Hypothyroidism – What Are the Signs and Symptoms?
Hypothyroidism is the result of your thyroid gland producing too little of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The role of these hormones is to control the body’s metabolism. The most common form of hypothyroidism is autoimmune thyroiditis, also commonly known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is an inflammation of the thyroid gland originating from the patient’s own immune system.
Primary Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Millions of people suffer from hypothyroidism and are unaware of their condition. Some of the main symptoms of hypothyroidism are:
- Weight gain
- Difficulty losing weight
- Cold intolerance
- Irregular menstruation
- Hair loss
- Low sex drive
- Low energy levels
- Memory loss
- Muscle aches
Effects of Hypothyroidism on Metabolism
Maintaining the health of your thyroid gland can promote overall good health. Your body’s metabolism is an integral part of your body’s overall functioning, and the adverse effects of hypothyroidism can be felt throughout every system of the body, including cardiovascular, endocrine, and more.
For instance, decreased levels of thyroid hormone can lead to a metabolic slowdown that may result in several effects on metabolism, including:
- Slowed basal metabolic rate (BMR): BMR is the number of calories the body needs at rest to maintain basic physiological functions. In hypothyroidism, BMR tends to decrease, leading to a reduced calorie expenditure during periods of inactivity.
- Weight gain: The slowed metabolism in hypothyroidism may contribute to weight gain. The body burns fewer calories, and if calorie intake remains the same, it can lead to an energy imbalance and weight gain.
- Fatigue and reduced energy levels: Individuals with hypothyroidism may experience fatigue and low energy levels due to the inefficient conversion of food into energy. This can affect physical activity and exercise, further impacting metabolism.
- Changes in macronutrient metabolism: Hypothyroidism can alter the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It may lead to difficulties in processing and utilizing these macronutrients, affecting overall energy production.
- Insulin resistance: Some studies suggest a potential link between hypothyroidism and insulin resistance, which can influence how the body regulates blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance may contribute to metabolic challenges.
What to Do If You Suspect You Have Hypothyroidism
If you suspect that you may be suffering from hypothyroidism, you should contact your physician or healthcare provider to determine the best course of action. They can perform thyroid function tests, including TSH, T4, and T3 levels. Based on the diagnosis, appropriate treatment, often involving thyroid hormone replacement therapy, may be recommended to manage symptoms and restore thyroid function. Regular monitoring is crucial for optimal thyroid health.
Contact Pharmacy Rx Solutions to learn more about hypothyroidism. Pharmacy Rx Solutions offers a variety of hormone replacement therapy packages. Whether you’re addressing thyroid issues or experiencing menopausal symptoms, we provide solutions to support your health needs.