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Hypothyroidism occurs when the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland in our neck does not manufacture enough thyroid hormone. A variety of symptoms are associated with hypothyroidism, including depression, fatigue, irritability, problems sleeping, and mental confusion.
The thyroid produces two hormones: triodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). The T3 hormone affects our brain in two important ways:
Because thyroid hormones play a significant role in our brain, hypothyroidism is considered by many scientists to be a mind-body disorder. So, it is not surprising that depression and hypothyroidism symptoms are linked in three interesting ways:
The first step in determining whether your thyroid is under active is to scan a list of hypothyroid symptoms:
If you have three or more hypothyroid symptoms, the second step is to take your resting body temperature. If it is fewer than 97.8 degrees you should continue on to step three and have your thyroid function laboratory tested. (Body temperature is a measure of thyroid function since thyroid hormones regulate the body’s metabolism.)
You can naturally skip steps one and two and just have your blood tested. The reason the first couple steps are helpful is that some people with “suboptimal thyroid function” get lab results putting them in the normal thyroid function range. Having several hypothyroid symptoms and a low body temperature may indicate to you and your doctor that you need thyroid treatment despite normal test results.
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