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Hypothyroidism and Women’s Health

What is Hypothyroidism and its impacts on Women’s Bodies?

Hypothyroidism and Women’s Health are related, read here, what is Hypothyroidism and its impacts on Women’s Bodies

Hypothyroidism is a condition of underactive thyroid. It is a disorder that shapes when the thyroid gland produces insufficient amounts of certain important hormones. And the fact is that the early stage of hypothyroidism don’t show any significant signs and symptoms but if left untreated, it can lead to health issues including infertility, obesity, joint pains, cardiac diseases, etc. And while it might not look as severe, hypothyroidism and women’s health go hand in hand. Let’s know what is hypothyroidism and its impacts on Women’s Bodies.

Basic Symptoms

As mentioned earlier, there aren’t many identifiable symptoms of Hypothyroidism and they even vary greatly, depending on the severity of the deficiency of the hormone. And the symptoms and problems can become identifiable only after a few years. The early symptoms can be fatigue and weight gain but in later stages, you might start to develop more problems.

Symptoms may look like – Fatigue, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, increased sensitivity to cold, puffy face, hoarseness, muscle weakness, elevated blood cholesterol level, pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints, thinning hair, muscle aches, irregular menstrual periods, Depression, enlarged thyroid gland (goitre), hypothyroidism in infants.

Hypothyroidism and Women’s Health

One of the very reasons for hypothyroidism in women is an autoimmune disease, which is also called Hashimoto’s disease. In this disease, the antibodies essentially and gradually target the thyroid gland and destruct its ability to produce the thyroid hormone. And for a fact, females make the vast majority of the hypothyroidism patients forming a female to male ratio of 8:1.

Generally, middle-aged and older women are the ones who are most affected by hypothyroidism. But it is not necessary, as anyone, including infants, can develop this condition. In infants, the condition and symptoms may look like, yellowing of skin and eyes, protruding tongue, hoarse crying and difficulty in breathing, etc.

4%-10% of women get affected by Hypothyroidism, and the frequency increases with age. Here are the problems that hypothyroidism can lead to –

1. Goiter – The condition of hypothyroidism is generally because of the low iodine which leads to largening of the gland. A large goitre can be uncomfortable and lead to breathing disorders.

2. Heart diseases –  Hypothyroidism can also be linked to an elevated risk of heart attack and heart failure, owing to the fact that patients with an underactive thyroid may have high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the “negative” cholesterol.

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3. Mental health issues – Hypothyroidism can lead to mental health issues, depression, and poor mental functioning.

4. Infertility – Thyroid hormone deficiency can interfere with ovulation, affecting fertility. Furthermore, some of the causes of hypothyroidism, such as an autoimmune disease, may affect fertility greatly. Hence, women have a direct relation with hypothyroidism.

5. Defects in the baby at the time of birth – For pregnant women, if hypothyroidism remains to be untreated, then it can lead to a risk of birth defects and serious developmental and intellectual problems.

So, these were the factors for how hypothyroidism affects women’s health. While it should be noted that the symptoms for the same remain under observation for years, the condition, prevention can include taking regular health checkups so as to avoid any such occurrence.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.
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