What is hypothyroidism?
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid Gland (located in front of the neck) is not functioning at its ideal level. The functioning of the gland is lower than the healthy thyroid gland. When the thyroid gland has a low-level functionality (hypo–meaning low) the conversion of the hormone T4 into T3 suffers
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone in the body cells making the body to be weak. The secretion and production of the hormone in such low quantity that makes the body cells to slow down the process of metabolism. The patient of this condition will therefore experience symptoms like inability to tolerate cold, constipation, and general fatigue. The causes of the disease can be as varied depending on whether one has primary hypothyroidism, secondary hyperthyroidism, or even tertiary hyperthyroidism.
The primary hyperthyroidism is the most common type and is experienced when a transitory or lasting condition in which the thyroid gland is attacked hence the reduction of thyroid hormone. Secondary hyperthyroidism on the other hand is caused by some upset of the pituitary gland, and lastly, tertiary hypothyroidism is caused by the upset of the hypothalamus.
What are the causes of Hypothyroidism?
There are a number of factors that may cause Hypothyroidism in people. They include- dietary/nutritional, hormonal, environmental, and genetic.
Primarily the main causative factors of Hypothyroidism are Iodine deficiency and inflammation of the Thyroid gland known as thyroiditis and drugs.
Inflammation of the thyroid is often a more common reason for thyroid issues. The inflammation can be caused by diet and lifestyle factors. This is positive news for sufferers of Hypothyroidism as it indicates the causative factors are able to be influenced easily.
Disease or environmental factors can also affect the function of the glands located in the brain. These include the Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland.
The Hypothalamus and Pituitary play important roles within the hormonal process that stimulates the thyroid gland. If there is an issue affecting the function of either of these glands the thyroid and its metabolic functions may also be compromised.
Foods may also influence the function and performance of the thyroid gland. Almost all fast food and ‘convenience’ style food can have a detrimental effect on the Thyroid. These high fats, high sugars, high additive foods can create excessive acid and waste in the body which can affect not just the thyroid but the entire glandular system.
What are the Symptoms of Hypothyroidism?
The symptoms associated with Hypothyroidism can vary significantly. Depending upon the degree and severity of hormone deficiency, sufferers can experience a number of symptoms.
For most sufferers, the problems associated with Hypothyroidism tend to develop progressively, almost imperceptibly over months and even years.
The first symptoms people typically experience are fatigue and general lethargy. Often people will ‘explain away’ these symptoms as merely aging. However, as the symptoms progress, it can become more obvious that something is amiss.
Symptoms Hypothyroidism includes:
- Fatigue and Lethargy
- Sluggishness/Decreased desire to exercise
- Heightened awareness of the cold
- Motility issues (irregular bowel movements)
- Dry skin/flaking
- Vocal changes
- Swelling around the facial area
- High cholesterol
- Putting on weight for no apparent reason
- Changes to menstrual cycles including heavier flow
- Pain, stiffness, or swelling in the joints
- Muscle weakness
- Brittle fingernails and hair
- Depression/Poor moods
Thyroid Problems in Men
Typically viewed as a health condition affecting women, Thyroid problems in men are a real and serious condition. The disorder can often be the underlying cause of many of the health concerns and issue men currently face.
Thyroid problems in men can create a situation whereby sufferers experience a constant state of tiredness and fatigue. Where despite 8+ hours of sleep, the heavy feeling of lethargy does not abate. In men, this disorder can often also have negative effects on memory recall. It can often lead to degeneration in the quality of day to day moods and sometimes presenting as depression-like symptoms.
Thyroid problems in men can also cause an undesirable impact on hunger and body fat levels. Due to the low-level functioning of the thyroid gland, the metabolic system does not operate at normal capacity. This often results in a situation where even though appetite is diminished and weight gain still happens.
Changes in sensitivity to cooler environments may also be noticed. This is due to the lower metabolic rate. As energy is being metabolized at a reduced capacity, there is less heat being produced resulting in a lower overall ore body temperature.
The thyroid is the most important organ of the body that is responsible for controlling many functions in the body. There are many glands in the body through which all the necessary functions of the body are carried out. The hormones which are produced in the glands are actually the fluids that help the glands in performing these functions. So if the balance of the hormones in the glands gets disturbed then the body has to face a lot of problems
Hypothyroidism is a serious threat and if left untreated, its symptoms can become worse and create many problems within the body, and affect the lifestyle even more.
It is important to take effective steps to find a solution to your Hypothyroidism. More and more people are investigating natural, non-drug options to combat and deal with their symptoms. Many choose to do this because of the common side effects many people experience when taking the drugs and medication commonly prescribed by doctors.
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