- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Is It Allergy Or Is It Thyroid
Well is it allergy or is it thyroid malfunctioning? I have spent months trying to find the answer to this question.. I did have some symptoms of allergy or hay fever, but they could also be symptomatic of a troublesome thyroid gland. When I first went to my doctor he assured me it was allergy. I queried thyroid and he dismissed that idea. As time went on while busily taking antihistamines and eye drops with little change in my condition, various people kept suggesting thyroid problems. Eventually i asked the nurse at the doctors office to organise a blood test for me.
The results came back as borderline under active thyroid. My doctor then suggested I take iodine to prevent it becoming under active. He still insisted I did not have a thyroid problem and my symptoms were still due to allergy/hay fever.
My initial symptoms were puffy bags under my eyes and watery streaming eyes especially on waking. My eyes were also red and felt gritty at times. My other symptom was very dry frizzy hair. Over time my eyes appeared to be staring and protruding from my eye sockets. This symptom is typically associated with overactive or hyperthyroidism. They felt uncomfortable and at times ached. The puffiness under my eyes progressed to above my eyes as well. My cheeks also became puffy. I have recently seen a photo with the exact look I had, apart from the staring eyes - bags under eyes and puffy cheeks.
After much searching on the internet and reading books from the library I am quite convinced my symptoms are all due to a low thyroid function - my test results were within the normal range but at the very low end of normal which I believe resulted in my experiencing some of the symptoms usually associated with under active or hypothyroidism. I have stopped taking antihistamines which never of course made any difference because I have not been suffering from allergies. My eyes are steadily resuming a normal look with the iodine supplement. My latest test results are more normal than the first ones
The Thyroid gland is a small butterfly shaped gland situated in the front of your neck just below the larynx - pretty much at the base of the neck.The Thyroid gland is a very important gland in the body. It is responsible for metabolism and determines whether you have a slow or fast metabolism by the amount of hormone it produces. It is also involved in bone growth and muscle function as well as respiration, heart rate, mood, skin , hair and nails.
Symptoms of Under Active Thyroid
Anxiety, panic, bloating and fluid retention, blurred vision, constipation, brittle dry nails, depression, discomfort swallowing, dry eyes(dry eyes can cause the eye to produce extra fluid to try to combat the problem, hence they run or water), dry skin, fatigue, feeling cold, forgetfulness, headaches and migraines, increased infections, joint pain and stiffness, low libido, menstrual problems, sluggish digestion, tingling and numbness in hands and feet, weight gain.
Symptoms of Over Active Thyroid
Anxiety, hunger, dislike of heat, frequent bowel motions, greasy skin, increased libido, increased sweating, insomnia, itchy inflamed eyes, loss of muscle tone, lump in throat when swallowing, mood swings, hair loss, racing heart, shortness of breath, tremor , tendency to flush.
As I have found and from talking to others suffering from either of these conditions, it seems that some of the symptoms can be inter changeable, making it more difficult to diagnose. If you suspect you have a faulty thyroid I suggest you ask for a blood test as this will let you know one way or another. I was lucky that my thyroid hadn't completely bombed out and am able to rectify things with an iodine supplement.
Whether blood tests indicate under or over active thyroid function there are interventions that can help normalize the problem. These range from taking thyroxin or radioactive iodine to surgery.
I feel lucky I have finally found out what the problem is and have an easy treatment plan. It seems to be an area that can be easily over looked when diagnosing due to symptoms being similar to other conditions such as allergy and menopause. As the thyroid is important in many bodily functions it is essential it be eliminated as a possible cause of worrying symptoms. I look so much better than I did with the puffy, staring eyes. I can now look in the mirror without freaking out at what I see.
Foods To Avoid
Some foods are thought to be goitrogens which means they inhibit the thyroid gland from absorbing iodine. These foods include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage (especially if raw), peanuts, walnuts, corn carrots, pears and soy products like tofu, soy milk and soybeans. So avoiding these foods can help in your quest to encourage better thyroid health.