What is Hypothyroidism?
The thyroid and hypothyroidism go hand in hand with one another. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive, meaning it does not produce enough of the required hormones. This condition can affect everyone, but it tends to occur most frequently in older populations. Some medical professionals have estimated that women are 12 times more likely to develop the condition than their male counterparts.
This condition affects the body’s ability to regulate its hormone production, metabolism and a number of other issues. While it is certainly not fatal, the symptoms can become severe enough that they seriously impede a person’s quality of life. Hypothyroidism is a slow progressing disease. Consequently, the symptoms of the thyroid and hypothyroidism may not become apparent for some time. However, if left untreated, the symptoms may continue to worsen in severity.
If an individual believes that their symptoms are similar to those of hypothyroidism, then they are urged to contact their local doctor quickly. There are a number of accurate thyroid tests that a doctor can employ to diagnose this condition. In most instances, the disease can be easily treated with daily medication. Once a patient’s doctor has determined what the right dosage is for them, then their condition can be expected to improve within a matter of weeks, if not days.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism can present themselves differently in each patient. Which symptoms, and how severe they are, will depend upon the amount of hormone deficiency the patient is suffering from. The symptoms of this condition generally begin with modest weight gain and fatigue. These symptoms are often attributed to other causes, such as aging. However, as the metabolism continues to slow, the symptoms will become more obvious.
Some of the most common symptoms of this hypothyroidism include:
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Unexplained weight gain
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Elevated blood cholesterol level
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
- Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
- Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
- Thinning hair
- Slowed heart rate
- Impaired memory
Once again, these symptoms can affect a person’s quality of life, but because they are treatable, there is no need for a patient to suffer needlessly.
If you believe that you may have hypothyroidism, contact your local doctor today.