Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why are so many women experiencing thyroid issues?

Image from photographersdirect.com

Today my parents' neighbour dropped in seeking a pair of pliers, she'd unfortunately got her key jammed in the keyhole of her front door.

She greeted me cheerily, "I wondered which one of you girls it was at home" she said. It made me smile inside, because in the 9 days I have been here I have been outside on only 3 or 4 occasions, usually straight out of or into the car. How on earth did she know I was home? And why was she wondering which one- that means she didn't know if it was me or my sister? When you live in a small town this kind of thing can get annoying, one can't do anything without being noticed. But I don't live in this small town, I grew up here, but now I just visit. I can appreciate these little things that come hand in hand with a small community; I can also go back to the land of anonymity (Melbourne) when I've had enough.

But today I appreciated it, because it's nice to know that people are aware, and she's a really nice lady, so I like to know that she's my parents' neighbour and that everyone in the court is looking out for each other.

'Just home for a couple of days?' She inquired. I explained, 'No, a couple of weeks, I have an overactive thyroid.' She was disappointed for me and said that her sister had been sick with the same thing for a couple of years, she reeled off a few of the symptoms her sister had been experiencing until her recent operation to remove the thyroid 'irritable, hungry, tired all the time, bitchy'. I saw Mum smiling knowingly, I nodded too, I know I'm not the person I was a year ago, my patience seems to wander off and leave me regularly, and yes I notice I am prone to being more bitchy. The kind of thing I dislike in others and myself.

But this lovely neighbour got me thinking, is this thyroid problem a lot more common than I thought? I know that when you buy a new car they say you start to see them everywhere. It's true, I saw a number of little red Yaris's when I bought my own home from the dealer. So am I now starting to notice and elicit thyroid related information from the people I meet? Since my diagnosis a couple of weeks ago I have met or heard of six other women with complex thyroid issues. I say complex, because from what I've learned there's nothing simple about a thyroid out of balance.  The symptoms and treatment can be complex and hard to put your finger on; and the reason provided by endocrinologists or GPs as to why the problem develops are usually not terribly enlightening.

So now I ponder, what's going on that women of all ages in our western world have got whacked thyroids? They're either over functioning or under functioning. I have no answers right now, but I'm totally open to clues. In fact I feel like I'm embarking on a treasure hunt! I want to consider this question on all levels, taking into account our lifestyles, our personality types, our environment, diet, exercise, spirituality. I'm thinking metaphysics here, the big picture.

It might be time to pull out the bible on this one. My 'You Can Heal Your Life' bible written by Louise Hay. I love her work and her book reminds me of my children's bible I had as a young girl, full of colour and easy to read. I no longer have the Christian version of the bible, I now have favourite authors and great teachers of this time and my own 'wise one' inside to guide me.

So the question has been posed, what's underlying the thyroid issue? Is there more for me to learn? Are there things we just don't know?

Please leave comment if you've got any hints or clues, or your own thyroid story to share, or flick me an e-mail at innerbeam@gmail.com


  1. I've started noticing the same thing and was hoping someone can shed some scientific data behind what I perceived as an uptick in these occurrences.

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  4. Hmm, I don't have any data but I have a hypothesis that it could be lifestyle related. Most people with thyroid issues have an auto immune condition, which means the body is out of balance and attacking itself. This could be relevant to the changes to our food-it's more refined, processed & chemically altered. We're exposed to pollutants in air, water etc & everyday chemicals in the home, including beauty products.

    Also our lives can be more hectic & intense, not allowing adequate rest. What do you think?

    Sarah Wilson talks about these lifestyle factors quite a bit on her blog and over time she has made so many healthy changes that that she has healed her autoimmune condition. (See a link to her blog on sidebar).


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