Symptoms and Treatment for Hypothyroidism
Many people have never heard of hypothyroidism, but Endocrine Web reports the disease affects more than 14 million people in the United States alone. Hypothyroidism causes the immune system to attack the thyroid gland, resulting in inflammation and hormonal issues.
Researchers aren’t sure what causes hypothyroidism, but it often runs in families and is more common in people who already have other thyroid or autoimmune conditions. According to Medicine Plus, it is most common in middle-aged women, but can affect anyone.
What and where is my thyroid gland?
Your thyroid is a very small gland at the bottom of your neck that helps your body regulate your hormones and other functions. These hormones control the way your body uses energy, so they’re very important to your overall health.
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism usually progresses over several years, so you may not experience multiple symptoms at the same time. Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Pale, dry skin
- Puffy face
- Brittle nails
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Swollen tongue
- Long or irregular periods
- Memory problems
- Unexplained muscle aches, pains and stiffness
How is hypothyroidism treated?
If your doctor decides your thyroid is still working well on its own, you may not need to take any medication right away.
However, if your hormone levels seem to be low, your doctor will prescribe you a pill that will replace the hormones that your thyroid can’t make by itself.
As long as you take your medication consistently and get regular blood tests from your doctor, you can easily manage your hypothyroidism and enjoy the activities you love most.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and would like to talk to a doctor, our team at Valleywise Health is always here to help. Visit our caring endocrinology department at Valleywise Comprehensive Health Center – Phoenix or call 1-833-VLLYWSE to book your appointment and learn more.