One of the most important endocrine glands is the thyroid. It is located in the neck below the thyroid cartilage or the Adam’s Apple, and next to the cricoids cartilage. A few essential bodily functions are performed by the thyroid gland, including making proteins, controlling energy use, and controlling sensitivity.
Low levels of thyroid hormones
Hypothyroidism is a medical term that refers to the low production of thyroid hormones T3 and 4. Hypothyroidism is a condition that results in an under-active or inactive thyroid gland. It can cause a variety of symptoms. Low thyroid levels are very common. It is estimated that around 10 million Americans have this condition. Thyroid disorders are more common in women. As many as 10% of women may have some form of thyroid problem.
Hypothyroidism symptoms and signs
Hypothyroidism can present with a variety of symptoms. The severity of thyroid disease will determine the number and severity of any symptoms. One symptom may be predominant in some patients while others may appear in milder or absent forms in others. This disorder can go unnoticed in a large portion of patients who show no symptoms.
1. Severe fatigue and loss of energy: A thyroid problem can make you feel tired, more restless than normal, and cause you to feel drained.
2. Weight gain or difficulty losing weight: If your thyroid is slowing down, even a little bit, so is your metabolism. That’s why unusual and unexplained weight gain and changes to body shape can be the first noticeable symptoms.
3. Dry skin and brittle nails: Itchy, dry, or cracked skin patches, new wrinkles, and weak nails could be indicators of an imbalance in your thyroid hormones.
4. Hair loss, hair brittleness, and itchy scalps are all caused by a dysfunctional thyroid. Too many hair follicles remain in the “resting” phase, rather than actively growing. This is because thyroid function is not optimal. In addition to brittle hair, thinning hair, or hair loss, thyroid issues can also cause premature graying of the hair.
5. Puffiness in the face, especially around the eyes. Extremities are affected as well.
6. Lower body temperature and more sensitivity to cold. Feeling chilly all the time is an indication of thyroid hormone problems. These hormones have a strong influence on body temperature.
7. Lower sex drive. Hormone imbalances can cause low levels of desire and affect your reproductive hormones.
Hypothyroidism: What causes it?
Possible causes of low thyroid levels can include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and iodine deficiency. Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune condition and resuls in inflammation of the thyroid gland. The cells of the thyroid gland become damaged or dead, making it unable to produce enough hormone.
Iodine deficiency is when the body cannot synthesize it and must obtain it through daily food. Iodine, an essential element for thyroid hormone production. An iodine deficiency can cause an increase in the thyroid gland size or mental retardation in children and infants whose mothers were deficient in iodine during pregnancy.
Low thyroid levels can be treated
If you have hypothyroidism symptoms, it is a good idea to consult your doctor. They will also recommend a thyroid blood test. Patients who have hypothyroidism as a result of iodine deficiency will be advised to eat foods high in selenium and iodine.