Health Check: Diagnosing & Treating Hypothyroidism

The symptoms are so common you may not even know you have it. That's the danger for people living with a common Thyroid disease. It's called Hypothyroidism and as Serese Cole found out from one doctor at the Fremont Area Medical Center, millions of people get it but women are most likely to be affected.

Angela Bicking loves sharing kisses with her son Jayce. But when he was born it didn't take long for all her elation to turn into exhaustion.

"I felt like I was walking through sand," said Bicking.

She assumed it was because she was a new mom.

"You're up quite a bit at night, you gotta' be up in the morning. Every little cry you've got to be there to take care of," said Bicking.

But a doctor's visit proved it was more than that. Fremont Family Care's Dr. Shalu Bansal noticed Angela also had an enlarged thyroid.
The diagnoses: Hypothyroidism.

Dr. Shalu Bansal, "Hypothyroidism is when our thyroid gland which is situated right here in our neck does not produce enough hormone and that thyroid hormone is actually needed to regulate the metabolism of our whole body."

Fatigue is the most common symptom but there are many more: muscle pain or weakness, unexplained weight gain, sensitivity to cold temperatures, heavy menstrual periods and infertility.

"We can have skin and hair changes, also actually lose the ends of our eyebrows," added Dr. Bansal.

Hypothyroidism is usually diagnosed in a doctor's office with a simple blood test. If it turns out you have it, it can be treated with a prescription.

"Have you noticed changes in your skin or hair," Dr. Bansal asked Bicking.

"Yes, a lot less dryness and itchiness," Bicking said.

Just weeks after taking her medication - Angela was looking and feeling like herself again.

Angela told us, "I feel so much better. I have the energy to do stuff and go to work and come home."

Most importantly, she has enough energy to give a busy six-month-old all the love and attention he needs.

Dr. Bansal says if this condition is left untreated, the fatigue gets even worse. There can also be problems with memory, thinking clearly and depression. Severely untreated Hypothyroidism can lead to a coma. So if you have fatigue and any of those symptoms mentioned it's best to see your doctor.

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