I like to refer to the thyroid as the “gas pedal to the body.” The thyroid gland is located in the neck. It makes two kinds of thyroid hormones: T3 and T4. Thyroid hormones regulate how the body uses and stores energy. These hormones also help the brain, muscles, heart, and other organs work properly.
If your thyroid is sluggish you can
- feel fatigue,
- have dry skin,
- gain weight,
- weakness of muscles,
- thinning hair,
- impaired memory,
- increased sensitivity to cold,
- have achy muscles.
What may happen if hypothyroidism isn’t treated? For one, your symptoms may worsen. Untreated hypothyroidism can also lead to other health problems like infertility, memory loss, depression and heart failure.
Who is at risk for hypothyroidism? Anyone. but, you are at increased risk if you are a woman older than 60, have an autoimmune disease, have a family history of thyroid problems, have been pregnant or have delivered a baby within the past six months.
How it is diagnosed? Bloodwork. The tests measure the level of thyroid hormones. The TSH level is the best screening test for hypothyroidism.
Treatment is usually lifelong. thyroid hormone pills come in different brand and generic forms. Be sure to followup with bloodwork to confirm that your dose is correct.