Sometimes the extra 20 pounds that appeared overnight are symptoms of an underactive thyroid. The body may not be making enough thyroid hormone and you could feel fatigued, constipated and dull.
If levels dip too low, it could lead to other unwelcome conditions, such as anemia, low body temperature, and on rare occasions, heart failure. Untreated hypothyroidism can also lead to a condition called myxedema. The symptoms are by dry, thickened skin and course facial features.
With help from the Endocrinologists at UAB, your thyroid could be tested for this common ailment. Through proper medication your underactive thyroid can be boosted back to normal levels.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism are:
- dull facial expressions
- hoarse voice
- slow speech
- droopy eyelids
- puffy and swollen face
- weight gain
- sparse, course and dry hair
- coarse, dry, and thickened skin
- carpal tunnel syndrome (hand tingling or pain)
- slow pulse
- muscle cramps
- orange-colored soles and palms
- sides of eyebrows thin or fall out
- increased menstrual flow in women
Hypothyroidism is caused by the body’s autoimmune system reacting to itself in a negative way. It produces antibodies that work against the thyroid gland. It could also be a failing pituitary gland.
UAB Endocrinology Tests
- measurement of thyroid hormone in the bloodstream
- thyroid scan - uses a radioactive substance to create an image of the thyroid as it is functioning
- thyroid uptake - radioiodine uptake into the thyroid is measured over a period of time.
The treatment for hypothyroidism is generally a daily dose of replacement hormones. These hormone levels may need to be increased over the years, so annual checkups are important. Hormones will usually be taken for a lifetime.