Hypothyroidism is a condition of the thyroid, that occurs due to the lack of hormone production. It is also known as the Underactive thyroid gland. The thyroid is a little, butterfly-shaped gland placed in front of the neck. It discharges hormones to help maintain and use the energy in the body. The thyroid provides energy to almost every organ in the body. The thyroid manages different functions of the anatomy such as programming of the digestive system or the heartbeats.
Hypothyroidism can happen to anyone including children and teenagers. Especially, women get affected by hypothyroidism than men. The early symptoms of hypothyroidism are almost unnoticeable The early and mild aspect of the condition is also known as Subclinical Hypothyroidism.
Causes of hypothyroidism
There are various causes of hypothyroidism, that includes;
• Radiation Therapy
People suffering from cancers of the neck or head such as leukemia or lymphoma undergo radiation therapy. Radiation treatment on such conditions slows down the hormone production in the thyroid. It leads to hypothyroidism.
Various medications can cause the low production of hormones. It can lead to hypothyroidism. Many such medications are used for treating psychological issues like heart disease or cancer. These include;
• Mitotane (Lysodren), an adrenal cancer treatment
• Amiodarone (Pacerone), an antiarrhythmic drug
• Interleukin-2 (IL-2)
• Surgical Removal of Thyroid
Removal of the thyroid gland surgically can lead to hypothyroidism. The primary treatment of it is thyroid medication. Removal of a segment of the thyroid gland can still produce hormone.
• Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an auto-immune syndrome. It is the most common cause of underactive thyroid. Sometimes, the immune system attacks the healthy tissues mistakenly It is due to an autoimmune response. It can lead to serious health issues including hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Symptoms of hypothyroidism differ from person to person, according to their condition and state. Several common symptoms may include;
• Muscles stiffness or aches
• Sensitive, puffy face
• Impaired memory
• Dry skin
• Fertility difficulties
• Joint pain and stiffness
• Weight gain
• Feeling cold
• High blood cholesterol
• Muscle weakness
• Decrease sweating
• Thinning hair
• Risk Factors of hypothyroidism
Various risk factors that may cause hypothyroidism are;
• Having a family history of hypothyroidism
• Being female
• Suffering from autoimmune diseases like Type 1 diabetes and Sjögren syndrome
Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism
Blood tests and medical examination are the two primary tools to decide hypothyroidism:
• Blood Tests
Blood tests are the most convenient way to confirm the diagnosis of hypothyroidism.
The thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test estimates the amount of TSH produced by the pituitary glands;
• People with hypothyroidism have a high level of TSH. It is because the body trying to stimulate more thyroid hormone activities
• The pituitary gland increases the TSH to enhance the production of thyroid hormone. It occurs when the thyroid does not make enough hormones.
• People suffering from hypothyroidism have a low level of TSH. Because the body is trying to decrease the production of thyroid hormone.
Tetraiodothyronine (T4) is a hormone produced by the thyroid. People with low T4 and high TSH are suffering from Hypothyroidism.
• Medical Evaluation
The specialists do a complete physical examination and a medical history check-up. Some physical indications of hypothyroidism are:
• Swelling in the neck
• Dry skin
• A slower heart rate
The doctors may ask for any symptoms experienced such as constipation, fatigue, constant feeling of cold, and depression.
Cura Multispeciality Hospitals’ Diabetes and Endocrinology Department
Hypothyroidism slows down metabolic activities. It also causes fatigue, hair loss, depression, constipation, memory loss. Endocrine diseases affect the physiological system of the body. So proper diagnosis and treatment by specialists may need to cure. At Cura, our specialists offer you the best medications and therapy like radioactive-iodine therapy to damage the cells that help thyroid hormones. In rare cases, we suggest surgery to remove the thyroid.