Hypothyroidism Symptoms - Things you need to know
The most common early Hypothryroidism symptoms are: Mental and physical fatigue, weakness, weight gain, and depression.
One or more of these symptoms also may appear: Constipation, sensitivity to coldness, cold hands and feet, thick tongue, decreased sweating, dry hair, thin brittle hair, thin brittle nails, muscle and joint pain, pale or yellowish skin.
One or more of these symptoms usually appear later: Poor memory, slow thought process, drowsiness, slow speech, thinning of eyebrows, hoarseness, poor circulation, dry and flaky skin, decreased taste and smell, menstrual irregularities, skin thickening, puffy face, puffy hands and feet, swelling of extremities, overall swelling, muscle spasms, muscle atrophy, joint stiffness.
In children or young persons hypothyroidism may give developmental problems, like disturbed tooth development and short stature.
Hypothyroidism increases the risk of elevated cholesterol levels, heart disease and diabetes (diabetes mellitus). This occurs even by moderately decreased thyroid production.
The Thyroid Gland and it’s Hormones
To understand the hypothyroidism, some knowledge about the thyroid gland and its hormones is essential.
The thyroid gland produces hormones that accelerate and in other wise regulate metabolism. A part of metabolism is the process of breaking down energy containing nutrients, and using the energy to produce molecules that all the processes and activities in the body use as fuel. Another part is the production of molecules that the body use as building materials.
The thyroid makes four hormones: Thyroxin (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), diiodothyronine (T2) and monoiodothyronine (T1). The hormones contain iodine, and the figures tell about the number of iodine atoms in each hormone molecule. T3 is not made directly, but is produced from T4. T3 is a more efficient hormone than T4. Therefore this conversion is important.
The pituitary, a gland under the brain, produces a hormone called thyrotropin or thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) that enhances the activity of the thyroid gland. If the body has too less thyroid hormone in the blood, the pituitary produces more thyrotropin. This makes the thyroid gland speed up its own production. By a too heavy thyroid hormone concentration, less thyrotropin is produced by the pituitary, and the thyroid gland slows down. This feed-back mechanism regulates the metabolism of the whole body.
The Mechanisms And Causes
- By hypothyroidism the body does not get enough thyroid hormone, or the hormones do not work effectively in the body. This causes the metabolism to slow down. When the metabolism decreases, the processes in the body do not get enough fuel and building materials, and all the body activities will therefore slow down. Energy containing nutrient will also be stored as fat, since they are not broken down.
- Serious variants of hypothyroidism are called myxedema. This is a rare condition. However, less serious, but painful variants are common. There are several reasons for hypothyroidism, each giving a variant of the disease:
- An autoimmune reaction against the thyroid tissue can destroy the capability of the thyroid gland to produce hormones (for example Hashimoto’s disease).
- Sometimes the production of T3 by conversion from T4 is impaired. The total amount of hormones may be normal in these cases, but the body is still lacking T3, and gets the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
- Iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism, since the thyroid hormones contain iodine. In Europe and America the food is seldom short in iodine, but bad nutrition may result in iodine deficiency.
- Surgery or radiation at the thyroid area can destroy enough tissue to cause hypothyroidism.
- Injury or disease in the pituitary or of the part of the brain controlling the pituitary may cause a decrease in secreted thyrotropin, and then the thyroid will respond by producing less of its own hormones with hypothyroidism as a result.
Some people have symptoms of hypothyroidism even though the amount of thyroid hormone in the blood is normal. One of the symptoms is raised levels of thyrotropin, indicating that the body signals need for more thyroid hormones. This variant may be caused by conditions elsewhere in the body that make it difficult for the hormone to reach their destination in the cells. In many of these cases the immune system produces anti-bodies against the thyroid hormones. This variant is called sub-clinical hypothyroidism, and responds to the same treatment as ordinary hypothyroidism.
Some types of food can contribute to a depressed thyroid function or aggravate hypothyroidism when eaten raw in great amounts: Brussel sprouts, broccoli, corn oil, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, radishes, rutabaga, soy and turnips. By cooking these vegetables, the depressing effect is decreased.
Factors suspected for causing hypothyroidism are: The artificial sweetener aspartame, mercury pollution, dental fillings containing mercury, fluoride and heavy metal pollution.
The author of The Hypothyroidism Revolution Tom Brimeyer has created a video where he explains his own journey and how it empowered him to a healthier and happy lifestyles. It’s defiantly worth watching
Click here to watch Tom’s video and start your journey to a healthier and more proactive life, free from the constraints of Hypothyroidism