Hypothyroidism is a condition in which thyroid glands are not able to produce sufficient amounts of thyroid hormones. In simple words, one may also call it underactive thyroid glands. It is very common, and about 3 million cases of this condition are annually reported in the US.
Hypothyroidism is treatable; however, untreated hypothyroidism can result in serious health outcomes such as infertility, joints problem, heart issues, and obesity. In very early stages, it is not noticeable, but as the symptoms begin to appear, then in such cases, it is essential to contact a physician immediately.
Common Signs And Symptoms
During the very early stage of hypothyroidism, the symptoms are not as noticeable as it is in an advanced stage. The signs and symptoms begin to appear years later as the condition becomes worse and thyroid capacity is reduced further. It is common to have hypothyroidism for years without even knowing about it.
According to an estimate, overall, about 10 million people in the US live with this condition. Initially, people usually complain about fatigue and weight changes. Thyroid glands are responsible for providing energy to every organ in the body, and with improper functioning of the thyroid; a person can face various health issues. Here are some common symptoms that may possibly indicate hypothyroidism.
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Feeling cold
- Decrease in sweat
- Slowed heart rate
- Pain and immobility in joints
- Menstrual problems and infertility
- Thinning hair
- Dry skin
- Weak muscles
The symptoms might appear gradually as the person ages and as the thyroid capacity drops further. If you really feel that the symptoms are due to thyroid issues, then it is better to see a doctor immediately.
There could be a number of reasons that might possibly result in the development of hypothyroidism. However, there are some common causes of this condition, such as in many cases, hypothyroidism is actually the body’s immune response. In a few cases, the treatment for hyperthyroidism initiates hypothyroidism. Sometimes it is due to thyroid surgery or any kind of radiation therapy.
Risk Factors Of Hypothyroidism
There is a certain risk factor, and the presence of one or more of these risk factors increase the probability of developing hypothyroidism
- Females are at a higher risk of developing thyroid issues such as hypothyroidism as compared to men.
- Older people have a greater risk of thyroid issues. It is generally witnessed that women of 60 years and above get problems such as hypothyroidism.
- A family history also increases the chance of developing thyroid issues like hypothyroidism
- If a person is already having certain autoimmune issues, then he is at a greater risk of developing hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism And Alcohol
Alcohol has adverse effects on normally each part of the body, including thyroid glands. Research suggests that excessive consumption of alcohol may intoxicate glandular cells of thyroid glands affecting hormone production. It causes the thyroid gland to produce less of these necessary hormones.
It is therefore essential to get treatment for addiction first, then for other resulting health issues. One may find quality treatment anywhere in the country regardless of where he lives. For instance, a person living in the rural area of Florida can access quality addiction treatment in Florida from rehab centers working there.
Dietary Recommendation For Hypothyroidism
There is no specific diet that can help with hypothyroidism; however, there are a few tips and recommendations that prove very useful for those who have hypothyroidism. Following these tips can help in making things better.
1. Eat A Balanced Diet
In many cases, a diet lacking in iodine results in conditions such as hypothyroidism. It is therefore essential to manage balanced eating. You may look to add proteins, fish, legumes, vegetables, and fruits in order to meet iodine needs.
Not only will it meet the body’s iodine requirement, but it will also provide other essential nutrients. You may even search out more options of iodine-rich foods in order to maintain variation. It is important to know that it is not advisable to use iodine supplements as its excess may result in other health consequences.
2. Limit Soy Intake
After being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, it is essential for you to limit soy intake. Soy comes in many forms, such as Soy sauce, soybeans, soy milk, and tofu. In case you are really fond of it, then be careful of the time you are taking soy products.
Experts usually recommend avoiding its intake at least 4-5 hours before and after medication. This is crucial because soy products might interfere with and hinder the normal absorption of the medication. Taking a little care and managing a gap between medication and soy intake can help you enjoy it without any interruption with medication.
3. Be Smart With Fiber
Fiber is essential for the well-being of the digestive system and proper bowel movement. It also helps to deal with hunger as it promotes the feeling of fullness. However, if you are dealing with hypothyroidism, then in such a case, you should be watchful of fiber intake.
This is because excessive fiber may hinder the proper absorption of hormones. Fiber-rich foods are otherwise tremendous for health and well-being. Therefore do not skip it altogether; manage the moderate intake of fiber and avoid its intake before and after medication.
4. Do Not Take It With Other Supplements
In order to ensure proper and sufficient absorption of hormones, it is essential to avoid hypothyroidism medications with other supplements and medications. This might interrupt thyroid medication affecting its absorption. You can schedule other supplements and medication at different times throughout the day to get the best results.
Hypothyroidism is common, however treatable. Making certain adjustments in the lifestyle can help to keep it under good control. Consult your physician and use medications to avoid their adverse effect on health. If you are getting hormone therapy, then ensure follow-up visits to your doctor as based on your progress, the doctor might change the dosage of medicine.