Friday, August 30, 2013

Hypothyroidism - Know The Warning Signs

By Micheline Quiles

An underactive thyroid is often known as hypothyroidism. It is a condition that affects the thyroid gland, which causes it to produce fewer hormones than it is supposed to. This small butterfly shaped gland located in the neck controls most of the chemical reactions in the body cells. The cells are responsible for the production energy in the body through metabolism. When the thyroid gland is not functioning well, most of the body organs are impaired. That is why it is important to understand the under active thyroid symptoms so that one can take action before it is too late.

Gaining an early knowledge of hypothyroidism symptoms, especially in women, may inhibit future complications. The thyroid gland is a necessary component for the endocrine system to regulate the metabolism of many vital organs. With a deficiency - a higher risk of infection, heart disease, and infertility are possible and are all common indicators of thyroid problems.

A recent study in the United Kingdom discovered that 8% of men over 65 and women over 50 have an underactive thyroid. Although indicators are similar in both sexes, hypothyroidism symptoms in women are many times greater. The risk factors increase after menopause.

One of the most common symptoms is reduced metabolism. Since the thyroid gland regulates chemical reactions in the cells, any malfunction will definitely have a negative effect on the metabolic rate of the body. When the thyroid gland is underactive, metabolism slows down. It might not be easy for one to detect this in the early stages. However, it becomes evident as the disease progresses.

Some of the things that can enable one to identify slow metabolic rate include feeling sluggish, gaining weight, needing more sleep, having lack of overall energy and feeling depressed. All these are due to the lack of adequate energy in the body. Therefore, if one is experiencing any of these symptoms, he or she should see the doctor.

Other symptoms of hypothyroidism are dry and pale skin, slowed movements, sensitivity to cold, sore muscles and problems with concentration and memory. Some patients also experience constipation, high cholesterol levels and develop a puffy face. All these are symptoms that can be viewed at the earlier stages of the disease.

If the condition goes unchecked for a long time, one might develop some severe symptoms. One of the severe forms of underactive thyroid symptoms is goiter, which is inflammation of the thyroid gland. It is a visible swelling around the neck that interferes with neck movement. Another serious symptom is an enlarged heart. This is common in children born of mothers with hypothyroidism.

A visit with your doctor should be the first thing to do if you find you are exhibiting symptoms. A simple blood test will show any irregularities that might indicate problems. This is usually done at a local hospital and reported back to your physician. Diagnosis has improved greatly over the years, but there might be something else going on that resembles hypothyroidism. Consult your doctor.

At this point in time, there is no official cure for hypothyroidism. Currently, doctors prescribe synthetic hormones for patients with hypothyroidism. There is an increasing number of people who have discovered that a more holistic approach that includes a healthy hypothyroidism diet and moderate exercise have all but eliminated their condition. No matter which course a person takes, getting an early diagnosis and taking the proper actions will definitely help.

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