Do you often find yourself feeling tired all the time? There’s no doubt that the demands of modern life can wreck havoc with your body and bring on fatigue, but if you notice that not even a good night’s rest seems to help, there may be more going on with your body. It might be possible that a tiny little gland in your neck is to blame.
About the Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is a small butterfly shaped gland located at the front of your neck near the base, just below the “Adam’s apple.” Often overlooked and taken for granted, this gland is responsible for practically every aspect of your body’s metabolism. This gland helps to regulate body temperature, heart rate and also influences how your body uses energy from fats and carbohydrates. It even regulates the production of proteins and is crucial in maintaining calcium balance in the body. The thyroid produces T3 and T4 hormones that help with these metabolic processes and interact with other hormones in the body to maintain health. When the thyroid functions improperly it can contribute to a number of problems. Hyperthyroidism occurs when this gland is over active and hypothyroidism occurs when it’s underactive.
Hypothyroidism occurs went the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. It is also known as low thyroid. This disorder is quite common in the United States, occurring in about 4.6 percent of the population over the age of twelve. Generally it strikes more women than men, and is often diagnosed around middle age.
One of the classic telltale signs of hypothyroidism is ongoing fatigue. So, despite all your efforts to get adequate rest and maintain a healthy lifestyle, if you’re still feeling tired all the time, get your thyroid checked. A simple blood test can tell if you’re hypothyroid.
Other hypothyroid symptoms include the following:
Often feeling cold (cold intolerance)
Slowed heart rate
Low blood pressure
Puffy eyes and/or face
Hoarse or raspy voice
Swelling or goiter in the neck
Muscle weakness, aches and pains
Painful or stiff joints
Irregular or heavier menstrual periods
Brain fog or memory issues
If left untreated, hypothyroidism can result in a number of problems. The body generally slows down in all ways and hypothyroid symptoms become exceedingly more severe. Advanced hypothyroidism or myxedema is rare, but can lead to coma and death.
In most cases treatment is relatively easy, requiring a simple prescription for daily oral thyroid hormone (levothyroxine). Medication generally must be taken for the rest of one’s life and dosages may change over time.
In addition to medication, many hypothyroid patients carefully watch their diets and make sure they get adequate amounts of Iron, Vitamin D and B complex vitamins. So if you’re plagued by constant fatigue that won’t go away, it could be low thyroid. Do yourself a favor and get that tiny little gland checked. It could make all the difference.