Why Hypothyroidism Occurs and How to Recognize the Symptoms
Who knew that a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck can have such a significant impact on your life? The thyroid gland impacts our skin, heart, liver, kidneys, as well as our brain, and if there’s a problem with it, all of these organs are affected. Sadly, there are times when our thyroid doesn’t function properly which drastically changes the way our body operates. Here’s how you’ll notice that you might suffer from hypothyroidism.
Recognize the symptoms
Hyperthyroidism is relatively standard, but it’s noted that it affects women more often than men. It’s also known that the risk is higher as we age, which is why it’s crucial to pay attention to any of the following symptoms: fatigue, cold intolerance, and drastic change in your weight. You might feel more tired than ever, and notice that you’ve lost your appetite, yet you will see that you have started putting on weight. You may also have higher blood pressure as your heart’s pumping ability will slow. There are also some mental effects as hyperthyroidism is similar to depression so you might notice that you have problems concentrating and remembering things, as well as losing interest in things that you used to be passionate about.
What you can do
In the past, people have been advised to consume more fish oil and avoid eating certain kinds of vegetables such as kale. Fortunately, doctors have a reason to believe that there’s no connection between kale and thyroid problems, so you’re free to eat your favorite vegetable without fear. If your iodine levels aren’t low, you can eat broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts without worrying that you’ll affect your thyroid. Today, you can take synthetic hormones in pill form to replace your body’s thyroid hormone, and if the condition is permanent, you should take the pills for the rest of your life. You can also try eating foods that can speed up a slow thyroid such as seaweed, shellfish, millet, and unfermented soy.
What causes hypothyroidism
There are a few common causes of hypothyroidism, the first one being thyroid gland inflammation caused by a person’s own immune system, and the second one being specific medical treatments that have warranted surgical removal of a portion or the entire gland. This usually happens if a person has thyroid cancer and the surgeons are trying to remove the affected part. Sometimes, the remaining portion of the gland will work well enough, but other times, it just can’t produce enough hormones. There are also cases when a person has a perfectly healthy thyroid, but the pituitary gland doesn’t provide enough hormones to stimulate it, thus causing hypothyroidism.
Symptoms may vary from one person to another, and even if you’re not 100% sure that what you’re experiencing is related to your thyroid, it’s always a good idea to visit a clinician and schedule a physical exam. They will check to see if your thyroid gland is enlarged, whether your skin is dry, and they’ll check your cholesterol levels. Another way is to test your blood for levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone, and if your levels are normal (between 0.45 and 4.5 mU/L), you won’t need treatment. If, on the other hand, the levels are elevated (above 4.5 mU/L) or low, you’ll need treatment.
Hypothyroidism is a condition that affects people globally, but even though you might think there’s nothing wrong with your thyroid gland, it’s essential to have it checked regularly. Also, if you make healthy choices and adopt healthy habits, you’ll be less likely to suffer from any of these symptoms and keep your thyroid healthy for a long time.
by Diana Smith
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in health and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.