Is Thyroid disease is different for men?


Thyroid gland i.e. the butterfly gland of our body is given the least importance by the people. The disease presence can be seen mostly in females but males also get struck by the problem. Men are usually not aware of it as women are up to eight times more likely than men to have the thyroid disease. However, the thyroid affects myriad men and thereby leads to shifting in metabolism, reproductive health & energy. When the thyroid is underactive is called hypothyroidism & when it is overactive then it is called hyperthyroidism.

Changes caused by the thyroid are similar in both sexes but symptoms of the disease differ for both. What are those symptoms? In case of hypothyroidism (low thyroid); fatigue, hair loss, low metabolism, goiter, weight gain, infertility, high risk of infections, depression, cold hands & feet, muscle weakness etc. seem to happen. And in case of hyperthyroidism (high thyroid); insomnia, sweating, weight loss, changes in appetite, anxiety, bulging eyes, rapid heartbeat, infertility etc. seem to happen. Where women tend to have unexplained weight gain, men may lose muscle mass and strength or may have high cholesterol or erectile dysfunction.

Why is the disease less common in men?

Researches show that hypothyroidism is around eight times less in men because eighty percent of hypothyroidism is caused by autoimmune disease & autoimmune disease is more common in women. An autoimmune disease happens when defense system of the body is not able to fight diseases and this usually causes hypothyroidism in women and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in men. This affected 14 million Americans and out of which around 2 million were men. Grave’s disease is also the cause of hyperthyroidism which is more common in women.

Why the diagnosing of disease difficult in men?

The reason is different labs use different ranges. In 2002, the society of Endocrinologists revealed the thyroid level range (0.5 to 5.5 mlu/L) which was revised (0.3 to 3.3 mlu/L). Before the revision, inaccurate range lead to undiagnosed cases of hypothyroidism in men & still many labs uses this outdated range. Another reason is lack of comprehensive testing. Most men are familiar with “low T” due to TV commercials & ads but many are not.

Once you get to know about the disease, what steps are needed to be taken to regain your power?

  • Look for an integrative as well as a functional doctor who understands nuances of the disease & who uses comprehensive testing.
  • Clear all your doubts with the doctor as silence is not the solution to anything.
  • Get proper treatment. TRH test proves to be very accurate & diagnosing.
  • Take proper sleep and a have a healthy diet.

If you have such symptoms, take the best course of action and get it treated as early as possible. As once you have hyperthyroidism, you can have it for life but with early diagnoses and treatment you can manage your health and can prevent complications.

Written Credit:  Kajal Munjal