Having thyroid disease is an ongoing chronic condition for which you must take daily medication – usually artificial thyroid hormones – for the rest of your life. But even with the scrupulous administration of these medications (and if you are a private patient check out Armour Thyroid products available here) sometimes it is possible to have a flare-up of your thyroid disease. Here are some causes and triggers of this.
Thyroid hormone is an incredibly precise science with minutely tiny differences in dosages making huge changes for the patient. This effect is worsened when you take some other medications as they can either mute or enhance the effect of your artificial thyroid hormones or even have an impact on a completely different area of your body – but one that is usually controlled by the thyroid! If you need to start taking a new medication – or even an over-the counter vitamin supplement – do speak to your medical team first to make sure that any possible side effects, counterindications or problematic interactions have been accounted for.
If your eating habits leave a little to be desired, running low on certain vitamins can have an effect on your levels of thyroid hormone, using them more extensively than is normal, with the end result that your levels drop too low. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet which ensures a good all-round provision of all the vitamins and minerals, especially iodine which is vital to the health of your thyroid, is the best way to keep your thyroid hormone needs on an even keel.
Stress is sometimes dismissed as being a purely mental condition, with its impact on the body ignored or dismissed as negligible. In fact, stress causes a spike in the body’s production of cortisol which has a direct impact on the body, slowing the metabolism, affecting digestion and more – it can even be responsible for delayed periods in women, causing ‘pregnancy scares’. And stress also causes your body to burn through thyroid hormone at a slightly accelerated rate, which, over time, can cause your thyroid issues to flare up.
Worsening of your Thyroid Disease
If you have hyperthyroidism, the only treatment is to dramatically curtail your production of thyroid hormones, in effect giving you hypothyroidism which can be treated with artificial thyroid hormones to return your levels to something approaching normal. If your symptoms are quite mild, you may delay your treatment for a short time, but you should only do this under strict medical supervision and with the advice of your medical team in mind. And it is not a
step that many doctors will approve because the balance of your thyroid hormones can suddenly peak throwing you into something called a ‘thyroid storm‘ which is a medical emergency requiring almost instant treatment.
Having thyroid disease is perfectly manageable as long as you regularly check in with your doctors, take appropriate levels of medication and bear in mind, at all times, that your thyroid disease is now as much a part of you as your eye color, and does need that element of management if you are to avoid a flare up.