If your thyroid gland’s production of its hormones are below the amount necessary to maintain your normal bodily functions, then you may be suffering from hypothyroidism. This condition, also known as having an underactive thyroid, plays a gigantic role in setting the rate of your metabolism.
In the case of hypothyroidism, your body does not function efficiently and some of the key areas affected are:
The typical initial noticeable symptoms of hypothyroidism is fatigue followed by a complaint of an unexplained weight gain. As your metabolism continues to slow some additional symptoms you may experience include:
- dry skin
- cold sensitivity
- increased blood cholesterol
- joint pain, stiffness, swelling
- abnormally heavy menstruation
- muscle weakness, stiffness, tenderness
Hypothyroidism fatigue and weight gain most often affects 50 plus aged women. Many may attribute their under active thyroid signs as simply aging, since they typically develop slowly over time. Periodically testing your thyroid function is highly recommended if you are in this age group.
Factors, conditions, diseases and disorders can be attributable to causing your hypothyroidism, like:
- iodine deficiency
- pituitary disorder
- congenital disease
- postpartum thyroiditis
- hyperthyroidism treatment
- thyroid removal ~ all/portion
- radiation ~ head/neck cancer treatment
- autoimmune disease ~ Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
The standard medical treatment for an underactive thyroid is taking a life long daily dose of a synthetic thyroid hormone called levothyroxine. You may notice an all most immediate reduction in your feelings of fatigue, and for many, a reverse in their weight gain.
Until proper dosing is established you may experience:
Some factors that might affect levothyroxine absorption:
- iron supplements
- sucralfate ~ ulcer medication
- cholestyramine ~ lower cholesterol
- aluminum hydroxide ~ in some antacids
Be aware that natural extracts containing thyroid hormone you may discover in a health food are not regulated.
Maintenance of thyroid health is via a healthy diet coupled with a regular physical fitness regime. Get moving and eating nature’s bounty in your effort to avoid this lifelong pill popping nuisance.