Thyroids types and percentage in men
As you all may know or may not know thyroid problems in males, as well as females, are of two types: hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is the over-activity of your thyroid gland producing more than normal T3 and T4 hormones while hypothyroidism is the under-active thyroid gland.
Hyperthyroidism can cause problems like weight loss, mood swings, heart palpitations, anxiety as compared to hypothyroidism where you gain weight, may experience depression, fatigue, and sleepiness, hair fall, constipation.
The ratio of thyroid problems in females compared to make are higher. Thyroid problems are generally autoimmune problems that can be hereditary. According to statistics by swgeneral 20% of the total cases of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are of men. And, 60% or more are unaware of their problems.
Since thyroid problems are auto-immune disorders, they occur more commonly in women and the percentage of women is 8 to 10 times higher than men.
But that leaves the question if you or your loved one as a male can have undiagnosed hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Yes, they absolutely can Some symptoms of thyroid problems in males are more specific to men and some are general to all.
Types, Reasons, symptoms, treatment of thyroid problems in males
Hyperthyroidism in men
Hyperthyroidism in men can be caused by Grave’s disease or Plummer’s disease, thyroiditis, etc.
- Grave’s disease is an auto-immune disorder that means your immune system attacks the thyroid gland mistakenly to make it produce excess hormone.
- Thyroiditis is the inflammation of the thyroid glands. And, in Plummer’s disease toxic nodules form around the thyroid gland. These are lower in percentage
Hyperthyroidism can cause problems in behavior, sleeping patterns, physical symptoms as it affects metabolism and different body parts. These are the general non-gender biased symptoms.
- Increased Heart palpitations or at heart rate
- Excess hunger
- Excessive sweating
- Mood swings or panic attack
- Weight loss, muscle weakness, hair loss
- Puffy eyes
Male-specific symptoms in hyperthyroidism:
- Lower testosterone: Overactive thyroid can cause to have low levels of testosterone that can contribute to other problems. Thyroid problems in men specific hyperthyroidism result in erectile dysfunction and low sperm count.
- Muscle mass loss: Muscle mass loss in men is more visibly obvious in men which also leads to fatigue and weight loss.
Treatment for thyroid problems in males due to hyperthyroidism may vary depending on what caused the disorder and how progressive it is. According to HealthLine, treatment includes
- Anti-thyroid tablets to suppress the production of excess hormone
- Surgically removing a part of the whole of the gland and make synthetic hormone
- Radio-iodine therapy where ingested radio-iodine pill kills some of the thyroid cells to normalize the production
In moderate cases popping the pill with healthy-diet, and less iodine can be the answer.
There are few changes you have to make in your diet when you have hyperthyroidism which affects many aspects of your function and metabolism. Here are the foods you should consider including and monitoring.
A low iodine diet is a must for thyroid problems in males with hyperthyroidism. It reduces the amount of thyroid hormone secretion. Here are the foods for a diet with low iodine.
- No-iodine salt like
- Egg whites only
- Cutting out dairy from coffee or tea
- More fruits
- Avoiding added salt in nuts, butter, bread, and other foods
- Potassium-rich potato
- Healthy fats like avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil
- Cruciferous veggies like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, brussels sprouts, kale
- Iron-rich foods like dried beans, poultry, red meat, whole grains etc.
- zinc foods like cocoa, cashew, pumpkin seeds
- selenium food
- Low-iodine vitamin D foods like fatty fish, beef, vitamin-d fortified orange juice, etc.
- Calcium intake
These are the foods that you should include in your diet to normalize the t4 levels.
Hypothyroidism in men
According to GoodRx, 3% to 16% of the male population have hypothyroidism. Another common reason for thyroid problems in males.
What causes thyroid problems in males in hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism can be caused by several reasons medically. Thyroid problems in males in the case of hypothyroidism can be a result of auto-immune disorder or because of medication history.
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an auto-immune disorder that enables your own immune system to work against you and attack thyroid cells to produce less T4.
- Medication history can be another reason for hypothyroidism. Because uptaking lithium-containing pills, can lead to the attack on thyroid cells and cause thyroid problems in males. Previous radiation surgery can also cause to have hypothyroidism.
- Less iodine in the diet can also start thyroid problems in males.
Common symptoms in hypothyroidism in males are very similar to females. They are
- weight gain
- feeling cold
- hair loss and dry skin
Along with the common symptoms, there are some specific ones that only men with hyperthyroidism may experience.
- Lower sexual activity and desire is experienced by 60% of men. Low levels of free testosterone are found due to the effects of hypothyroidism. And, it also is reasoned for low sperm count, shape and form.
- A muscle cramp is another symptom exerted in 35% of men with hypothyroidism. Fatigue, muscle weakness in the upper arms and legs are common.
- Hair loss is another effect that 50% of men experience. Hormonal changes hinder the normal growth of hair and make the follicles weak and the scalp and hair dry.
Diagnosis and treatment:
The diagnosis of thyroid problems in males is basically done by blood tests for TSH and T4 levels. The treatment involves intaking a thyroid replacement pill generally levothyroxine which is a synthetic thyroid hormone. Your doctor will adjust the dosage based on how low you are than normal readings and in general the dose daily on an empty stomach in the morning.
Regular monitoring of your food habit and regular checkup is necessary to function your body properly. T3 and T4 are responsible for heart function, metabolism. o if unchecked, it can cause weight gain, hair loss, dry skin, constipation.
Diet in hypothyroidism:
Thyroid problems in males because of hypothyroidism slow down the metabolism which can deteriorate heart rate, increase blood cholesterol levels and affect digesion. There are few foods that slows down T4, T3 secretion.
Foods hypothyroid patient should avoid:
- Soy products
- cruciferous vegetables
- Starchy fruits and vegetables
- peanuts, pine nuts
- highly processed foods
- beverages like coffee, green tea, alcohol etc
Foods to eat in hypothyroidism:
- lamb, poultry
- fruits except pears, strawberry, peaches
- gluten-free grains and seeds
Keeping your diet in check with medication help to normalize your hormone levels aster and does not make the condition worse.
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