Hypothyroidism is a disorder that affects the thyroid gland. It’s produced by a low production of hormones, which triggers problems in various parts of your body.
It is a common problem for women who are over 60. It can occur at younger ages, however, due to exposure to factors that interfere with the function of your thyroid.
In the initial stages it may not be noticeable. But, as it progresses, this disorder causes numerous conditions that affect your quality of life.
It’s very important to know how to identify it. This way, you can find a treatment that will minimize its negative effects on your body.
For this reason we want to review some of the causes of hypothyroidism and share 10 key symptoms with you so you’ll recognize them if they develop.
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What are the causes of hypothyroidism?Your thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland located in the lower part of your neck, near the front.
Its main function is to secrete hormones such as triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which are involved with many bodily functions.
They mainly regulate your metabolic health, maintaining a rhythm that allows your body to process fats and carbohydrates. They also control your body temperature, heart rate, and protein production.
Hypothyroidism occurs when this glad doesn’t produce enough hormones, or loses the ability to produce them at all. This can be caused by the following:
- Autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Thyroid surgery
- Treatments for hyperthyroidism
- Radiation therapy for head or neck cancer
- The consumption of certain psychotic medications
- Iodine deficiency
- A pituitary gland disorder
- Pregnancy or post-pregnancy
- Family history of thyroid disease
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
For many patients, hypothyroidism is hard to recognize because the symptoms develop slowly in the early stages. Nevertheless, there are several signs that are useful for its detection, even though they may also indicate other conditions.
1-Sudden weight gainAn alteration in your metabolism due to the low production of thyroid hormones can trigger a sudden increase in your weight, even if you have healthy eating habits.
Hypothyroidism affects your circulation and decreases your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to your cells and tissues.
As a result, it’s common to be in a state of fatigue.
3-High cholesterol levels
There are many factors that can influence your cholesterol levels. Don’t ignore the fact that this problem could be an indicator of a thyroid problem, however.
4-Irritability or a bad moodThe hormonal changes that are produced by a malfunctioning thyroid gland can produce sudden mood swings that lead to stress, depression, and irritability.
Hypothyroidism has an impact on your brain and nervous system activity. That’s why it’s common for patients with this problem to have difficulty concentrating.
6-Dry skin, hair, and nails
This disorder also affects your appearance. The changes that are occurring in your body are reflected in dry hair, skin, and nails.
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Slow digestion or constipation can occur when your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones. This is because they regulate the activity of the digestive tract, which is key to eliminating solid waste.
It can be difficult to recognize muscle pain as a sign of a thyroid problem.
In spite of this, it’s important to remember that sometimes it is the result of weakened muscles due to low thyroid hormone production.
The alteration of hormone production by your thyroid can influence your period. You may have very long or very heavy periods.
10-Sensitivity to cold
Patients with hypothyroidism have circulation problems that can increase their sensitivity to cold. Their extremities may feel cold and stiff.
Do you recognize any of the symptoms mentioned here? If you think you might be suffering from this disorder, talk to your doctor and request the relevant tests.