Hypothyroidism – An Overview and Associated Risks

hypothyroidismHypothyroidism is a condition resulting from low production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism may result from an autoimmune disease, overtreatment (overmedication) of hyperthyroidism, radiation therapy or thyroid surgery. Additional causes include an iodine deficient diet and occasionally, pregnancy.

Additional Causes of Hypothyroidism

There are several possible causes of hyperthyroidism that result from dietary and environmental factors including:

  • A poor diet high in sugars and processed foods that interfere with metabolism.
  • Binge eating and blood sugar spikes and the resulting insulin and cortisol swings.
  • Chronic stress and prolonged stress response.
  • Inadequate sleep leading to cortisol imbalances and adrenal fatigue.
  • Environmental toxins from water, food, pollution and cleaning and personal care products.
  • Genetics may be a contributing factor.

Hypothyroid Symptoms

Hypothyroid symptoms can be difficult to identify as they are similar to those of many other conditions including those of an unhealthy lifestyle. The most common symptoms are exhaustion, unexplained weight gain, a constant feeling of cold, chilled hands and feet.

Additional signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

Depression, dry hair and brittle nails, forgetfulness and inability to concentrate, hair loss, heavy periods and low libido. Advanced signs include a swollen face, hoarseness, swollen neck and tongue, slowed reflexes and decreased body temperature.

Diagnosing Hypothyroidism

Your physician will conduct a physical examination and a series of blood tests including TSH or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, T3 and T4 levels of thyroid hormones, or a Radioactive Iodine Uptake Test (RAIU). This battery of test will confirm if you have hypothyroidism.

Risks of Untreated or Undiagnosed Hypothyroidism

Undiagnosed or untreated hypothyroidism can lead to severe complications and health problems. Your body will attempt to compensate and constantly stimulate your thyroid to release more hormones which eventually leads to your thyroid gland growing larger, known as goiter.

Untreated hypothyroidism can also lead to heart disease, an enlarged heart or heart failure. As the disease progresses, memory loss and depression will occur more frequently and become more severe.

Severe untreated hypothyroidism may increase the risk for myxedema coma which occurs when the body’s thyroid hormone level becomes critically low. Symptoms include cold intolerance and drowsiness followed by lethargy and eventual unconsciousness or coma.

Natural and Alternative Treatments for hypothyroidism

Healthy diet and lifestyle are an important part of your treatment protocol and may reduce your dependence on hormone treatments or medication therapy. To explore your options and take control of your hypothyroidism visit the Revolution System and watch a short video detailing ways to manage your disease naturally and successfully.

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