Treatment is key in cases such as hypothyroidism manifesting as tiredness and weight gain. A good diagnosis is also key.
Medical Advisors Internal Medicine and Endocrinology Specialist, Camilo Aguilar Rincón
Endocrinologist, Salomon Daguer
It is possible to have an optimum quality of life even if you suffer from hypothyroidism, albeit in full compliance of your treatment. In simple words, one can lay out a path for patients presenting with this disease who wonder whether they will be able to lead a normal life on a daily basis.
Observation of the moment and process of the intake of medication is one of the vital conditions that must be taken in account in order to succeed according to Internal Medicine and Endocrinology Specialist Camilo Aguilar Rincon. “Intake must be at the same hour, for example, and with water; 30 minutes to one hour is the time you should wait before intake of food. If you can achieve this, your life can be totally normal. It is all about a perfectly controlled treatment.”
Hypothyroidism presents when the thyroid gland is no longer able to produce sufficient thyroid hormone to keep the body functioning in a normal way. The bodily processes began to slow down and the person realizes that he feels colder, becomes more easily fatigued, that his skin has dried up, presents with constipation and has a tendency to forget things or otherwise finds he is feeling depressed as indicated by the American Thyroid Association, ATA.
Lack of energy
“It is as if the body progressively lacked in ‘gasoline’” as Endocrinologist Salomon Daguer expresses it. “But since these symptoms can also be explained by the presence of other pathologies, it is important to listen to the patient,” he adds.
Hypothyroidism presents largely in women and adults over 50 years of age. According to ATA, among its main causes is autoimmune disease (Hashimoto among the most common ones). Treatments include partial or total surgical removal of the thyroid gland and treatment with radioiodine in certain patients. Other causes are congenital (that the infant is born with), inflammation of the thyroid gland (generally caused by an autoimmune attack or by a viral infection) and either excess iodine or shortage of the same in the diet.
Dieting and exercise
Even though the patient lacks energy, in general, there are no restrictions for him to carry out his physical activities unless there is evident and greater deterioration to his health. “In clinical practice, if a person is leading a healthy life, hypothyroidism is detected in the tests rather than by what he feels. There are no studies claiming that exercising can prevent this disease, but evidently there will be fewer symptoms for people with such diagnosis who exercise,” are the comments of Salomon Daguer. “Exercise and healthy eating habits are a recommendation for everybody independently of their presenting with hypothyroidism or not,” adds Camilo Aguilar Rincon to complement the above assertion. “Such activities will prevent mortality from cardiovascular causes and will bring other additional benefits to the person’s state of mind. People presenting with this pathology may show a certain tendency towards depressive symptoms inspite of their treatment. In fact, depression is related to hypothyroidism. But with exercise and psychotherapy it can be mitigated.”
Due to this pathology a slight increase in bodily weight may present but, upon treatment, the normal thing is to return to the original weight. “We cannot blame the thyroid gland or hypothyroidism for cases of obesity, given that it does not lead more than four kilograms of weight gain. If one is under treatment, this is not the cause for obesity but it is rather due to eating habits and the life style the individual is leading.”
Finally, the correct dose of the medicine may vary in each case so that it is very important to follow the expert’s indications. The specialist will be the one to indicate how much to take as a function of the symptoms, the blood test results and the cause.
Weight gain is common in people with a thyroid that is quite inactive.
This is due to the fact that the hormone affects our metabolism. Diet and exercise may help to control it.
50 years of age on average may present with a greater number of hypothyroid cases.
“Hypothyroidism of autoimmune origin or that requires surgical intervention or treatment with radioiodine cannot be prevented,” says Internal Medicine and Endocrinology Specialist Camilo Aguilar Rincón. “Only deficiency in iodine consumption in the diet opens the option to seek an equilibrium.” In this line of inquiry the ATA indicates that this mineral is present in common food, such as table salt (maximum intake of 6 g per day); and also in dairy products, fish, seafood, meat, bread and eggs.
See also: Prevent thyroid cancer: Be informed