Hypothyroidism is the medical term used for an underactive thyroid gland. It is estimated to affects between 30 to 50 million Americans, yet half of the people with this condition are unaware that they have it. Most of these people are women, it effects women far more than men, with older women bearing the brunt of this condition. However, people of all ages, including newborns, can be affected by thyroid diseases.
Severe cases of hypothyroidism can be effectively treated with prescription medications, however most people have milder forms which may respond to other treatments. Chronic fatigue is the most common symptom which is why many women never know they have this condition.. With today’s busy lifestyles, few women have a free five minutes during their day. They attribute the fatigue to not enough sleep, working long hours, and child care responsibilities. Other symptoms include the inability to lose weight, and depression. These too, are common female complaints and have many causes so the thyroid is not often looked at closely.
When left untreated and undiagnosed, hypothyroidism can lead to a puffy ace, a slow heart rate, muscle aches and pains, and a general sluggishness. A doctor a perform a simple blood test to diagnose this problem. As your doctor about a blood test to heck your thyroid if you have these symptoms.