What is Underactive Thyroid?

"What is Underactive Thyroid?" – A question a lot of us ask ourselves

If you’re displaying thyroid symptoms, you may find yourself asking this question.

Do You Have Hypothyroidism?

The thyroid produces T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine), two hormones which control the body’s metabolism. These hormones are controlled by TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), a hormone that the pituitary gland produces, and which prompts the production of T3 and T4 by the thyroid gland.

The thyroid may, however, malfunction and become either underactive or overactive. Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid affects mostly women and occurs when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough T3 and T4.

Symptoms to Look For

Hypothyroidism causes you to experience fatigue, depression, weight gain, dry skin, thinning hair and brittle nails. Other symptoms include weak and sore muscles, loss of memory, irregular periods (in women), reduced heart rate and goiter (an enlarged thyroid gland). Constipation is often an early sign as well.

As the condition progresses, you can have trouble concentrating, “brain fog” this is sometimes called. Puffiness in the face, brittle finger nails, thick neck are other symptoms.

Once you notice these symptoms, it’s best to consult with your family doctor, who will check the function of your thyroid by having you do a blood test.

Causes of Underactive Thyroid

The most common causes of hypothyroidism include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, in which the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland, thyroid surgery or radioiodine treatment. Any treatment that destroys the thyroid tissues can also result in an underactive thyroid.

An underactive thyroid may also develop if the pituitary gland has been damaged, if there isn’t a sufficient amount of iodine in the diet, if a baby is born with an underdeveloped thyroid gland (congenital hypothyroidism), or by taking medications that are used to treat other illnesses. read more

Living with Hypothyroidism

If you’ve been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, ensure that you discuss various treatment options with your doctor, and choose the one that’s best for you.

Hopefully the information provided above has answered your question of, “what is underactive thyroid?”


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