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Hypothyroidism. It is a term you often hear when people are trying to shed weight, but what is it, how can you get it and, above all, how can it be treated?

While this hormone is responsible for maintaining the body’s metabolism functioning properly, if you do not have the right quantity, you’re not just going to experience weight gain, but a whole host of other symptoms also. If the thyroid does not produce enough thyroxine, your body’s functions begin to slow down.

Who’s likely to suffer from an underactive thyroidgland?

Unfortunately women often suffer from hypothyroidism over men, with 1 in 50 women expected to develop the illness in contrast to 1 in 1000 men. While it usually develops in adulthood, becoming more prevalent with increasing years, it may happen at any age and anyone can be affected, with a few children being born with congenital hypothyroidism.

There are a selection of common symptoms that are associated with an overactive thyroidgland. These include feeling more tired than normal, weight gain, fluid retention, aching muscles, dry skin, dead hair and feeling chilly, though you won’t necessarily experience all these at the exact same time. Additionally, there are some less common symptoms, including loss of sexual drive, carpal tunnel syndrome and a hoarse voice.

The most important cause of hypothyroidism in america is autoimmune disease, called Autoimmune Thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s disease, where the antibodies created by the immune system attach to the thyroid gland and prevent it from generating the right levels of thyroxine.

An underactive thyroid gland can be diagnosed by way of a simple blood test that measures the degree of thyroid stimulating hormone in the blood. Higher levels than normal indicate that the thyroid gland isn’t producing enough thyroxine. It can also be identified by low levels of thyroxine (T4). As soon as you begin this treatment, you will need to take it for the rest of your life and you are going to need to undergo yearly checks to make certain that the dose remains suitable for your needs.

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