Over 11 million Americans suffer from thyroid issues and, more than eight times the number of women are affected by Hypothyroidism than men. So, women that are over 40 should be aware of changes in their health that could indicate that their thyroid is not functioning efficiently.
If you have been feeling fatigued or even depressed and are experiencing unexplained weight gain, you may be having issues with your thyroid function. Many symptoms of an underactive thyroid can be masked as other more minor issues. In fact, some of the signs of Hypothyroidism develop so slowly over so many years that they aren’t given much priority.
Women over 40 are especially at risk as some of the same symptoms of early menopause can actually be masked thyroid issues and not given the attention that they deserve. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons that Thyroid testing should be a regular part of your yearly physical exam.
Slow Development of Symptoms
Hypothyroidism is responsible for a wide range of symptoms. Most of which are very slow to develop. Fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, and feeling cold are common symptoms of many ailments and illnesses, so an abnormal thyroid can be difficult to diagnose.
When your skin becomes dryer over a number of months or your hair starts to thin gradually, you may dismiss it as just signs of aging. If you have one or more of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to see your doctor.
Symptoms Can Be Misleading
The symptoms of an unbalanced thyroid are very common and can be easily misdiagnosed. For example, if you have been suffering from abnormal weight gain and feeling depressed, you may think that you are struggling with an emotional issue when it could just be your thyroid.
The thyroid is responsible for maintaining your metabolism, energy levels, and healing so, when it isn’t working properly, it can leave you feeling fatigued and in a depressed mood.
Easy To Treat
If you request regular annual thyroid testing, you can get the treatment you need right away. When your thyroid is not producing the right amounts of hormones to maintain your metabolism, it needs to be brought back into balance.
A variety of brand name medicines like Levoxyl and Unithroid that are comprised of a synthetic hormone are used with great results.
When your underactive thyroid is treated you will likely feel a reduction in your feelings of depression. Your metabolism will begin to speed back up to normal giving you more energy and elevating your mood, making you feel better overall.
Women need to embrace a more proactive approach to their health, especially after the age of 40. As your body goes through the natural changes of age it doesn’t take much for your system and hormones to get out of balance. It is our responsibility to take care of our body. By demanding regular testing you can keep an eye on your metabolic and overall health in the future.