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What is Hypothyroidism?

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a term used to mean an underactive thyroid gland, meaning your thyroid gland doesn’t produce adequate amounts of hormones. Your thyroid gland is a small butterfly shaped gland located just below your Adam’s apple that produces triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones help control your body’s metabolism, body temperature, influence your heart rate, and regulates production of proteins. When these hormones are unbalanced, it can wreak havoc on your body.

Hypothyroidism is a term used to mean an underactive thyroid gland, meaning your thyroid gland doesn’t produce adequate amounts of hormones. Your thyroid gland is a small butterfly shaped gland located just below your Adam’s apple that produces triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones help control your body’s metabolism, body temperature, influence your heart rate, and regulates production of proteins. When these hormones are unbalanced, it can wreak havoc on your body.

What are the Symptoms of Hypothyroidism?

The symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary widely from person to person and also with the severity of the hormone deficiency. They can also come on slowly over the course of years making it hard to realize there is a larger issue going on. Symptoms in adults can include:

  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue, feelings of exhaustion without due cause, low motivation
  • Increase sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Puffy face
  • Thinning hair
  • Heavy or irregular periods
  • Muscle aches, joint pain, muscle cramps
  • Forgetfulness
  • Feelings of depression

When to Call Your Doctor?

Unfortunately, each of these symptoms can have other causes which can make a diagnosis of hypothyroidism hard to pin down. If you are experiencing a few of these symptoms together, it may be time to see your doctor. Hypothyroidism is easy to diagnose with a simple blood test. The key to the diagnosis is realizing that the symptoms are part of a larger problem and not just part of the normal aging process.

For people who are overweight or obese and are unable to lose weight despite diet modification and exercise, talk to your doctor. She may check your thyroid levels to determine if you have hypothyroidism. If so, medications can usually help get your hormone levels in check, and weight loss may result. If you are unable to achieve weight loss and your doctor has determined you do not have hypothyroidism, you may wish to attend a free informational session with Dr. Shillingford to learn more about gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgery and if weight loss surgery is right for you. To schedule your free session at his Boca Raton office, call Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA at (561) 483-8840 today.

American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Realize Obesity Help American Medical Association Obesity Medicine UNIVERSITY of MICHIGAN Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin