Shaun Ryder health: Happy Mondays singer reveals condition that ‘makes you put on weight’

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Shaun Ryder was a key figure in the cultural music scene that swept across Manchester in the 80s. The lead singer of Happy Mondays has been candid about his rock n roll lifestyle and the dysfunctions that came with it over the years. When Shaun is interviewed, you can always count on him revealing another nugget about his life.

Last year, the Happy Mondays singer spoke about another personal detail in his life – his health status.

The star was Good Morning Britain to discuss the band’s upcoming greatest hits tour, when he strayed into his health issues.

The star spoke about the curious phenomenon that caused all his body hair to fall out.

Speaking to Kate Garraway and Ben Shepherd, Shaun said: “No eyelashes, no fingernails, no head, no hair whatsoever. We don’t really know…”

The medical professions thought that the unusual development may be attributed to his underactive thyroid, which causes weight gain.

He said: “Because I have an under active thyroid that makes you put on weight and slow down, they thought it might have been linked to that or the fact I don’t produce testosterone anymore. They thought it might be linked to that. Now it doesn’t look like that.”

Shaun added: “They said it might be stress related, but I’m the least stressed I’ve ever been in my life, so they’ve got a lot more experimenting on me to find out.”

The Happy Mondays singer has previously spoken about this underactive thyroid and the symptoms that accompany it.

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Speaking to the Mail Online, he said: “I put on a couple of stone, even though I was not doing anything differently. My hair was thinning and my eyebrows fell out. I thought I’d just have to learn to live with it.”

What is an underactive thyroid?

According to the NHS, an underactive thyroid is when your thyroid gland does not produce enough of the hormone thyroxine (also called T4).

“Most cases of an underactive thyroid are caused by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland and damaging it, or by damage that occurs as a result of treatments for thyroid cancer or an overactive thyroid,” explains the health body.

Many symptoms of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) are the same as those of other conditions, so it can easily be confused for something else.

According to the NHS, common symptoms include:

  • Tiredness
  • Being sensitive to cold
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Slow movements and thoughts
  • Muscle aches and weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry and scaly skin
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Loss of libido (sex drive)
  • Pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Irregular periods or heavy periods.

Symptoms usually develop slowly and you may not realise you have a medical problem for several years.

These symptoms usually develop slowly and you may not realise you have a medical problem for several years, says the health body.

“If you have any of these symptoms, see your GP and ask to be tested for an underactive thyroid,” it adds.

How is it treated?

The aim of treatment is to ease your symptoms and prevent any complications – this means getting your thyroid hormone levels back to normal.

According to Bupa, your doctor may prescribe you a hormone replacement medicine called levothyroxine (thyroxine).

“Usually, you start by taking a small amount of levothyroxine and this is gradually increased until your level of thyroid-stimulating hormone returns to normal,” explains the health body.

Your GP will take a blood sample every four to six weeks and then change the amount, depending on the results, it notes.

According to the NHS, levothyroxine does not usually have any side effects because the tablets simply replace a missing hormone.

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