It is estimated that 13 million Americans have an undiagnosed thyroid disorder. Could you be one of them? Possibly. Read on to find out the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which a person’s thyroid gland does not produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormones. It’s the most common thyroid disorder and affects an estimated 10 million Americans. It is more common in women and adults over 50.
Many factors can cause hypothyroidism, but the most common is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease. Other causes can be: damaged, missing, or surgically altered or removed thyroid gland; some medications; Turner syndrome; pituitary gland damage; treatment for hyperthyroidism; and too much or too little iodine in the diet. As Hashimoto’s and Turner syndrome more commonly affect women, this is thought to lead to higher rates of hypothyroidism in females.
Thyroid hormones are known to “run the body’s metabolism.” As such, when the thyroid hormones are not being properly produced, your metabolism can be out of whack. In the case of hypothyroidism, a slower metabolism can lead to weight gain and/or difficulty losing weight. Other symptoms can include:
- Lower libido
- Dry hair and/or dry skin
- Cold intolerance
- Hair loss
- Abnormal menstrual cycles
Symptoms of hypothyroid disorder vary from person to person. Also a person’s symptoms can change depending on the amount of thyroid hormones they produce, which often decrease as the condition worsens over time without being corrected. Some people’s symptoms can be so subtle that they may not notice it’s a problem. A person who suffers from hypothyroidism may experience some constellation of the symptoms listed above, and another sufferer may experience their hypothyroidism differently. This can often lead to hypothyroidism being misdiagnosed, diagnosing late, not until the symptoms worsen, or not at all.
If you are experiencing some or all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, contact your primary doctor to go for a simple test to confirm if you have a thyroid disorder. While there is no cure, the disorder can be easily managed. If you have experienced weight gain and obesity as a result of your condition and can not sustain weight loss despite thyroid treatment, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery. Many of Dr. Shillingford’s weight loss surgery patients have hypothyroidism, and are able to successfully lose weight with bariatric surgery. His gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients have a high rate of success in weight loss and maintaining their weight loss after their bariatric surgery. For more information on gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or gastric band surgery, call Dr. Shillingford’s Boca Raton office at (561) 483-8840.