Mild thyroid failure is a common problem in the US-especially in older women. It is estimated that 8%-9% people in America has it and this statistic increases as women age. Physicians usually test thyroid levels with a Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test. True thyroid disease needs to be tested thoroughly with a full thyroid panel that includes free levels of T3 and T4 as well as TSH. Thyroid disease is difficult to diagnose because there is a wide range of acceptable levels. Many people that go for years undiagnosed.
Typical physical symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, depression, consistent weight gain, memory problems, and cold intolerance. Research shows that untreated thyroid deficiency leads to excess homocysteine in the body which leads to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and even Alzheimer’s disease. Excess homocysteine levels can also be caused by stress and excess coffee consumption.
The key to naturally increasing your thyroid function and decreasing the harmful effects of homocysteine is to increase your folate or folic acid consumption. Folate is a B vitamin that is found in many fruits and vegetables.