Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) occurs when your thyroid gland doesn't make enough thyroid hormones.
This slows down your body's metabolism, leading to symptoms such as tiredness and putting on weight.
Untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.
You could have other conditions that compound your low thyroid problems.
Fatigue from the lack of sleep
These days people are working harder and longer. As a result, many people aren't getting the 7 to 9 hours of sleep they need. Also, many people don't sleep as well at night because of anxiety from the day's stresses.
Caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and sugar can interfere with sleep patterns.
One strategy to see if lack of sleep is the issue, start by getting one more hour of sleep per night. If you start feeling substantially better, your fatigue might be due to lack of sleep.
Anemic and not knowing it
Iron deficiency anemia is a medical condition caused by to too little iron in your diet. You could feel real sluggish all the time and have many symptoms of low thyroid.
Iron is one of the few nutrients that can lead to harmful overdose when ingested in excessive amounts.
There are other causes of anemia besides low iron.
If your thyroid diet lacks vitamin B12 or folic acid, you could suffer from anemia.
In addition to fatigue, chilliness, pallor, and weakness are symptoms of anemia.
With people working as hard as they are, they have less time to prepare nutritious food. People have become accustomed to rely on fast food. You could become malnourished even though you eat a lot of food and may even be overweight. Eating too many empty calories and not enough real food can lead to malnutrition.
Lack of exercise
Quite often a person can have low stamina and feel sluggish because they aren't getting enough physical activity. Enjoyable exercise and exertion can actually increase energy for the rest of the day.
To assess whether your fatigue is due to insufficient exercise, force yourself to go for a brisk walk. If you do feel better during, immediately after, or the next day, then you are probably suffering from not getting enough exercise. On the other hand, if you feel worse, you may well be suffering from low thyroid or an underactive thyroid related condition.
Suffering from allergies
Allergy should be a major consideration for people that complain of low energy. Some people are mildly allergic to the same chemicals that cause severe chemical toxicity in others.
A complete blood count is inexpensive and useful for determining who might have an allergy problem. Other allergy blood tests can be ordered by allergy specialists that do a detailed evaluation.
The simplest treatment for allergy is to avoid allergen.
Depression is a major cause of low energy. Depression is a serious medical condition that's neurological in nature.
Frequently a person who has low energy with no obvious cause is told she must be depressed. This is a quick way of dismissing the problem and not doing any further investigation.
Low thyroid is commonly the direct cause of depression. A recent study showed that many people seeking antidepressants actually had symptoms of low thyroid.
Overactive thyroid can be diagnosed by monitoring the levels of TSH and thyroid hormones in your blood. Hypothyroidism can often be diagnosed with a simple blood test or a thyroid test that measures TSH.
Most doctors recommend treating overactive thyroid simply by taking a thyroid hormone pill (Levothyroxine) once a day.
The dosage should be re-evaluated and possibly adjusted monthly until the proper level is established.
Occasionally the correct dosage is a bit difficult to pin-point and therefore you may need an exam and blood tests more frequently.
Some patients just don't do well on some thyroid medications. If this is the case, you definitely need a physician who is willing to spend the time with you that you deserve while you explore different dosages or other types of medications (or alternative diagnoses).
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