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According to the American Thyroid Association, ʺmore than 20 million Americans have a thyroid issue and more than 60 percent go undiagnosed.ʺ In their lifetime, more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid issue.
The ATA also stated hypothyroidism is one of the most common thyroid issues. Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone, making the thyroid underactive.
Also, mild hypothyroidism affects up to 20 out of 100 of women older than 60. Over time, mild hypothyroid symptoms worsen and could lead to severe hypothyroid symptoms.
Among Americans, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune response in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. Also, Graves’s disease is a form of hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism tends to increase with age and women older than 60 are at high risk. Women, more than men, are affected by hypothyroidism.
The ATA website revealed, ʺpregnant women with undiagnosed or inadequately treated hypothyroidism have an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery, and severe developmental problems in their children.ʺ
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
• Slow thinking or memory loss
• Depressed mood
• Feeling sluggish
• Lack of energy
• Weight gain
• Leg cramps
• Dry skin and hair
• Heavy menstrual periods
• Feeling cold
Memory loss is one of the most defining features of hypothyroid. This forgetfulness in patients can become a major obstacle in everyday life. All too often those with hypothyroidism forget minor or major details of everyday life.
Sometimes hypothyroid is misdiagnosed because symptoms can mimic other illnesses. Also, hypothyroidism tends to run in families.
According to the ATA, causes of hypothyroidism include:
• Medicine or prescription drugs. Drugs such as amiodarone, lithium, interferon alpha, and interleukin-2 can prevent the thyroid gland from being able to make hormone normally.
• Too much or too little iodine
• Radiation treatment
• Autoimmune diseases
• Surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid gland