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Hypothyroidism

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Hypothyroidism

Dr. Jack Kunkel

Hypothyroidism

Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland situated at the base of the front of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple.

Hormones produced by the thyroid gland — triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) — have an enormous impact on your health, affecting all aspects of your metabolism which is the process by which the body changes food and drink into energy.

Hypothyroidism – or underactive thyroid- is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain crucial hormones.

Although it may not cause noticeable symptoms in the early stages, over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems such as obesity, joint pain, infertility, and heart disease.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism: 

  • Tiredness.
  • More sensitivity to cold.
  • Constipation.
  • Dry skin.
  • Weight gain.
  • Puffy face.
  • Hoarse voice.
  • Coarse hair and skin.
  • Muscle weakness, Muscle aches, tenderness and
  • stiffness.
  • Menstrual cycles that are heavier than usual or
  • irregular.
  • Thinning hair.
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Depression.
  • Memory problems.

Common causes of Hypothyroidism?

  • Autoimmune diseases, specifically Hashimoto’s disease.
  • Thyroid surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid gland can stop or slow its ability to make thyroid hormones.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Thyroiditis -when the thyroid gland becomes inflamed which causes a spike in thyroid activity (hyperthyroidism) but afterward, the thyroid becomes underactive.
  • Certain Medicine (eg. Lithium which is used to treat some psychiatric disorders.)

Less often, hypothyroidism may be caused by:

  • Problems present at birth
  • Pituitary disorder – failure of the pituitary gland to make enough thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Pregnancy
  • Not enough iodine

Hypothyroidism in women

Although anyone from babies, to teens to adults can develop hypothyroidism, there are certain populations who are more predisposed.

Did you know that women are 10 times more likely to have symptoms of hypothyroidism than men!

Despite how common it is for women to have hypothyroidism, they might not see the symptoms right away because they could be masquerading as other illnesses.

Women with hypothyroidism may have subtle symptoms such as changes in weight, feeling cold regularly, dry skin, changes in menstrual cycle, and fluctuations in mood.

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