Is Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy A Problem
Left untreated, hypothyroidism during pregnancy;can affect both mother and baby. However, thyroid medicines can help prevent problems and are safe to take during pregnancy. Many women taking thyroid hormone medicine need a higher dose during pregnancy, so contact your doctor right away if you find out youre pregnant.
Treatment For Hashimotos Disease
With treatment, the outlook for most people with Hashimotos disease is excellent. Treatment usually includes medication with the synthetic thyroid hormone . The doctor will recommend regular blood tests to monitor your thyroid hormone levels to ensure they are within the recommended range.You will need to take the medication for life. Medication does not cure the condition, but helps maintain normal thyroid hormone levels. The symptoms will return if thyroid medication is stopped. Surgery may be required if the enlarged gland causes pressure symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism has many symptoms that can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms of hypothyroidism include
- thyroiditis, or inflammation;of the thyroid
- congenital hypothyroidism, or hypothyroidism that is present at birth
- surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid
- radiation treatment of the thyroid
- some medicines
Less often, hypothyroidism is caused by too much or too little iodine in the diet or by disorders of the pituitary gland;or hypothalamus.1 Iodine deficiency, however, is extremely rare in the United States.
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Get Smart About Sleep
You might feel run down, even if youâre taking medication. Yet all too often, âpeople with hypothyroidism donât get enough sleep, or the sleep theyâre getting isnât good quality,â Hatipoglu says.
To ensure your body has a chance to rest and recover:
Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night. Thatâs actual sleep, not just time spent in bed. Hit the hay and wake up at roughly the same times most days.
âA regular sleep schedule makes it easier to fall and stay asleep,â says Shelby Harris, PsyD, director of the behavioral sleep medicine program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.
Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, and cool. Keep pets out of your bed, and if possible, out of your room. That way, they wonât disrupt your sleep.
Try a wind-down routine. At least 30 minutes before bed, do something relaxing. Harris suggests a cup of herbal tea, a shower, or reading in a low-lit room.
If all else fails, talk with your doctor. If you snore, canât fall or stay asleep, or are worn out even if you do get 8 hours of shut-eye, you may have a sleep disorder. Your doctor might send you to a sleep specialist.
When To See A Doctor
Hypothyroidism develops slowly, so many people wont notice their symptoms for years. It also shares symptoms with a wide range of other medical conditions, so your doctor will likely order additional testing. The same is true of hyperthyroidism and most diagnoses for an overactive thyroid also entail multiple blood tests. For many older patients, hyperthyroidism can present differently and may be mistaken for depression or dementia because it can cause similar symptoms such as loss of appetite and social withdrawals.
These additional blood tests may evaluate your thyroxine, triiodothyronine, and thyrotropin counts to determine whether your thyroid is overactive or underactive. People with hypothyroidism may be prescribed levothyroxine, an artificial hormone intended to boost your thyroid function, and tested six to eight weeks after they begin taking the medication to see if their counts have improved. If hyperthyroidism is suspected, the patient may be prescribed methimazole or another type of anti-thyroid medication.
Thyroid testing is often ordered for pregnant women due to their higher risk of developing thyroid disease. These tests may also be suggested for people seeking fertility treatment, as both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can lead to difficulty conceiving.
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What Happens If Hypothyroidism Is Left Untreated
Complications of untreated underactive thyroid range from infertility to a life-threatening slowdown of basic bodily functions.
Your thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped organ that sits in your neck, produces hormones that help regulate how your body uses energy.
This can happen for a number of reasons, but the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States is Hashimotos thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder in which your bodys immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid.
Symptoms can vary from person to person, but common symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Dry skin
- Dry or thinning hair
Treatment for hypothyroidism is fairly straightforward, and involves taking replacement thyroid hormone. While it may take some trial and error to find the right dose of medication, many symptoms of hypothyroidism may be reversed once you do.
There are a number of reasons people may not treat hypothyroidism, however. They may stop taking medication because theyre experiencing side effects or because theyre not noticing benefits of the medication, for example. Or they may not know they have hypothyroidism. In this case, the condition can gradually become more severe and potentially cause a range of complications.
Follow A Healthy Diet
It’s likely you’ve heard these tips for eating well, but they bear repeatingand followingespecially in this context:
- Eat as few processed foods as possible.
- Steer clear of polyunsaturated vegetable oils and products made from them, including margarine. When in doubt, olive oil is a healthy fat for cooking and to use in salad dressings.
- Replace high-glycemic carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, and sugar-laden foods with whole grains and no-sugar-added snacks and beverages.
- Limit your intake of saturated fat.
- Eat plenty of fish that’s rich in omega-3 fats such as mackerel, wild salmon, herring, tuna , and halibut. The American Heart Association recommends most people eat at least two 3.5 ounce servings of per week.
- Fill your plate at meals and snacks with fresh whole fruits and vegetables, including those that are being studied for their potential to directly augment the immune system, including garlic, mushrooms , broccoli, cabbage, and kale. Be careful not to overdo cruciferous veggies, however.
- Limit saturated fats and sugars to 10 percent of your total calories each day.
How Are Autoimmune Thyroid Disorders Treated
- Thyroid medicines replace, increase, or decrease your thyroid hormone levels. They may also help control your signs and symptoms. You may need other medicines to treat fast heartbeats, nervousness, or trembling.
- A radioactive form of iodine is given to treat hyperthyroidism. It damages or kills some of the thyroid gland cells.
- Surgery to remove your thyroid may be needed if other treatments do not work.
Tingling Or Numbness In Your Hands And Feet
It can be completely innocent. But in some cases it can mean that your body is attacking nerves that send signals to your muscles. People who have Guillain-Barre syndrome, for instance, may have numbness that starts in their legs then moves up to their arms and chest.
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy has symptoms similar to the demyelinating form of GBS , but while GBS lasts two weeks to 30 days. CIDP lasts much longer.
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Symptoms Of Hashimotos Disease
Hashimotos disease progresses very slowly over many years, so the symptoms may go unnoticed. The symptoms and signs vary depending on individual factors including the severity of the condition, but may include:
- Unrelenting fatigue
- Stiff and tender joints, particularly in the hands, feet and knees
- Cognitive changes, such as depression or forgetfulness
- Enlargement of the thyroid gland
- In women, heavy menstrual bleeding .
Sometimes Hashimotos disease does not cause any noticeable symptoms. The condition may be discovered during investigations for other, perhaps unrelated, medical problems.
Whats The Difference Between Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism
In hypothyroidism, the thyroid doesnt make enough thyroid hormone.
The difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism is quantity. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid makes very little thyroid hormone. On the flip side, someone with hyperthyroidism has a thyroid that makes too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism involves higher levels of thyroid hormones, which makes your metabolism speed up. If you have hypothyroidism, your metabolism slows down.
Many things are the opposite between these two conditions. If you have hypothyroidism, you may have a difficult time dealing with the cold. If you have hyperthyroidism, you may not handle the heat. They are opposite extremes of thyroid function. Ideally, you should be in the middle. Treatments for both of these conditions work to get your thyroid function as close to that middle ground as possible.
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Key Points About Hashimotos Thyroiditis
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can cause your thyroid to not make enough thyroid hormone.
- It is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when your body makes antibodies that attack the cells in your thyroid.
- Symptoms may include an enlarged thyroid gland , tiredness, weight gain, and muscle weakness.
- You dont need treatment if your thyroid hormone levels are normal. If you have an underactive thyroid, medicine can help.
How Is Hashimoto’s Disease Diagnosed
If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism, your doctor or nurse will do an exam and order one or more tests. Tests used to find out whether you have hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease include:
- Thyroid function test. This blood test tells whether your body has the right amounts of thyroid stimulating hormone and thyroid hormone. A high level of TSH is a sign of an underactive thyroid. When the thyroid begins to fail, the pituitary gland makes more TSH to trigger the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone. When the damaged thyroid can no longer keep up, your thyroid hormone levels drop below normal.
- Antibody test. This blood test tells whether you have the antibodies that suggest Hashimotos disease. More than one in 10 people have the antibodies but have normal thyroid function. Having only the antibodies does not cause hypothyroidism.
Impaired Immune Function Increases Your Risk Of Infection
Why does it matter that your immune system and thyroid function are linked?
Because if you have a problem in one system that will ultimately affect the other.;
And when it comes to the novel coronavirus, we happen to care a lot about your immune status!
Impaired immune function will not only increase your risk of becoming infected when exposed to the virus it will also increase your risk of a negative outcome if you get it.;
This isn’t anything necessarily to be alarmed about or to freak out about, but it is something that you should be aware of.;
So with this in mind, I am going to discuss several steps that you can take to not only improve your thyroid function but also improve your immune system in the process.;
These steps will help naturally enhance your immunity, reduce your risk of becoming infected, and provide you with some tips to help reduce your viral load if you do become infected.;
Let’s jump in…
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism
A person with mild hypothyroidism may feel just fine. In fact, it might cause no symptoms at all.
But if thyroid hormone levels get too low, symptoms can become more obvious. These include:
- dry skin or hair loss
- feeling cold
- weight gain
- slowed growth
- irregular menstrual periods in girls
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Treating An Underactive Thyroid
Treatment for an underactive thyroid involves taking daily;hormone replacement tablets, called levothyroxine,;to raise your;thyroxine levels. You’ll usually need treatment for the rest of your life. However, with proper treatment, you should be able to lead a normal, healthy life.
If an underactive thyroid isn’t treated, it can lead to complications, including heart disease,;goitre, pregnancy problems and a life-threatening condition called myxoedema coma .
If An Underactive Thyroid Isn’t Treated
It’s unlikely that you’d have many of the later symptoms of an underactive thyroid, because the condition is often identified before more serious symptoms appear.
Later symptoms of an underactive thyroid;include:
- a low-pitched and hoarse voice
- a puffy-looking face
- thinned or partly missing eyebrows
- a slow heart rate
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What Does It Feel Like
Are you still wondering, What does brain fog feel like?
Imagine calling your child by the wrong name, forgetting your phone number or ZIP code, or realizing you have no idea where you are going while driving, says Shomon. These frightening memory lapses are common in people with thyroid problems. Thyroid patients call it brain fog, and doctors call it cognitive impairment either way, its an all-too-common thyroid symptom.
Underactive thyroid brain fog feels similar to hypoglycemia, says Sears. Its marked by confusion, an inability to concentrate, and a decreased focus on performing simple tasks.
Brain fog makes navigating life extremely frustrating and understanding common situations impossible. For some patients, it is so severe that they are unable to participate in everyday conversation. Its important to get medical advice if you think you have hypothyroidism and start thyroid brain fog treatment as soon as possible.
Can Your Thyroid Cause Sleep Problems
Thyroid imbalances have been linked to sleep problems. Hyperthyroidism can cause difficulty sleeping due to arousals from nervousness or irritability, as well as muscle weakness and constant feelings of tiredness. An overactive thyroid may also lead to night sweats and frequent urges to urinate, both of which can disrupt sleep.
People with hypothyroidism , on the other hand, often experience trouble tolerating cold at night and joint or muscle pain that disrupts sleep. Some studies have linked an underactive thyroid to poor quality sleep, longer sleep onset or the time it takes to fall asleep and shorter sleep duration during the night. Younger people, individuals with a relatively low body mass index, and women are all considered at higher risk of developing sleep problems due to hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism can also cause hypersomnia, or the irrepressible need to sleep or lapses into sleep that occur on a daily basis. Hypersomnia can occur due to an underlying medical disorder, and hypothyroidism is considered the leading cause of hypersomnia due to a disorder in the endocrine system. Additionally, untreated hypothyroidism can be mistaken for sleep-related hypoventilation, or excessively slow or shallow breathing that occurs primarily during sleep.
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Treatment For Subclinical Hypothyroidism
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 2019 guidelines recommend giving levothyroxine replacement therapy even if your T4 level is normal, as long as your TSH level is raised over 10 mIU/L on two separate occasions three months apart. This blood result picture – normal T4 but raised TSH – is called ‘subclinical hypothyroidism’.
These guidelines also suggest that a six-month trial of levothyroxine for adults aged under 65 with subclinical hypothyroidism should be considered, if you have a TSH lower than 10 mlU/L on two occasions three months apart, and also have some symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Your Doctor Will Never Tell You This: Osteoblasts Communicate With Thyroid Hormone
To understand the role your thyroid plays in bone metabolism, we need to back up a little and talk about how the thyroid works.Your thyroid gland is stimulated by a hormone called TSH , which is secreted by the pituitary gland. The thyroid then produces its main hormone, T4.
But recent research has shown that TSH has a dual function: it also communicates with osteoblasts, the bone-building cells.
Osteoblasts actually have TSH receptors, and they are constantly listening for signals from TSH, which tells them whether to build bone or back off a bit. Its a fascinating balancing act, and
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How Long Is The Treatment For
For most people, treatment is for life. Occasionally, the disease process reverses. This is uncommon, apart from the following:
- Children. Sometimes hypothyroidism is a temporary condition in older children.
- Pregnancy. Some women develop thyroid imbalance after having a baby. If it occurs, it typically happens about three to six months after the birth. Often this lasts just a few months and corrects itself. Treatment is needed only in a small number of cases. However, afterwards it is wise to have a yearly blood test, as there is an increased risk of developing autoimmune thyroiditis and long-term hypothyroidism in the future.
Thyroid Brain Fog Symptoms
Common thyroid brain fog symptoms include difficulty focusing and concentrating, and taking more time than usual to process or react to information. You may feel unmotivated, forgetful, or spacey, says Mary Shomon, Thyroid Refresh advisory board member. Your memory for names, numbers, and directions could be unpredictable. You may even mix up words or have trouble recalling a common word.
Patients with low thyroid brain fog often feel like they cant focus or concentrate to the point where everything feels blurry as if they are in a fog. In addition to being frustrating, this can lead to sadness and depression, as well as worry and anxiety, says Urszula Klich, PhD, licensed clinical psychologist and president of the Southeast Biofeedback and Clinical Neuroscience Association. People start focusing on their forgetfulness and errors, and worry about being able to be effective at home and work.
Brain fog is also a common symptom of Hashimotos disease, additionally known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, which is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. According to the Mayo Clinic, this is a condition in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. This causes inflammation, which often leads to an underactive thyroid gland. Women are much more likely to get Hashimotos disease than men, and the condition occurs most commonly during middle age.
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