Headaches Connected to Low Thyroid
by Suzy Cohen, RPh
I like saying ‘I told you so’ because it means you got my help years ahead of everyone else. And in this case, it’s about headaches, migraines and how this condition is tied to hypothyroidism and thyroid hormone insufﬁciencies. Because headaches and thyroid disease is not life-threatening, there isn’t a lot of focus or research on them, but either condition can leave you disabled, impair relationships and reduce your ability to work or play with your children.
Six years after I ﬁrst told you this, we have a new study that was printed in the September 2016 issue of a highly respected publication, The Journal of Head and Face Pain. I’ll nutshell it for you here.
Researchers followed over 8,000 people for 20 years. They tracked vital statistics such as frequency of headaches and migraines, as well as biomarkers of thyroid disease. What they found is exactly what I told you in two of my books, Thyroid Healthy and Headache Free…that is, people with migraines, clusters and tension headaches almost always have hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is when your body fails to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone. Or perhaps it produces it, but your cells can’t take it in and put it to use. Symptoms of low thyroid include anxiety, mood swings, weight gain or inability to lose weight, dry skin, hair loss, poor eyebrow and eyelash growth, irregular menstrual cycles, and the feeling of always being cold. Your hair may be thinner than it used to be and you’re clean out of energy. Maybe you look pale, sleep ﬁtfully or not at all, or you eat like a bird and still gain weight.
If you have these symptoms, you might have low thyroid hormone levels, regardless of what your lab tests say. If you take a medication for cholesterol, for example a statin, those drugs may raise your risk for hypothyroidism. Then, after a few months of taking a statin, your cholesterol numbers look good, but you feel tired, weak and heavier. I told you about that little problem seven years ago.
Anyway, researchers from the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine did a great job monitoring these folks and what they’ve noticed could help you. People with pre-existing headaches have a 21 percent higher risk of having hypothyroidism. If you have migraines, your risk for thyroid disease is about 41 percent greater than the norm.
If you have headaches or migraines, your thyroid levels need to be checked properly. The labs I want you to take and a better set of reference ranges (because the ones on your lab report are old), can be emailed to you if you sign up for my free newsletter at www.suzycohen.com.
If you live in chronic pain or despair, I really want to assure you that there is help out there. It’s often something simple. Regardless of your headache, there are solutions. Please don’t give up.
About the Author: Dr. Suzy Cohen, America’s Pharmacist
Suzy Cohen, RPh has been a licensed pharmacist for 22 years and is a functional medicine practitioner. Dubbed as ‘America’s most trusted pharmacist,’ she devotes most of her time to teaching others about the benefits of natural vitamins, herbs and minerals. In addition to writing her own syndicated health column, “Dear Pharmacist,” which has appeared in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for 13 years, Suzy is the author of three best-selling books on natural health: The 24-Hour Pharmacist (Collins 2007), Diabetes Without Drugs (Rodale 2010) and her newest release, Drug Muggers (Rodale 2011) which teaches consumers about how their medications may be slowly stealing the life out of them, and how restoring vitamins and minerals can prevent side effects and restore vibrant health. Suzy has appeared on The Dr. OZ Show, The Doctors, The View, The 700 Club and Good Morning America Health. You can ask your own health question or read archived articles at www.SuzyCohen.com