Living with Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is a chronic condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive meaning it produces too little thyroid hormone in which the body needs to function normally. Because there are low levels of the thyroid hormones needed, the body tends to slow down causing many symptoms (eHealthMD, 2004). Hypothyroidism is very common and is treatable easily most of the time, but it is a condition that takes time to adjust to living with it daily. A person with this condition must research and discuss with his or her doctors on the best way to manage it and to deal with it on a regular basis.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue (feeling tired, sluggish, or weak), inability to tolerate cold, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, depression, constipation, heavy or irregular menstrual periods, dry skin, brittle nails, coarse or thinning hair, and slow body movements (WebMD, 2005-2007). A person may have one or more of these symptoms as these are symptoms when the condition is in a mild stage. People may have gone undiagnosed or had the condition for a long time and their symptoms can be more severe, such as an increase in heart rate, swelling of the arms, hands, legs, or feet, an enlarged thyroid gland, or muscle aches, cramps (WebMD, 2005-2007).
Diagnosing of this condition can be made by testing the hormone levels in the blood stream. The two important hormones are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These are the hormones that the thyroid gland produces itself. The other hormone tested is the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) this the hormone released from the pituitary gland in the brain. The pituitary gland tells the thyroid gland how much T3 and T4 hormone to produce. When the levels are high and not within a normal range there lies the problem of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is regulated with a hormone pill a medication called...