Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. There are many ways in which hypothyroidism can impact your life, which we review below. Fortunately, hypothyroidism, like many thyroid and parathyroid conditions, is a treatable condition, which we also discuss.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Some of the ways hypothyroidism can impact your life include:
If you have a thyroid condition and are experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, moodiness, irritability and sleep dysfunction, you may be misdiagnosed as having depression. Unfortunately, if you’re misdiagnosed and are put on antidepressants, you may not experience relief, and may still withdraw from activities you once enjoyed like seeing friends at Conner’s Rooftop. However, treating the underlying condition, hypothyroidism, can provide relief.
If you’re gaining weight and can’t pinpoint why, or if you’re trying to lose weight and are unable to, this can be another sign of hypothyroidism. This occurs because hypothyroidism causes your metabolism to slow down.
Hypothyroidism can also slow the release of oil from the oil glands in your skin, leading to dry, irritated skin. In addition, it can cause your hair and nails to become brittle. It’s important to have your thyroid checked if you’re experiencing these symptoms.
Heavy Menstrual Periods
Low thyroid hormone levels can delay the breakdown of estrogen and decrease clotting factors, which can cause heavier periods. Fortunately, with appropriate treatment, periods can return to normal.
Treatment for Hypothyroidism
The first step in seeking treatment for hypothyroidism is to get a blood test, which measures the number of thyroid hormones in your body.
The standard treatment for hypothyroidism is the daily use of the synthetic thyroid hormone called levothyroxine, which is an oral medication that can restore adequate hormone levels. Most people start to feel better and their symptoms reverse after starting treatment.
This treatment is lifelong, but because your hormone levels could change, you’ll still need to do a blood test regularly so your doctor can determine if you need a change in dose.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Ear, Nose & Throat Associates today.