Hypothyroidism can be a confusing condition to anyone who hasn’t heard of it before. But the first thing you should know is that it can have a severe impact on your physical well-being. Thus, the more you know, the more prepared you will be when the symptoms arise. So here, we will take you through the most common questions regarding hypothyroidism.
What is the Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid gland is butterfly-shaped, located on the front of the lower neck. Its primary function is to produce thyroid hormones that work their way into a person’s bloodstream before regulating the body’s metabolic rate. They also assist in the regulation of the heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, mood and bone maintenance.
It is also possible to buy manufactured thyroid hormones such as liothyronine and levothyroxine as part of a medication regime. All organs are functioning the way they should thanks to the thyroid gland unless hypothyroidism sets in.
What Causes Hypothyroidism?
One possible way to alleviate the possibility of hypothyroidism is to be aware of the conditions that could potentially lead to the condition. These conditions include:
- Auto-immune disease – Our immune system safeguards us from all sorts of ailments like colds and parasites. But there have been some cases-particularly in women —in which the immune system can mistake the enzymes produced by the thyroid gland as invaders and prevent them from entering the system.
- Thyroid gland surgical removal – As the primary source of thyroid hormones, if the gland was to be removed as part of a surgical procedure, then you will be unable to generate the necessary amount of thyroid hormones.
- Radiation treatment – If you are being exposed to radiation as part of medical treatment, you risk damaging your thyroid gland’s ability to function.
What are the Symptoms of Hypothyroidism?
If thyroid hormones levels decrease sharply, all the major bodily functions start to slow down.
There are many symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, such as fatigue and an evident decrease in energy. You may find yourself becoming light-headed,and because your metabolism has slowed down, you might have difficulty either losing or gaining weight. You will be more susceptible to getting a cold or the flu. You can develop rough, patchy skin. And you’ll start to feel muscle cramps which could hinder your mobility. And on the mental side of things, you may find yourself experiencing mood swings and feeling depressed for no explicable reason.
How to Treat Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism cannot be cured. It is a lifelong condition that will see many patients always struggling with symptoms. But the symptoms can be managed. To do this, it is vital that a patient receives a healthy amount of thyroid hormones. If the thyroid gland is unable to produce them, then you require a substitute. This can be found in medications that produce artificial thyroid hormones levothyroxine (a manufactured form of thyroxine) and liothyronine (a manufactured substitute for triiodothyronine).
Hopefully, you can now come away with some more clarity about hypothyroidism and be more prepared for any physical or mental battles the condition brings your way.