Tired, Teary & Sluggish?
Feeling tired, teary & sluggish? Can’t lose fat or gain muscle?
You might have hypothyroidism.
A whopping 5% of the total population have hypothyroidism and as you age your risk increases. In your 50’s and 60’s 10% of the population have hypothyroidism. Plus it’s more common in women than men (2, 3).
Subclinical hypothyroidism, a hard to detect form that may still cause symptoms, is even more common with up to 10% of the adult population and in women over the age of 60 over 20% (1).
The most common cause of hypothyroidism in Australia is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In Hashimoto’s the immune system is over active and attacks the thyroid gland causing hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone for your body to function normally and fully (2).
If a family member has an autoimmune condition including Type 1 diabetes or Coealiac disease you are more likely to end up with Hashimoto’s (1).
Medically recognised signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
• Feeling drowsy, close to sleep and sleeping for long periods of time, called somnolence
• “Brain fog” - memory loss and slower thinking times
• Intolerance to cold
• Weight gain
• Menstrual disturbances including heavy periods
• Dry, thin and pale skin
• Puffiness below the eyes
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Calf stiffness
• Hearing impairment
• High cholesterol levels.
If you suffer from any of these it may be worthwhile testing your thyroid.
1. Kalantari, S. (2007). Subclinical hypothyroidism. International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 5(1), 33-40. Retrieved from: http://endometabol.com/?page=article&article_id=2092
2. Topliss, D.J. & Eastman, C.J. (2004). Diagnosis and management of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Medical Journal of Australia, 180(4), 186-193. Retrieved from: https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2004/180/4/5-diagnosis-and-management-hyperthyroidism-and-hypothyroidism
Harris, P., Nagy, S. & Vardaxis, N. (2012) Mosby’s Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions: Australian and New Zealand (9th ed.). Sydney: Elsevier.