Definition of hypothyroidism
When the thyroid gland produces less thyroid hormone than it is supposed to, the endocrine disorder known as hypothyroidism arises. There are many causes of this disorder and the most common one is the hHashimoto’sthyroiditis. This is an autoimmune disease. The thyroid gland controls the metabolic process of the body and most of the symptoms of hypothyroidism are as a result of a metabolic process that has slowed down.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
- Weight gain. When the metabolic rate of the body slows down, most of the calories that are consumed are stored as fat in the body. A person may eat less food but still gain a lot of weight and experience difficulties in losing it. The person also still gains weight by eating the normal amount of food they are used to.
- Sensitivity to cold. When the metabolic rate of the body is high, heat is produced and the calories in the body are converted into usable energy. When the metabolic rate slows down, the body cools and becomes more sensitive to cold. There is also very little energy available for the functioning of the cells and this causes the body to feel extremely tired. The muscles may ache too.
- Neck tenderness and change in voice tone. When someone suffers from hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland swells and the neck becomes tender. This, in turn, makes the voice become deeper.
- Digestive problems. When the metabolic rate slows down, the digestion process slows down. Few nutrients are then metabolized and constipation arises.
- Depression. Depression arises due to the decreased metabolic rate. The weight gain, digestive problems and fatigue also make the hypothyroidism patient feel depressed.
There is however some vague symptoms associated with hypothyroidism. Dry hair and skin may be dye to hypothyroidism or the weather. Decreased libido and irritability could also be either due to hypothyroidism or lifestyle change. These two symptoms are vague. Having them does not necessarily mean that you have hypothyroidism.
If you see a large number of these symptoms on your body and you suspect that you have hypothyroidism or it is slowly developing, contact the doctor then get your thyroid tested. Exercising regularly will increase your metabolic rate and reduce most of the symptoms that are associated with metabolism. If weight gain is your main issue, change your diet and see the changes that will occur.
Warning Sign of Hypothyroidism: Salt Craving
Having a salt craving is not necessarily a bad thing; this is because normally when one suffers from hypothyroidism, he or she is unable to absorb magnesium or salt. This means that if you have a craving for salt, then that is a hint that the body wants more iodine in the body, the result being one starts to feel better and has an increased energy level. According to Dr. Ray Peat, the more one takes salt, then the more production of thyroid in the body.
The Function of Aldosterone
Aldosterone helps the body to control the intake of sodium levels in a person’s body. As such, it also prevents the body from losing magnesium, this is because magnesium is a very necessary as it makes the body respond positively to the hormones produced by the thyroid.
A person suffering from hypothyroidism normally urinates a lot. This is because with low levels of aldosterone, the kidney starts to excrete salt and the overall results in addition to frequent urination are excessive sweating and thirst. When the kidney does not retain the necessary salt required for the body, it also results to low blood pressure, dizziness and a feeling of lightheadedness. It is aa this moment that one starts to experience fatigue because the body is struggling to maintain sodium levels which it is unable to.
Advice: Doctors and experts advise that people should add salt to their diet. You can use the sea salt or ordinary salt. It is however advised to use the sea salt because it contains some mineral salts that the table salt does not.
How to Manage Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism occurs when the body fails to produce adequate hormone from the thyroid gland. This deficiency of thyroid hormone results in one feeling fatigued, losing a considerable amount of weight, depression low sex drive and feeling irritated for no particular reason. The causes of hypothyroidism are many and it is, therefore, prudent to have frequent visits to the doctor to be better informed on how to trickle the problem. The doctor will have to perform a blood test to find out if there are any signs of hypothyroidism and will recommend ways of dealing with the condition.
A qualified doctor should be sought in case you happen to have hypothyroidism. An endocrinologist is the best bet in this case; this is a specialist who deals with gland related metabolic conditions. This involves the thyroids and they will be best suited to help you deal with hypothyroidism.
The endocrinologist will be the one checking your condition on regular basis to help you manage the condition better. Among other things, he will be checking the hormone levels and ensure that you are within the healthy range. It should be noted that the normal range is not that “normal” as this varies from person to person. It there means that even when the doctor may be reading normal levels you may experience hypothyroidism symptoms.
For purposes of caution, it is important that if you have multiple doctors taking care of your health to inform them in advance that you are suffering from hypothyroidism. This will put them in a good condition to help them know how well to assist you to handle the problem.
If you are on any medication it is important to declare this, of importance, is to mention if you are under any birth control pills. This is important because there may need to increase medication when one is taking these pills. The same case also applies if you are pregnant.
Also, it is critically important that your medical practitioner orders the full thyroid panel for you. It is a complex blood test that is necessary for the correct diagnosis and treatment.
The frequency of taking your medication should be mentioned at all costs. It is recommended that you take the drugs an hour to meal time and also the first thing in the morning.
Avoid taking calcium or iron supplements when undergoing hypothyroidism treatment. These supplements have the ability to interfere with the way your body takes in the thyroid medication. If you really must, then do it at intervals of four hours.
Finding the right dosage that works for you will take some time so you have to give yourself time. No treatment is the same for two different patients. Frequent visits to the specialized doctor will do you good.