Linked To Depression & Weight Gain
Hypothyroidism is a condition
where the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormones.
The underactive thyroid gland could be a result of an autoimmune
disease, surgical removal of the thyroid, damage to the pituitary
gland, thyroiditis, radiation, too much iodine, etc. When thyroid
hormone levels are too low, all of the cells in the body cannot
obtain a sufficient amount of hormones to function. As a result,
the body's processes begin to slow down. Symptoms a person may experience
include: fatigue, weight gain or increasing dificulty losing weight,
dry skin, forgetfulness, swelling, slower reflex, temperature sensitivity,
and depression. Blood tests have to be conducted to determine if
a person has hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism can be inherited from family members. If this condition
exists in your family, and you notice the common symptoms, you may
want to inform your physician and have Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
(TSH) Tests done. The TSH test for hypothyroidism measures how much
of the thyroid hormone, thyroxine (T4), the thyroid gland is being
asked to make. If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, TSH
tests should be conducted at least once a year. There is no cure
for this condition; however, there are cases where patients with
viral thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland) have their
thyroid function return to normal. As long as an individual with
hypothyroidism takes doctor administered doses of medication, symptoms
should disappear as conditions improve.
It is very important to maintain a balanced diet and acquire all
the essential vitamins and minerals. The thyroid gland must have
iodine to make thyroid hormone. Iodine is obtained through consumed
food and travels through the blood to the thyroid. Iodized salt
is a common source of iodine in most people's diet. It is important
to control the amount of iodine that enters the body since too much
iodine can cause or worsen hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is treated with thyroxine (T4) replacement medication.
Again this condition cannot be cured but can be completely controlled.
Synthetic thyroxine pills contain the same hormone your body would
naturally produce. If an individual is taking a higher or lower
dose than needed, there are side effects related to this form of
therapy. Some of the side effects related to higher dosage include
fatigue, inability to sleep, greater appetite, nervousness, shakiness,
shortness of breath, weak muscles, temperature sensitivities, and
racing or skipped heart beat. A person taking a lower dose than
needed continues the affects of hypothyroidism.