Hypothyroidism - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
An underactive thyroid, or hypo thyroidism, is a disorder in which the thyroid gland (a butterfly-shaped gland on the front of the neck) does not secrete enough of the thyroid hormone thyroxine into the bloodstream. The thyroid hormone affects nearly every physiological function. Cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, and metabolic processes can all be negatively impacted by hypothyroidism. An autoimmune disorder, thyroid removal surgery, or radiation therapy often brings on hypothyroidism.
Clinically, hypo thyroidism is characterized by an elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and a low thyroxine (T4) level. However, some people with an excessive TSH level will have normal T4 levels and show no or little thyroid symptoms. Subclinical hypothyroidism describes this state of health.
The root causes of hypothyroidism
There are two types of hypothyroidism causes: primary and secondary. Having a disease that has an immediate effect on the thyroid and leads to the thyroid producing inadequate amounts of thyroid hormones is a likely primary reason. The inability of the pituitary gland to regulate thyroid hormone levels by releasing a hormone called stimulating thyroid hormone (TSH) is a secondary reason.
Its primary causes more commonly cause hypothyroidism. Most cases are caused by Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune disorder. This autoimmune disease, also known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, runs in families (passed down through a family). An autoimmune reaction against the thyroid gland characterizes Hashimoto's illness. As a result, the thyroid cannot produce and secrete enough of the hormone it controls.
Hypothyroidism can also arise from other, more common causes, such as
- Thyroiditis (thyroid inflammation).
- Hyperthyroidism medication administration (radiation and surgical removal of the thyroid).
- Inadequate dietary intake of iodine.
- Diseases that run in families (a medical condition passed down through your family).
Postpartum thyroiditis and viral illnesses are two common hypothyroidism causes in women.
How can you know if you have hypothyroidism, and what are the symptoms?
Many people experience the onset of thyroid symptoms gradually over months or even years. Examples include:
- Lethargy (fatigue)
- Hands that are tingling and going numb
- The condition of being constipated.
- In other words, putting on weight.
- Feeling pain all over your body (can include muscle weakness).
- Excessive cholesterol in the blood
- Feeling down in the dumps
- Having a low threshold for cold weather
- Having hair and skin that are rough and dry
- Lessening of interest in having sexual relations
- Experiencing menstruation that is both heavy and frequent
- Observe outward manifestations of emotional states (including drooping eyelids and puffiness in the eyes and face).
- Experiencing a lowering and hoarsening of your voice
- "Brain fog" - a heightened tendency to forget things
When it comes to hypothyroidism, what kind of treatment options are there?
Hyperthyroidism treatment typically involves supplementing your body with the hormone your thyroid once produced. Usually, medicine is used for this purpose or maintaining healthy lifestyle . Levothyroxine is a traditional medicine. This medicine, when taken orally, stimulates your body to generate more thyroid hormone, thereby reducing any imbalances. It is possible to control the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. However, you'll have to take medication for the rest of your life to maintain a healthy level of hormones in your body. You can live an everyday, healthy life with correct management and regular check-ups with your doctor to ensure the efficacy of your therapy.
Hypothyroidism usually requires lifelong hyperthyroidism treatment with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Medication, however, is generally effective in alleviating or eliminating such signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Joining a group of others dealing with hypothyroidism could also be helpful.
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