Thyroid problems are very common. In fact, almost 12% of people experience thyroid problems at some point in their life. Women are about 8 times more likely to have thyroid problems. Any problem with this hormone can affect the functioning of the body.
At the most basic level, it is responsible for metabolism, growth and coordination of energy. If the hormone production is too low, this is called hypothyroidism, and it effects growth and repair of different parts of the body.
Here are 4 most common signs and symptoms of thyroid hormone
Feeling worn out:
One of the most common symptom of hypothyroidism is feeling tired and worn out. It is because thyroid hormone is responsible for the balance of energy, it determines if you are ready to go or ready to sleep.
For instance, animals who go through hibernation have lower thyroid hormone during this period leading to long sleeping period. The thyroid hormone receives signals from the brain and coordinates cells to change their function depending on what is going on in the body.
People with hyperthyroidism are usually jittery and nervous while those with low levels of thyroid levels are sluggish and lazy. In one study 138 adults with hypothyroidism reported feeling tired and physical exhaustion and no motivation with feeling mentally tired.
People with hypothyroidism may be feeling tired even after sleeping enough and being well rested. Feeling sleepier then usual without any good explanation may be a sign of hypothyroidism.
Putting on weight:
People with hypothyroidism are not only putting on weight because of feeling tired and sluggish but also because it signals their livers, muscles and fat tissues to store more calories with low thyroid levels, the metabolism switches modes and instead of burning calories for growth and repair, the body stores it as fat, decreasing your basal metabolic rate which leads to weight gain even if the number of calories eaten remains constant.
In one study, people with newly diagnosed hypothyroidism gained an average of 15 to 30 pounds after the diagnosis in just one year. If you experience weight gain despite healthy life style, you should seek medical attention as it could be a sign of hypothyroidism.
Heat is one byproduct of burning calories. whenever you burn calories, you feel hot. for instance, imagine how hot you feel when you are working out, that is because you are burning calories. You even burn calories when you are not doing anything and just sitting, however in case of hypothyroidism, the basal metabolism rate decreases preventing calorie burn.
In addition, the thyroid hormone turns up the thermostat for brown fat, which is a special kind of fat that generates heat. It helps us from getting too cold in cold climate but hypothyroidism prevents it from doing this job.
That’s why people with hypothyroidism feel colder than others. If you had always felt more cold theirs then it is just how your body is build but if you feel cold even in a warm room, you may be experiencing low levels of thyroid hormone and might need to see a doctor.
One symptom of low thyroid levels is hair loss, it is because it stops hair follicles from regenerating, leading to hair loss. This problem is usually sorted out when the thyroid problem is fixed.
In one study 25 to 30% of people who had to seek medical attention due to severe hair loss were diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Another study found that hypothyroidism may cause the thinning of hair in 10% of patients with hypothyroidism.
Consider hypothyroidism if you experience sudden, unexplained thinning of hair or patchy or coarser hair. Thinning of hair may also be caused by changes in other hormones so it is best to get tested in case you experience any changes in the growth or pattern of your hair.
Hypothyroidism is very common condition, if you experience any of these symptoms, do speak to your doctor, fortunately this problem can be fixed with medications that are not expensive. A little consideration can change the quality of your life.
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