What is an underactive thyroid? Symptoms of hypothyroidism revealed | Health | Life & Style

Dr Renee Hoenderkamp has shared the main symptoms of hypothyroidism and what treatments are available to sufferers.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple.

It makes a hormone called Thyroxine which is carried around the body and its affects work on nearly every single cell in the body.

The two important hormones made by the thyroid gland are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).

T4 is the less active form from which T3 is made. T3 is by far the most active thyroid hormone.

Thyroid hormones are responsible for the rate of metabolism within most cells.  In effect, the hormones control how fast or slow the cells within the heart, brain, muscles, skin, bowel, liver and kidneys work, to name the main ones.

Essentially the thyroid gland is the motor of your entire body and therefore, when it goes wrong it affects many things and can be life-threatening if not treated.

The thyroid gland can be affected in different ways by numerous illnesses but usually results in one of two states: underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism).


Underactive thyroid: Symptoms of hypothyroidism revealed

Who gets hypothyroidism?

Approximately one in fifty women and one in 1,000 men develop hypothyroidism at some point in life.

It becomes more common with increasing age, however, it can occur at any age.


The main causes of an underactive thyroid are: Hashimoto’s disease, pituitary or hypothalamic failure, thyroid surgery or radioactive iodine treatment, treatment for hyperthyroidism, inability to absorb synthetic thyroxine adequately and lack of conversion from T4 to T3.

Once your thyroid starts to under produce thyroid hormone, you may develop symptoms including weight gain and loss of appetite, slow movements, thought and speech, pins and needles, breathlessness, dizziness, loss of libido, muscle and joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, dry and gritty eyes.

Other symptoms can…

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