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Exhausted? Hypothyroidism Symptoms You Should Know

Your day of laundry, spilled juice, and a grocery run is not much different than any other, but you can't shake that tired feeling. Why are you sooo exhausted lately? Your thyroid may be the culprit. Some ailments and aches that seem to come with mom territory are actually caused by hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid doesn't produce enough hormone to properly control cell repair and metabolism. Hypothyroidism is more common in women and can appear within a year of giving birth, but it may crop up at any time, affecting up to 10 percent or more of women, according to Marcelle Pick, an ob-gyn nurse-practitioner and founder of the clinic Women to Women, in Yarmouth, ME.

What to Look for

In addition to fatigue, symptoms include unexplained weight gain, constipation, brittle nails, cold hands and feet, joint pain, heavier periods, and depression. But consider this: “Being stressed-out can cause similar symptoms,” says Pick. “The stress hormone cortisol can affect the thyroid, but it doesn't mean you have hypothyroidism.” Pick recommends getting exercise, sleeping more, and eating fewer processed foods to see if symptoms diminish.

When to Call the Doc

If you don't feel any better after three or four weeks with lifestyle changes, make an appointment with your doctor. This condition is diagnosed with a simple blood test and treated with a hormone-replacement medication. Taken daily, it can help you regain your mom mojo!