It’s a term you often hear when people are struggling to lose weight, but what is it, how do you get it and, most importantly, how is it treated?…
It’s a condition that can’t be prevented but, once diagnosed, it can be successfully controlled by use of daily hormone tablets.
What Is Hypothyroidism?
In its simplest terms, hypothyroidism is a condition where there is a reduced level of thyroxine (thyroid hormone) in the blood. As this hormone is responsible for keeping the body’s metabolism working properly, if you don’t have the correct amount, you’re not only likely to experience weight gain, but a whole host of other symptoms too. Thyroxine is produced in the thyroid gland, a small butterfly shaped gland which is located in the neck just in front of the windpipe. If the thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroxine, your body’s functions start to slow down.
There are a range of common symptoms which are associated with an underactive thyroid. These include feeling more tired than usual, weight gain, fluid retention, aching muscles, dry skin, lifeless hair and feeling cold, although you won’t necessarily experience all these at the same time. There are also some less common symptoms, including loss of sex drive, carpal tunnel syndrome and a hoarse voice.
What Causes An Underactive Thyroid?
The main cause of hypothyroidism in the United States is autoimmune disease, known as Autoimmune Thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s disease, where the antibodies produced by the immune system attach to the thyroid gland and prevent it from producing the correct levels of thyroxine.
How Is It Diagnosed And Treated?
An underactive thyroid can be diagnosed by means of a simple blood test which measures the levels of thyroid stimulating hormone in the blood. Higher levels than normal indicate that the thyroid is not producing enough thyroxine. It can also be diagnosed by low levels of thyroxine (T4).
Most people with hypothyroidism are offered replacement hormone treatment, which involves taking a daily dose of the synthetic thyroid hormone, Levothyroxine. This is administered orally and works by restoring thyroxine to its normal level. By doing so, the symptoms associated with an underactive thyroid, such as fatigue, can be quickly reversed.
This method of treatment has rapid results, with most sufferers noticing improved symptoms within one to two weeks, with usually the first noticeable change being an increase in energy levels. The replacement hormone is also able to lower cholesterol levels and, once hormone levels are restored to normal, you’ll probably find that any excess weight gained will start to disappear.
How Long Will You Have To Take Synthetic Hormones?
Unfortunately, while Levothyroxine does have great success in controlling and reversing the symptoms of hypothyroidism, it won’t cure the condition. You’ll need to take your daily pills for the rest of your life, and have annual checks to see whether there are any changes to your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels which will have an effect on the dosage you receive.
Will Diet Control My Underactive Thyroid?
Many people complain that they find it difficult to lose weight because of an underactive thyroid. Over 27 million Americans experience problems with their thyroid gland and, as this condition has a major impact on metabolism, they often find that they gain weight with no apparent reason. While changes in weight might be one of the most common symptoms experienced by sufferers of an underactive thyroid, many do not realize that if hypothyroidism remains undiagnosed, they have an increased risk of both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Dieticians recommend that you should follow a calorie controlled diet with the majority of your intake coming from minimally processed whole foods, with an emphasis on lean meat and fish, beans, vegetables and fruits, heart healthy fats, including omega 3s, and high fiber foods, together with plenty of fluids. Eating whole foods in controlled portions can assist in managing and preventing illnesses which are associated with thyroid diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, plus the addition of fiber can help to relieve the constipation often experienced by sufferers of hypothyroidism.
Deficiency in vitamin D has also been shown to be linked with impaired thyroid health. Therefore, eating foods such as oily fish, milk, dairy products, eggs and mushrooms can prove beneficial for those with thyroid problems. Selenium and vitamin B12 have also been identified as being nutritionally important in the prevention of hypothyroidism.
So while diet alone cannot control an underactive thyroid, ensuring that you eat a range of whole foods will help you to stay healthy and avoid other potential medical issues.
Is There A Natural Treatment For Hypothyroidism?
Fortunately there is help with a natural treatment called Thypro. Pacific Naturals, who were founded in 2002 and are members of the Natural Products Association, are a leading herbal supplement company that has come up with a safe and effective underactive thyroid treatment.
Thypro is an all-natural thyroid supplement that works with your body’s own systems to help the thyroid produce the right amount of hormone for your everyday needs. Even though it’s linked to many of our modern day ills, many of us are unaware that our thyroid may be the culprit.
Thypro has safe and effective natural ingredients to support and maintain a healthy thyroid.