5 amazing things that will happen to your body and mind when your thyroid hormones are in balance

The thyroid gland is important for our health in many ways. That’s why many people diagnosed with an underactive or overactive thyroid notice a range of symptoms before their diagnosis.

Similarly, once when you begin receiving therapy and start implementing healthy lifestyle choices, you’re likely to notice the following:

1. Your dental health improves

Inflamed gums are a common trait of Hashimoto’s and an underactive thyroid. Inflamed gums increase the risk of wound formation, and low thyroid hormones will make the healing process take much longer (1). If you often experience swollen or bleeding gums, it may come from your thyroid. If you have many decaying teeth, it might be because thyroid problems make the tooth enamel very thin and prone to decay (2, 3).

It will take a few weeks for you to notice improvements after your thyroid hormones are back in balance.

2. Your skin, hair, and nails are stronger

Thyroid hormones have a direct effect on skin, hair, and nails (4). When the thyroid is underactive, the skin is thinner, rough and covered with fine scales (5). Your face might be pale and puffy, mostly from Hashimoto’s flareups (4).

If the thyroid is underactive your hair will be dry and coarse, brittle, and might grow more slowly than usual. There might be hair loss, too. Nails may be thickened, brittle, and slow to grow (6).

When thyroid hormones are well balanced, your skin will become more elastic (7), your hair softer and your nails stronger. This might take a few days to few weeks or months.

3. You have less muscle and joint pain

For some people, having an underactive thyroid means experiencing muscle and joint pain. This might show as muscle, joint or tendon stiffness, or pain and swelling (8,9). This happens because thyroid hormones are important for producing collagens, proteins that are major components of both muscles and tendons and ensure they stay elastic and can stretch as we move (10).

Having a good level of the hormone T3 will ensure that muscle and tendon cells have enough collagen as well as helping them recover fast from an injury (11).

If you were experiencing severe muscle and joint pain, you might notice an improvement within a few days, but it usually takes a few weeks at minimum.

4. Your memory improves

An underactive thyroid can cause forgetfulness, because the lack of thyroid hormones affects the hippocampus, a small organ located in the brain which is crucial for memory formation (12).

When thyroid hormones are in balance, your memory should improve within three to six months (13).

5. You sleep better

A lack of thyroid hormones will make you feel tired and like you need an extra few hours of sleep every night. At the same time, your sleep quality is not the best (15).

Overtreatment with thyroid hormones might lead to troubles falling asleep and staying asleep (16).

When thyroid hormones are in balance, sleep quality should become better within a few weeks to months.

References

  1. Young ER. The thyroid gland and the dental practitioner, 1989
  2. Yussif NM, et al. Hypothyrodism as a risk factor of periodontitis and its relation with vitamin D deficiency, 2017
  3. Zahid TM et al, The effects of thyroid hormone abnormalities on periodontal disease status, 2011
  4. Safer JD. Thyroid hormone action on skin, 2011
  5. Heymann WR. Cutaneous manifestations of thyroid disease, 1992
  6. Mullen GE. Cutaneous signs of thyroid disease, 1986
  7. Matsuoka LY, et al. Altered skin elastic fibers in hypothyroid myxedema and pretibial myxoedema, 1985
  8. Oliva F, et al. Calcific Tendinopathy of the Rotator Cuff Tendons, 2011
  9. Milgrom C, et al. Risk factors for idiopathic frozen shoulder, 2008
  10. Yen PM. Physiological and molecular basis of thyroid hormone action, 2011
  11. McLean RM et al. Bone and joint manifestations of hypothyroidism, 1995
  12. Rivas M, et al. Thyroid hormones, learning and memory, 2007
  13. Nystrom E, et al. A double-blind cross-over 12-month study of L-thyroxine treatment of women with subclinical hypothyroidism, 1998
  14. Elberling TV, et al. Reduced myo-inositol and total choline measured with cerebral MRS in acute thyrotoxic Graves’ disease, 2003
  15. Pereira JC, et al. The role of thyroid hormone in sleep deprivation, 2014
  16. Kraemer S, et al. Effects of supraphysiological doses of levothyroxine on sleep in healthy subjects: a prospective polysomnography study, 2011