Slightly tired for no reason? ‘May indicate underactive thyroid gland’ | NOW

Every week we ask a health question to a medical expert. This week: I’m so tired all the time. Is that my thyroid gland? General Practitioner Tamara de Weijer: “Women are more vulnerable, especially in the first year after giving birth and when it runs in the family.”

Can you get tired of a slow thyroid gland?

“Yes. Fatigue may indicate an underactive thyroid gland. It is therefore certainly good to go to the doctor in case of fatigue ‘for no reason’. Even if in many cases your fatigue has nothing to do with the thyroid gland.”

What exactly is an underactive thyroid gland?

“The thyroid gland is located on the front of your neck, under your Adam’s apple. It gets a hormone that helps your metabolism to function properly; it helps to convert energy from food. If the thyroid gland is underactive, not much of it comes out. “hormone in your blood, which slows down your metabolism.”

“Because your metabolism is lowered, there is a risk that you will become constipated and gain weight.”

Tamara de Weijer, general practitioner

What do you notice except fatigue?

“Your whole body is slowing down. Because your metabolism is slowed down, there is a risk that you will become constipated and gain weight. Thick eyes, colds, dry skin, hair loss and irregular menstruation are also symptoms.”

How is it caused?

“Often there is a disease. In most cases it is Hashimoto’s disease, a condition in which the immune system is confused. It is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body turns against itself. In this In some cases, it attacks the thyroid gland Sometimes it is also seen after cancer treatment, thyroid surgery or thyroiditis after birth. “

“Women are generally more vulnerable, especially in the first year after giving birth and when it runs in families.”

How does the doctor make the diagnosis?

“The doctor checks, among other things, the thyroid hormone, also called free T4. In an underactive thyroid gland, there is too little thyroid hormone in the blood. The doctor also checks the hormone from the brain that helps the thyroid gland: TSH. With an underactive thyroid gland, often too much in the blood.”

“Unfortunately, there is little we can do ourselves to make the thyroid gland work better.”

Tamara de Weijer, general practitioner

“It’s a very simple blood test. If you’re worried, you can ask for such an examination. For most GPs, the protocol is to rule out thyroid problems in case of fatigue.”

Is there anything that can be done?

“Unfortunately, there is not much we can do ourselves to make the thyroid gland work better. Exercise and a healthy diet make you feel fitter, but do not make the thyroid gland work faster. The hormone itself can not be affected by lifestyle or diet. “

Should you take the medicine?

“Yes. Patients will therefore always have to take medication that rebuilds the thyroid hormone. The annoying thing is that it often takes a long time before you notice a difference: a few weeks before the drugs work and then another few months for your thyroid gland. To work as usual. But the good news is that you will eventually get rid of those complaints. “

The thyroid gland can also work too fast, right? What is it then?

“With a thyroid gland that works too fast, the body makes too much thyroid hormone. As a result, the metabolism actually works faster. It can for no reason lead to palpitations, sweating, restlessness, irritation, fatigue, diarrhea and weight loss. Also with these complaints, go to the doctor.”

Tamara de Weijer is a general practitioner, founder of the Arts and Lifestyle Association and owner of a lifestyle program where she guides people towards a healthier lifestyle. She wrote i.a. The lifestyle book and Eat better in 28 days

Leave a Comment