Brief Explanation about Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is defined as a condition in which the thyroid is not making enough thyroid hormone. The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in the front of the throat. Thyroid is very important because it could make a hormone which affects the way the body uses energy. Therefore, having hypothyroidism makes you feel overly tired, fatigue and depressed. It would cause weakness. It also has a capability to raise the cholesterol levels. While this may sound very serious, it is important to know that hypothyroidism is easily diagnosed and treated. The worst part about hypothyroidism is the symptoms.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism includes memory problems, dry skin, a yellowing of the skin. Many people with hypothyroidism have trouble dealing with cold temperatures. Some people also exhibit symptoms such as a slowness in movement and slight weight gain. Another symptom that may appear is an enlargement in the front of the throat. Sometimes it can take years for any of these symptoms to appear. If you are concerned that you may have hypothyroidism, it is best to get tested.
Your doctor will do a thorough exam including an extensive medical history. If your doctor believes that you have hypothyroidism he or she will perform a simple blood test. Sometimes a thyroid ultrasound may be performed as well. An ultrasound is usually only used if an enlargement of the throat is found during a physical exam.
It is especially important for children and pregnant women to be checked for hypothyroidism. Doctors are required to test newborns because hypothyroidism can cause retardation in infants. Doctors also recommend screening on a regular basis for people over 35. It is also important to get tested if you have a close relative with hypothyroidism.
Other people who should get tested are those with diabetes or arthritis. Women who show signs of postpartum depression should also get tested as hypothyroidism may be a partial cause. Remember it is best to ask your doctor about getting tested if you fall into any of the above categories or if you exhibit any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, treatment is also simple. Hypothyroidism is treated with medication, a synthetic hormone that mimics the one that the thyroid is supposed to produce. Many people improve after a few weeks of taking medication. However, some people may have to take medication for longer periods of time. The elderly and those with immune disorders may have to take medication indefinitely. Other people that may have to continue taking hypothyroidism medication are those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
Remember, hypothyroidism is not a death sentence. It is an easily treatable condition. It is important that you talk to your doctor if you believe that you have hypothyroidism. Only your doctor can diagnose and treat you. Most people go on to live happy, normal lives after being diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Some are completely cured after a short period of time on the medication. Some people will have to take medication for the rest of their lives but the medication as minimal side effects so their quality of life should remain great.