A Celebration of WomenOne of the most typical imbalances in a Woman’s body is in the glands; and the Thyroid Gland is the one that takes the role of Master to all Glands. PLEASE take the time, and get checked, the scan is the best. If you experience any of the following conditions, with no obvious reason why, please
A small gland shaped like a butterfly, the thyroid gland resides in the neck, right below the voice box, and is responsible for regulating the body’s metabolic processes. Thyroid problems can arise from either an overactive thyroid, (which leads causes a condition known as hyperthyroidism) or and underactive thyroid, (which leads to hypothyroidism).
By making and releasing two hormones, called tri-iodothyronine and thyroxine, the thyroid regulates the rate at which food you ingest is broken down and converted into energy. Thyroid hormones help regulate the function of almost all other tissues in the body, and so abnormally high or low thyroid hormone levels can be expressed by a wide variety of signs and symptoms. Symptoms can range from weakness and fatigue to rapid heartbeat and irritability. If you have questions related to specific thyroid conditions, please visit our thyroid problems page, which contains numerous articles and other resources.
Symptoms of Thyroid Problems: Overactive Thyroid
While overactive thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism is most common in women ages 20-40, in can affect both sexes and the symptoms of overactive thyroid will be similar in most of individuals who are experiencing this thyroid condition. Symptoms include:
- Weakness and fatigue
- Shaky hands
- Increase in rate of heartbeat
- Weight loss
- More frequent and looser bowel movements
- Anxiety and irritability
- Eye irritation or problems
- Changes to normal menstrual behavior
- Greater sensitivity to heat and increased perspiration
Because overactive thyroid most commonly affect women between the ages of 20-40, there are certain factors that women need to know as they relate to thyroid problems and pregnancy.
Because the natural hormonal changes a woman will go through as part of a normal pregnancy can mimic symptoms of an overactive thyroid, these symptoms (i.e., feeling warm, increased heartbeat, anxiety, etc.) may go overlooked. Still, the presence of an overactive thyroid during pregnancy poses unique risks for both the mother and the child. Mothers can develop high blood pressure and heart problems. In addition, if left untreated, hyperthyroidism can also increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, or low birth weights.
For new mothers and mothers-to-be, there are antithyroid drug therapies available that are specifically designed to address thyroid problems while also ensuring optimum health for your child. To learn more about these therapies, as well as other information regarding overactive thyroid, please visit our thyroid problems resources page.
Symptoms of Thyroid Problems: Underactive Thyroid
- Another common thyroid problem is underactive thyroid. Known also as hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid also produces a distinct set of symptoms. These symptoms of an underactive thyroid result from a decrease in production levels of thyroid hormones. While the thyroid itself is usually the source of this problem, sometimes the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain, which regulates the thyroid gland, may also be contributing to an underactive thyroid (as well as other thyroid problems). Symptoms of an underactive thyroid can include:
- Sluggishness and fatigue
- Greater sensitivity to cold
- Unexplained weight gain
- Dry hair and skin
- Menstrual irregularities
As with an overactive thyroid, an underactive thyroid also presents risks for pregnant women. During the first trimester of a pregnancy, all thyroid hormone in the fetus is being supplied by the mother. If the mother is experiencing hypothyroidism, the baby will also be experiencing hypothyroidism at a time when the brain is going through some very critical stages of development. This may lead to less than optimal mental process development later in infancy.
Because an underactive thyroid has the most influence in the first trimester of a pregnancy, it is often best to be tested before becoming pregnant, especially if there is a family history of thyroid problems. If detected, a doctor may be able to devise a treatment plan that considers the physical needs that are unique to pregnancy and ensure that both mother and child are able to progress through a healthy pregnancy.
Our thyroid problems page contains additional information regarding underactive thyroid, overactive thyroid, thyroid cancer, and more.
Underactive Thyroid and Myxedema
One of the most serious expressions of hypothyroidism has been called myxedema. As the most severe form of hypothyroidism, myxedema occurs when the production of thyroid hormones falls to dangerously low levels. Individuals with myxedema face very serious reactions to infections, injuries, certain types of medications, and even exposure to cold. These reactions could include a loss of consciousness leading to myxedema coma. Along with loss of consciousness, hypothermia may also develop, allowing the body’s temperature to drop to potentially fatal levels.
To learn more about thyroid problems like myxedema, as well as Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s disease, and others, please visit our thyroid problems page.
Living with Thyroid Problems
If you are living with thyroid problems, you know the challenges it can pose. In addition to specific thyroid-directed therapy, there are a few things you can do to minimize the effect thyroid problems have on your daily routine. By eating a balanced diet, making time for regular exercise, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and being sure to have relaxation time, you can put your body in the best position to handle the stress that thyroid problems can impose. These very same techniques also help prevent further complications from thyroid problems.
The Hormone Foundation is dedicated to being an informative online resource for those with glandular diseases and illnesses, including those who are challenged with thyroid problems. Through educational programs, partnerships, publications and more, our goal is to serve as a leading resource by promoting the prevention, treatment, and cure of thyroid problems as well as other endocrine-related problems.
If you would like to learn more about the ways in which you can help those with thyroid problems, including yourself, contact us today.
RELATED LINKS -Additional Information About the Endocrine System:
Information, thanks to the Hormone Foundation: http://www.hormone.org/
RELATED ARTICLE: http://www.shrisharmadrugstore.com/2009/08/page/2/
WOMEN in RECOVERY – Do you have a hormonal ‘thyroid’?
July 26, 2012 by 1 Comment