Recognize the Early Signs of Hypothyroidism in Women
Hypothyroidism is a congenital disorder that often affects women because they’re more likely to develop autoimmune problems during the course of their lifetime, making them more susceptible to the effects of this condition.
Regular visits to your doctor are essential to diagnosing and treating the disease, and keeping it from progressing.
Symptoms like lack of concentration, memory loss, or severe exhaustion can be related to stress at work or in the home, but could also indicate that the thyroid gland is failing.
This tiny organ in the body is responsible for controlling your basal metabolic levels, for regulating hormones, and for distributing energy throughout your body to support the function of various organs.
When this disease appears you might experience the following symptoms:
- Dry skin and brittle hair
- Weak nails
- Slow reflexes
- Poor concentration and poor short-term memory
- Depression and mood swings
- Weight gain
- Sensitivity to cold
- Thickened skin
- High blood pressure
A low level of the thyroid hormone is what makes women more likely to develop this disease. Your metabolism slows down and the immune system is rapidly weakened.
Instead of protecting your body, your white blood cells begin to attack the thyroid gland causing microtumors to develop that can eventually become cancerous.
Women who are pregnant should take special precautions, as an increase in body weight can cause a decrease in the production of thyroid hormones.
Fortunately, there are a lot of treatment options available to slow the progress of this disorder.
See also: Thyroid imbalance symptoms
What is the best treatment?
The many ways in which the disease manifests don’t always appear at the same time, that’s why medical diagnosis relies directly on laboratory testing.
Women who are under the age of 21 should consult a specialist to identify the appropriate course of action according to their symptoms.
It’s possible that taking birth control pills or other hormonal contraceptives to prevent pregnancy could affect the effectiveness of the medication prescribed by a doctor. In this case an individualized dose of levothyroxine or similar medication will likely be taken by the patient on an empty stomach for the rest of their life.
It’s a bit more difficult to prescribe the right medication if the patient has signs of a heart or lung condition. That’s why it’s important to have regular checkups to rule out possible interactions related to these diseases, and to track if any negative side effects like upset stomach or recurring headaches appear.
Hypothyroidism is often accompanied by poor function of the adrenal gland that’s difficult to alleviate, even if you’re taking thyroxine derivatives. That’s why corticosteroids are usually administered alongside the initial treatment.
Other better known complications include pituitary hypothyroidism, which causes a critical degeneration of the hypothalamus.
Some of the recommendations that experts have for women who are affected by this disorder include maintaining a healthy diet along with high fluid intake to keep the body hydrated.
Exercise also plays an important role in the oxygenation of the bloodstream, which can benefit the patient significantly when it comes to this disease.
At home and natural treatments
You can control the discomfort caused by this disorder with some natural alternatives that will help facilitate the healing process and improve how you feel. Some of the more common treatments include:
Beans contain a substance known as niacin. Niacin is responsible for stimulating the production of steroid hormones that regulate stress levels and keep your body balanced.
They are a great way to keep your cortisol levels from rising and reduce the rate of disease.
Just let your beans soak overnight, and cook them for 30 minutes. Save the liquid after cooking.
How to consume it?
Drink about half a cup of the reserved cooking liquid in the morning for two weeks, then let your body rest for another two weeks. This way you can evaluate the effects and see how your body reacts.
Honey and pennyroyal tea
These two ingredients can be an effective treatment against hypothyroidism. They provide your body with essential nutrients like iron and potassium.
Boil a cup of water and add a teaspoon of pennyroyal leaves and a little honey.
How to consume it?
Drink this tea every morning after breakfast to keep the pennyroyal from being to harsh on an empty stomach
Kelp, a type of algae, contains a lot of iodine, one of the compounds that your body cannot naturally produce and whose absence contributes to the progression of the disease.
In addition, marine algae contain other minerals like calcium, potassium, and iron that will alleviate your symptoms and facilitate the absorption of prescribed medications.
How to consume it?
Just add kelp or algae to your salads raw, or steam them first. When you incorporate them into your diet you’ll notice the difference.
Today hypothyroidism affects nearly 1,000 additional women a year, but advances in science and medicine are already helping to control this degenerative condition. In time you’ll feel back to normal.
Simply by leading a healthy lifestyle, keeping a healthy and balanced diet, and exercising regularly you can avoid many of the symptoms of this disease.
We recommend reading: 6 habits that alter thyroid function