The Thyroid effect
All too often we put lack of energy, aches and pains, or general negative health changes simply down to the fact that we’re just getting older, so we carry on learning to live with this new sense of what’s normal.
What if it’s not normal? What if you’re tiredness, weight gain, lack of motivation was actually a result of a sluggish thyroid.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that produces the hormones that regulate your metabolism. If you happen to eb producing low levels of thyroid hormone, then you will likely find yourself battling symptoms such as fatigue, constipation, dry skin, brittle nails, hair changes, aches and pains, and generally just feeling down. If left untreated, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can increase the chances of developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Issues with the thyroid are far more common in women than in men, particularly as they get older. For some, the changes in their thyroid happen slowly and gradually, for others, it can happen dramatically over weeks or months. The symptoms of these changes can include:
• Appetite loss and weight gain - If your metabolism has slowed down, your body might crave fewer calorie, which might sound good, but unfortunately at the same time, you are using even fewer of the calories you do eat, so more end up stored as fat.
• Fatigue - Feeling unusually tired and less energy than you’re used to.
• Cold intolerance - A heightened sense of cold and chill
• Cardiovascular effects - Over time, an underactive thyroid can compromise the ability of the heart to pump blood effectively. It can also have noticeable impact on increasing your blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels (Ldl)
• Mental health - Depression shares many of the same symptoms with Hypothyroidism, including trouble concentrating, memory problems, and loss of interest in things that you normally enjoy and are important to you.
• Other signs and symptoms - You may experience constipation, muscle aches and pain around the joints. Skin, hair, and nails may become dry and thin.
If you identify with any of the symptoms and just haven’t been able to work out what’s been going on, then maybe it’s time you got your thyroid function looked at.
Treatment is usually a daily dose of synthetic thyroid hormone taken as a pill, replicating your body’s natural thyroid hormone. It may take some time to find the right dose, but once you do, symptoms usually improve dramatically. Your doctor will check your thyroid function usually once or twice a year to make sure everything is working as it should.
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