Among other diseases which affect women, thyroid is a major one. Women are more prone to this disease than men. The best way to fight a problem is to identify and acknowledge that there is a problem. There are several symptoms which warn you that you may have thyroid. Consult your doctor and ask for a test if you have a doubt. Before it, you should also understand what exactly is thyroid and why is it caused.
What is thyroid?
It is a butterfly shaped gland which produces hormones which travel in all parts of the body. It is situated right below Adam’s apple. It regulates the metabolism of the body and heart rate. There are several causes which can cause the problem of thyroid and puts you more at the risk. Some of them are- certain medications, having a thyroid problem in the past, goiter, anemia or diabetes, a surgery affecting your thyroid gland, etc.
Types of thyroid
These are certain thyroid disorders which affect women – hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, thyroiditis, and goiter.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is the situation when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones which slow down metabolism. In U.S. its main reason is Hashimoto’s disease when the immune system is weak and thyroid gland is attacked. People with hypothyroidism experience the following symptoms.
- Weight gain is the most common symptom which is caused because your body does not burn enough calories but store it as fat.
- Feeling tired and sluggish even after sleeping for long hours, is another one.
- Pain in joints and weakness is also experienced as metabolism slow down due to low-thyroid hormones and body starts breaking muscles for energy.
- Itchy and dry skin is a common problem noticed by people with hypothyroidism. The dead skin takes more time than usual to shed and the new skin takes time to grow.
- Thyroid hormones also regulate hair follicles. So, low-thyroid directly impacts the hair follicles slowing down the regeneration process which causes hair fall.
- Your body burns calories when you are doing nothing. But with low-thyroid, metabolism slows down causing your body to produce lesser amount of heat, making you feel cold.
- Feeling tired every time and low energy levels, makes you feel depressed.
- Constipation is a common symptom.
- Difficulty in remembering things and concentrating.
- Thyroid hormones affects several other hormones in your body including those associated with menstrual cycle causing heavy and irregular periods.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is the exact opposite of hypothyroidism. In this situation, the thyroid gland starts to secrete excess hormones which causes imbalance in the body. It has genetic link i.e. if anyone in your family had hyperthyroidism, you are most likely to be affected by it. A most common type of hyperthyroidism is the Grave’s disease.
As it is exact opposite of hypothyroidism, even the symptoms are opposite to it. You can recognize it with the help of these symptoms-
- As the body burns extra calories, the appetite is increased.
- Feeling restlessness.
- You may find hard to concentrate.
- As the thyroid hormones affect the hair follicles, too many hormones still create imbalance causing hair loss.
- Same as hair follicles, the skin cells are also affected causing itching and dry skin.
- As the calories burn faster, you may feel weakness as well as faster and irregular heartbeat.
- Difficulty in sleeping
Other types of Thyroid disorders
Goiter is one more thyroid disorder which is caused by an enlarged thyroid gland. Its symptom is easily visible where the neck starts swelling.
Thyroiditis is another thyroid disorder which is caused due to immune system producing antibodies which attacks thyroid gland. It is the inflammation of thyroid gland. The two types of thyroiditis are Hashimoto’s disease and postpartum thyroiditis.
Know your disease
If you are experiencing any one or more of these symptoms, it is advisable to pay a visit to your doctor. In case, you have thyroid, the treatment can be started as soon as possible after the proper checkup. Being a woman, it is important for you to watch out for thyroid as it may create problems in getting pregnant and complication during the pregnancy as well.