Carol Vorderman suffered from ‘bloated’ calves and ankles

I’m A Celeb: Carol Vorderman say social media ‘was cruel’

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Feeling “tired” and struggling to sleep at night, Carol Vorderman wondered what was going on. The iconic countdown presenter knew it wasn’t the menopause because, at 61, she had already gone through that. “If I went for a walk, I’d come back and my calves were bloated. My ankles were bloated. I couldn’t drop weight,” she recalled.

Questioning whether it could be long Covid, Vorderman attempted to get a doctor’s appointment.

Having no luck, she told HELLO! editor Rosie Nixon, on the In A Good Place podcast, that she went private.

Once the mum-of-two saw a medical expert, Vorderman learned that her thyroid levels were lower than they should be.

Known as hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid), Vorderman was prescribed levothyroxine.

“I can’t do without them now. They’re amazing,” she said on the podcast.

Levothyroxine is a daily hormone replacement tablet, the NHS explains, that replaces the thyroxine hormone that the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough of due to the condition.

Regarded as an unpreventable condition, hypothyroidism occurs when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland.

The thyroid gland is located in the neck, in front of the windpipe; it’s responsible for creating hormones that help to regulate the body’s metabolism.

When the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland is being attacked, symptoms of hypothyroidism slowly develop.

Common signs of the condition include tiredness, weight gain, and feeling depressed.

“You may not realise you have a medical problem for several years,” the NHS cautions.

Over time, people could experience sensitivity to the cold, constipation, slow movements and thoughts, as well as muscle aches and pains.

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A post shared by Carol Vorderman (@carolvorders)

It’s also common to experience muscle cramps, dry and scaly skin, and brittle hair and nails.

An underactive thyroid can also dampen a person’s sex drive, and can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is when there is pain, numbness, and a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers.

“Elderly people with an underactive thyroid may develop memory problems,” the NHS adds.

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A post shared by Carol Vorderman (@carolvorders)

As the condition worsens, a person can develop:

  • A low-pitched and hoarse voice
  • A puffy-looking face
  • Thinned or partly missing eyebrows
  • A slow heart rate
  • Hearing loss
  • Anaemia.

The best way to diagnose an underactive thyroid is to have a thyroid function test.

Do speak to your doctor if you are concerned that you may be affected by the condition.

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