Hypothyroid (Underactive Thyroid) Symptoms
Hypothyroidism symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the hormone deficiency which can develop over a period of time. Depending on what stage or level of severity you are the symptoms will become more evident as this level increases.
Some of the key symptoms or signs of hypothyroidism are things such as weight gain, fatigue which in most cases is passed over as just getting old. This is understandable because as you age your metabolism does slow so can mask the fact you are suffering from an underactive thyroid.
These are some of the more common symptoms to lookout for:
- Dry Skin
- Sensitive to cold weather
- Muscle fatigue or weakness
- A puffy face
- Elevated Blood cholesterol levels
- Aches and pains in your joints
- Swelling of the joints
- Weight slightly more during your menstrual periods
- Hair gets thinner
- Slowing of the heart rate
- Bouts of depression
- Impaired Memory
If you suffer from a combination of these symptoms then you need to visit your doctor as soon as possible. Delaying this will make the symptoms more severe as constant stimulation of your thyroid gland, releases more hormones and can lead to an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) which is basically a swelling of the neck. In these cases you may find that you memory starts to fail you more regularly and you are constantly feeling depressed.
What is a Goiter – Goiter Treatments
Goiter (GOI-tur) is basically an abnormal enlargement of your thyroid gland. Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck just below your Adam’s apple. Although goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough and make it difficult for you to swallow or breathe.
The most common cause of goiter worldwide is a lack of iodine in the diet. In the United States, where the use of iodized salt is common, a goiter is more often due to the over- or underproduction of thyroid hormones or to nodules that develop in the gland itself.
Advanced Hypothyroidism (Myxedema)
This is not s common but can become life threatening if not treated quickly. The mains symptoms in these cases re low blood pressure, reduced breathing, a drop in body temperature. This condition can be fatal if not treated.
There are anti-thyroid medications on the market that are used to treat this condition. Hypothyroidism is often treated with iodine to reduce or normalise the thyroid function. Thyroid surgery is also an option which involves removing the large portion of the thyroid gland which aims to halt the hormone production. You would have to take a thyroid hormone for life.
The general treatment of hypothyroidism usually involves daily use of the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine,Levothroid, Synthroid and others). This oral medication helps to restore adequate hormone levels and reverses the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism.
It takes about 10 – 15 days before you notice the difference which could be less fatigue and increased energy. These types of medication will also gradually reduce your cholesterol levels which have been elevated by this condition. You will normally notice some weight loss as well.
If you are being treated with levothyroxine you will find this is a lifelong treatment with annual reviews and check ups.