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Symptoms of Underactive Thyroid

Posted Sep 10 2010 5:39am


Introduction

According to Greek mythology, Zeus created woman to be the source of man's greatest temptation and suffering. Right from the black widow spider to the "preying" mantis that kills its male counterpart after the periodic mating ritual proves once again that the female of the species is, indeed, deadlier.

Even the Bible blames the woman in Genesis for being the one to fall into temptation by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, while dragging poor Adam down with her.

Interestingly, medicine too borrows conceptually from this Biblical story by referring to the lump (for more than one reason) in every man's throat as the Adam's apple. And perhaps this laryngeal protrusion which is present in every man (but not in women!) speaks of their inability to hide their guilt. Ahh, kidding! But a world without women (playing that delightful temptress role as they do) would really be pointless!

Right below this thyroid cartilage (known as the Adam's Apple) lies one of the largest endocrine glands in the human body, commonly referred to as the thyroid.

Thyroid

Its shape resembles that of a butterfly, that has two wings labeled as the lobus dexter and lobus sinister that is connected via the thyroid isthmus. While its primary function is to collect iodine from the intake of foods and convert it into thyroid hormones such as thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and calcitonine.

Once T3 and T4 are produced, they are released into the bloodstream and which has a major role (that is related to growth and production) as every cell in the body depends on these two hormones to regulate metabolism.

Apart from regulating metabolism (growth & production), the thyroid gland also regulates blood calcium levels, energy, excess fats, hormones, oxygen and weight loss.

However, this is what happens when your thyroid gland functions in a healthy manner but in the case of extremes, where these hormones are either produced in excessive quantities (hyperthyroidism) or in very less amounts (hypothyroidism), one can experience health issues that can be considered anything but healthy.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

In the case of hypothyroidism, the T3 and T4 hormones are produced in negligible (or insufficient quantities). If a person has this kind of thyroid disorder, it is important that one looks out for both early and late symptoms, as the malfunction of this endocrine gland can be cause of a wide range of health issues.

Some of the early signs are:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle hypotonia (poor muscle tone)
  • Cold intolerance (increased sensitivity to cold)
  • Muscle cramps and joint pain
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Goiter
  • Thin and brittle fingernails and hair
  • Decreased sweating
  • Paleness
  • Osteporosis
  • Dry & itchy skin
  • Weight gain & Water Retention
  • Low heart rate (lesser than sixty beats per minute)

Some of the late signs are:

  • Dry puffy skin (visible on the face)
  • Thinning of the outer third of the eyebrows
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Low basal body temperature
  • Slow speech – a hoarse breaking voice

In emphasizing that the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland is imperative to staying healthy, it is in one's best interests to get a checkup if one suspects these early or late signs.

In Closing

And if you aren't still convinced if women are indeed a touch more lethal than they're made out to be, dig a little into the lives of Caesar and Anthony, and find out who they adored in common! Ah, the first ever modern (and empowered) woman in the history on (wo)mankind…

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