Four Things Women Should Know about the Thyroid Gland

Hypothyroidism is one of the most common thyroid problems seen in women. Because the symptoms of an under-functioning or an over-functioning thyroid can go misdiagnosed, it is important to educate ourselves to live healthy. Here is what women need to know about the thyroid gland.

a. The Gland
The thyroid gland is butterfly-shaped and located at the base of the neck. Problems associated with this gland can affect body organs and processes making it an important gland. In a way, the thyroid can be seen as a powerhouse. The thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) maintains the production of thyroxine (T4) and the usable form T3. Women are at a higher risk than men when it comes to hypothyroidism.

b. The Symptoms
The symptoms can include general weakness and lethargy, poor metabolism, feeling colder, lower heart rate, and brain fogs. Hypothyroidism has also been linked with infertility and type 2 diabetes.
However, some symptoms such as weight gain, low sex drive, and fatigue are believed to be because of the thyroid. When this is the case, it is essential to consult a doctor and find the actual cause of the symptoms. Fatigue, for instance, can be due to a vitamin deficiency. In this case, individual symptoms may require treatment.

c. The Diet
There are no major dietary changes that are required for a person with an under-active thyroid. However, frequent small meals can help them keep their T3 levels under check. This happens because insulin levels help the body convert T4 into T3. It is also suggested that selenium-rich foods can help people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune condition causing hypothyroidism). Selenium is required by the body to make TSH and it can be found in eggs, Brazil nuts, and seafood. You can also take supplements.

d. The Test & Screening
If you have a family history of thyroid disorders, you should get screened. Women experiencing symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, and a general low mood should go for the test. Additionally, pregnant women, people with a family history of autoimmune conditions, and women entering their menopause period should get themselves screened.