Thyroid disorders are very common. In fact, according to a study, about 12% of the population will experience abnormal thyroid function at some point during their lives. Various studies have also shown that women are eight times more likely to develop one or another type of Thyroid disorder than men. Thyroid problems increase with age and may affect effects on the symptoms may vary between adults and children.
The Thyroid hormone is responsible for coordinating energy, growth, and metabolism within your body. It affects how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. A thyroid disorder can cause the body to release either too much or too little of the hormone. Depending on how much or how little hormone your thyroid releases, you may feel restless or tired, or you may lose or gain weight. Studies have shown that females are more likely to get Thyroid problems than men, especially right after pregnancy and after menopause.
In this article, we will mainly discuss the effect of Thyroid in females. But before diving deep into the details of Thyroid and Thyroid effects in females, let us learn a little more about this disease.
What is Thyroid?
According to Women’s Health, Thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck just below Adam's apple. It’s part of an intricate network of glands called the endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for coordinating many of your body’s activities. The Thyroid gland manufactures hormones that regulate your body’s metabolism.
As compared to men, women are more likely to have thyroid disease. Studies have shown that one in eight women will develop some or the other type of thyroid problem during her lifetime. In women, thyroid diseases can cause:
- Problems with your menstrual period. Your thyroid helps control your menstrual cycle. Thyroid hormone when produced too much or too little can make your periods very light, heavy, or irregular. This disease can also cause your periods to stop for several months or longer, a condition called amenorrhea. It is worth noting that if your body's immune system causes thyroid disease, other glands, including your ovaries, may be involved. This can lead to a very early menopause, that is, before the age of 40.
- Thyroid can also make it difficult for you to get pregnant. When thyroid disease affects your menstrual cycle, it will also affect your ovulation. This often makes it harder for women to get pregnant.
- It can cause problems during pregnancy. Thyroid problems during pregnancy can cause health problems for the mother as well as the baby.
These are just a few of the many thyroid effects in females. Sometimes, symptoms of thyroid problems are mistaken for menopause symptoms. Thyroid disease, especially hypothyroidism, is more likely to develop after menopause. So how do you know whether you are prone to this disease or not? Read on for more details.
Are some women more prone to thyroid diseases?The answer to this is - Yes, some women and in fact, some people are more prone to various Thyroid disorders than others. It is a good idea to be tested for Thyroid if you have:
- Had a thyroid problem in the past
- Had surgery or radiotherapy affecting the thyroid gland
- A condition such as a goiter, anemia, or type 1 diabetes
The following Thyroid diseases affect more females than males:
- Disorders that cause hypothyroidism
- Disorders that cause hyperthyroidism
- Thyroiditis, especially postpartum thyroiditis
- Thyroid nodules
- Thyroid cancer
HyperthyroidismIn hyperthyroidism, the Thyroid gland is overactive. It produces too much of its hormone. Hyperthyroidism affects about 1 percent of women. It is even less common in men. One of the most common causes of hyperthyroidism, affecting about 70 percent of people with an overactive Thyroid is Graves’ disease. The excessive production of the Thyroid hormone leads to the following symptoms:
- Racing heart
- Increased sweating
- Trouble sleeping
- Thin skin
- Brittle hair and nails
- Muscle weakness
- Weight loss
- Bulging eyes (in Graves’ disease)
HypothyroidismHypothyroidism is the opposite of Hyperthyroidism. Here the Thyroid gland is underactive, and it is not able to produce enough of its hormones. Hypothyroidism is often caused by Hashimoto’s disease. It usually requires surgery to remove the thyroid gland or the damage from radiation treatment. Too little thyroid hormone production leads to symptoms such as:
- Dry skin
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Memory problems
- Weight gain
- Slow heart rate
GoiterThe third type of Thyroid is Goiter. It is a noncancerous enlargement of the Thyroid gland. The most common cause of goiter worldwide is an iodine deficiency in the diet. Researchers have estimated that goiter affects about 200 million of the 800 million people who are iodine-deficient worldwide. Goiter is not age-specific, it can affect anyone at any age, especially in areas of the world where foods rich in iodine are in short supply. However, this disease is more common after the age of 40 in women. Goiter might not show any symptoms if it isn’t severe. Goiter can cause one or more of the following symptoms if it grows large enough, depending on the size:
- Swelling or tightness in your neck
- Difficulties breathing or swallowing
- Coughing or wheezing
- Hoarseness of voice
ThyroiditisHashimoto’s disease is also called Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis. It can occur at any age, but it is most common in middle-aged women. Hashimoto’s disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and slowly destroys the thyroid gland and its ability to produce hormones. Some people with mild cases of this disease may not suffer from any obvious symptoms. They’re also not of a specific type, this means that they mimic symptoms of many other conditions. Symptoms include:
- Mild weight gain
- Dry skin
- Dry, thinning hair
- Pale, puffy face
- Heavy and irregular menstruation
- Intolerance to cold
- An enlarged thyroid, or goiter
A thyroid nodule is defined as a swelling in one section of the Thyroid gland. The nodule may be solid or filled with fluid or blood. You can have just one thyroid nodule or many nodules. Thyroid nodules are very common and affect up to four times as many women as men. To date, researchers do not know why nodules form in otherwise normal thyroid.
Thyroid CancerThyroid cancer happens when cancer cells are formed from the tissues of the thyroid gland.
The thyroid nodule does not cause any symptoms for most people who have thyroid cancer. If you do have symptoms, you may have swelling or a lump in your neck. The lump may cause problems in swallowing your food. You may also experience a hoarse voice. To tell if the lump or nodule is cancerous, your doctor will recommend a few tests. It is worth noting that most thyroid nodules are not cancerous. Thyroid cancer is more common in women who:
- Are between the ages of 25 and 65
- If you have had radiation therapy in your head or neck, especially in childhood, to treat cancer
- Have a history of goiter
- Have a family history of thyroid cancer
Can Thyroid disease cause problems in getting pregnant?
Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can make it harder for you to get pregnant. This happens because any issue with the thyroid hormone can upset the balance of the hormones that cause ovulation. Hypothyroidism can also cause your body to make more prolactin, the hormone that tells your body to make breastmilk. Too much prolactin can prevent ovulation.
Thyroid problems can also affect the menstrual cycle. Your menstrual cycle may be heavier or irregular, or you may not have any periods at all for several months or longer. This is called Amenorrhea.
Thyroid effects in females during pregnancyPregnancy-related hormones raise the level of thyroid hormones in the blood. While in the womb, Thyroid hormones are necessary for the baby's brain development. It is harder to diagnose thyroid of any kind during pregnancy because of the change in hormone levels that normally happen during pregnancy. But it is especially important to check for problems before getting pregnant and during pregnancy. Uncontrolled hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause problems for both the mother as well as the baby. Hyperthyroidism if not treated with medicine during pregnancy can cause:
- Premature birth - This means the birth of the baby before 39 to 40 weeks or full-term.
- Preeclampsia, a serious condition starting after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Preeclampsia causes high blood pressure and problems with the kidneys and other organs. The only cure for preeclampsia is childbirth.
- Thyroid storm (a sudden, severe worsening of symptoms)
- Fast heart rate in the newborn, which can lead to heart failure, poor weight gain, or enlarged thyroid that can make it hard to breathe
- Low birth weight (smaller than 5 pounds)
Hypothyroidism if not treated with medicine during pregnancy can cause:
- Anemia, that is, lower than normal number of healthy red blood cells which can adversely affect the mother as well as the baby
- Low birth weight (smaller than 5 pounds)
- Problems with the baby's growth and brain development
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism & Hypothyroidism While PregnantThyroid effects in females are numerous but during pregnancy is it essential to treat them. Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism mimics the symptoms of a normal pregnancy. These include - an increased heart rate, sensitivity to hot temperatures, and fatigue. Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include the following:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heightened nervousness
- Severe nausea or vomiting
- Shaking hands (slight tremor)
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight loss beyond that expected of a typical pregnancy
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism include extreme tiredness and weight gain. These may be easily confused with normal symptoms of pregnancy. Other symptoms may include:
- Difficulty concentrating or memory problems
- Sensitivity to cold temperatures
- Muscle cramps
Causes of Thyroid Disease in Pregnancy
- Hyperthyroid disease - Grave’s disease is an autoimmune disorder, which is the most common cause of maternal hyperthyroidism during pregnancy. In this disorder, the body makes an antibody (a protein produced by the body when it thinks a virus or bacteria is present) called thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) that causes the thyroid to overreact and make too much thyroid hormone.
Hypothyroid disease - Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder, which is the most common cause of hypothyroidism during pregnancy. In this condition, the body mistakenly attacks the cells of the thyroid gland, leaving the thyroid without enough cells and enzymes to make enough thyroid hormone to meet the body's needs.
Treatment of Thyroid - The Ayurvedic Way!
So now you know how essential it is to treat Thyroid. We can now tell you about natural, holistic ways for Thyroid treatment in Ayurveda. Ayurveda points towards the imbalance in tri-doshas as a cause of Thyroid disorders. These can result from the consumption of impure water, unwholesome food, and unhealthy dietary habits. It can also happen because of climatic conditions and disturbances in ‘Dinacharya’ (daily routine).
Nirogam offers an effective Ayurvedic treatment for Thyroid. Kanchnar Guggulu the Ayurvedic miracle by Nirogam is just what you need! Whether you have a mild case or extreme of Thyroid ailments, daily consumption of this medicine has proved very helpful. This medicine comprises a mixture of essential herbs, such as:
- Kali Mirch
- Shuddha Guggulu
This medicine also helps in treating:
- Weight loss
- Female reproductive health
- Hormonal imbalance
- Endometriosis and fibroids
Dosage of Nirogam Kanchnar Guggulu:
Two tablets of Kanchnar Guggulu after breakfast and dinner each day, as per the physician's advice.
Try it today for the best results or consult our expert Ayurvedic doctors for personalized help!
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