Thyroid Replacement and How it Benefits Women
The thyroid is near the lower part of your neck, and is the gland responsible for producing a large amount of the hormones in your body. The hormones produced here mostly deal with energy and metabolism. This gland removes iodine from blood to create its hormones, which then goes to affect the metabolism of cells throughout the body.
Hypothyroidism is the name of the condition when the thyroid is functioning below its normal rate. It can be difficult to know when this condition occurs, as many of the symptoms are not unique to hypothyroidism and could be associated with a number of different medical problems. Some of these include:
- Dry skin and hair
- Muscle cramps
- Extreme sleepiness
- Intolerance of cold
- Increased cholesterol
If hypothyroidism remains unchecked, the condition can become life-threatening. It can slow the heart rate, decrease the body’s temperature, and lead to comas. However, once detected, hypothyroidism is easily treated.
While much rarer, the thyroid can actually become too active, resulting in hyperthyroidism. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism become more apparent the worse the condition becomes, with almost no symptoms being noticeable if the condition is not highly elevated above normal. These include:
- Excessive sweating
- Intolerance of heat
- Increased heart rate
- Irregular menstrual flow
If left alone, hyperthyroidism is also dangerous. It can result in high blood pressure and prolonged fevers, as well as confusion or delirium. In extreme cases, it can even lead to heart failure.
Treating Thyroid Issues
Under-active thyroids are easily treated, but they require prolonged treatment, usually lifelong. It involves using hormone replacement therapy, usually in the form of a tablet, to create more of the hormones that your thyroid would normally produce. This is lifelong because it works as a supplement to your thyroid, rather than a medication that gives your thyroid the boost it needs to do the work itself.
An overactive thyroid is a bit more difficult to treat, sometimes involving surgery or specialized drugs. However, there are ways to treat many of the symptoms to make them less aggravating while figuring out a more permanent solution, but it’s important to note that treating the symptoms alone will not cure hyperthyroidism, it will only make it more tolerable. A more definite solution to the problem is the way to go, but it won’t hurt to keep some of the symptoms in check while figuring it out.