Most of us are aware of the existence of the thyroid gland, yet there is a lack of understanding about the functions it performs. Until of course, thyroid problems crop up.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland, located in the lower part of the neck. It is part of the endocrine system. Its main function is to regulate metabolism by secreting the thyroid hormone. Iodine present in the blood plays an important role in the production of this hormone.
The gland secretes Triiodothyronine (T3) hormone and the Thyroxine hormone (T4). They play a crucial part in the normal functioning of the heart, brain, kidney, and liver, as well as the overall growth and development of the body.
Thyroid issues impact both men and women, but it is the second most common endocrine condition in women of childbearing age after diabetes1. It isn’t clear as to why thyroid issues affect women more than men, but it could be due to hormonal factors and iodine deficiency. Auto-immune diseases are a result of the body interpreting a normal part or secretion as foreign and fighting against it by producing antibodies. This is considered to be one of the major causes of hypothyroidism that commonly impacts women.
Hypothyroidism is a condition where the body doesn’t produce enough of the thyroid hormones, resulting in the natural functions of the body slowing down. There are multiple symptoms of hypothyroidism like irregular menstrual cycles in women, constipation, low heart rate, increase in weight, and fatigue.
Treatment options mostly rely on supplementing the low hormone in order to balance the overall functioning of the body. However, it is best advised to visit your doctor and seek their advice on tHypothyroidism can cause several complications in women of all age groups. They are as follows:
Additionally, underactive thyroid function could also lead to depression.
Chronic medical conditions may worry you upon diagnosis but getting the right medical help and understanding the condition well can go a long way in leading a normal life. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, not just for yourself, but also for the family, will help in navigating these challenges better and with confidence.