Early detection of hypothyroidism, through the close monitoring of signs and symptoms, can help save your life. In severe situations hypothyroidism can lead to coma and death.
Hypothyroidism is a condition that results when the body does not produce enough thyroid hormones, specifically T4 and T3. Often people with hypothyroid disease require supplementation with natural thyroid hormones or a thyroid medication. Lifestyle changes including exercise and a healthy diet can make a huge impact in the life of patients with hypothyroidism.
Your treatment goals will depend on how advanced your hypothyroidism disease is and your present state of health. Your health care provider can help you determine this after assessing your symptoms.
Detecting Primary Signs And Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism
Many people go for years with undetected hypothyroidism or low grade hypothyroidism simply because their symptoms are not severe or they have marginal hypothyroidism. This does not mean their disease does not require treatment.
What are the primary signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism? Some of these are very subtle. For this reason a patient may complain of many of these symptoms, but they are overlooked in a doctor’s visit or attributed to other causes.
For example, a patient may go in for a routine visit, and a practitioner may order lab work. The lab results may show a borderline T4 or T3 thyroid level, but the patient may have another disease, so the doctor may attribute the symptoms of hypothyroidism to this disease.
For this reason it is very critical that you pay attention to your body and honor it. If you feel you may have any of these signs and symptoms, pay attention. You should make note of them and present your findings to your doctor.
Women are more likely than men to develop hypothyroidism. This does not mean however, that men cannot have hypothyroidism, because they do and can develop it. Children can also develop hypothyroidism or be born with it. There is often a hereditary link and the illness may be seen in several family members
Here is a checklist of the more common signs and symptoms:
- Feeling tired most of the time, or excessive fatigue
- Feeling weak or experiencing muscle fatigue
- Experiencing weight gain or having difficulty trying to lose weight despite relatively normal eating habits and exercise
- Losing hair or having hair turn dry or coarse
- Having patchy, rough, dry skin
- Pale skin
- Feeling colder than usual or experiencing intolerance to cold that is unlike the people around you (meaning you are often much, much colder than the people around you given the temperature).
- Having frequent muscle cramps or aches that are not easily relieved
- Having memory loss or difficulty remembering things
- Feeling lowered libido
- Having abnormal menstrual cycles
- Experiencing irritability
- Feeling constipated
Many patients have many of these symptoms, but they are not tested for hypothyroidism. You can ask your doctor to test you for hypothyroidism if you have been experiencing some of these symptoms.
Why You Should Ask For The Test
When someone has hypothyroidism this means the body will produce other hormones to compensate for the lack of thyroid hormones FT3 & FT4. While this may work for a short period of time it does not work in the long term.
Eventually this will cause the thyroid gland to become much larger than usual, which causes a condition known as goiter. The symptoms of hypothyroidism, while mild at first, will often get much worse with time. While someone may think their symptoms are mild, the odds are high they will feel worse if they wait too long for a diagnoses.
It is often far easier and less expensive to treat something before it gets out of hand. Remember, hypothyroidism is usually a disease that is easy to manage and treat. For most patients, they can take a supplement or a medication and make a few lifestyle changes and realize a much better and more productive life.
While the changes necessary may be a little different for everyone, generally they result in very large rewards over the long-term. Remember you can conquer hypothyroidism and live a large and rewarding life.
It is comforting to know that if you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism that there is a range of nutritional and herbal supplements that you can take. These not only help to balance your thyroid hormones to relieve your symptoms, but also help to heal the cause of your illness. Plus the best part is they make you feel fantastic and do not have side effects like those of pharmaceutical medication. Taken alongside some dietary and lifestyle changes you should be feeling fantastic and experience energy levels that you have not felt for a long time.