Thyroid Symptoms in Women – Should You Be Concerned?
Thyroid symptoms in women are more common than they are in men. Lucky us! Millions of women across the world suffer from some sort of thyroid dysfunction and many of them are unaware that their symptoms are thyroid related. It has been reported that 1 in 7 people suffer from some sort of thyroid disease. Let’s take a look at what the thyroid does and what type of symptoms present themselves when it is not functioning correctly.
The Thyroid, one of the larger endocrine glands, is located in the front part of the neck, just below the Adam’s Apple. It has several primary functions and the most important as listed below:
1. It plays an important role in controlling the body’s sensitivity to other hormones
2. Your thyroid controls the speed at which the body uses energy
3. It controls your metabolism
4. The thyroid controls the maturation and growth of body tissues.
While there are several afflictions associated with the thyroid gland, the two most common are Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is also known as an under-active thyroid and occurs when there is an underproduction of T3 and T3 thyroid hormones. It is sometimes due to the thyroid being removed in order to treat severe hyperthyroidism or cancer. Common thyroid symptoms in women are:
• Abnormal Weight Gain
• Cold Intolerance
• Hair Loss
• Lack of Sex Drive
• Dry Skin
• Intolerance to Cold
A common treatment for Hypothyroidism is the use of Beta Blockers. They decrease nervousness, tremor, agitation and reduce fast heart rates. The drug Methimazole is also used to block thyroid hormone synthesis. For more severe cases, Radioactive iodine therapy is used.
Hyperthyroidism is also known as an overactive thyroid and occurs when there is overproduction of the T3 and T4 thyroid hormones. If left untreated or if it doesn’t respond to treatment, it can result in a toxic goiter. Some symptoms of hypothyroidism are:
• Weight Loss
• Muscle Weakness
• Protruding Eyes
• Increased Appetite
• Excess Sweating
• Sensitivity to Heat
Some of the most common medications include L-thyroxine which is sold as brands Levothroid, Synthroid, Unithroid and Levoxyl. L-thyroxine is a synthetic form of thyroxine, the same hormone produced by the thyroid. Thyroid extract, aka “natural” thyroid hormone is also used – it’s dried and powdered pig thyroid gland. This is not typically recommended as thyroid hormone replacement.
Thyroid cancers are more common in females than in males. It commonly shows up in the neck as a painless mass. Most of the time there are no symptoms to indicate thyroid cancer unless it has gone undetected for a long time. Hard nodules in the neck are rarely indicative of thyroid cancer, as these nodules are typically benign. As a matter of fact, the presence of nodules doesn’t necessarily indicate thyroid disease at all. They are typically diagnosed after a needle biopsy is performed by your doctor.
The above symptoms are the most common thyroid symptoms in women though they do not include every single symptom that you can encounter.
I hope this article was informative to those of you who may be exhibiting thyroid symptoms in women. The symptoms can be hard to live with and many people don’t even realize their symptoms are related to their thyroid problems. We advise you to have regular checkups and if you have any of the symptoms discussed in this article, ask your doctor if they may be thyroid related.