Thyroid is a key gland located in the neck that has the power to program the health of the entire body. An underactive thyroid is a thyroid that does not produce enough hormones. This is why underactive thyroid is also called hypothyroidism.
What is underactive thyroid?
The thyroid has the role of producing an important hormone called thyroxine. This hormone is responsible for controlling the energy used by our body. When our thyroid is slow in producing thyroxine, the other processes in our organism also begin to slow.
In most cases of hypothyroidism, the immune system attacks the thyroid as an intruder. This happens because the immune system doesn’t recognize the thyroid as part of the body.
Who is affected by hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroid is more frequent at women, but it can also appear at men or at those who have a family history related to hypothyroidism. Children can also experience the symptoms of an underactive thyroid. They are usually affected by slower growth and development. Teenagers are not exempt from this diagnosis either. When a teenage is affected by hypothyroidism, he starts the puberty period earlier than normal.
Underactive thyroid symptoms
Hypothyroidism may show signs of tiredness, depression and weight gain. These are the first and most common symptoms of an underactive thyroid. However, many underactive thyroid symptoms are similar to many other symptoms of popular diseases. In some cases, the underactive thyroid shows no signs at all, so the person affected by this illness is not even aware of this medical problem for many years.
The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are:
• A certain sensitivity to cold
• Muscle aches and muscle cramps
• Weight gain
• Slowness in body and mind
• Dry and scaly skin
• Brittle hair and nails
• Irregular periods or heavy periods
• Memory problems
The last two symptoms usually affect elderly women affected by an underactive thyroid. When thyroid is not treated on time, other symptoms may become visible:
• A hoarse voice
• Partly missing eyebrows
• A slow heart rate
If you see any of these signs in your body, contact your GP and have a test for an underactive thyroid. But no one should get frighten about this diagnose, because hypothyroid is not a serious disease. It can be treated in a very “friendly” manner, with natural remedies or with hormone tablets. Nevertheless, you should also know that the underactive thyroid is not something you can foresee or prevent.