Authored by Ceetee Sheckels in Men’s Health
Published on 11-22-2009
Many people have the misconception that only women develop thyroid problems, or that thyroid problems in men are extremely rare. This is not the case at all. While women are more prone to developing problems associated with an underactive thyroid gland, it is also common in men. This is why thyroid symptoms in men should not be ignored, but should be brought to your doctor’s attention.
A deficiency of iodine in the body is the main cause of an underactive thyroid gland. This is also known as hypothyroidism. One of the first symptoms of underactive thyroid gland function which a man may notice is the effect it has on his sex life. While his desire may be lessened, his abilities may be lessened, also. The reason for these particular symptoms is that the thyroid’s functioning is necessary for the production of hormones involved in sexual activity. Although these symptoms may inaccurately be dismissed as signs of aging in older men, they can stem from hypothyroidism in a male of any age.
Thyroid problems can take a toll on the person’s mind. He may have trouble thinking or concentrating, and may become depressed. If none of these symptoms were present before, their sudden onset should cause the person or his doctor to recommend a thyroid test.
Weight gain is another common symptom of thyroid problems in men. He may also find that when he attempts to lose weight, neither diet nor exercise produces the desired results.
The man who has developed a thyroid condition may experience hair loss. Even if he is otherwise healthy, and aging is not a factor, his hair can begin to thin and fall out. He can also lose hairs from his eyebrows.
A general sense of unwellness, fatigue and sluggishness can point to a thyroid problem. He may also develop digestive difficulties. If they are not symptoms which he has been accustomed to in the past, a test for hypothyroidism is in order. They can be signs of other, more serious conditions; or they can be signs of a thyroid condition, which is usually easy to treat.
As all of the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism can be attributed to other conditions, you should make note of these symptoms when they occur. Make a point of asking your physician to test you for underactive thyroid.
Treatment for hypothyroidism consists of thyroid medication. The medication is a hormone which will restore the thyroid gland to its healthy state. Avoiding recurrences of hypothyroidism is usually no more difficult than preventing it from occurring in the first place. A healthy diet which is rich in iodine is the key to keeping the thyroid gland functioning at its optimum level. Certain types of fish, such as codfish and haddock, are rich in natural iodine. It can also be found in fish oil, and in iodine supplements. Consuming an adequate amount of iodine on a regular basis is the surest way to prevent a thyroid problem and the symptoms which accompany it.