DEAR DOCTOR K: I'm a woman in my late 50s. Lately I've been colder and more tired than usual. My memory has been off and my skin is drier. I figured these were all effects of getting older. Fortunately, my doctor did a blood test that showed hypothyroidism. Could all of these symptoms really result from an underactive thyroid?
DEAR READER: Midlife can bring subtle changes in skin, hair, energy, weight and even mental outlook. Like you, many women write these changes off as the effects of aging. But, as your doctor did, it's a good idea to make sure they're not the result of an underactive thyroid. The thyroid is a tiny butterfly-shaped gland that perches in the front of your neck.