The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland placed in the center of your neck, and is the master gland of metabolism. How well your thyroid is functioning is inter-related with every system in your body. If your thyroid is not running optimally, then neither are you.
Signs Of An Under-Active Thyroid
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- 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
When hypothyroidism isn’t treated, signs and symptoms can gradually become more severe. Constant stimulation of your thyroid gland to release more hormones may lead to an enlarged thyroid (goiter). In addition, you may become more forgetful, your thought processes may slow, or you may feel depressed.
I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism 6 years ago, on a routine health check. It was enlarged on one side and I went immediately to perform some blood research of thyroid hormones, so I can have accurate diagnosis. Many of the symptoms mentioned above were present in my everyday life and I wondered what is going on with me.When I did health check up , I had the answer.It was confirmed that I have hypothyroidism.
The hormones that doctors prescribe to be checked are listed below:
Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb)
Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb)
It is usual check up to establish if you thyroid is functioning well. On basis on the results, your doctor will prescribe what type of medicine you should intake.In my case,I have to take my medicine for the rest of my life.
When to see a doctor
If you’re feeling tired for no reason or have any of the other signs or symptoms of hypothyroidism mentioned above you should make an appointment and see your doctor immediately.
You’ll also need to see your doctor for periodic testing of your thyroid function if you’ve had previous thyroid surgery or treatment with radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medications.
Therefore, if you’re receiving hormone therapy for hypothyroidism, schedule follow-up visits as often as your doctor recommends. Initially, it’s important to make sure you’re receiving the correct dose of medicine. And over time, the dose you need may change.
Although anyone can develop hypothyroidism, you’re at an increased risk if you:
- Have been pregnant or delivered a baby within the past six months
- Have an autoimmune disease
- Have had thyroid surgery (partial thyroidectomy)
- Have a family history of thyroid disease
- Received radiation to your neck or upper chest
- Have other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, a chronic inflammatory condition
- Have been treated with radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medications
Untreated hypothyroidism can lead to a number of health problems:
- Heart problems. Hypothyroidism may also be associated with an increased risk of heart disease.Mild or early form of hypothyroidism in which symptoms have not yet developed, can cause an increase in total cholesterol levels and impair the pumping ability of your heart. Hypothyroidism can also lead to an enlarged heart and heart failure.
- Mental health issues. Depression may occur early in hypothyroidism and may become more severe over time. Hypothyroidism can also cause slowed mental functioning.
- Goiter. Constant stimulation of your thyroid to release more hormones may cause the gland to become larger,a condition known as a goiter. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is one of the most common causes of a goiter. Although generally not uncomfortable, a large goiter can affect your appearance and may interfere with swallowing or breathing.
- Peripheral neuropathy. Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include pain, numbness and tingling in the area affected by the nerve damage. It may also cause muscle weakness or loss of muscle control.
- Infertility. Low levels of thyroid hormone can interfere with ovulation, which impairs fertility. In addition, some of the causes of hypothyroidism — such as autoimmune disorder — can also impair fertility.
- Birth defects. Babies born to women with untreated thyroid disease may have a higher risk of birth defects than may babies born to healthy mothers. These children are also more prone to serious intellectual and developmental problems. Infants with untreated hypothyroidism present at birth are at risk of serious problems with both physical and mental development. But if this condition is diagnosed within the first few months of life, the chances of normal development are excellent.
Your regular health check up can prevent many diseases including this one,therefore don’t waste any precious time.
Check up your self!