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What are the most common symptoms of thyroid disease in women?

Thyroid gland disorders are increasingly common in Spain. In fact, studies indicate that around 12% of people will experience abnormal thyroid function throughout their lives, with women being up to eight times more likely to develop it than men.

But if you still don’t know the function of this thyroid hormone, we tell you that it is responsible for coordinating the body’s energy, growth and metabolism, including functions such as the speed of calorie burning and heart rate, among others.

However, the symptoms of thyroid disease They vary in the case of children and also in that of women. In fact, it is common for women to have thyroid problems confused with the symptoms of menopause.

This is one of the main reasons why it is important that as a woman you know how to recognize its common symptoms.

Thyroid gland function

Before talking about its symptoms, it is important that you understand the work of this gland in the body, which is often largely unknown.

To begin with, the thyroid gland is located in the anterior and superior part of the trachea and is characterized by having a particular butterfly shape.

Its main function is to produce a series of hormones (triiodothyronine and thyroxine), which are essential for the human body to function correctly and influencing both energy metabolism, growth and development, and the regulation of heart rate and even the condition and appearance of our skin.

What happens when this gland fails? What happens in these cases is that a hormonal disorder is experienced which undoubtedly affects the quality of life. If the thyroid produces a low level of hormones, we will have a case of hypothyroidism, while if the opposite happens, it is called hyperthyroidism.

Depending precisely on the amount of hormones produced by the thyroid, you may feel: active or tired, gain or lose weight, have a high heart rate, suffer from constipation, have rough skin, experience apathy, mood changes, intestinal disorders…

But in the case of women, The list of symptoms can be even more varied. We detail some of the most common ones.

Thyroid symptoms in women

As we have told you, women are more likely than men to suffer from thyroid disease, especially after pregnancy or menopause, and their symptoms may be different from those of men.

Precisely for this reason, below we detail some of the most common in women, so that you can diagnose it as soon as possible.

Even so, it is important to note that if you suspect that the thyroid gland is not functioning correctly, it is recommended that you put yourself in the hands of an expert doctor, who will be able to diagnose any problem with the thyroid through a simple blood test and with several regular medical check-ups.

  • Problems in the menstrual period: One of the functions of the thyroid gland in women is to control the menstrual cycle, this is one of the main reasons why problems with menstruation may appear. Depending on the amount of thyroid hormone, your periods may be shorter, longer, or irregular.

    In some cases, poor functioning of the thyroid gland can cause the menstrual cycle to disappear for several months or even cause a condition known as amenorrhea.

    Thyroid disease can also affect other glands, for example, the ovaries. This can cause premature menopause in some women.

  • Problems getting pregnant: If the thyroid affects the menstrual cycle, it can also affect ovulation. For this reason, poor thyroid function can make it more difficult for you to get pregnant.

  • Problems during pregnancy: Poor thyroid function during pregnancy can lead to health problems for both the mother and the baby.

In addition to these common symptoms in women, it is also important to highlight the rest of the symptoms associated with both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

  • Symptoms of hypothyroidism: Feeling cold, constipation, muscle weakness, weight gain, joint and muscle pain, feelings of sadness and depression, feeling of exhaustion, pale, dry skin, thin, dry hair, slow heart rate, decreased sweating, swelling in the face, hoarse voice, heavier than normal menstrual bleeding.

  • Symptoms of hyperthyroidism: Weight loss, increased food intake, rapid and irregular heartbeat, nervousness and anxiety, feeling short-tempered, difficulty falling asleep, tremors in the hands and fingers, increased sweating, feeling hot, muscle weakness, diarrhea , fewer and lighter menstrual periods, changes in the eyes due to irritation or inflammation.

Can it be treated?

Both in the case of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, both conditions can be treated with medications that will have to be recommended by a specialist doctor after making the corresponding diagnosis.

The most common medications in the case of hypothyroidism, They are usually artificial presentations of the hormone produced by the thyroid.

In the case of hyperthyroidism, antithyroid medications are usually used that inhibit the production of new thyroid hormones, also beta blockers (they cancel out the effects of the thyroid hormone), although surgery can also be used to remove a large part or all of the thyroid.

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