As previously discussed, the thyroid gland plays an important role throughout the body.  What happens when there is a lack of hormones being produced?  This is called hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid.

In most cases this is due to an iodine deficiency, conditions of the thyroid gland, the pituitary gland and even stress.

Women who suffer from hypothyroidism tend to have menstrual irregularities, heavy or prolonged periods, excessive cramping, headache, backache, aches in the limbs, bloated sensation, bowel irregularities, amenorrhea or absent periods.

Women with hypothyroidism are at an increased risk of ovarian cysts.  Polycystic ovarian syndrome has also been linked to hypothyroidism.  With an underactive thyroid, prolactin levels may increase and prevent ovulation.  Women with hypothyroidism do become pregnant, they are more likely to miscarry or experience pre mature labor.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

•    Poor muscle tone
•    Fatigue
•    Fertility and menstrual problems
•    Cold intolerance
•    Constipation
•    Rapid thoughts
•    Depression
•    Muscle cramps
•    Thin, brittle nails and hair
•    Paleness
•    Decreased sweating
•    Weight gain and water retention

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