What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism, also known as Underactive Thyroid Disease is a condition in which the thyroid glands of a patient do not produce enough crucial hormones. The hormones released by thyroid gland help use the energy generated by the body and regulate its functioning. Hypothyroidism is commonly found in the geriatric population and is diagnosed at a higher rate among women than men. The procedure for the diagnosis of Hypothyroidism is through a blood test or by observing the symptoms.
What are the Signs & Symptoms of Hypothyroidism?
The signs of Hypothyroidism are sometimes difficult to identify, as they vary from person to person and depend on the severity of the condition of the patient. Majorly, it has been observed that the signs of Hypothyroidism are more evident with time. Although the disease is more relevant among the geriatric population and women, anyone can be diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. Infants, children, and teens can also be diagnosed with Hypothyroidism.
5 common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism are barely noticeable at the initial stage; but fatigue and weight gain are the most common symptoms. However, these symptoms are ignored considering the increasing age. But with decreasing metabolism, the symptoms become more obvious. Some of the common symptoms of Hypothyroidism are as follows:
- Hormonal problems such as depression, menstrual changes, decreased sweating and others.
- Skin problems such as dry skin, sensitive skin, hair fall, dry hair and others.
- Joint problems such as stiffness and pain in joints, muscle weakness, aches, and tenderness.
- Feeling cold.
- Elevated cholesterol.
What Causes Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is most commonly caused due to thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland). Other causes of Hypothyroidism are autoimmune diseases, radiation therapy at the neck area, radioactive treatment, usage of some medications, thyroid surgery, consumption of little iodine in the diet, pregnancy, pituitary gland damage, disorder of the hypothalamus.
Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism:
Hypothyroidism is diagnosed by two primary methods: medical evaluation and blood tests. In medical evaluation, the healthcare professional will do a complete physical check-up and can ask the patient about the symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, depression and others which they are observing. A blood test only confirms the diagnosis of Hypothyroidism. Thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH test is prescribed for the diagnosis of Hypothyroidism. The TSH test helps to evaluate the function of the thyroid and understand the TSH level in blood. If the TSH level is at a higher side, then it is likely that the patient is suffering from Hypothyroidism.
What should be the Diet for Hypothyroidism?
The healthcare professionals recommend some changes in the hypothyroidism diet plan to the patients in order to maintain their TSH level. Some of the diet plan recommendations are as follows:
- Eating a balanced and healthy diet (low-fat diet with a good balance of fruits, vegetables, lean protein (fish, poultry, lean meat), dairy, and whole grains).
- Keep a check on calorie intake; portion control is essential to preventing weight gain.
Which Foods Should be avoided?
When diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, the patients can avoid food that contains goitrogens and highly-processed foods as they contain high calories. Some of the other foods to avoid with Hypothyroidism are as follows:
- Highly processed foods such as hot dog, cookies, cakes and other bakery and fried products
- Avoid high-fat and sugary foods
- Avoid consumption of thyroid medicine with other supplements.
Also, an individual should limit the consumption of a few food items as they can trigger the thyroid gland when consumed in a large amount:
- Soy-based products such as soy milk, tofu and others.
- Fruits such as pears, strawberries, peaches and others.
- Beverages such as alcohol, green tea, coffee and others.
- Vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, broccoli and others.
Thus, the patient diagnosed with Hypothyroidism can avoid the above-mentioned food to keep blood TSH level in control.