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Complications of Hypothyroidism in Women
15 Jan. 2016

complications of thyroid problemThyroid is the small, but most important endocrine gland, which produces hormones to regulate metabolism and growth.  These hormones influence many organs and if the thyroid gland doesn’t function well, it affects all bodily functions, having the greatest impact on cardiovascular health, weight, fertility, memory and kidneys.

The most common thyroid disorder is hypothyroidism, when the gland produces too little hormones. The disorder affects about 10% women, increasing with age. The disease develops slowly, over a number of years, producing symptoms, which can be attributed to getting older, such as fatigue or weight gain. But as metabolism continues to slow, more prominent symptoms develop, including digestive problems, menstrual irregularities, muscle weakness, hoarseness, puffy face, thinning hair, depression, impaired memory and slow heart rate.

Although there is no cure for the condition, it can be managed with medications. If left untreated, hypothyroidism may lead to various complications, including cardiovascular problems, nerve damage and infertility.

Cardiovascular problems. Low thyroid hormone level can significantly impact cardiovascular health and lead to heart disease because it increases bad cholesterol levels. This leads to atherosclerosis, thus increasing the risk for heart attack and stroke.

An underactive thyroid can also result in the buildup of fluid around the heart, making it harder to pump blood. This produces abnormal heartbeat, low body temperature, trouble breathing and even heart failure.

Nerve damage. Hypothyroidism causes muscle weakness or nerve damage and if left untreated can often lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Renal complications. Underactive thyroid lowers the ability of kidneys to excrete water, leading to high serum levels of creatinine or extremely low blood levels of sodium.

Infertility. Low thyroid hormone levels affect ovulation and decrease women’s chances to conceive. diagnostics of thyroid problems Abnormal menstruation with light flow is the most common symptom which requires attention.

Mental health. Even mild hypothyroidism may cause depression, and without treatment it can intensify, directly affecting mental state and functioning.

Seek medical care if you notice any hypothyroidism symptoms. The thyroid specialist will confirm it basing on laboratory tests and will manage symptoms with replacing the lacking thyroid hormones. This will help to lower high blood pressure, reduce cardiovascular risk and avoid severe complications.

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