Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland is not able to produce enough thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland is the small, butterfly-shaped organ at the bottom of the neck that produces hormones to ‘run the body’s metabolism.’ Lack of thyroid hormone in the body can slow down its function and people with hypothyroidism have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism.
This can lead to some amount of weight gain, says about 5-10 pounds, because of the accumulation of salt and water in the body.
Fatigue, weight gain, depression, thinning hair, dry skin, trouble sleeping, constipation, muscle weakness are some of the commons symptoms in women over 60 years of age, and men who are aging. Hypothyroidism is very common in middle-aged and older women.
Infants, 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 4,000 newborns, can have congenital hypothyroidism. If not diagnosed, it can lead to severe symptoms like mental and physical disabilities. Some common symptoms of hypothyroidism in infants are jaundice, puffy face, constipation, and frequent choking.
People with hypothyroidism must consult the doctor about these tests:
1. Lipid Panel: People with hypothyroidism may have elevated total and LDL cholesterol levels and this test checks at the fat or lipids in your blood. Total cholesterol, which includes your good HDL cholesterol, should be below 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), according to MedlinePlus.
2. Complete Blood Count (CBC): People with severe hypothyroid disease are at risk for mild anemia and bleeding problems, and this can have an effect on clotting factors and platelets.
A CBC includes blood components with the following normal ranges, though they may vary depending on your lab:
3. Prolactin Test: People with hypothyroidism problems often have increased prolactin levels. According to a study published in Caspian Journal of Internal Medicine, this hormone stimulates lactation, or breast milk. Normal levels of prolactin for women who are not pregnant are 0 to 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL); and it’s 0 to 15 ng/mL for men.
4. Sodium Test: When hypothyroidism is left untreated, sodium levels may be lower than normal. Sodium (salt) is essential for our body’s management of water or fluids.
5. Nutrient Check for Vitamin D and Magnesium Deficiency: If you are having hypothyroidism and certain other deficiencies, they may result in too little magnesium, an essential mineral, according to a study published in July 2018 in Scientific Reports. Normal blood test results are 1.7 to 2.2 mg/dL, per MedlinePlus. The same goes for vitamin D.