The thyroid is a gland in your neck that secrets hormones that influence your whole body metabolism. If this is not in proper balance, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism can result. In the case of hyperthyroidism, the thyroid is too active, and it releases too much of a hormone called thyroxine, which essentially puts your body into overdrive. Having an over-accelerated metabolism can cause drastic weight loss, cardiac problems, and leave a person feeling irritable and nervous. Over-active thyroid can be treated with medication or even surgery to decrease the size of the gland.
The converse condition is called hypothyroidism, which is when there is not enough hormone to drive the body metabolism. This leads to different symptoms consistent with feeling run down, such as:
- dry skin
- feeling cold
and cognitive problems such as:
- memory failure
- inability to focus
Irregular menstrual cycles and difficulty conceiving can result in women, and sex drive can be affected. A difficulty with diagnosing hypothyroidism is that these changes can occur slowly, and can also be mistaken for the normal aging process.
This is why a specialist, such as internationally renowned thyroid specialist Hugh D. Melnick, MD, is best at determining if this elusive condition is present. A further complication is that subclinical hypothyroidism may be present. Being subclinical does not mean that a condition is non-existent, or that it doesn’t cause symptoms. It simply means that a current particular standard for clinical diagnosis is not met. Clinically established hypothyroidism is defined by hormone levels in the blood being outside of a certain range. However, it is possible to have levels within that range but still suffer from an unbalanced metabolism, leading to low levels of energy, which is called sub-clinical hypothyroidism. A simple blood test may therefore miss the problems you are having due to hypothyroidism, which is why it is best to have an internationally renowned thyroid specialist personally evaluate your case. An initial interview with Dr. Melnick can be arranged via Skype.
Advanced testing beyond the blood tests used to determine clinical hypothyroidism are available, including nerve conduction velocity tests, which are useful as nerve conduction is slower than normal in the case of an underactive thyroid. Basal body temperature is another useful signature of an underactive thyroid. The advantage of these tests is that they directly measure the whole body consequences of this condition, that also leads to the feeling of being run down that may have prompted your suspicions that something was wrong in the first place.
The good news is that medications are available to correct this condition and have you feeling like yourself again. They will need to be taken continuously or the condition of hypothyroidism and its symptoms will reappear. Essentially these medications make up for the deficiency in hormones produced by your thyroid, and they allow your metabolism to function at normal levels. If you feel like something is wrong that is unexplained, but that you feel could be explained by an underactive thyroid, contact internationally renowned thyroid specialist Dr. Melnick for an evaluation, even if you were previously told that a blood test has ruled out thyroid problems. Sub-clinical hypothyroidism is estimated to have a high prevalence in the population, though many do not realize they suffer from this affliction, and may regard their low-energy state as an unavoidable fact of life. It need not be if an underactive thyroid is the underlying cause.