Thyroid imbalances occur when your thyroid isn’t functioning optimally. Thyroid imbalances are caused by a variety of factors, including environmental toxins, medications, iodine intake and even genetics. An overactive thyroid, known as hyperthyroidism, occurs when the thyroid glands produce too many hormones for the body to handle. This can result in symptoms ranging from heart palpitations and anxiety to weight loss, heat intolerance and muscle weakness. On the contrary, Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland is producing too few hormones and is much more common. Some studies estimate that as many as 1 in 7 adults suffer from an underactive thyroid.
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Thyroid disorders don’t discriminate. It’s estimated that thyroid conditions affect more than 12 million Americans each year. Even scarier, the majority of women and men suffering from conditions like hypothyroidism don’t even know it. Just ask hip-hop artist/songwriter Missy Elliot who recently revealed to PEOPLE magazine that she was being treated for an incurable and severe form of hyperthyroidism known as Graves disease.
Missy Elliot isn’t the only celebrity to go public with a thyroid condition. Here is a list of some other big names that you may recognize:
Oprah Winfrey – This popular daytime talk-show host was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and used bioidentical hormones to restore balance naturally.
Kim Cattrall – This Sex and the City starlet suffers from a common form of hypothyroidism, known as Hashimoto’s disease.
Kelly Osbourne – Daughter of the Prince of Darkness himself, Kelly’s overactive thyroid caused her to lose 30lbs! She reportedly refused treatment due to fears of regaining the weight she had lost.
Jillian Michaels – Fitness aficionado Jillian Michaels was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism at the age of 30 and reports feeling better with the help of medication and a well-balanced diet.
Roger Ebert – This renowned film critic was diagnosed with thyroid and salivary cancer and actually lost his ability to speak due to a rare side effect from his thyroid surgery.