Hypothyroidism, also known as slow thyroid is caused by a thyroid gland defect that leads to low thyroid hormone levels. This condition is due to deficiency of iodine, thyroid surgery, congenital disease or due pituitary gland disorder.
According to the American Thyroid Association, hypothyroidism affects 12% of the U.S. population and around 20 million of Americans. Moreover, 60% of the affected people are undiagnosed as they are unaware of the symptoms.
It is also sometimes referred to a “silent disease” as the symptoms develop over many years and go unnoticed. The hypothyroidism signs may also vary as they depend on the deficiency levels in your system.
But as the person’s metabolism continues to slow down, the symptoms become more obvious and include:
- Excessive Fatigue
One of the most common symptoms of a slow thyroid is feeling tired.
The thyroid hormone controls the energy balance and also influences the functioning of brain cells. Those with a high level of thyroid hormone feel jittery and nervous while the ones with low thyroid feel exhausted.
- Weight Gain
As the thyroid hormone regulates metabolism, a slow thyroid leads to a slow metabolic rate.
According to a Danish study carried out at the Aarhus University Hospital, hypothyroidism patients weigh an average of 7kg more than those with a normal thyroid.
Slow metabolism results in an increase of body weight and in difficulty in losing the extra pounds.
- Brain Fog and Memory Loss
Hypothyroidism can directly affect the functioning of the brain.
There are various functional imaging studies (e.g by Dr. MH Samuels) that confirm the relation of advanced hypothyroidism with cognitive decline.
Hypothyroid patients often experience brain fogs and deficits in memory.
- High LDL Cholesterol Levels
The thyroid hormones are known to affect heart vessels, and evidence suggests that slow thyroid, even at its early stage, increase triglycerides, Apo-B and LDL bad cholesterol levels; as reported by the 2015 issue of the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism (Seoul).
- Dry and Itchy Skin
Excessively itchy and dry skin is the second most common symptom of hypothyroidism. Changes in the skin are an important sign of slow thyroid, though they can also be caused by other factors.
As the normal cycle of skin breaks, the outer layer of skin accumulates the damage, and dead skin takes a long time to shed leading to dry skin, as reported by the 1997 issue of The Journal of General Internal Medicine.
- Tenderness and Muscle Aches
A slow thyroid hormone leads to catabolism in which the body breaks down muscles for energy. The muscle strength decreases and the process of breaking down the tissues leads to chronic aches.
According to Dr. GJ Canaris et al., 34% of slow thyroid patients suffer from muscle cramps, weakness, and aches. Furthermore, people with hypothyroidism are twice as likely to feel weaker as compared to healthy ones.
When hypothyroidism is not treated, the symptoms become severe and may lead to an enlarged goiter, infertility, or peripheral neuropathy.
Are these symptoms familiar?
If you suffer from one or more of the above symptoms, it is very important to get your thyroid checked out by a doctor. Next, they will likely prescribe medication, which unfortunately comes with side-effects of its own and is often not a permanent cure.
Ideally, you treat your symptoms at their source – i.e. deal with what caused your thyroid to slow down in the first place. You can achieve this by tackling your diet, boosting your liver health, take on some lifestyle tips and adding in some natural ingredients. If you’d like to learn more about managing your thyroid naturally, check out Tom Brimeyer’s Hypothyroidism Revolution System.