Hypothyroidism: Get The Help You Need
It is estimated that 1 in 5 women will develop hypothyroidism; which is an under active thyroid at some point in their lives. The most disconcerting fact is millions of women have some degree of thyroid hormone deficiency and are not even aware that they have the disorder.
There are two main reasons for this occurrence. First of all the symptoms can vary greatly for each individual and are therefore misdiagnosed by many doctors. The other reason is that many women refuse to seek help in the first place and do not associate the symptoms they are experiencing a sa medical problem.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormone. Simplified, the thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland found in the neck which pumps out hormones that impact how smoothly and efficiently your body can run when converting calories to energy. The main purpose of the thyroid gland ultimately is to run the body's metabolism.
There are several symptoms which are associated with hypothyroidism however diagnoses can be difficult because you may not experience all of the symptoms or many may be very subtle and hard to detect. That being said, the list of symptoms is as follows:
- fatigue, loss of energy
- weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
- dry hair or skin
- cold intolerance, can seem to stay warm
- muscle or joint pain
- depression or loss of interest
- mood swings
- abnormal menstrual cycles, difficulty getting pregnant
- decreased libido
- constipation, irregularity
Doctors typically use a blood test to help determine whether or not a thyroid diagnosis is warranted. This test measures the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the body, a level of 10 or more indicates hypothyroidism. Unfortunately a large percentage of individuals fall into a grey area known as sub clinical hypothyroidism with levels between 3 and 10 and many doctors will not provide treatment because many believe that medications may lead to hyperthyroidism which also has its own set of issues. If this is the case then get a second opinion or contact an endocrinologist who specializes in this area.
Another indicator for seeking a TSH blood test is family history. If you have a family history with autoimmune disorder such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis than do not over look your symptoms. Linked to this fact is also grey hair, if they started to appear, even a couple before the age of30 it would be wise to seek out more information.
You should contact your doctor if you have any combination of these symptoms especially if they persist for more than two months. Do not assume for instance that you are tired and moody due solely to your busy life style because it is estimated that approximately 13 million cases can undetected each year. Many women assume that their lifestyle is the only contributing factor to how they are feeling and this is not always the case. Pay attention to what your body is telling you and be proactive in getting the care that you need.
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