Thirteen Things about Hypothyroidism
Since this is one of the things I suffer from, I figured that I would put some facts about it. First off, it helps me because I learn more about it. Secondly, its good information for others to know
1. The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland located in the lower part of the neck.
2. Hypothyroidism affects women more often than men at about a 7:1 ratio.
3. About 13 million Americans have this condition and at least another 10 million more are undiagnosed.
4. Those who are hypothyroid are at a greater risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic pain disorders and autoimmune dysfunctions.
5. The thyroid gland, which produces the thyroid hormones, is said to be “underactive,” because it produces too little thyroid hormone needed for the body to function normally.
6. Inadequate stimulation of cells and organs in the body due to low levels of thyroid hormone causes the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, which is generally a “slowing-down” of the body’s processes.
7. Hypothyroidism is often accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms that can often be overlooked. The following picture shows symptoms of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
8. Hypothyroidism can be caused by several ways: a problem within the thyroid gland, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, treatment for hyperthyroidism, treatment for thyroid tumors, radiation, interference from drugs, subacute thyroiditis, postpartum thyroiditis, and problems in the pituitary gland.
9. The most severe form of hypothyroidism is myxedema, which is characterized by swelling of the face, tissue around the eyes, hands, and feet. Left untreated, this may progress to even more severe symptoms of hypothermia, which is a severe drop in body temperature, seizures and ultimately coma and death.
10. The American Thyroid Association, a national professional organization of thyroid specialists, recommends that women over age 35 should be screened every five years for hypothyroidism.
11. Hypothyroidism can affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant and also the health of her unborn child. Pregnant women can safely take thyroid medication, as it does not affect a developing fetus adversely.
12. Thyroid hormone treatment may be needed for life, but fortunately treatment is simple, inexpensive, and easily monitored.
13. Hypothyroidism isn’t something that others can see, but those who have it suffer.
I don’t know how many times people comment on the fact that I don’t get out and do more. They just keep telling me that I am still young and should be able to. They don’t realize that since my hypothyroidism is still out of control, I am still feel pretty bad. As one of the sites I frequent says, “I don’t have enough spoons for the day.”
Let me explain that last comment. On the site But You Don’t Look Sick, we are all spoonies. There is a theory that we use to explain our illnesses. Its called the spoon theory. It basically describes any illness that is considered invisible.
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