Hypothyroidism Symptoms іn Women
Hypothyroidism is a common thyroid problem which occurs due to deficiency of thyroid hormones in the body. This can lead to some serious conditions in women especially those between the ages of 35 and 60. The condition can be an outcome of some kind of thyroid gland disorder. It could also result from failure of the pituitary gland to release the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which stimulates the thyroid gland to release its hormones called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Hypothyroidism is very common with millions of people worldwide suffering but often unaware that they actually have this condition. Studies show that the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism are more severe in women than in men and have various underlying reasons for its occurrence.
Causes of Hypothyroidism
One of the most common causes for hypothyroidism is thyroid gland dysfunction post thyroidectomy, which is the surgical removal of the gland. Reasons for this could be an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), thyroid cancer or overactive or cancerous thyroid nodules.
Radioactive iodine therapy can be another cause for hypothyroidism. During this therapy there is the risk of damage to the thyroid gland.Iodine deficiency, radiation therapy, certain medications interfering with the normal production of thyroid hormones, viral and bacterial infections (which temporarily damage the gland,) autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, are some other probable causes of hypothyroidism in women.
Hypothyroidism is also quite common during pregnancy as the body requires an increased production of thyroid hormones to cope with the changes it is going through. Though rare, disorders of the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus can also increase the risks of hypothyroidism in women.
Symptoms оf Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism symptoms usually appear over a prolonged period of time; usually a couple of months and sometimes even years. Moreover, in cases of mild hypothyroidism there might not even be any visible symptoms showing up, especially during the initial stages. Nonetheless, here are some of the common underactive symptoms in women:
- Hair loss and thinning of hair
- Dry and cold skin
- Depression and dizziness
- Weakness, low energy or constant tiredness
- Brittle nails
- Intolerance to cold
- Fatigue and weight loss
- Menstrual irregularities
- Elevated blood cholesterol levels
- Swelling around the eyes and droopy eyelids
- Hoarse voice
- Low sex drive
- Swelling of the arms, hands and feet , and facial puffiness
- Poor concentration and impaired coordination
- Muscle aches and cramps
- Breathing difficulties
- Low blood pressure
Treatment оf Hypothyroidism іn Women
Because many of the symptoms could easily be taken for something else, a wrong diagnosis can easily happen. Since hypothyroidism in women develops mainly due to deficiency of thyroid hormone, one way to treat the disorder is to take thyroid hormone medications for thyroid hormone supplementation prescribed by a healthcare provider. In most cases, the symptoms starts improving within a short time (maybe the first week) of treatment. However, if hypothyroidism is an outcome of some infection or disease, the gland wіll start functioning normally after the patient recovers from the illness.
Hypothyroidism treatment during pregnancy is often started immediately after it has been diagnosed. But before taking any thyroid hormone medications, consultation with a health care specialist is highly recommended in order to avoid unnecessary pregnancy complications. Apart from this, bladderwrack, flax seeds, ginger, evening primrose (tea), and extra virgin coconut oil are some useful natural treatments.
What can you do to support your thyroid health
- Stop or avoid eating products which contain gluten, for example wheat and wheat products.
- Make sure you get enough omega 3 in your diet. One source is wild fish like salmon; chia seeds are another excellent source of omega 3 fats.
- Use organic cold pressed coconut oil daily if possible.
- Cut out or reduce the amount of coffee you drink as it can impact your thyroid health in many ways.
- If possible take selenium daily. It is essential for the correct functioning of the organ. The best source is brazil nuts. Other sources of selenium are mushrooms, sunflower seeds, grains such as brown rice or quinoa.
- Spinach, kale, carrots and sweet potatoes are all rich sources of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is responsible for any repair processes in the body and helps prevent inflammations and infections. This is particularly important for thyroid issues as an infection can result in an autoimmune reaction. However certain vegetables which contain vitamin A such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, bok choy, kale, kohlrabi, horseradish, turnips and others from the cruciferous family should be avoided in their raw form.
- Regular detoxation is also very helpful. Detox baths with baking soda or foot detox baths with baking soda and epsom salt are helpful. Drinking and using parsley and cilantro as tea, in smoothies or for cooking are also good ways to detox.
There is hope!
Despite its various health complications, the good news is that hypothyroidism is completely treatable. It will help though if you are keeping a constant track of your thyroid levels, taking your medications regularly, and following a healthy lifestyle.
Have you had any issues with your thyroids which you would like to share? What treatments, natural or otherwise helped you the most? What things would you suggest that should be avoided? Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks for reading, sharing, commenting, liking.
Please note, like the person in the video, I am not medically trained either. This information is in part research, part my own experiences and those of others I know. It is not a diagnosis or substitutes consulting a health care provider.