When Do Most People Get Diagnosed with Thyroid Conditions?
Thyroid issues are common yet often misunderstood health conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. These problems can lead to a range of symptoms, from fatigue and weight gain to mood swings and hair loss. However, they often go under-diagnosed. People don’t get the care that they need because their healthcare partner doesn’t target the root-cause thyroid issue.
In this article, we’ll explore when most people get diagnosed with thyroid conditions, compare this to when symptoms typically appear, delve into the reasons for under-diagnosis, and discuss how functional medicine can help manage thyroid imbalances effectively.
No matter your age, Functional Nutrition Resources can help you manage and reverse your thyroid symptoms. Using personalized wellness rooted in functional medicine, we help your body reset imbalances and produce the right levels of hormones. Wondering when most people get diagnosed with thyroid conditions, or what to do if you receive such a diagnosis? For more information, check out our thyroid health services in Tulsa. Otherwise keep reading for a brief overview.
When Do People Get Diagnosed with Thyroid Issues?
Thyroid conditions are generally diagnosed when people seek medical attention due to persistent symptoms or as part of routine health check-ups. Most diagnoses occur between the ages of 30 and 60, with women being more susceptible than men. However, it’s important to note that thyroid issues can affect people of all ages and genders. As our modern world exposes us to more toxins and stressors, we’re seeing people develop thyroid conditions at younger ages.
Diagnoses don’t always occur with symptoms. In many cases, a conventional practitioner will only seriously consider thyroid care when the patient asks multiple times or symptoms are so bad that they require immediate intervention. Functional medicine practitioners such as Functional Nutrition Resources know how serious these issues can be when people are not properly diagnosed for thyroid conditions. It’s one of the first things we check for when new clients visit us for a consultation.
When Do Symptoms of Thyroid Issues Usually Appear?
One of the peculiar aspects of thyroid problems is that symptoms often appear long before a formal diagnosis is made. In many cases, people may experience symptoms for months or even years before seeking medical advice or receiving a correct diagnosis. The symptoms can be subtle and easily attributed to other factors, which may delay the identification of the underlying thyroid dysfunction.
Common symptoms of thyroid issues include the following:
- Fatigue and low energy levels
- Weight changes (unexplained weight gain or loss)
- Mood swings, depression, or anxiety
- Hair loss and brittle nails
- Irregular menstrual cycles in women
- Cold intolerance or excessive sweating
- Muscle and joint pain
- Memory and cognitive problems
Why Are Thyroid Imbalances Under-Diagnosed and Under-Addressed?
Several factors contribute to the under-diagnosis and under-addressing of thyroid imbalances, affecting the timeline when most people get diagnosed with thyroid conditions. Some of these factors have to do with conventional medicine’s stance toward thyroid conditions. Other factors have to do with the fact that symptoms can look like symptoms of other diseases.
In fact, a large percentage of thyroid conditions are related to underlying autoimmune diseases. Conventional doctors might see a thyroid isse and prescribe a medication, but these medications do not address the autoimmune issue causing the thyroid condition in teh frist place. This often leaves the patient feeling frustrated and confused when the treatment does not lead to improvement.
Here are other reasons your thyroid condition might go under-addressed:
Thyroid symptoms often overlap with other medical conditions, making them difficult to attribute solely to thyroid dysfunction.
Physicians may misinterpret thyroid symptoms as signs of stress, depression, or aging, leading to incorrect or delayed diagnoses.
Traditional medical practices sometimes rely solely on TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone) levels for diagnosis, which can miss thyroid imbalances that are not yet severe enough to affect TSH levels.
Thyroid conditions can manifest differently in each person, making it challenging to identify a single set of diagnostic criteria.
Lack of Awareness
Many individuals and healthcare providers may not recognize the wide-ranging impact of thyroid disorders, leading to under-prioritization in clinical practice.
How Functional Medicine Helps with Thyroid Issues
When people get diagnosed with thyroid conditions, they may not know the help that functional medicine can give them. Functional medicine offers a holistic approach to managing thyroid imbalances by addressing the root causes rather than just treating symptoms. Here’s how functional medicine can be beneficial.
Functional medicine practitioners often conduct extensive thyroid panel tests, including TSH, T3, T4, and thyroid antibodies, to obtain a more accurate picture of thyroid function.
Personalized Treatment Plans
Functional medicine practitioners consider an individual’s unique health history, lifestyle, and genetics to create personalized treatment plans that focus on diet, nutrition, and lifestyle changes.
Diet plays a crucial role in thyroid health. Functional medicine often includes dietary modifications and the use of supplements to support thyroid function.
Gut and autoimmune conditions can have a significant impact on thyroid health, as they may lead to inflammation and immune system dysfunction that can disrupt thyroid function and contribute to thyroid disorders.
Chronic stress can exacerbate thyroid issues. Functional medicine addresses stress through techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and lifestyle modifications. Toxins also put the body under significant stress. We often think of stress as a mental or emotional experience, but stress can also be triggered by environmental and physical factors.
Functional medicine emphasizes optimizing sleep, exercise, and toxin exposure to promote overall wellness and thyroid health.
Medication When Necessary
While functional medicine focuses on natural approaches, it acknowledges the potential need for medication in some cases and aims to minimize reliance on drugs whenever possible.
Do You Have Thyroid Symptoms? Get to the Root Cause with Functional Nutrition Resources
When do most people get diagnosed with thyroid conditions? Thyroid issues are complex conditions that affect a significant portion of the population, so proper diagnosis is important. However, despite the prevalence of symptoms, many individuals remain undiagnosed or under-diagnosed for extended periods.
Functional medicine offers a promising approach to addressing thyroid imbalances by considering the individual as a whole and tailoring treatment plans accordingly. People diagnosed with thyroid conditions, when equipped with a more comprehensive understanding of thyroid issues and the support of functional medicine, can achieve better management and improved quality of life. If you suspect you have thyroid issues, watch our introductory video and schedule a discovery call.