Though hypothyroidism is often associated with women, men can also develop the condition. Yes, women are eight times more likely than men to have Hashimoto’s disease, the most common cause of hypothyroidism, and that does not mean that men are in the clear!
Regardless of gender, anyone who has a family member with hypothyroidism is at a higher risk for developing the same. Another risk factor for hypothyroidism is if you have another autoimmune disorder, such as type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, or rheumatoid arthritis.
Check out these 5 symptoms of hypothyroidism in men below.
You may grow frustrated if you’re at the gym five times per week, eating healthy, and yet you still gain weight and/or do not lose it. When your thyroid hormone production drops, your body processes slow down and change. This can affect many different systems in your body, including your metabolism, which directly affects your ability to lose weight - and makes it easier to pack on the pounds.
More than stepping outside on a chilly day without a jacket, a possible sign of hypothyroidism is feeling cold all the time. Basal body temperature is the temperature of your body at rest. Thyroid hormones are super important in this temperature regulation, and even slight changes in hormone levels can show the change. So, you might not only feel cold; you might be cold. While normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees, a hypothyroid patient could have a lower basal body temperature.
Low thyroid hormones can affect more than your physical body; it can affect your cognition, too, which can affect your mental health, your memory, and your ability to think clearly. This mental fuzziness is sometimes called “brain fog.” An underactive thyroid can make you sluggish, tired, and lacking energy to do the things you normally enjoy - all symptoms of depression.
Common treatments for depression include talk therapy and antidepressant medication as well as strategies for relaxation. While this treatment can be appropriate and successful, if a person who is diagnosed for depression also has an underactive thyroid gland, then they are missing a critical piece in their treatment plan.
For men, low libido, erectile dysfunction, or delayed ejaculation could be associated with hypothyroidism.
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2015, 64.3% of the men with hypothyroidism showed a low sex drive, erectile dysfunction and delayed ejaculation. While the sample size of men was only 14, it was enough for study authors to conclude that those with a thyroid disorder can suffer from sexual dysfunction.
Then, a review of studies from 1978 to 2018 further showed that 59% to 63% of men with hypothyroidism in select populations have sexual dysfunction. Hypothyroidism was strongly associated with delayed ejaculation.
The Sexual Medicine Society of North America suggests that if you have erectile dysfunction, you should talk with your doctor to determine its cause. Causes may be heart disease, diabetes, or even your thyroid. The good news? With an increased awareness of the link between thyroid disease and sexual dysfunction, doctors may be able to more quickly the link in men.
The effects of hypothyroidism can cause you to lose hair on your scalp, face, and body. This could mean that a bald spot on your beard is the result of a thyroid condition. Hair loss, hair thinning, or brittle nails may be due to a slower turnover of cells and reduced blood flow.
Additionally, hypothyroidism can make you lose eyebrow hair. Hair loss starting on the outer edges of your brows is a good indication that it’s time to talk to your doctor about your thyroid health.
Ultimately, while women are five to eight times more likely to suffer from thyroid issues, it is not impossible for men to be diagnosed with hypothyroidism. If you notice the presence of multiple symptoms of underactive thyroid, be sure to bring them up to your doctor to find the cause for what ails you.
You can even order an at-home test kit to better understand how your thyroid is working.
The good news? If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, the condition is easily treatable.
Levothyroxine (or Synthorid) contains the synthetic form of thyroid hormone T4. It is the most commonly prescribed thyroid hormone replacement drug. T4 is the storage hormone and must be converted by the body into T3 to be used by cells.
If you’re on T4 only drugs and still not feeling well, you may benefit from T3 medication. Liothyronine (or Cytomel) contains the synthetic form of thyroid hormone T3. T3 is the active thyroid hormone that works at the cellular level to help with the delivery of oxygen and energy to cells, tissues, and glands throughout the body.
In any case, you are not alone. Other men have also experienced the same loneliness or frustration of the seemingly long journey to health. Their lives have been impacted by the disease, but once hypothyroidism was confirmed and a treatment plan was established, their symptoms improved. Yours can, too.
Your Paloma Care Team will work with you, using your test results, to identify the appropriate medication and treatment plan for your condition.
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