10 Common Question on Hypothyroid
- What is hypothyroid and how can it be detected?
Hypothyroid occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormones. Hypothyroid is more common in women than men and the incidences increases with age. Blood test specific for thyroid hormones helps to detect hypothyroid. Thyroid antibody test should also be done with thyroid hormone test as it would help in early detection of autoimmune thyroid disease and help to distinguish it from other forms of thyroid dysfunction. It helps to detect Graves disease or Hashimoto Thyroiditis.
- What are the factors that trigger hypothyroid?
Following factors are known to trigger hypothyroid:
- Severe iodine deficiency
- Following secondary to radioactive surgery
- How does stress trigger hypothyroid?
Stress affects the immune system to become weak which can spark an autoimmune disease that damages and impairs the thyroid gland functions. Physical or emotional stress can cause an underactive thyroid in those people who have the underlying genetic background.
- You have been working very hard through the day and now it’s time to retire to bed to catch up on some restful sleep but are you finding it difficult to sleep?
Hypothyroidism can affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep in several ways such as suffering from night sweats, sleep apnea (pauses in breathing because of decreased lung function and weak respiratory muscles), insomnia and anxiety cause by abnormal thyroid hormones.
- Does hypothyroid affect hair?
Research suggests that nearly half of all adults experience thinning of hair by the age of 40. Out of which about 20 percent of individuals with hypothyroid are evidenced to experience hair loss earlier and more quickly than others. Many patients also do not realize that their hair loss may be triggered by a thyroid disorder. They keep trying to manage their hair loss with different oils, shampoos, parlor therapies or even medications, but with no results. However when they visit a trichologist for their hair problems, based on their history and clinical signs, they are advised investigations, which confirm the suspicion of thyroid problem being the culprit. Hypothyroidism makes hair dry, brittle, coarse and sparse, on the outer edge of the eyebrows. Sometimes apart from diffuse hair loss all over the scalp, hypothyroid can also trigger patchy hair loss- alopecia areata. Smooth bald patches may spontaneously appear over the scalp in this condition.
- Could any foods cause an underactive thyroid?
Yes a few foods could cause hypothyroid. Foods that contain gluten, dairy products, eggs and soy are known to cause an underactive thyroid.
- What are the conventional medicines used for hypothyroid and their side-effects?
Conventional treatment for hypothyroidism involves daily use of synthetic thyroid hormone known as levothyroxine. Long term use of these medicines are known to have the major side-effects like hives, increased blood pressure, chest pain or discomfort, decreased urine output, extreme fatigue, fainting, heat intolerance, irregular heartbeat, tremors, sweating, shortness of breath and menstrual.
- What is the efficacy of homoeopathic medicine in treating cases of hypothyroid?
Homoeopathy helps to produce thyroid hormone naturally by stimulating the immune system and helps in better functioning of thyroid gland. Homoeopathy is free from side-effects. Homoeopathic medicine works by stimulating the body’s own healing capacity by encouraging the body to reactivate hormone secretion. ‘Stress’ which is one of the major trigger factors for hypothyroid is very effectively treated by homoeopathy.
- If a person is already taking conventional medicine can he/she take homoeopathy?
If a person is taking conventional medicine for hypothyroid, they can continue taking the conventional medicine along with homoeopathy. Slowly and steadily when the thyroid hormones comes to normalcy the dose of conventional medicine can be tapered off. Homeopathy helps to come out of dependence of conventional medicine and also saves from side-effects caused because of conventional medicines.
- What lifestyle changes could help hypothyroid get better?
Regular checkups are a must and report the changes, if any, to your doctor. Caffeinated drinks and dairy products should be avoided. Regular exercise helps to reduce stress and a high fibre diet often helps in maintaining thyroid function and preventing constipation. Apply a good moisturizing cream to combat dryness caused due to hypothyroid. Consume fruits, dry-fruits, green vegetables, beans and legumes in adequate amounts to combat nutritional deficiencies. Any nutritional supplement should be taken under the guidance of your doctor.