Last year, we looked at how to Increase Your Energy When You’re Too Tired to Workout. Now, we examine being tired all the time. This is something that I regularly face. How about you?
“Do you often feel exhausted with more than your run-of-the-mill fatigue? Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, may be to blame. We talked to endocrinologist Parveen K Verma, DO, FACE, of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, New Jersey, to learn more about hypothyroidism and how it’s treated.”
What is hypothyroidism? Dr. Verma: “It is a problem with the thyroid gland, a gland in the base of your neck that controls metabolism. It can be caused by an infection and may be a transient problem … that gets better without treatment. It may also be the result of an autoimmune disease, where the thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone.”
What are symptoms of hypothyroidism? Dr. Verma: “Typical symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, decreased energy, depression, dry skin and hair, and constipation. A lot of people just feel like everything has closed down. For women, they may have fertility issues or abnormal menstrual cycles.”
When should I see my healthcare provider? Dr. Verma: “If common things that cause fatigue (not getting enough sleep, nutritional issues, multitasking) have been ruled out and you don’t feel better after a few weeks, then you should seek a medical evaluation. An initial workup may include a discussion about sleep habits, nutrition, work schedule, personal stressors, and blood work that looks for things like anemia or other metabolic problems, such as hypothyroidism.”
How is hypothyroidism treated? Dr. Verma: “The typical treatment is to use a form of thyroid hormone called levothyroxine. There are some other formulations that are considered more natural, such as Armour Thyroid. To decide which would be an appropriate choice for you, discuss your options with your primary care doctor or endocrinologist.”
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