Unexplained Weight Gain & Fatigue? Don’t Ignore These Thyroid Issues

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hypothyroidism
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Hypothyroidism is a medical condition characterized by an underactive thyroid gland. The thyroid gland, located in the neck, produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones, leading to a decrease in metabolism. This can cause a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, dry skin, hair loss, and depression. Hypothyroidism can be caused by several factors, including autoimmune diseases (such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), radiation therapy, certain medications, and natural aging. It is typically diagnosed through blood tests that measure hormone levels, and treatment involves hormone replacement therapy to restore thyroid hormone levels and alleviate symptoms.

Symptoms

Fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms experienced by individuals with hypothyroidism. It is characterized by a persistent feeling of low energy, tiredness, and lack of motivation despite getting sufficient sleep and rest.

The exact mechanism behind fatigue in hypothyroidism is not fully understood. However, it is believed to be related to the impact of low thyroid hormone levels on cellular processes and metabolism.

Weight Gain

The slowed metabolism associated with hypothyroidism can lead to unexplained weight gain. This occurs because insufficient thyroid hormone levels reduce the body’s ability to burn calories efficiently.

Cold Intolerance

Hypothyroidism can cause a decrease in internal body heat production, making individuals more sensitive to cold temperatures. They may feel colder than others in the same environment, and it can be difficult to warm up even with extra layers of clothing or heating.

Dry Skin and Hair

Inadequate thyroid hormone affects the skin’s ability to retain moisture, leading to dryness, itchiness, and flakiness. Additionally, hair may become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. People with hypothyroidism may notice more hair loss than usual.

Constipation

The decrease in thyroid hormone levels can result in a slower digestive system, leading to constipation. Bowel movements may become less frequent, and passing stools can be difficult and require straining.

Muscle Weakness and Joint Pain

Hypothyroidism can cause muscle weakness and fatigue, making routine activities more challenging. Joint pain and stiffness can also be experienced, which may be similar to the symptoms of arthritis.

Depression and Mood Changes

Imbalances in thyroid hormone levels can have an impact on brain chemistry and contribute to mood disturbances. This can result in feelings of depression, sadness, irritability, anxiety, and a decreased ability to concentrate or enjoy usual activities.

Cognitive Impairment

Hypothyroidism can affect cognitive function, leading to difficulty with memory, concentration, and mental clarity. People may experience brain fog, forgetfulness, and

Hoarse Voice

Hypothyroidism can cause a hoarse voice due to the swelling and thickening of the vocal cords. When the thyroid gland is underactive, it can lead to a buildup of fluid in the vocal cords, resulting in changes to the voice. In some cases, the voice may become deeper, huskier, or hoarse.

Diagnosis

Hypothyroidism is typically diagnosed through a combination of medical history assessment, physical examination, and laboratory tests. Here is an overview of the diagnostic process:
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