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Thyroid Disease in Women

Thyroid disease is one of the most common ailments which affects women and it can represent a risk factor at any age. In fact, recent studies have shown that females can be up to eight times more likely to develop a thyroid condition when compared to men. This is why appreciating its causes and symptoms alongside the potential treatment options are critical. Let us, therefore, take a look at some basic information in order to appreciate the impacts of this disease as well as how its symptoms can be alleviated.

The Role of the Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is responsible for maintaining numerous metabolic processes throughout the body. These include:

  • Providing the body with a source of energy.
  • Regulating growth and development.
  • Modulating metabolic functions such as digestion and appetite.
  • Controlling body temperature and heart rate.

We can therefore see that the thyroid plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis. Unfortunately, there can be times when it does not function as it should.

The Two Main Types of Thyroid Disease

The disease of the thyroid can be segmented into two categories:

  • Hyperthyroidism (an overactive gland)
  • Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid)

Current research suggests that hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism. The main takeaway point is that thyroids which do not produce the proper level of hormones will inevitably have an impact upon the body.

What Causes Thyroid Problems in Women?

While research is ongoing, there are several situations which can cause a woman to develop problems with her thyroid gland. A handful of common factors include:

  • Autoimmune diseases (specifically a condition known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis).
  • Thyroid surgery or radiation therapy.
  • Certain medications.
  • Unexpected responses to previous thyroid treatments.

It is also thought that a genetic factor may be present. In other words, females with a family history of thyroid problems are more likely to develop issues.

What Issues May Women Experience as a Result of a Faulty Thyroid?

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As mentioned previously, a thyroid may produce too little or too much of specific hormones. Thus, the symptoms will be based on these factors. Women who have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism may experience issues such as unexplained weight gain, lethargy, decreased appetite, muscular weakness, a slow heart rate, and feelings of malaise or depression.

Those who are dealing with hyperthyroidism will likely experience a host of different effects. Some of these can include:

  • Increased appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • Irritability, nervousness or anxiousness.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Fewer or lighter menstrual periods.

So, it clear to see that any female who feels that she may be experiencing issues with her thyroid should make it a point to consult with a medical practitioner.

What Treatment Options are Available?

Medical science has come a long way in terms of thyroid treatments. For instance, medications such as Cytomel ( can be used to effectively treat hypothyroidism as well as similar issues affecting hormone production. There are likewise pharmacological options which can be used to address problems with an overactive thyroid. Other lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet (specifically consuming foods high in vitamin B) can also produce beneficial results.

Of course, the exact treatment will be based on the initial diagnosis as well as whether the thyroid is overactive or underactive (and the associated severity). The good news is that women can enjoy more options than ever before if they take a proactive approach and follow the instructions provided by their physician.

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