You may have heard of hypothyroidism, but it's unlikely that you have any idea how it can actually affect your daily life.
While this condition primarily affects women over the age of 60, it doesn't preclude other people from dealing with it as well. Hypothyroidism is when the body under-produces the thyroid hormone and, if left untreated, can affect your day to day life.
Since the symptoms of hypothyroidism can be mistaken for other illnesses or common problems it can often be misdiagnosed.
Thankfully hypothyroidism can be controlled with medication and other methods, but it's important to get a diagnosis if you are feeling these symptoms.
1. Fatigue is common with those who have hypothyroidism
Not getting a good night's sleep is one thing, but fatigue is a completely different story. When you can will your body to get up and moving, you know you have a problem.
2. Constipation is not always a result of a poor diet
Sometimes it's not a lack of fiber in your diet that is causing you to have issues in the bathroom. The lack of the thyroid hormone can give the body a challenge when digesting.
3. Memory issues
It may not just be a fog that is clouding your memory, but an effect of hypothyroid that is causing you to forget your keys, people's names and have trouble finding your car. A lot of things can cause you to be forgetful, such as your diet, medication, and not getting enough sleep, but if all those are not the reason, this could be it.
4. Muscle aches and stiffness
It may not be just a rough session at the gym, a weird night's sleep or the need to do more yoga that is causing you to be sore all over.
5. Feeling sad or depressed
An over or under-active thyroid can complete change your mood. Too little of the thyroid hormone can affect the levels of serotonin in your brain, which can cause you to feel sad or even depressed.
Alternately, too much of the thyroid hormone can make you feel anxious, restless or irritable.
6. Hair loss and dry skin
Does it seem like your skin is always dry and itchy, even when it's not winter? This may be a symptom of hypothyroidism. The slow metabolism can reduce sweating, which causes the skin to gain that texture.
Your hair and nails may be dry and brittle, as well. Your hair may even fall out. Why? The lack of the thyroid hormone interrupts your hair growth cycle, which results in hair loss.
7. Sudden weight gain
Weight gain can be caused by many factors, but if you haven't experienced any dietary of physical changes, hypothyroidism could be to blame.
8. No sex drive
Too little of the thyroid hormone will cause a low libido. Not just the lack of hormone could cause a disinterest in sex, but all the other symptoms like fatigue, hair loss and depression would also contribute as well.
9. High blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure and a healthier diet and exercise isn't making a different, get your thyroid checked. An under-active thyroid can cause high levels of the 'bad' cholesterol, which can lead to bigger heart problems down the road.
10. Changes to taste-buds
Do things all the sudden taste different to you? An under-active thyroid can mess with your sense of taste and smell. It's time to go seek out a doctor and get some blood work done.
It's important to notice any odd changes in your body and go get them checked out, because a small dose of medication can change your quality of life for the better.