Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough of certain important hormones.
As a rule, most often it occurs in women older than 60 years. Hypothyroidism destroys normal balance of chemical reactions in the body. It rarely causes symptoms in the early stages, but over time, uncontrolled hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.
The good news is that thyroid function can be restored by drawing a series of tests for the diagnosis of hypothyroidism and treated with synthetic thyroid hormone. Selection correct individual dose by doctor makes treatment simple, safe and effective.
Hypothyroidism signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism vary, depending on the severity of hormone deficiency. But in general, they do not cause significant problems and develop slowly, often over several years.
Hypothyroidism symptoms such as fatigue and weight gain, often referred to as age-related changes. But because metabolism continues to slow, can develop more obvious signs and symptoms including: fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, unexplained weight gain, puffy face, hoarseness, muscle weakness, increased cholesterol levels in the blood, muscle aches, pain, stiffness, or swelling in the joints, irregular menstruation, thinning hair, slow heart rate, depression, memory impairment.
If hypothyroidism is not treated, the signs and symptoms gradually become more severe. Direct stimulation of the thyroid gland to produce large amounts of hormones may lead to an increase in the thyroid (goiter). In addition, you can become more forgetful, your thought processes may slow or appears depressed.
Common hypothyroidism known as myxedema is rare, but when it does it can be life-threatening. Signs and symptoms include low blood pressure, decreased respiration, body temperature decrease, the lack of reaction and even coma. In extreme cases myxedema can be fatal.
Although hypothyroidism most often affects middle-aged and older women, the disease can also start and babies. Initially, children born without a thyroid gland or with a gland that is not working properly, can have several signs and symptoms: yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice – in most cases, this occurs when the baby’s liver can not absorb a substance called bilirubin, which is usually formed during the processing of the body of old or damaged red blood cells), frequent choking, large, protruding tongue, puffy face.
As the disease progresses, children do not grow and develop normally. Such children usually suffer from constipation, poor muscle tone, excessive sleepiness.
If left untreated hypothyroidism in newborns, even mild cases can lead to serious physical effects and mental retardation.
When the thyroid does not produce enough hormones, balance of chemical reactions in the body can be broken. There may be a number of causes, including autoimmune diseases, treatment of hyperthyroidism, radiotherapy, surgery on the thyroid gland and certain medications.
Thyroid gland is small, butterfly-shaped, located at the base of the front of the neck, below the Adam’s apple. The hormones produced by the thyroid – triiodothyronine (T3 ) and thyroxine (T4 ) have a huge impact on health, affecting all aspects of metabolism. They claim the rate at which body uses fats and carbohydrates, help control your body temperature, influence your heart rate and help regulate the proteins production.
Autoimmune diseases. People who develop certain inflammatory diseases, known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, more likely to suffer from hypothyroidism. Autoimmune disorders occur when the immune system produces antibodies that attack its own tissues. Sometimes this process involves the thyroid gland. Rather, autoimmune disorders are the result of more than one factor.
Rarely hypothyroidism may be the result of one of the following factors:
Congenital. Some children are born with a damaged thyroid gland or no thyroid. In most cases, the thyroid gland fails to develop normally for reasons unknown, but some children have a hereditary form of the disease. Often children with congenital hypothyroidism appear normal at birth. This is one reason why most countries now require screening of newborn thyroid.
Pregnancy. Some women experience hypothyroidism during or after pregnancy (postpartum hypothyroidism), often because they produce antibodies against its own thyroid gland. If untreated, hypothyroidism increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and preeclampsia – a condition that causes a significant increase in blood pressure in women during the last three months of pregnancy. It can also seriously affect the fetus development.
Pituitary gland failure. Relatively rare cause of hypothyroidism is the failure of the pituitary gland to produce enough thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) – usually due to a benign tumor of the pituitary gland.
Iodine deficiency. Trace mineral iodine – mainly seafood, algae, plants grown in iodine-rich soil and iodized salt – essential for the production of thyroid hormones. In some parts of the world, iodine deficiency is common, but the addition of iodine to table salt has virtually eliminated this problem. On the other hand, the adoption of overly large amount of iodine can cause hypothyroidism.
Goiter. Direct stimulation of your thyroid to release more hormones may lead to an increase in cancer – a condition known as goiter. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is one of the most common causes of goiter. Although, in general, does not cause discomfort, a large goiter can affect your appearance and may interfere with swallowing or breathing.
Mental health problems. Depression can occur at the beginning and hypothyroidism can be more serious over time. Hypothyroidism can also cause a slowing of mental functioning.
Heart problems. Hypothyroidism can also be associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, primarily because high levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – the “bad” cholesterol – can occur in people with an underactive thyroid. Even subclinical hypothyroidism softer state than the true hypothyroidism can result in an increase in total cholesterol level and the reduction of the pumping function of the heart . Hypothyroidism can also result in increased heart failure.
Myxedema. This is a rare, life-threatening condition is the result of long-term, undiagnosed hypothyroidism. Its signs and symptoms include intense cold intolerance and drowsiness followed by profound lethargy and unconsciousness. Myxedema coma can be caused by sedatives, infection or other stresses the body.
Peripheral neuropathy. Long-term uncontrolled hypothyroidism can cause damage to your peripheral nerves – nerves that carry information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include pain, numbness and tingling in the area affected by the nerve damage. It may also cause muscle weakness or loss of muscle control.
Birth defects. Babies born to women with untreated thyroid disease may have a higher risk of birth defects. These children are also more prone to serious intellectual and developmental problems. Infants with untreated hypothyroidism at birth are at risk for serious problems of physical and mental development. But if this condition is diagnosed during the first few months of life, the chances of normal development are excellent.
Infertility. Low thyroid hormone levels can interfere with ovulation, which reduces the productive function. Furthermore, some of the causes of hypothyroidism – e.g. , autoimmune disorders, – also affect the fertility.
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