Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces smaller amounts of thyroid hormones than needed for the thyroid to work properly. In order to understand this, you should first know what the thyroid gland is and what is does.
The thyroid gland is located in the front part of the neck and is the tool that monitors the metabolism in the body, keeping it functioning properly. If the thyroid gland messes up or does not produce enough hormones, it can put the entire body out of whack. Sometimes this is not found out as people feel their energy loss is due to over-work, aging and other factors. Hypothyroidism sets in before they realize it.
So what can cause hypothyroidism? There are several factors involved, one is malnutrition or not eating right. If a person does not get enough iodine from eating, he or she can develop hypothyroidism. Knowing what to eat as well as what not to eat is important when it comes to keeping the thyroid gland properly running.
Another factor that can cause an imbalance in the thyroid gland is stress. In today’s economy and with war rampant in several countries it is not at all surprising that hypothyroidism is on the rise with people enduring so much stress in their every day lives.
Still another factor is genetics. It is common for people to inherit certain DNA genetically-induced patterns that can lead to cancer or heart conditions. Hypothyroidism is no exception. If you have a parent or other blood-related family member suffering from hypothyroidism, chances are you could fall victim to it as well.
Since hypothyroidism and the thyroid gland deal with hormones then the next two factors should not be surprising, either. The first is during pregnancy as a woman’s hormones are way off kilter. You may have heard of Postpartum Depression? Well, this can come from the thyroid’s limited intake of iodine and therefore the metabolism in a woman’s body being messed up. The next factor regarding a woman’s hormones is when she enters menopause. This time in a woman’s life has her feeling like she is going insane at times but it is actually a physical change that is making her feel this way. One of the first parts of her body that is affected is her thyroid, therefore affecting her metabolism and spinning her body out of control.
It is no wonder that while hypothyroidism can affect both men and women that women suffer from it the most because they go through more hormonal changes than men do thanks to menstrual cycles, pregnancy and menopause. Perhaps it does not seem fair but in the end, if treated properly, she can learn to alleviate the symptoms of hypothyroidism and live a normal life.
If a person feels run down and out of energy or if he or she feels like there are mood swings that are not explained, then that person is encouraged to bring up the possible question of hypothyroidism with his or her physician. Having it checked when the symptoms begin can help to alleviate some of the hormonal problems associated with hypothyroidism.