Hypothyroidism – Underactive Thyroid Symptom FAQ

Also known as: Underactive Thyroid

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism develops when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. Too little hormone slows down all the chemical reactions in the body, leading to life-threatening complications.

Who gets Underactive Thyroid?

Hypothyroidism is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States, affecting an estimated 25 million adults and children. As many as two of every three people with hypothyroidism may not know they have the disease. The condition can develop in anyone, though hypothyroidism tends to run in families. Middle-aged and elderly women are the most commonly affected. Factors that increase a person’s risk of developing hypothyroidism include age, weight, and medical history.

What causes Underactive Thyroid?

Hypothyroidism is most often the result of Hashimoto’s disease, also known as chronic thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland). In this disease, the immune system fails to recognize that the thyroid gland is part of the body’s own tissue and attacks it as if it were a foreign body. The attack by the immune system impairs thyroid function and sometimes destroys the gland. Other causes of hypothyroidism include radiation, surgery, viruses and bacteria, certain medications, pituitary gland malfunction, diet, environmental contaminants, or a congenital defect.

What are the symptoms of Underactive Thyroid?

Patients who complain of fatigue, constipation, dry skin, depression and high diastolic blood pressure are likely to have hypothyroidism, particularly if the symptoms occur together and are persistent. The patient may also experience decreased heart rate, progressive hearing loss, weight gain, problems with memory and concentrations, and an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter).

How is Underactive Thyroid diagnosed?

Hypothyroidism is diagnosed by testing the patient’s blood to measure the level of both thyroid hormone and the pituitary’s thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). A thyroid nuclear medicine scan and thyroid ultrasound may also be used to confirm the diagnosis.

How the thyroid may be responsible for weight gain

The thyroid is a small (weighing less than one ounce), butterfly-shaped gland that is responsible for regulating virtually all aspects of your metabolism. Now, the thyroid accomplishes this by producing hormones such as thyroxine (T-4), triiodothyronine. These hormones have a direct effect on how quickly your body burns calories and how your body uses fats and carbohydrates.

With an under active thyroid, these hormones are not produced in sufficient quantities. Thus, the body generally will burn calories slower and not properly utilize fats and carbohydrates. It is in this way that an under active thyroid can lead to seemingly unexplained weight gain.

Are Prescription Thyroid Medications Worth The Potential Risks?

Many physicians have prescribed thyroid medications, only to find out that they were associated with significant side effects. These drugs may cause chest pain, increased pulse rate, palpitations, excessive sweating, heat intolerance, or nervousness. For those people who experience multiple health concerns, physicians recommend using caution when taking thyroid prescription medications due to increased associated health risks. There is also the obvious concern that once started on these thyroid prescriptions, the body becomes dependent on them, therefore becoming a lifelong necessity.

Are there alternatives?

Non-Prescription All Natural Thyroid Supplement Products

You might not need to resort to prescription strength drugs to achieve your goal of optimal thyroid function. Natural supplements give you an excellent alternative to prescription strength thyroid drugs. These products have limited side effects, less drug interactions, and are less expensive than a lot of the prescription strength thyroid medications available on the market today.
These products can:
1: Support thyroid function
2: Increase metabolic rate and the number of calories burned
3: Increase memory and concentration
4: Decrease fatigue and sleep disturbances
5: Improve quality of lifeUnlike prescription thyroid medications, alternative therapies can be used with a greater amount of safety and ease.

What all natural thyroid supplement products perform best?

When you’re looking for an effective thyroid supplement product, you should only consider a product that uses high quality ingredients that have the potential to improve mood and concentraion, support and boost thyroid function, improve energy levels, increase metabolic rate for weight control, and improve overall quality of life. We evaluated 35 of the top all natural thyroid products on the market today. These products are ones that we feel offer the safest and most effective thyroid support. You may not see the product you use or are interested in using on this list, chances are it did not rank in the top 3. We are constantly reexamining and updating our rankings because of the availability of new products all the time. To see which thyroid supplements came out on top in our research, be sure to check out our Top Thyroid Supplements review page.

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