Thyroid Guide – Thyroid Symptoms in Women: The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland that is the primary responsible in regulating the body’s metabolism. This means that the thyroid gland is also in charge of converting the food into useful energy. Once the thyroid is dysfunctional, symptoms related to the body’s metabolism can be observed.
Commonly, thyroid symptoms in women can be an effect of a malfunctioning thyroid gland. The gland produces two important hormones called triiodothyronine or T3 and thyroxine or T4. Accordingly, even though the T3 hormone has the least composition in the thyroid hormones, it is considered to be a more powerful biological hormone than T4.
Interesting Questions about Thyroid:
Between one and two million Americans received radiation treatments in childhood or adolescence between 1920 and 1960. The most common reasons for these treatments were:
- enlarged thymus gland
- enlarged tonsils and adenoids
- various chest conditions
The risk factor for developing thyroid cancer if you had childhood radiation treatments is between 2% and 7% as compared to .004% in the general population.
There have been cases of side effects from radiation treatments (not radioactive iodine treatments) reported as long as 45 years after treatment.
Most physicians agree that the thyroid gland of these patients should be checked annually.
Some physicians rely solely on physical (manual) examination of patients treated as children with radiation. Others prefer to perform scans or ultrasounds for nodules too small to detect manually that might be cancerous.
A person treated as a child with radiation can request that their medical records be sent to them by writing the hospital or clinic where they had the treatments. Ask for a record of how much each dose of radiation was as well as how often and over what period of time treatments were given.
How does thyroid disease affect my cholesterol level?
One of the observed side effects of hypothyroidism is an elevation of LDL cholesterol, the “bad cholesterol.” Elevated LDL levels have been associated with heart disease, particularly coronary artery disease, and peripheral vascular disease. Elevated triglycerides also pose a serious medical problem. However, only in the most severe cases of hypothyroidism does the disease cause a marked elevation in triglyceride levels.
The “good cholesterol” is called HDL cholesterol. Scientific studies are inconclusive about the effects of hypothyroidism on HDL levels. Some have shown a decrease; others have shown no change; and a few have shown a minimal increase.
All patients with hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) should have tests of their thyroid function since a small percentage of these patients will have hypothyroidism contributing to their cholesterol problem. Treatment with thyroid hormone will lower cholesterol levels in those patients with an abnormal cholesterol from hypothyroidism.
The overall effect of hypothyroidism is a significant increase in the bad cholesterol. Long-standing, untreated hypothyroidism can lead to permanent damage to the coronary arteries and other blood vessels. Therefore, it is important to treat hypothyroidism and monitor cholesterol levels closely.
The leading cause of hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune disease called Graves’ Disease.
Autoimmune diseases in general
Autoimmune diseases tend to run in families. In other words, there is a strong genetic predisposition to develop one or more autoimmune diseases. Females are affected five times more than men by autoimmune disease. Patients with other autoimmune diseases are more likely to develop autoimmune thyroid diseases.
Researchers are trying to unlock the mysteries of autoimmune diseases, but there are still many unanswered questions. Basically an autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system produces antibodies that attack healthy tissues. In Graves’ disease, the immune system produces anti-thyroid antibodies that cause the thyroid gland to make too much thyroid hormone. In Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, antithyroid antibodies damage the thyroid gland and prevent it from producing enough thyroid hormone.
Autoimmune diseases associated with a higher than normal rate of thyroid autoimmune diseases
- vitiligo (patchy loss of skin coloration)
- alopecia areata (sudden, circular hair loss)
- premature gray hair
- pernicious anemia (inability to absorb B12)
- rheumatoid arthritis
- myasthenia gravis (episodic muscle weakness that can affect vision, speech, swallowing, and breathing )
- Lupus erythematosus ( connective tissue disorder)
- insulin-dependent diabetes
- Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency)
- premature ovarian failure
Tests for antibodies present in autoimmune thyroid disease
- TPOab (thyroperoxidase antibodies)
- TGab (thyroglobulin antibodies)
One of these two types of antibodies is found in nearly all patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and in approximately 50% of patients with Graves’ disease.
- TRab (thyrotropin receptor antibodies; also called thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins or thyroid stimulating antibodies.)
Have more questions? Need more answers? Check our Full Thyroid FAQ
Thyroid symptoms in women
When the functions of thyroid gland become abnormal, some symptoms to be observed include weakness of muscles and fatigue even with simple work done and having dry and coarse skin. In addition, one may also have a low basal temperatures or cold intolerance that can be characterized by coldness of hands and feet as an underactive thyroid symptom in women. Moreover hair loss may be observed as a sign that the body is not getting ample source of nutrition as the thyroid gland fails to trigger enough metabolism of food eaten. With this, weight gain may be possible because food will be more likely to be stored that to be utilized due to decreased metabolic rate.
Also, other underactive thyroid symptoms in women include mild depression, loss of memory, tremors, dementia, shivers, nervousness, immune system related problems and heavy menstrual flow.
On the other hand, overactive thyroid symptoms in women include some complication in the digestive track. Since thyroid disorders cause some body functions not to perform well, the improper process of breakdown of food will take effect on one’s stomach, resulting to some loose bowel movements.
Hyperthyroidism in women may also show symptoms of excessive sweating, heat intolerance, rapid heart rate, nervousness, decrease concentration, possible weight loss due to increased metabolism of the body and irregular menstrual flow.
In some worst cases, if hyperthyroidism in older women may result to heart failure and if left untreated, it may complicate to the so-called thyroid storm- a condition characterized by heart failure, fever and increase in blood pressure.
Thyroid FAQ & Links to Related Articles
|There are four parathyroid glands that are normally having the size of a single rice grain. In some normal cases, they can be as big as the size of a pea.|
|Also called underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism is a disorder that is characterized by abnormal level of thyroid hormones in the body, which is too low.|
|The thyroid is a butterfly (pear)-shaped gland, it consists of 2 symmetrical lobes joined by a central isthmus that normally covers the 2nd & 3rd tracheal rings.|
|Congenital hypothyroidism is a thyroid gland disorder that may lead to deafness or mental retardation if left undetected.|
|Hypothyroidism can cause depression. Most people don?t realize that this feeling is depression caused by the thyroid gland not functioning as it should.|
|Papillary thyroid cancer is one of the thyroid cancer types. This type of thyroid cancer arises from the follicles in the thyroid gland.|
|The thyroid gland is located immediately below the larynx on each side of and anterior to the trachea. It is one of the largest of the endocrine glands|
|These thyroid hormones are responsible in regulating the body?s metabolism, which is how much food will be broken down into useful energy for consumption.|
|When the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, one may suffer from hyperthyroidism.|
|The thyroid stimulating hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. The thyroid stimulating hormone promotes the growth of the thyroid gland.|
|Thyroid hormones are chemical substances produced by the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck.|
|Natural thyroid supplements are helpful as a remedy to thyroid disorders. Its natural ingredients assure one of its safeties in taking it.|
|The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland that is the primary responsible in regulating the body?s metabolism.|
|Thyroid surgery is used to treat people with thyroid problems such as thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules and hyperthyroidism.|
|Thyroid tests or thyroid function tests are done to check the thyroid function in one?s body. A doctor will be able to determine and diagnose the thyroid disorder.|
|Treatment for thyroid disorders should be done to prevent unwanted results caused by the severity of the condition. Consult a physician for more of these treatments.|
|Thyroidectomy is a surgical process wherein the whole or a part of the thyroid gland is removed. This surgical process is used to treat thyroid disorders.|
|Having an underactive thyroid is a minor problem but it seeks proper attention to avoid further health problems. Consult a physician about any thyroid problem.|
|Low thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, is a condition where the thyroid gland is under active.|
|Following a healthy meal plan, exercise and proper medication goes hand in hand to treat hypothyroidism. Consult a physician for a more individualized plan.|
|Each thyroid cancer treatment depends on the type of thyroid cancer and the extent or stage of the thyroid cancer one is suffering from.|
|Parathyroid hormones are considered to be the most important endocrine regulator. It basically regulates the calcium and phosphorus concentration in the body.|
|Studies show that since 1925, the standard treatment for parathyroid disease is to surgically remove the parathyroid gland(s) which are overproducing parathyroid hormones.|
|Parathyroid adenoma is a small tumor of the parathyroid gland and is known to be the most common disorder of the gland.|
|Medullary thyroid cancer is one of the types of thyroid cancer. This type of thyroid cancer is more common in women than in men.|
|Most people don?t feel any symptoms. Others can just lose weight and just feel depressed for no reason at all.|
|Suppose you go in for a routine checkup and your doctor decides to test your thyroid function. You?ve experienced no thyroid disease symptoms|
|Hypothyroidism develops for over a long period of time. It?s normally from several months to even several years.|
|People who are suffering from hypothyroidism are advised to get plenty of exercise and have a balanced and healthy diet. The diet must be rich in protein and iodine.|
|Self medicating one?s thyroid disorder with hypothyroidism diet pills without proper information of the diet pill does not address the problem.|
|Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormones more than the body needs.|
|Hypothyroidism is one of the chronic diseases in the world. Hypothyroidism is also known as underactive thyroid; hypo means under or below normal.|
|Anaplastic thyroid cancer is a type of thyroid cancer that is rare and aggressive. It affects the thyroid gland and most especially its function.|
|Problems arise if the thyroid gland is overactive or underactive. There are three common thyroid disorders. These are hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and the thyroid nodules.|
Thyroid Hair Loss
|Hair loss may happen for so many reasons but it is commonly associated to thyroid problems such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.|
|Thyroid Function Tests are the different tests conducted to assess and determine the cause of an individual?s thyroid problems.|