Hypothyroidism is a medical condition that occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of the hormone thyroxine. This can cause a range of symptoms, including weight gain, fatigue, and depression.
It can be treated with medication, but it’s important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. There are also some lifestyle changes that can help manage the symptoms of the condition. In this article, we’ll explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment for it.
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Hypothyroidism: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Primary causes of hypothyroidism are found far more common. The autoimmune illness known as Hashimoto’s disease is the key cause that manifests itself in the greatest number of patients. Hereditary thyroiditis is a disorder that can also be referred to as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Thyroid hormone deficiencies are the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Thyroxine is a thyroid hormone that is produced in insufficient amounts by the thyroid gland. This can result in a variety of symptoms, including weight gain and tiredness, as well as sadness. Medication may be used to treat hypothyroidism; however, a correct diagnosis by a doctor is necessary.
Thyroid Problems: When to See a Doctor
Many people with hypothyroidism don’t realize they have it because the symptoms develop gradually. It’s important to see a doctor if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Feeling tired all the time
- Unexplained weight gain
- Puffy face
- Dry skin
- Brittle hair and nails
Hypothyroidism can also cause a goiter, which is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. If you suspect that you may have hypothyroidism, it’s important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
How Does My Thyroid Work?
The thyroid gland is a tiny organ that is shaped like a butterfly and is positioned in the front of the neck right below the voice box (larynx). Imagine that the middle of the butterfly’s body is located on your neck, and that the wings are encircling your windpipe and embracing each other.
The thyroid’s primary function is to regulate the body’s metabolic rate. The transformation of the fuel that comes from food into the usable type of energy that your body requires is called metabolism.
These hormones function throughout the body to communicate with the cells of the body and tell them how much energy to use. They regulate both the temperature of your body and the rhythm of your heartbeat.
When your thyroid is functioning properly, it will continually produce hormones, release those hormones into the bloodstream, and then produce new hormones to replace the ones that have been used. This ensures that your metabolism and the rest of your body’s functions continue to operate normally.
The pituitary gland, which is situated in the middle of the skull, just below the brain, is responsible for regulating the amount of thyroid hormones that are released into the bloodstream.
When the pituitary gland detects either a deficiency in thyroid hormone or an excess of it, it modifies its own hormone, which is known as thyroid stimulating hormone, or TSH, and then sends it to the thyroid in order to achieve hormonal equilibrium.
Hypothyroidism: How to Cope With the Symptoms
Hypothyroidism can be a difficult condition to live with, but there are some things you can do to help manage the symptoms. Here are a few tips:
- Get plenty of rest
Fatigue is a common symptom of hypothyroidism, so make sure to get enough sleep.
- Exercise regularly
This can help boost energy levels and improve mood.
- Avoid processed foods
Eating healthy, whole foods can help to regulate thyroid hormone levels.
- Take your medication as prescribed
It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking thyroid medication.
- Manage stress
Stress can worsen hypothyroidism symptoms, so try to find ways to relax and de-stress.
- Monitor your thyroid hormone levels
- Be aware of potential triggers for hypothyroidism flares
- See your doctor regularly
- Join a support group
- Educate yourself about hypothyroidism and its treatment options
Living With Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism can be treated with medication, but it’s important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. The most common type of medication used to treat it is levothyroxine. This medication replaces the thyroid hormone that is not being produced by the thyroid gland. There are also some lifestyle changes that can help manage the symptoms of hypothyroidism.