While it is common for some people to have heard of an under active thyroid, many still don’t realize the symptoms or ramifications involved with having a thyroid dysfunction. An under active thyroid or Hypothyroidism is a condition whereby the body is lacking enough thyroid hormone to run the body’s metabolism. The symptoms associated with this problem are often times masked and confused with other problems.
It’s been estimated that around 10 million Americans alone suffer from this common medical problem and it’s been said that it could be as high as 10% of all women have some sort of thyroid hormone deficiency. It is actually quite common and many men and women both may have Hypothyroidism of some degree and never know it. The cause could be an auto immune disease where your immune system produces antibodies that in turn attack your tissues. Other causes could be a treatment for the opposite problem, an over active thyroid. In some cases the treatment for an over active thyroid leaves a person with a permanently under active thyroid. Lastly, it is possible that stress can play a direct role in a person developing a thyroid dysfunction.
So, what are the symptoms that you should be looking out for? The symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, unexplained weakness, a weight gain or extreme problems losing weight. You may experience dry and coarse hair or even hair loss. Your skin may become dry, rough or pale. Additionally, you may begin to experience intolerance to cold temperatures. Muscle cramps and experiencing frequent muscle aches are common.
Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include depression, constipation, easy irritation, loss of memory, menstrual cycles that are abnormal in length and a decreased libido. Any one of or even two of these symptoms can be passed off as many different problems, but it takes a doctor who cares enough to find out the real problem to make the connection to thyroid dysfunction.
If you experience several of these problems and cannot find a root cause for it, it’s time to seek help from your doctor. Don’t be afraid to bring up the thought that it could be Hypothyroidism and ask him to please run any needed tests to check for it. Do not be afraid to ask tough questions and do not be afraid to find out what you are really dealing with. It’s up to you to take control of your health.