You've probably heard of hypothyroidism, but you might not actually know what it involves. Essentially, people suffering from hypothyroidism have a thyroid gland that doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone. That hormone is responsible for controlling your metabolism and energy balance, so the lack of it results in several recognizable symptoms.
At later stages, you can suffer anything from a slow heart rate to hearing loss, but most people are able to recognize that something is wrong and get treated by a family doctor on the gold coast or in their local area before those more extreme symptoms present themselves.
Here are just five early warning signs to watch out for.
1. Unexplained Fatigue
When animals need to hibernate, their bodies start producing very low thyroid levels to ensure energy levels are kept low and fewer calories are required. When you suffer from hypothyroidism, you may feel like you should hibernate yourself. You may feel unrested however much you sleep and find yourself drifting off throughout the day.
2. Weight Gain
When your body isn't producing enough thyroid hormone, it won't burn calories like it used to. In fact, your body will start hanging on to calories instead of using them to provide energy. As such, people with hypothyroidism often suffer from unexplained weight gain. If you've made no dietary or lifestyle chances but still seem to be gaining weight, hypothyroidism could be the problem.
3. Feeling Cold
Your body doesn't stay warm without using energy; heat is produced when calories are burned, which is why you get hotter when you work out. When you suffer from hypothyroidism, your metabolic rate will often decrease sharply enough to reduce the amount of heat your body generates. This will make it seem like every room you're in is a bit too cold, and you may shiver even when you're covered up because your body isn't producing enough heat.
4. Hair Loss or Dullness
When you aren't burning the calories you need, your hair is often the first thing to suffer. That's because the stem cells in hair follicles have a very short lifespan, making them sensitive to short-term dietary issues. Low thyroid levels will often cause hair to feel dull or rough. In some cases, hair follicles will stop regenerating altogether, leading to hair loss.
5. Stiff Muscles and Joints
When you suffer from hypothyroidism, your body enters a catabolic state. This means body tissue other than fat, such as muscle, is broken down for energy. Since muscle mass decreases, you may feel weakness or tenderness, especially after taking part in some kind of strenuous activity.