Thyroid Reference Guide
Thyroid malfunction

Hypothyroidism in Females

Hypothyroidism in females is more common than hypothyroidism in men! The reason behind this phenomenon is not known. This is surprising as the thyroid gland functions are identical in both men and women.

There are several factors that contribute to hypothyroidism in women. Women who are diabetic and depend on insulin for example can also suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, anemia and graying hair.  They have antibodies within their thyroid gland.  These factors cause certain auto-immune disorders that ultimately lead to hypothyroidism.

Whilst hypothyroidism typically occurs in females in their late 40’s and 50’s, Hypothyroidism in females can also begin very early.  In fact statistics show that between 5& and 10% of women suffer from hypothyroidism after pregnancy.

This is often attributed to pregnancy related complications.  Miscarriages are also common in women suffering from hypothyroidism as are premature deliveries and the chances of having a child born with transient congenital hypothyroidism.

Thyroid malfunction can also cause postpartum thyroiditis, an adult type of transient hypothyroidism that usually resolves itself with time.

Hypothyroidism in Females: Symptoms

Hypothyroidism in Females - Supports a healthy thyroid for energy focus and claritySymptoms may not appear for years until the thyroid stops functioning. Hypothyroidism symptoms are often confused. They resemble symptoms of other conditions. For instance, people mistake them for menopause and aging signs. However, this disease is widespread. It affects millions globally. Interestingly, two-thirds of these people are unaware. They don’t realize they suffer from hypothyroidism.

When the body fails to get enough thyroid hormones, the body’s processes start to slow down. This happens when the thyroid gland fails to produce adequate thyroid hormones or thyroxine.

Hypothyroidism occurs when thyroid hormone levels fall below normal. In this case, body functions start to slow down. Consequently, you may feel colder than usual. Additionally, you might experience heightened fatigue. Furthermore, your skin might become increasingly dry. Moreover, memory issues might arise. Depression may also become a problem. Lastly, you could start experiencing constipation. Overall, these symptoms signal an underactive thyroid. Therefore, it’s important to seek medical attention.

For some people, they are not aware of having this condition and can’t feel any changes in the body. Symptoms will be more severe the longer and the lower thyroid hormones levels are. Sub clinical hyperthyroidism may cause mild symptoms or even none at all. Until now, no one can tell exactly the symptoms one will undergo when a person develops hypothyroidism.

Most people are very ill when they learn their diagnosis. As for some, even if their blood tests show that they are suffering from hypothyroidism, they only suffer from a few symptoms or even none at all. The symptoms of a person suffering from hypothyroidism varies. The only way to determine if you have hypothyroidism is through blood tests.

Hypothyroidism in Women: Symptoms Checklist

Most people refer to hypothyroidism as the “silent disease” since one can go on living life without even knowing they are suffering from hypothyroidism. Early symptoms would be from mild to nothing at all. Symptoms become more noticeable and severe once hypothyroidism is left untreated. This may eventually lead to confusion and mental disorders, breathing difficulties, heart problems, fluctuation of the body temperature and even death.

Below is a checklist of what a person who has hypothyroidism normally feels. These are possible signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism:

  • Swollen eyelids
  • Constipation
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Hoarse voice
  • Fatigue
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Depression
  • Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)
  • Muscle pain or Weakness
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Progressive hearing loss
  • Weight gain
  • Numb, tingling hands
  • Dry skin
  • Dryness, loss, or premature graying of hair
  • Extreme sensitivity to cold

If one is able to feel the above-mentioned symptoms, it is best to go see a doctor to be treated. Again, if hypothyroidism is left untreated, the symptoms become more severe. Go see a doctor and have yourself checked. After all, prevention is still better than cure. Hypothyroidism if left untreated and diagnosed may also result to myxedema. Myxedema is a disease caused by the decreased activity of the thyroid gland. In women hypothyroidism can also cause similar symptoms to menopause – anxiety, mood swings etc.

Treatment of Hypothyroidism in Females

Early diagnosis of hypothyroidism allows for effective treatment. Yet, identifying this condition is usually challenging. The symptoms are typically mild. Furthermore, they could represent a range of other health issues. Consequently, early detection is often impossible. Appropriate medication, nonetheless, can cure the condition. Unfortunately, untreated hypothyroidism can escalate into far more serious stages like myxedema.

Hypothyroidism in Females - Men and women share many similar hypothyroidism symptoms
Men and women share many similar hypothyroidism symptoms

Hypothyroidism in females is also reasonably common – one in eight women globally will experience some type of thyroid problem during their lifetime.  Therefore women should be aware of the symptoms and get themselves diagnosed early. Proper medication, regular exercise and a balanced diet will help keep hypothyroidism at bay.

Women need to be extra vigilant as pregnancy complications and miscarriages are an outcome of hypothyroidism. They should have a proper diet plan as hypothyroidism contributes to weight gain in women. Only by following a proper exercise regimen with a balanced diet can women shed the extra pounds.

Hypothyroidism in females can also be an outcome of stress. This is especially true in the post menopausal years. She should learn to balance it and spend some time taking care of herself.

Her diet should be rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals.  She should try her best to keep stress at bay. She should not get depressed if she has been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid.

Thyroid Support - High in vitamin B-12 iodine and seleniumThere is proper medication and that can help her overcome this disease with ease. However, she has to follow the doctor’s advice and try changing her lifestyle and eating habits. She should be aware of the symptoms of an under active thyroid and if she feels she may be developing hypothyroidism, seek medical attention.

Congenital Hypothyroidism

Congenital Hypothyroidism means a new born baby who suffers from hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormones are essential in a woman’s pregnancy. It helps the brain develop normally. During the first stage of pregnancy the mother supplies thyroid hormones to the fetus until the fetus thyroid gland can secrete and develop thyroid hormones on its own. Once the babies are born, they are then dependent to their own thyroid gland.

Not having enough thyroid hormones hinders the brain from developing normally. An untreated pregnant woman with hypothyroidism can’t produce sufficient thyroid hormones for her baby. Consequently, her baby’s brain development is in jeopardy. Furthermore, her baby, despite having an active thyroid gland, will likely have a lower IQ than expected.

Moving on, if a baby is found to have hypothyroidism, it cannot produce thyroid hormones. This is true both before and after birth. Subsequently, babies with untreated hypothyroidism up to the age of 3 face severe risks. Specifically, they have a high probability of mental retardation. Severe hypothyroidism in babies if left untreated hinders brain development and physical growth or cretinism.

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