The small pear shaped gland called thyroid, smaller than a quarter, can be a cause of major concern in the event it dysfunctions. The thyroid is the conduit to cellular metabolism: an organic process in a cell, which is necessary for the orderly functioning of the body organs.
The thyroid produces hormones, commonly called T3 and T4 that maintain the rate of metabolism. The pituitary gland in the brain acts as a thermostat and regulates production of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormones), which act as a signal to the thyroid to produce hormones as per the needs of the body. The pituitary gland, in turn is controlled by the hypothalamus. This is a very complicated and fragile system that is extremely necessary for a healthy body. Any disturbance in this delicate system of hormonal balances result in increase or decrease in production of hormones by the thyroid.
Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone. By obvious conclusion, anything that affects the thyroid has the potential of affecting the entire endocrine system. As such, hypothyroidism can have major repercussions if is not attended to with proper thyroid treatment.
Some of the major symptoms of hypothyroidism are:
* Weight gain or difficulty in losing weight
* Coarse, dry hair
* Dry, rough pale skin
* Hair loss
* Cold intolerance
* Muscle cramps and muscle aches
* Memory loss
* Abnormal menstrual cycles
* Decreased libido
However, there is a major disagreement on the subject of managing this condition and it is highly advisable that you become your own advocate by studying the condition after research and go for thyroid medications that you think will be good for you. As far as hypothyroidism is concerned, it is a matter of which medication suits you the best as different medications give varying results in each individual. This is mainly because symptoms of hypothyroidism, like any other thyroid malfunctioning, are general in nature and may relate to other conditions as well.
A complete thyroid panel blood test including all T3, T4, and TSH helps a lot in a diagnosis but does not indicate the proper level of treatment required. Even “normal” thyroid hormone levels in the blood have a fairly large range, so even if you are in the “normal” range, it may not be the normal level for you. In a lot many cases of hypothyroidism, some form of natural thyroid medication may result in bringing back the hormone levels to normal.
Hypothyroidism is mainly treated with drugs that replenish the decreased hormonal levels. Thyroid hormone pills of varying potencies are administered depending upon individual requirements. However, a continuous monitoring is mandatory, lest the levels increase to cause hyperthyroidism, which is the exact opposite of hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism may be easy to treat but it can potentially affect the rest of the body and it is highly advisable that you keep in constant contact with your physician. In many cases, taking recourse to alternative thyroid treatments proves to be as effective, if not better than traditional medications. Whatever therapy you choose it requires regular follow up due to the ambiguous nature of its symptoms.
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