• Gavin Guard, Medical Director

Signs You May Have Suboptimal Thyroid Function


Key Takeaways

  • Symptoms can help predict low thyroid function

  • But, testing is much more accurate

  • Gut imbalances may also cause some “low thyroid symptoms”

Could you have low thyroid?


Could you be one of the millions of people with suboptimal thyroid function?

Up to 60% of people who have a thyroid issue don’t even know it. In fact, 1 in 20 Americans have some kind of low thyroid production (X). Thyroid hormone has widespread effects throughout your body. It helps regulate your metabolism, energy levels, brain function, and more.

Most common signs of low thyroid


Here are the the symptoms that are most likely to be present if you have low thyroid (X) (X) (X):

  • Tiredness (81%)

  • Dry skin (63-76%)

  • Mood imbalance (46%)

  • Cold intolerance (64%)

  • Hair loss (30%)



Other symptoms include:

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Brain fog

  • Constipation

  • Irregular periods


Weight gain and low thyroid


Weight gain may be another sign of low thyroid production (X, X). One study found that those with low thyroid were about 15 pounds heavier than those with normal thyroid (X). In addition, some studies suggest a substantial amount of weight loss (around 8 pounds) when those who have low thyroid start on a thyroid replacement medication (X) (X).


More symptoms = higher chance of low thyroid


You may have read the last few symptoms and signs and started to say to yourself, “that’s me… I have that… oh yeah, that’s an issue for me.” Studies suggest that the more of these symptoms you have, the higher likelihood you have of low thyroid:

  • If you have 3 or more of these symptoms → 16% risk

  • 4-6 symptoms → up to 90% risk


This risk goes even higher if you have another autoimmune disease (e.g. multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis) and/or you have a family history of an autoimmune disease or low thyroid.


Testing is most accurate


While these symptoms can help predict if you have low thyroid, I encourage you to work with your doctor or get in touch with our clinic to do some thyroid testing. Testing can help us quantify 1) if you have low thyroid, 2) the degree of low thyroid, and 3) the cause of low thyroid.


Furthermore, testing appears to show imbalances long before symptoms appear (X). Therefore, get some blood testing to confirm any suspicions and then go to work at addressing the underlying cause of any issues.

Your gut may be causing your “low thyroid symptoms”


It’s possible to have “low thyroid symptoms” even if your thyroid labs look “normal.”

This is because common digestive issues can mask themselves as these thyroid symptoms. That’s right… Fatigue, brain fog, mood imbalances, and dry skin can all be traced back to problems in the gut.


Statistically, you are 15 times more likely to have a problem in the gut than low thyroid. For instance, hypothyroidism affects 1% of the population (X) whereas IBS affects around 15% (X) (X) (X).



Unfortunately though, up to 37-60% of low thyroid diagnosis may be incorrect, which leaves many people on unnecessary long-term thyroid medication (X) (X).


Up to 37-60% of low thyroid diagnosis may be incorrect

This means that you would be more likely to resolve your symptoms by first addressing your gut health before your thyroid specifically. For more information on the gut-thyroid connection, check out my other article here.

The Bottom Line


Your thyroid hormone is important for all body functions. The more symptoms you have, the higher chance you are to have low thyroid. But, remember to get good testing to confirm any suspicions.


Also, don’t forget the vastly important role your gut health has on your overall health and your symptoms. If you don’t know where to start, book a free health strategy session here.

I hope you found this information useful and helpful in your journey back to a healthier and happier life.

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