Could you have Hypothyroidism?
We know that Hypothyroidism affects about one million British women, with Hashimoto’s (where the immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid) being the cause in about 10% of these cases.
We are sure of this figure because that relates to the number of prescriptions but there’s also a pool of people who do not yet know they’ve got it…
The condition occurs especially between the ages of 30 and 50, but may be seen in any age group, including children. Hypothyroidism is ten times more common in women than men and although it is not fully understood why, it probably has to do with the interplay between female reproductive hormones – particularly oestrogen and progesterone – and thyroid hormones
This is why menopausal women are often affected. It’s also commonly first seen after pregnancy because of changes to a woman’s immune system at that time.
The condition is often not picked up because the symptoms of an underactive thyroid are similar to other common ailments the condition. Diagnosed patients often retrospectively recall underactive thyroid symptoms such as:
- Some hair loss
- Mood swings
- Dry skin
- Loss of intellectual power
- Puffy face and eyes
- And excessive weight gain despite exercise and diet
In fact many may soldier on with all these and won’t go to the doctor – indeed some may do so for 10 or even 20 years - but if you are experiencing several of these symptoms it’s really important to do so. A simple blood test via your GP will check your thyroid health.