Hypothyroidism, also known as an under-active thyroid, is fairly common. But because symptoms begin gradually and get worse over time, many don’t even realize that they are suffering from this disorder.
The thyroid is a small gland located in the neck, and produces thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone helps regulate your temperature, metabolism, heartbeat, and how efficiently your body burns calories. When the thyroid gland is underactive, thyroid hormone levels fall lower than normal, and your body’s energy level decreases. Think of your thyroid like a gas pedal. When operating properly, the pedal is pushed down and your vehicle (your body) is moving along at peak performance. When not producing enough of the hormone, the pedal is barely pushed down at all, and you feel like you are hardly moving.
Two of the most common symptoms of an under-active thyroid are fatigue and an increased inability to lose weight. But people often mistakenly attribute these symptoms to getting older. In fact, a thyroid condition may go undetected for years because many people fail to question the gradual loss of energy, or the slow onset of depression.
Hypothyroidism far too often under-diagnosed. Some physicians do not ask the right questions or they put too much faith in the lab tests that they customarily use, and do not explore past ‘normal’ results they see. A woman’s long and sometimes wide-ranging symptoms can lead doctors to attribute them to the onset of menopause, or depression. Some doctors rely too much on one test to determine thyroid function when they need to add tests for active thyroid levels.
If you’re not feeling your best, ask yourself if you have any of these symptoms:
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Brain fog (including poor concentration or memory)
- Brittle nails and hair
- Muscle and joint aches
- Shortness of breath
- Sensitivity to cold
- Low libido
- Thinning hair
- Chronic yeast infections
- Poor sleep
It is important to work with a doctor who takes a careful and complete health history and who uses appropriate lab tests to find what is causing your symptoms.
There is hope! There are a variety of treatment options for hypothyroidism including safe and proven medications, nutritional supplements to help regulate the thyroid balance, and even gradual lifestyle changes.
Dr. Keller is committed to helping you find safe and effective treatments to help you get back to living your best life. Contact us today to find out more about your symptoms, appropriate tests, and how to restore thyroid balance for your optimum health.
Dr. Betty Keller keeps up-to-date on the latest findings to help you develop a plan for optimal health.
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