The thyroid is a gland located in the anterior neck just below the larynx and it maintains metabolism and vital body functions.
Hypothyroidism is also known as an underactive thyroid. It is when there is an increased level of TSH and a decreased level of T3(Triiodothyronine) and T4 (Thyroxine) hormones which means that your thyroid gland is not making enough thyroid hormones. It can lead to symptoms like
Feeling slightly colder than others, Constipation, Muscle weakness, Sudden Weight gain, even when you are not eating more food or Sluggishness of body functions including Joint or muscle pain, etc.
Almost 1 in 3 people have thyroid disease, the majority of which are women. Here are the reasons behind why women are prone to Hypothyroidism.
Thyroid disorder is majorly linked to autoimmunity which is more commonly found in women than men. Autoimmune diseases are those in which the body interprets a normal body part or its secretions as a threat and produces antibodies against them. The autoimmune response produces special antibodies to destroy thyroid cells leading to autoimmune thyroiditis. Autoimmune diseases like Graves disease where antibodies target the gland and cause it to speed up hormone production and Hashimoto’s, which is related to hypothyroidism, are two of the most common causes of thyroid diseases.
Unfortunately, women are prone to Hypothyroidism, affected by these autoimmune diseases more compared to men hence they are more prone to get thyroid disorders too.
Even pregnancy puts stress on the thyroid gland, as the demand for thyroid hormone increases following conception, and then after childbirth, the hormones in the females are haywire again and it takes the time to settle down which is also one more reason to reflect thyroid issues in women as postpartum thyroiditis alone which is thyroid illness after childbirth occurs in about 5 to 9 percent of women after giving birth.
Enlargement of the thyroid gland due to lack of essential nutrients like iodine may also be seen as women’s don’t take enough dietary supplements.
Sudden weight gain due to hormonal changes or PCOS may also lead to hypothyroidism.
The interaction between the thyroid and a woman’s reproductive hormones is also significant since estrogen dominance (a condition in which estrogen levels are high relative to progesterone) has been implicated as a contributing factor or hormone changes during menopause can trigger thyroid hormone. The use of high estradiol birth- control pills can also contribute to low thyroid hormones.
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