It is estimated that just over two per cent of the UK population suffers from hypothyroidism. Furthermore, women may be up to ten times as likely to develop this condition when compared to men. The good news is that modern science has provided us with a number of proactive treatment options. It is nonetheless important to appreciate some of the early warning signs that this condition may be present. You can then seek the appropriate medical advice. Let us examine some of the most common signals that you could be suffering from hypothyroidism.
Warning Signs in Adults
One challenge associated with accurately diagnosing hypothyroidism is the fact that its symptoms can often mimic other illnesses. This is why one or more of these are generally present in middle-aged men and women:
- Weight gain
- Muscular weakness
- In increased sensitivity to cold
- Pain or swelling in the joints
- Elevated levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream
It should nonetheless be noted that fatigue and weight gain tend to be the two most predominant symptoms.
Having said this, there are other signs that an issue within the thyroid could be present. Some lesser-known symptoms include thinning hair, depression, memory problems, a puffy face, and hoarseness. We can see that some of these signs might not initially appear to be related to hypothyroidism. This the main reason why consulting with a trained specialist is always important. This professional will be able to rule out other medical conditions before providing you with targeted treatment options.
Hypothyroidism in Children and Adolescents
Although less likely to occur, there are still times when teenagers and young adolescents can develop hypothyroidism. We should mention that many of the symptoms highlighted within the previous section may present themselves. However, a handful of additional signs could also be present such as:
- Permanent teeth that do not erupt on time.
- Stunted growth resulting in a relatively short stature.
- The late onset of puberty.
- Lower levels of cognition and mental development.
This is why it is important to consult with a physician. He or she will be able to determine whether these symptoms indicate the presence of hypothyroidism.
What to Look for in Newborn Babies and Infants
Newborn children who do not have a thyroid or who may be experiencing an impairment are not likely to exhibit any initial symptoms. However, the progression of this condition will begin to manifest itself in a handful of unique symptoms including:
- Laboured breathing.
- An umbilical hernia.
- A swollen tongue.
- A yellowing of the skin and eyes (known as jaundice).
As a child begins to grow, he or she may exhibit additional signs such as poor muscle tone, lethargy and constipation. Parents should consult with their paediatrician if these symptoms begin to appear.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
Understanding the early warning signs of hypothyroidism is the best way to keep this condition in check and to avoid more serious long-term health problems. You will also be happy to learn that dietary changes and certain medications such as those found at International Pharmaceuticals Online can have a massive impact upon your quality of life. It is nonetheless critical to take a proactive approach if one or more of the conditions mentioned above are noticed. Speaking with a health care professional will provide you with a wealth of options so that you can once again enjoy all that life has to offer.