Life as a woman is not easy. Things are simpler when you are born a male. I believe that notwithstanding other social and economic reasons, women must be handled from a point of love, softness, and understanding. Nature has blessed them to reproduce. It’s not to be taken for granted. Imagine something of flesh, bones, heart, nerves, brain, and psyche. A human, to produce. A woman’s body deals with a lot of complications they are not even aware of themselves.
The hormones estrogen and progesterone. Each taking turns to rise and fall every month. They control her body and mood. It’s like a pendulum each woman lives with her whole reproductive life. Men deal with no such thing. Even after the menopause strikes, these hormones continue to affect her. More trickle in during pregnancy and lactation like the HCG and LH. A man’s body knows nothing of any of these!
With the female body housing these hormones, don’t expect these members to reside inside very calmly. They interact, affect, and play with others too. They play with the thyroid, they might affect the adrenals, the pituitary too. In men, the thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary hormones have just the estrogen to distract them.
With my estrogens and Progesterone turning a bully to my adrenals and thyroid, something disturbing began to happen in my life. I started having swelling and puffiness in my hands, feet, and face particularly in the morning, making me look like a blob. I had the worst moods and became depressive. I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. I.e. Hypothyroidism when my blood samples came out.
What is Thyroid?
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland just below your Adam’s apple in the neck.
The job is to produce two main hormones among many other lesser ones. These are T3 and T4. These are vital to make oxygen available to your cells. T3 is the active hormone that is absorbed by the cells. Once inside the cells, it helps metabolism. So, you know the importance. Right?
When enough oxygen is available, the metabolic rate is on track, and gets derailed or slows down when the oxygen supply is insufficient.
So thyroid is the master gland of our metabolism! The symptoms of malfunctioning of the thyroid are the same in men and women.
The great Brain, Pituitary, and Thyroid loop:
The hypothalamus in the brain releases TRH. This hormone TRH stimulates the pituitary to produce TSH. This TSH circulates in the bloodstream to tell the thyroid to make T3 and T4. The pituitary is smart gland. It can sense how much TSH to produce, to prod and prompt the thyroid into producing moreT3 and T4 or less.
The problem arises when thyroid does not work properly.
Symptoms of Thyroid problem
Fatigue, weight gain, swelling, puffiness of hands, swollen fingertips, swollen feet and face. You look like a blob.
Exercise intolerance, Pain in muscles and joints. You regularly have sinus infections, shortness of breath.
Hair and skin- Thinning eyebrows at outer edges, hair loss, thinning of hair, sparse hair.
You experience allergies, itching, prickly hot skin, rashes, hives on the skin.
Brain fog, sugar cravings, sensitive to heat and cold. Your bad cholesterol levels are high, blood pressure, heart rate, or rhythm irregularities are all signs of thyroid problems. So are tremors, slow movement, slow speech, hoarseness in the voice and unusually low sex drive
Slow reflexes mean hypothyroid and fast reflexes are indicative of hyperthyroid. Blister-like bumps on forehead, Jaundiced skin, separation of the nail from nail bed, Puffy eyes, dry eyes, eye twitching all come under aggravated thyroid.
Causes of thyroid malfunction
In this case, the body produces antibodies that attack and destroy the thyroid gland. This results in Hypothyroidism.
*Besides this other abnormality of the thyroid gland are:
a) Hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid
c)Nodules inside the gland
How to detect thyroid malfunctioning.
1) At home.
a) Hold a mirror in front of your neck so that you can see your thyroid area. Take a drink of water and observe this area of neck just above your collarbone. You might need to tilt back your head a bit. Watch carefully for any bulges.
Repeat the process. If you see any protrusions or enlargement, you need to see the doctor immediately because this indicates a thyroid problem.
b) keep a record of your body temperature. A continued low temperature of body also indicates that your thyroid is underactive.
2) Laboratory testing.
Go for a blood test. The value of TSH anything above 2.3 to 3 is borderline hypothyroid, though some doctors put the range around 0.5- 4.5.
*Also ask for a free T4 (free thyroxine) in your test report. If the desired value is above half of the normal range, it is good. Free T4 is important because it lets us know the amount of actually available thyroid hormone.
*Free T3. The more the value in the top of the normal range, the better.