Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid gland, is a clinical disorder, and it means that the thyroid gland is not generating sufficient thyroid hormones as per the body's requirements. The thyroid gland releases thyroid hormones into the body that control how your body utilizes energy. In the case of hypothyroidism, the body's functions slow down.

The normal thyroid levels for T3, T4 and TSH are -

T3

100–200 nanograms per deciliter of blood (ng/dL)

T4

4.5 – 11.2 micrograms per deciliter of blood (mcg/dL)

TSH

0.4 – 5.0 milli-international units per liter (mIU/dL)

Hypothyroidism

Symptoms

Hypothyroidism symptoms vary from one person to another. At first, they are difficult to detect and appear slowly. They can be mistaken as symptoms of depression. The general symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland are -

  • Weakness
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Dull facial expressions
  • Hoarse voice
  • Slow speech
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Puffy and swollen face
  • Obesity
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Dry, coarse and sparse hair
  • Coarse, dry, and thickened skin
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Slow pulse rate
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sides of eyebrows thin or fall out
Hypothyroidism Symptoms

Hypothyroidism symptoms in females -

Women are more prone to having a thyroid disease than men. Hypothyroidism symptoms in females are as follows -
Menstrual problems -

  • It includes very light, heavy, or irregular periods. Thyroid disorders can also stop your periods for many months or longer. This is a condition called amenorrhea.
  • When thyroid problems affect the menstrual cycle in a woman, it also disturbs ovulation, thus making it difficult o get pregnant.
  • Hypothyroidism during pregnancy can affect both the mother and the unborn baby.
  • In a few cases, symptoms of thyroid disease are mistaken for menopause symptoms. Hypothyroidism is more likely to develop after menopause.

When to see a doctor?

Call your general practitioner if you notice the liver cirrhosis symptoms. The doctor will suggest certain liver tests and if you do have liver problems the doctor will refer you to a gastroenterologist or hepatologist for further treatment.

Get the best treatment for hypothyroidism from our Endocrinologist or thyroid specialist at Medicover Hospitals.


Hypothyroidism Causes -

When the cells in the thyroid gland don't produce sufficient thyroid hormones, it results in hypothyroidism.

The conditions causing hypothyroidism are -

Autoimmune diseases

In rare situations, our body's immune system can mistake thyroid gland cells and their enzymes as foreign invaders and target them. As a result, there aren’t enough thyroid cells and enzymes left to produce adequate thyroid hormones. This condition is more frequent in females than in males. The most common forms of autoimmune thyroiditis are Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and atrophic thyroiditis.

Thyroidectomy

-Some people with goitre, thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules, or Graves’ disease need to undergo thyroidectomy. If the thyroid gland is completely removed, people will surely become hypothyroid. If only a partial gland is removed, the thyroid gland can make adequate thyroid hormone to keep the blood levels normal.

Radiotherapy

Some cancer patients need to undergo radiotherapy involving the head and neck. This cancer treatment can affect the functioning of the thyroid gland, causing hypothyroidism.

Congenital hypothyroidism (CHT)

It occurs when the thyroid gland fails to develop or function effectively. A few newborn babies are born without a thyroid gland or a partly formed one and some have ectopic thyroid.

Thyroiditis

Thyroiditis is the thyroid gland's inflammation. It occurs due to an autoimmune attack or a viral infection.

Improper intake of iodine

Proper intake of iodine is important for normal thyroid gland function. Its functions can be greatly affected by too much or too little iodine. Iodine deficiency gives rise to hypothyroidism.

Pituitary gland disorder

The pituitary gland controls the thyroid. When the pituitary gland is damaged, it fails to control the thyroid gland, and the production of thyroid hormones is affected.

Causes of Hypothyroidism

Risks factors for hypothyroidism

The risk factors involved are -

  • Being a woman
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid surgery (thyroidectomy)
  • Intake of certain medications
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Hereditary
  • Old age

Complications

If hypothyroidism is left untreated, it can lead to a number of health problems, like-

  • Goiter
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Birth defects
  • Infertility
  • Mental health issues
  • Myxedema
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Trouble breathing
  • Neuromuscular dysfunction

Diagnosis

The correct hypothyroidism diagnosis involves the following conditions -

  • Check for hypothyroidism symptoms.

Medical history

If you have had any thyroid surgery or thyroid treatment, this may have an impact on the functional ability of your thyroid gland.

Physical examination

The thyroid specialists will examine your thyroid gland and look for hypothyroidism symptoms such as dry skin and hair, hoarse voice, droopy eyelids, swollen face or a slower heart rate.

Blood tests (thyroid function test, TFTs), including

  • TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test
  • T4 tests

Imaging tests

Thyroid scan, radioactive iodine uptake test, or ultrasound scan.


Hypothyroidism treatment

The treatment for hypothyroidism involves thyroid hormone therapy by taking the pure synthetic thyroxine (T4) to replace the natural thyroid hormones that your thyroid fails to make. After eight weeks, you will need a blood test (thyroid function test, TFTs) to monitor your thyroid hormone levels after you start your medications. Your endocrinologist will adjust your drug dose if required.
If you follow the doctor's prescription properly, it's possible to keep hypothyroidism in control. Do not stop taking thyroid medicines on your own, and consult your doctor before doing so.
If you suffer from Hashimoto's disease or any other autoimmune thyroid disorder, you may be sensitive to iodine. Discuss which foods, supplements, and medicines you need to avoid with your endocrinologist.


Do’s and Don’ts

Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid gland means inadequate production of thyroid hormones inside the body. Hypothyroidism causes autoimmune thyroiditis ( Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and atrophic thyroiditis), diabetes, family history, etc. Its treatment is hormone replacement therapy.

Do’s Don’ts
Do’sDon’ts
Eat a healthy dietSkip taking thyroid medicine.
Keep diabetes under control.Gain weight
Regular health check-upIgnore thyroid symptoms.
Avoid smoking and heavy alcohol consumption.Ignore the iodine intake in your diet
Take the correct amount of iodine.Eat excess sugary foods

If hypothyroidism is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications, such as neuromuscular dysfunction, shortness of breath, mental issues, goitre, cardiovascular problems, birth defects, and infertility. Therefore, we need to follow the do’s and don'ts to avoid it or make it less severe.


Hypothyroidism Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of endocrinologists and thyroid specialists working together to provide excellent healthcare to our patients. Our team adopts a multi-disciplinary approach for treating thyroid diseases with the active participation of experts like endocrinologists, thyroid specialists, trained nurses, and other paramedical staff, who provide the best thyroid treatment. We provide world-class healthcare services at affordable costs in all our departments to offer superior treatment outcomes and experience to our customers.

Citations

https://www.thyroid.org/hypothyroidism/
https://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0801/p244.html
https://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a801.extract
https://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/1115/p1717.html
https://ojrd.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1750-1172-5-17
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothyroidism

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