Hypothyroidism, also known as low thyroid or underactive thyroid, is caused by the deficiency of the thyroid hormone in the body. This common disorder happens as a result of one of the major glands of the endocrine system, the thyroid gland, not producing adequate thyroid hormone.

Thyroid hormones play an important role in regulating body temperature, the body’s energy, the body’s usage of vitamins and other hormones, and the body tissues’ growth and maturation. Insufficient iodine is cited as the most common cause of hypothyroidism worldwide. Men over the age of 60 are more prone to hypothyroidism.

Symptoms/Signs to Look Out For

Most often, hypothyroidism symptoms are mistaken for normal aging symptoms. Numerous symptoms are linked with hypothyroidism. Shortness of breath, fatigue, poor memory power, lack of concentration, weight gain with no or poor appetite, dyspepsia, constipation, unusual or abnormal sensations, hoarse voice, poor hearing, and depression are considered to be symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Signs to look out for include dry skin, loss of hair, a slow heart rate, swelling of the face and the limbs, and myxedema. Men affected with hypothyroidism often notice a significant drop in their sex drive. If hypothyroidism is not treated properly and in a timely manner, the symptoms will worsen. The complications associated with hypothyroidism include goiter, mental problems, heart problems, and peripheral neuropathy.

What Causes Hypothyroidism in Men?

Some of the less common causes include a previous thyroid surgery, any kind of treatment where radioactive iodine was used, injury to the anterior pituitary gland or to the hypothalamus, and the usage of some specific medications. The most common cause is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune attack against the thyroid gland that results in lesser production of the thyroid hormone.

How Is Hypothyroidism in Men Diagnosed?

Most of the time, your physician will require only one test (a blood test) to diagnose whether you have hypothyroidism or not. The test is called the TSH test, or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone test. An increased TSH level indicates that not enough thyroid hormone is produced in your body by the thyroid gland. Your physician will recommend diagnostic imaging only if the thyroid feels abnormal to him.

Treating Hypothyroidism in Men

Hypothyroidism is often treated with levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone secreted naturally by the thyroid gland’s follicular cells. Levothyroxine is also known as L-thyroxine. It is a drug listed in the List of Essential Medicines of WHO (World Health Organization). The dose is decided based on the symptoms.

By including a safe amount of iodine in your daily diet, you can prevent hypothyroidism. Fish and dairy products are iodine-rich foods. 130 countries have implemented USI (Universal Salt Iodization). About 70% of the world’s population receives iodized salt at present.

Stress can wreak havoc on your hormones. It’s helpful to integrate some form of daily stress management practice into your schedule. You may try meditation, yoga, tai chi, gardening, handcrafting, woodworking, or another relaxing activity. By lowering your stress, you can improve your health.

Arrange a Consultation

Dr. Kevin Light is an expert in bioidentical hormone therapy, nutrition, and fitness. For an informative consultation with Dr. Light, contact our office today and schedule your appointment.