry skin can be observed. The skin thickens because of an accumulation of mucopolysaccharides in the fatty layer.
- Numbness and tingling of the fingers.
- Occasionally, the voice becomes husky. Complaints of voice huskiness are commonly reported.
- Menstrual disturbances. Menorrhagia or amenorrhea usually occurs, along with loss of libido or sexual appetite.
- Subnormal conditions. Decreased temperature and pulse rates are typically noted. The patient may complain of cold even in a considerably warm environment. Mental processes dull, and the patient becomes extremely apathetic. Other changes include slow speech, enlarged tongue, feet, and hands, constipation, and deafness.
- Weight gain. The patient gains weight even without a corresponding increase in food intake.
- Irritability. Initially, the patient becomes irritable. This eventually fades and the emotional responses become subdued.
Sluggish Thyroid Treatment
Although therapy is directed at achieving a euthyroid state, some natural remedies may be used to curb some symptoms of hypothyroidism.
- Vitamin B, calcium, and Magnesium. Natural sources of these vitamins and minerals include milk and dairy products.
- Avoidance of junk food. Fried foods, starches, junk food, and soft drinks are difficult to digest. This can further impair metabolism in those diagnosed with sluggish thyroid glands.
- Avoidance of cabbage, kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and other cruciferous greens. These vegetables can depress thyroid function, unless they are cooked or steamed.
- Bladderwack. This brown seaweed can increase depressed thyroid hormone levels.
- Exercise. Regular exercise at around 30 minutes each day can improve metabolism and help increase energy levels.
- Other herbs such as bayberry, skullcap, black cohosh, bladder wrack, parsley, uva ursi, and olive.