Don’t Let Random Weight Gain And Fatigue Slide

Jessie Pravecek, Contributing Writer

Most college students experience weight gain and fatigue. It’s normal. Or is it?

Don’t brush off these symptoms because they just might be related to thyroid troubles. According to nearly 20 million Americans have a thyroid disease and as many as 60 percent of that 20 million are still uninformed and are left in the dark.

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland, which essentially forms the Adam’s apple. A normal working thyroid releases hormones that control metabolism. The thyroid’s hormones control everything from breathing, to controlling body weight, and even controlling your central and peripheral nervous systems.

So it’s clear that the thyroid is pretty important for everyday function. But what happens when the thyroid isn’t quite “normal”? That’s where hypothyroidism disease takes its role.

Hypothyroidism is the term for when the thyroid is underactive. This meaning that it doesn’t produce enough of the certain important hormones that your body needs to properly function. And since thyroid hormones affect every cell in the body, it’s extremely important that if they aren’t working properly, you need to be checked by a physician as soon as possible.

If hypothyroidism is not treated, it can lead to serious health complications. These complications run from birth defects and high possibility of a miscarriage if pregnant, goiter, Graves’ disease, major heart complications, mental health issues and so on.

It would never be “wrong” to get checked. Mary Fisher, a 68-year-old hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s patient, says that she was diagnosed at 46-years-old, but her doctors told her that she probably had the diseases for over 30 years.

Thyroid disease is known to be genetic and is also caused by autoimmune diseasea��where the body produces antibodies that attack your own tissues. It is also most common in women over 60-years-old, but don’t let that slide either. Hypothyroidism is also commonly diagnosed in between the ages of 14 and 25.

Common symptoms to watch for are: fatigue, weight gain, thinning hair, impaired memory, slowed heart rate, and for women heavier and irregular menstrual periods.

Hypothyroidism is diagnosed with blood tests that measure the level of TSH. This can also be easily treated, but easier said than done. Thyroid medication is an important part of thyroid treatment. The most common medications for an underactive thyroid are Synthroid and Levothyroxinea��which is the generic version of Synthroid. When diagnosed, the medication should be followed religiously.

Last but not least stay strong. You’re not alone. You’ll hear along the way that those pills are your “life line”. And while it is true, it will never define who you are and the way you should live your life.

Don’t let symptoms slide, because it could be much, much more than “college symptoms”.