10 Signs that you may have hypothyroidism
The thyroid gland is the small, butterfly-shaped part of our body in front of the windpipe. It releases the thyroid hormone that controls the growth and metabolism of the body thereby regulating body temperature, heart rate, and even brain function. That’s why the health of the thyroid gland is important as it influences the entire health of our body.
The pituitary gland in the head releases the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH is the signal to the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormone.
Sometimes TSH levels increase but the thyroid gland is not able to release more thyroid hormone, this is called as hyperthyroidism.
In contrast, sometimes the TSH levels decrease where the thyroid gland does not receive the signal to release the thyroid hormone, this is called hypothyroidism. Many thyroid disorders can arise when the thyroid gland produces too much hormone or not enough hormone.
Some common signs that you may be suffering from hypothyroidism include
- Tiredness –
One of the most common sign of hypothyroidism is feeling tired and worn out with no energy for work. Feeling sleepier than usual is also a sign. As the thyroid hormone is the driver for energy and metabolism, low thyroid levels can drain out a person.
- Weight gain –
Unexpected weight gain is also an early sign of low thyroid levels and this happens because the metabolism rate decreases (does not burn calories, instead stores fat). Hypothyroidism signals the body to eat more but burn lesser calories resulting in weight gain.
- Aching muscles & joints –
Hypothyroidism slows down the metabolism and can cause painful muscle breakdown. Low levels of thyroid hormone result in catabolism leading to decreased muscle strength and weakness
- Hair loss –
Hair follicles are controlled by the thyroid hormone and when the thyroid hormone levels are low they cause the hair follicles to stop regenerating, resulting in hair loss.
- Feeling cold –
when a person suffers from hypothyroidism, the basic metabolic rate decreases thus reducing the amount of heat that the body generates and causes the feeling of being cold.
- Depression –
Hypothyroidism results in an overall decrease in energy and health and may be the cause of feelings of depression and anxiety.
- Dry skin –
Skin cells are also sensitive to signals from the thyroid hormone. Low levels of thyroid means that dead skin may take longer to shed, leading to flaky, dry and itchy skin.
- Trouble with concentration and memory –
Many people suffering from Hypothyroidism complain of lack of clarity or mental fogginess as well as trouble with memory function.
- Menstrual problems –
Both irregular and heavy menstrual bleeding are linked to hypothyroidism as the thyroid hormone interacts with other hormones that control the menstrual cycle. Any abnormal levels of the hormone can cause disruption and may also affect the uterus and ovaries.
- Constipation –
Constipation is another common complaint with people who suffer from hypothyroidism as low thyroid levels affect the functioning of the colon.
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