Hypo and hyperthyroid are lifestyle diseases which can affect even the healthiest of us. It is often referred to as the “safest disease” as people are mostly unaware of its presence until the symptoms elevate significantly. If left untreated, hypo/hyperthyroid can hamper your bodily functions severely causing palpitations and tremors, atrial fibrillations , obesity or weight loss, depression, irregular menstruation in women or even cardiac arrest.The thyroid gland regulates the metabolism of the human body and heart functions so the neglecting abnormal levels can be quite harmful. Thyroid dysfunction occurs mainly due to one’s lifestyle (unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise or lack of sleep) but it is also genetic, which is why families which have a medical history of thyroid must take appropriate care to make adequate lifestyle changes for their children so they have a low probability of incurring the disease.
Signs to watch out for-
1. Abnormal sweating, palpitation and tremors
This could be a sign of hyperthyroidism or Grave’s disease where the thyroid gland mostly swells and there is a significant overproduction of thyroxin in the body. The thyroid gland maintains your body temperature so its inefficiency will cause abnormal sweating during warm conditions.
2. Sudden weight loss accompanied by increased appetite
Sudden significant weight loss could be due to several serious health conditions including cancer and should not be ignored but if weight loss is accompanied with increased appetite, it could be due to overproduction of thyroxin (hyperthyroid) as your metabolism tends to reach its peak as a result of it. Although this is most convenient, remember that your heart is bearing the burnt which will have lead to severe palpitations or even loss of consciousness.
3. Sudden weight gain and loss of appetite
This is could be due to Hypothyroidism due to which thyroxin production decreases and the body is unable to carry out the functions of metabolism properly. This increases the chances of a cardiac arrest as it slows down the heart pace and the increase in bodyweight also leads to overproduction of testosterones in women which lead to irregular menstruations and facial hair growth.
4. In women- Irregular menstruation and facial hair growth
This could also be due to Polycystic ovaries (PCOS) and Hypothyroid shares the same symptoms as well. Often thyroid propels PCOS thus regulating TSH levels is important to treat PCOS which is often a result of being overweight or obese. Learn more about PCOS here.
5. Sleep apnea
This is an uncomfortable condition which mostly affects hypothyroid patients more. Sleep apnea causes one to lose breath and wake up abruptly which can lead to loss of sleep.
If you have one or more of these symptoms, see an endocrinologist after getting a blood test of your TSH level. Hypothyroidism is often more common than hyperthyroidism which mostly happens when the gland swells or there is a leakage of hormones. Healthy lifestyle habits like regularly going on brisk walk/jogging, lower the risk of the disease and often regulate the hormone production for good. For more information on Thyroid, visit WebMD.