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Home :: Endocrine Disorders

Hypothyroidism - sign and symptom of hypothyroidism, its treatment, cause info


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Hypothyroidism is a condition where structural or functional abnormalities lead to insufficient synthesis of thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is more prevalent in women than in men; in the United States, incidence is rising significantly in people ages 40 to 50. Hypothyroidism results from inadequate production of thyroid hormone, usually because of dysfunction of the thyroid gland due to surgery (thyroidectomy), radiation therapy, inflammation, chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's disease) or, rarely, conditions such as amyloidosis and sarcoidosis. In rare cases, hypothyroidism occurs in infants and children. Infants will grow and develop normally if hypothyroidism is treated within the first month of life. Hypothyroidism seldom causes symptoms in the early stages, but over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease. Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder. Severe hypothyroidism can lead to a condition called myxedema, characterized by dry, thickened skin and coarse facial features.

Hypothyroidism is the disease state in humans and domestic animals caused by insufficient production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland .It helps to keep the body's functions (the metabolism) working at the correct pace. Many cells and tissues in the body need thyroxine to keep them going correctly. With proper treatment, a teen will catch up in weight and height to healthy teens of the same age.Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, just below your Adam's apple. Hypothyroidism is the condition in which the thyroid is underactive (i.e., it is producing an insufficient amount of thyroid hormones). The hypothalamus is a brain structure that normally signals the pituitary gland to make thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which causes the thyroid to make thyroid hormones. Some medical problems can affect either the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland, and interrupt the chain of signals from the brain to the thyroid. The disease may also be caused by a lack of thyroid gland or pituitary hormone. Treatment comes in the form of thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto's thyroiditis a disease in which the body's natural defense (immune) system attacks the thyroid gland occasionally will disappear on its own. The good news is that accurate thyroid function tests are available to diagnose hypothyroidism, and treatment of hypothyroidism with synthetic thyroid hormone is usually simple and effective once the proper dosage is established.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone. Historically, iodine deficiency was the most common cause of hypothyroidism world-wide. Secondary hypothyroidism occurs if the pituitary gland is damaged by a tumor, radiation, or surgery so that it is no longer able to instruct the thyroid to make enough hormone Hormones produced by the thyroid gland have an enormous impact on your health, affecting all aspects of your metabolism - from the rate at which your heart beats to how quickly you burn calories. Hypothyroidism is also known as an underactive thyroid. Thyroid hormones regulate the body's energy. When levels of thyroid hormones are abnormally low, the body burns energy more slowly, and vital functions, such as heartbeat and temperature regulation, slow down. It occurs when the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroxine. The risk of developing hypothyroidism tends to increase with age; older women have the highest risk.

Causes of Hypothyroidism

The common Causes of Hypothyroidism :

  • The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's thyroiditis, a disease of the thyroid gland where the body's immune system attacks the gland.
  • The body recognizes the thyroid antigens as foreign, and a chronic immune reaction ensues, resulting in lymphocytic infiltration of the gland and progressive destruction of functional thyroid tissue.
  • Failure of the pituitary gland to secrete a hormone to stimulate the thyroid gland ( secondary hypothyroidism ) is a less common cause of hypothyroidism.
  • Drugs such as amiodarone, interferon alpha, thalidomide, and stavudine have also been associated with primary hypothyroidism.
  • External beam radiation, which is used to treat some cancers, such as Hodgkin's lymphoma this radiation treatment can destroy the thyroid gland.
  • Other types of 'thyroiditis' (thyroid inflammation) caused by infection or other rare conditions.
  • One such medication is lithium, which is used to treat certain psychiatric disorders. If you're taking medication, ask your doctor about its effect on your thyroid gland.
  • Radiation used to treat cancers of the head and neck can affect your thyroid gland and may lead to hypothyroidism.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Some common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism :

  • Weakness
  • Weight gain
  • Slow body movements.
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to tolerate cold.
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain (unintentional)
  • Cold skin.
  • Sparse, coarse
  • Lack of energy
  • Muscle cramps

Treatment of Hypothyroidism

Here is the list of the methods for treating Hypothyroidism :

  • Hypothyroidism in pregnancy is associated with preeclampsia, anemia, postpartum hemorrhage, cardiac ventricular dysfunction, spontaneous abortion, low birthweight, impaired cognitive development, and fetal mortality even mild disease may be associated with adverse affects for offspring.
  • Myxedema coma is a medical emergency that occurs when the body's level of thyroid hormones becomes extremely low.
  • Sometimes hypothyroidism is a temporary condition in older children. (This is not so for children who are born with an underactive thyroid.)
  • If a serious illness or infection triggered your hypothyroidism, your thyroid function most likely will return to normal when you recover.
  • It is treated with intravenous thyroid hormones replacement and steroid therapy
  • Surgery is indicated for large goiters that compromise tracheoesophageal function; surgery is rarely needed in patients with hypothyroidism and is more common in the treatment of hyperthyroidism.
  • After replacement therapy has begun, report any symptoms of increased thyroid activity ( hyperthyroidism ) such as restlessness, rapid weight loss, and sweating.
  • If you have mild (subclinical) hypothyroidism , you may not need treatment but should be watched for signs of worsening hypothyroidism current research does not provide clear evidence to support treatment, and many health professionals disagree about whether mild hypothyroidism should be treated.