Tired of being tired- symptoms of an underactive thyroid

Tired of being tired- symptoms of an underactive thyroid

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tiredness- could it be an underactive thyroid?

Most of us feel tired now and then-it might be due to overworking, stress, lack of sleep, viral illness or an unhealthy lifestyle. Usually, simple steps like getting some rest, eating well, and tackling stress levels  will solve the problem. But sometimes, even though you seem to do everything right, the tiredness doesn’t improve. At this point, it’s advisable to speak to your doctor, as there are many health problems that can cause low energy and fatigue. Your doctor will usually start by asking some questions and examining you, and may order some blood tests, including a thyroid function test.

What is the thyroid gland?

The thyroid gland is located in the front of your neck, and makes thyroid hormone which regulates things like growth and how your body spends energy. Tiredness is one of the first noticeable symptoms if the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone, though there are many other potential symptoms.

How can an online doctor make your life easier?

thyroid

So, what are the symptoms of an underactive thyroid?

  • Tiredness
  • Feeling the cold
  • Weight gain
  • Low mood/depression
  • Thinning hair
  • Slow pulse
  • Constipation
  • Dry Skin
  • Reduced concentration
  • Changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle
  • Reduced sex drive
  • A goitre- this means a swelling in the front of your neck

Who gets hypothyroidism and why does it happen?

Anyone can get an underactive thyroid gland or “hypothyroidism”- but it’s more common in women, and may be triggered during or after pregnancy. Some people are born with an underactive thyroid, but this is almost always detected at birth, as babies are routinely checked.

When adults get hypothyroidism, it’s often due to inflammation of the thyroid gland, resulting in destruction of the cells that make thyroid hormone. This frequently tends to be an “autoimmune” problem, called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, where the body mistakenly attacks and damages its own cells.

In parts of the world, there may be low Iodine in the diet, which can lead to hypothyroidism, but this is extremely rare in developed countries such as Australia.

In other cases, a person may have had some (or all) of their thyroid gland surgically removed for other reasons- such as thyroid nodules or thyroid cancer, resulting in too little thyroid hormone being made. If a person has an overactive thyroid, some of the treatments may cause the thyroid to become underactive instead.  An underactive thyroid can also be a side effect of other medicines, such as Lithium or Amiodarone.

thyroid

How is hypothyroidism treated?

In most cases, it involves taking a tablet called Thyroxine- a synthetic form of thyroid hormone. People taking this medication need to have a blood test every few months to make sure the levels are correct. There are other less well regulated treatments available from various sources (such as pig thyroid extract) but these products are less well regulated and standardised, and thus not advisable.

If you have more questions about Hypothyroidism or think you may have it, you should speak to your GP.

Learn more about our online doctor services

The new 5 yearly cervical screening test- what you need to know

By | December 13th, 2017|Categories: Women's Health|

The new 5 yearly cervical screening test- the key facts So, the new 5 yearly cervical screening test for women aged 25 to 74 has finally arrived, replacing the 2 yearly pap smear [...]

Comments Off on The new 5 yearly cervical screening test- what you need to know

Conjunctivitis- what causes it and how it’s treated

By | December 8th, 2017|Categories: Common infections, Children & Babies, Eye Problems|

Conjunctivitis- what causes it and how it's treated     What is conjunctivitis? Conjunctivitis is a common infection of the eye. The conjunctiva is the clear membrane covering the white of the eye [...]

Comments Off on Conjunctivitis- what causes it and how it’s treated

Glandular Fever- the facts about the “kissing disease”

By | December 6th, 2017|Categories: Travel Health & Infectious Disease, Common infections, Children & Babies|

Glandular Fever- the key facts about the "kissing disease"     What is Glandular Fever? Glandular Fever (also known as Infectious Mononucleosis) is a viral illness caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus (or EBV for [...]

Comments Off on Glandular Fever- the facts about the “kissing disease”

Whooping cough- why it’s dangerous and who should be vaccinated

By | December 4th, 2017|Categories: Travel Health & Infectious Disease, Children & Babies, Lung & Respiratory Conditions|

Whooping cough- why it's serious and who should be vaccinated     What is whooping cough? Whooping cough is a highly contagious lung infection caused by the bacteria Bordetella Pertussis. It is common, [...]

Comments Off on Whooping cough- why it’s dangerous and who should be vaccinated

What causes warts and what wart treatments work?

By | December 1st, 2017|Categories: Common infections, Skin & hair conditions, Embarrassing health problems|

What causes warts and what wart treatments work?     How do you get warts? Warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). This can affect anyone, but can more easily enter [...]

Comments Off on What causes warts and what wart treatments work?
2017-11-06T07:56:16+00:00 By |Hormones & Glands|

About the Author:

Aifric Boylan

9.3 out of 10
reviewed by Trustpilot