hypothyroidism: you need to know
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.