Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Why Am I So Tired?


I have many people I talk with daily about health and often I hear how they're fatigue or tired all the time. My previous post regarding "energy drinks" is proof that so many need energy. The lack of energy can be caused by many different medical issues which is why you should always consult with your physician right away when you notice fatigue. When you let your physician know right away medical issues can be ruled out so a diagnosis and treatment can be determined for you. There is one medical issue that comes to mind when someone is fatigue or lacks energy which is my topic today "Hypothyroidism". 

What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism can be called underactive thyroid disease and it's a common disorder. This disorder occurs when the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone is essential to the function of the body and lack of this hormone can affect almost every part of your body from your heart, brain, muscles to even your skin. Yes, even your skin! 
The thyroid gland is positioned in the front lower part of your neck.  As the gland releases the hormone, it travels through your bloodstream. The thyroid is so important to your body functioning properly. Its main function is to control how your body's cells use energy from food which is a process of metabolism. Your metabolism is very important and affects your body temperature, heartbeat, and also how your body burns calories. Therefore; if you don't have enough thyroid hormone, your body processes will slow down and can cause the fatigue or lack of energy and weight gain.

What Causes Hypothyroidism?
I know you’re asking yourself this very question. Well, the most common cause of Hypothyroidism is called "Hashimoto's Thyroiditis". This is an inflammation of the thyroid gland and it's an autoimmune disorder.  Hashimoto's Thyroiditis produces antibodies that will attack and can destroy the thyroid gland. This disorder has been known to also be caused by viral infections. There are other causes of Hypothyroidism as well. Here is a list of a few:
* Iodine Deficient Diet- The thyroid gland needs iodine in order to produce thyroid hormone. The body doesn't produce iodine therefore we have to get the needed iodine from our diet. Food sources such as iodized table salt, shellfish, saltwater fish, eggs, and dairy products to name a few are rich in iodine.

*Radiation Therapy- People that are treated for certain cancers, such as lymphoma requires radiation therapy to the neck area. Radiation damages the cells in the thyroid. It's more difficult for your thyroid to produce the hormones needed due to the damage caused by the radiation therapy.

*Medications- Certain medications such as those used to treat psychiatric conditions, heart problems and cancer can affect the production of the thyroid hormone. Check with your doctor to determine if your medications are causing you thyroid problems.

*Pregnancy- It's not clear why pregnancy can cause Hypothyroidism however, sometimes after pregnancy inflammation of the thyroid occurs. This is known as postpartum thyroiditis. Women with this medical issue usually have an increase in hormone levels which is then followed by a drop in thyroid hormone production. This usually will pass and the woman will regain their normal thyroid function.

*Thyroid issues at birth- Some babies can be born with a thyroid gland that didn't develop properly. This type of Hypothyroidism is called congenital hypothyroidism. In the US babies are screened at birth for this disease. 

*Iodine Treatment- Radioactive iodine is commonly used in the treatment of an overactive thyroid gland, a condition known as Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition where your thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone. Being as radiation destroys the cells in the thyroid it can lead to a Hypothyroidism condition.

*Pituitary Gland Damage- It's rare that a problem with the Pituitary Gland can interfere with the production of thyroid hormone. The pituitary gland produces a hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH which tells your thyroid how much hormone it should produce and release into your bloodstream.

*Hypothalamus Disorder- This is very rare form of Hypothyroidism however, it does occur. The hypothalamus in the brain produces a hormone called TRH which affects the release of TSH from the pituitary gland. Naturally, if there isn't enough being produced it will cause Hypothyroidism. 

Who is at Risk?
Women, mostly older women are more likely to have Hypothyroidism than men. Those of you that have a family member that has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease will be at a higher risk as well. There are other risk factors such as race, age and bipolar disorder just to name a few!

What are the Symptoms? 
 Here are a few:
*Constipation
*Depression
*Weight Gain
*Fatigue

You can Click Here to read more on Hypothyroidism. 

An interesting product that is currently sweeping the Internet and is stated to be a 3 step Hypothyroidism Treatment Process. It's getting great reviews and I'm currently researching this product further. Click Here to check it out and try the product.

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