A brief explanation of hypothyroidism and its symptoms
Hypothyroidism, or an under or overactive thyroid, is the condition in which your body produces the incorrect amount of thyroid hormones. Your thyroid’s main purpose is to regulate your body’s metabolism and an underactive thyroid will cause your metabolism to slow. An overactive thyroid will produce too much of these hormones. There is an estimated 10 million Americans that suffer from this relatively common medical condition.
The most common early symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Mental and physical fatigue
- Weight gain
Other symptoms that are less common, but can be present, include:
- Sensitivity to cold
- Cold hands and feet
- Thick tongue
- Dry and brittle hair and nails
- Muscle or joint pain
- Pale or yellowish skin
During the later stages of the disease, other symptoms can appear, these include:
- Poor memory
- Slow thought processing
- Poor circulation
- Decreased sense of taste and smell
- Swelling of the face
- Swollen hands and feet
- Muscle spasms
- Joint stiffness
Diagnosing hypothyroidism is done by testing the blood for the proper levels of thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH). Having one or more of the hypothyroidism symptoms is usually enough to have your doctor order the testing done. Because of the many factors that can affect the TSH level, a second or even third test may be ordered by the doctor to ensure he has the correct diagnosis. The reasons for multiple testing vary, but can include the patient suffering from an unrelated illness, having an iodine deficiency or undergoing radiation therapy. Usually the TSH levels are not checked while undergoing a hospital stay because of the risk of false readings.
Treating hypothyroidism can take a number of forms. The most common of which is a synthetic hormone replacement regimen. Synthetic thyroxine, or levothyroxine, treatment is usually prescribed and this procedure usually stabilizes the thyroid within 4 to 8 weeks. Regular checks can last for up to a year following the procedure. Other forms of thyroid replacement therapy are
available and you should discuss the best procedure for you with your doctor.
Hypothyroidism isn’t a problem to be taken lightly, but with the proper diagnosis and an effective thyroid replacement regimen, the problems associated with it can be minimized and your body can resume its natural balance relatively quickly after diagnosis and treatment.
Hypothyroidism is a disease in which the human body doesn’t get enough thyroid hormone, usually caused by an imbalance in the thyroid gland. It is an easily treated disease, once it has been detected, but if left untreated for too long it can cause many physical problems and in extreme cases to coma or death.
Is it terrible to have hypothyroidism symptoms?
Although, hypothyroidism sounds like a very frightening disease, it can be controlled and once the cause of the hypothyroidism is discovered, eliminating the disease can be a real possibility. Early detection of the disease is the key. Many hypothyroidism symptoms mimic other diseases and may be misdiagnosed until a blood test measuring thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH) confirms it.
With the exception of a goiter, present if you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, many of the symptoms and signs can be ignored or blamed on other causes. These symptoms range from fatigue to dry skin and many others. Because of the generalized nature of these symptoms, and their prevalence in other diseases, requesting a blood test for TSH isn’t the first option most doctors choose when patients have the warning signs. This can cause a delay in diagnosing and treating hypothyroidism.
Why do you get hypothyroidism?
If you contract hypothyroidism, you aren’t alone. It is a common endocrine disorder and millions of people have been diagnosed with this disease. Although, there are many causes of hypothyroidism, they can be broken down into 5 main categories:
1) Poor eating habits. Eating too much refined food and sugar can cause your insulin levels to increase, this is followed by an increase in your cortisol production to bring your blood sugar levels back into balance. The thyroid gland is responsible for controlling your metabolism and when you have too much insulin followed by too much cortisol, the thyroid will slow your metabolism. This slow down results in you not getting enough thyroid hormone in your body.
2) Chronic stress. Our bodies were designed to handle stress in small doses, with breaks between them. By exposing our bodies to chronic stress, we are forcing the adrenal glands to produce too much adrenaline, which the thyroid sees as an attack on the body and it slows down the metabolism, leading to the same problems as with refined foods.
3) Insufficient sleep. This affects the adrenal glands in a similar way as chronic stress and with much the same results.
4) Environmental toxins. There are many products on the market that can have a secondary effect on our body’s ability to manufacture hormones. Although, they may not have a direct link with the thyroid, they can imbalance our hormonal levels causing our thyroid gland to react.
5) Genetics. Research is showing that although genetics has an effect on our hormonal levels, it plays a lesser role to other environmental factors like diet and general health.
The good news about the genetic findings is that since our environment is the primary cause of hormonal and thyroid imbalance, controlling our diet and health can minimize your chance of contracting hypothyroidism and improve your chances of being cured if you already have it.
Although, hypothyroidism can happen to both men and women, females are five times more likely to develop thyroid problems. Diagnosis is also problematic because many of the hypothyroidism symptoms in women mimics the symptoms of menopause.
Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland, located in the front of the neck, doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. This hormone is important to the regulation of many of your body’s functions and an imbalance can cause a number of problems. Hypothyroidism can result from many causes, diet and environment being the most important factors.
Because hypothyroidism and menopause share many of the same symptoms, including insomnia, moodiness, weight gain, depression, skin changes, constipation and cold intolerance, many times doctors don’t realize they are dealing with two separate conditions and misdiagnose the problem. This acceptance of these symptoms as part of the natural aging process or a byproduct of menopause is reinforced by seeing older family members going through the process and treating it as a natural part of aging. Doctors can also strengthen this attitude of treating these symptoms as ‘normal’ hormonal changes resulting from menopause.
Hypothyroidism in pregnancy can harm both the mother and the baby if undiagnosed and untreated. Care should be taken for early detection, or prevention, but if you are pregnant and are diagnosed with hypothyroidism or you have hypothyroidism and get pregnant, following relatively simple rules and advice will keep both the mother and child safe and healthy.
The first thing to do is to consult with a physician. Regular checkups and maintaining proper treatment for hypothyroidism and pregnancy are important enough without the complications of having both. Treatments for hypothyroidism will need to be modified while you are pregnant.
Because you need to take additional nutrients to support the baby, you will need to modify your diet.These modifications can include an increase in your iodine intake and you and your physician can go over any special or changing dietary needs you will have.
Prenatal vitamins contain calcium and iron. Both of these minerals can interfere with thyroid hormone replacement absorption, so a schedule will need to be worked out to get the benefits of both medications. Usually, if you take the prenatal vitamins three to four hours after the hormone treatment, the absorption of both into your body will be smooth.
Although, physical fatigue will be a concern, you need to maintain the proper exercise level during your pregnancy for both your health and the health of the baby. Exercise can minimize weight gain and keep your blood circulating properly. Both of these can help prevent complications in the pregnancy.
Monitoring your thyroid levels should be done on a regular basis. Your body’s ability to manufacture thyroid hormone will be going through changes during the pregnancy and you should have the levels checked at least once in each trimester to determine any changes that need to be made to your hormone therapy levels.
Although it is possible for a baby to be born with hypothyroidism, the incidences are rare. This condition should be screened for as a newborn and, again, if the baby displays any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism. These symptoms can include poor eating; very little crying, but is always sleeping; a large tongue, belly or head; below normal heart rate and blood count; and others. Blood tests can accurately determine if your child has this condition and it is important to get it treated as quickly as possible.
With the proper diagnosis, you can work to minimize the effects that hypothyroidism can have on your pregnancy and on the health of your child.Although this disease will complicate your pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage is four times higher in women with hypothyroidism, it can be controlled and the risk to you and your baby minimized.
Many children are suffering from hypothyroidism. This situation can be dangerous for most children. In some cases, it may lead to the dangerous health issues. Therefore, all parents have to learn about hypothyroidism in children. There are some useful tips that can help all patients treat this condition easily. Here are some important things that people need to know about this problem.
Reasons of Hypothyroidism in Children
a. Unhealthy diet (Acquired Factors)
This is the first reason that can trigger this situation. Hypothyroidism can occur when people lose the function of their thyroid glands. Some children consume a lot of products or medicines that are high in iodine. This substance can reduce the overall function of the thyroid gland. When they don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables, they can also increase their risks of getting this problem.
b. Genetic factor
Some children are suffering from this situation because of this genetic factor. When this factor occurs, this situation is called as congenital hypothyroidism. Some newborn babies are born without having proper thyroid gland. Because of this reason, all newborn babies in the US hospitals should be tested for the hypothyroidism. This situation can reduce the function of the thyroid gland significantly.
This is another common factor that can cause this health problem. There are some bacterial and viral infections that can damage the normal thyroid gland. This is usually not a permanent situation. It is going to disappear when the infections are completely recovered. It is recommended for all children to consume some antibacterial medications for treating these infections.
How to Treat Acquired Factors in Hypothyroidism in Children
a. Consume some supplements
This is an important tip for all children who are suffering from this situation. They have to consume some recommended supplements. These supplements usually contain some important nutrients, for example protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, healthy fatty acids, fiber, and some other useful ingredients. These products can reduce the possibility of getting hypothyroidism in children.
b. Do some exercises regularly
All children should have healthy lifestyle, so they can avoid this health problem. When they are active in their daily life, they can reduce the possibility of getting this hypothyroidism. It is recommended for them to do some exercises regularly. Regular exercises are very useful to improve their immune system, so they can treat their own infections very quickly.
How to Prevent Genetic Factor
There are some important things that some parents can do, so they can prevent this problem in their children. They have to do some specialized tests. These tests are specially created to detect any genes that can cause hypothyroidism in their children. The combination of these defected genes can increase the risks of this health problem. Some doctors know how to treat these damaged genes, so they can reduce the risks of delivering baby with this situation.
How to Overcome Congenital Hypothyroidism
It is important to check the hormone level in the children’s body. This hormone level can be checked via blood test. Children with hypothyroidism also need to consume levothyroxine. It is a great medicine that can be used to treat this situation. This product is commonly prescribed by many doctors from around the world.