Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism means the body does not have enough thyroid hormones. Thyroid glands are small butterfly shaped glands on the front side of your neck. Thyroid gland releases thyroid hormones that regulate the body’s multiple functions.

Thyroid hormones provide energy and regulate all systems in the human body from the cardiovascular system to the digestive system. Without the right amount of hormones no system works properly and all functions just begin to slow down. In hypothyroidism there is not enough thyroid hormones. 

In the situation of hypothyroidism cause can be underactive thyroid glands, euthyroid diseases, thyroiditis or autoimmune diseases. Women are more likely to have thyroid gland problems than men. Over the age of 60 people are more likely to have thyroid diseases but it has to be known all thyroid diseases can be seen at any age.

Signs / Symptoms

What's common signs of hypothyroidism?

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness in muscles
  • Cold intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Hoarseness
  • Face swelling
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Muscle cramps
  • Depression
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Enlarged tongue
  • Edema
  • Hearing loss
  • Shortness of breath with exercise
  • Galactorrhea
  • Weight gain
  • Dysmnesia, impaired memory

Common causes

What's common causes of hypothyroidism?

There are various causes of hypothyroidism.

  • An autoimmune disease
    • Hashimoto’s Disease (a type of autoimmune thyroiditis)
  • Hyperthyroidism treatments
  • Surgical removal of thyroid gland
  • Radiation therapy around neck
  • Side Effects of some medications (lithium, amiodarone, etc.)

 

Departments & Emergency

If you are showing hypothyroidism symptoms : firstly you should go to your primary care doctor, firstly your family physician just to see what your symptoms are really based on. After investigation of your symptoms if they’re due to lack of thyroid hormone your doctor can manage your thyroid hormone treatment. You can also visit an Endocrinologist for further investigation. If there is no Endocrinology specialist at the healthcare center, you can also see an Internal Medicine specialist.

Diagnosis

Tests that can be asked to diagnose hypothyroidism include:

  • Blood tests are the only way to diagnose hypothyroidism.
    • TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)  level checks the level of the hormone which releases from pituitary gland and stimulates thyroid gland.
      • If it is increased it means your body can not produce enough Thyroid hormone by stimulation and trying to stimulate more.
      • There can also be a decrease on the TSH level that means your body can not stimulate the thyroid glands.
    • T4 hormone level shows the productivity of the thyroid glands directly. With TSH levels both of them easily diagnose your thyroid functions..
    • A Complete Blood Count (CBC) test shows the number and size of blood cells. It is very valuable because it offers the ability to monitor the amount of all blood cells together.
    • This is just necessary to evaluate the other effects of thyroid hormone dysregulation.

Treatment

Hypothyroidism is a lifelong disease and needs lifelong treatment. Treatment of the diseases based on thyroid hormone decrease are easy, safe and simple. 

It mostly relies on supplementary thyroid hormone (levothyroxine) replacement treatment. Levothyroxine is the synthetic version of t4 hormone. This basic hormone treatment has really little side effects. It is mainly like replacing what your body can not produce properly. With the hormone replacement treatment symptoms disappear and body functions just turn back to normal in several weeks.

Because it is a lifelong hormone treatment. It has an importance of checking the levels of TSH, T4 levels yearly. Because dosage of the medication can be changed by time. Hormone balance during the treatment is important for not having symptoms. 

FAQ

How to lose weight with hypothyroidism?

Losing weight in patients with hypothyroidism is more difficult than other diseases. It takes longer. Due to the decrease in thyroid hormone, the slowdown of metabolism leads to weight gain. The first way to prevent this and to provide weight loss is calorie restriction. Especially the consumption of basic carbohydrates such as sugar should be reduced, fiber consumption should be increased and constipation should be prevented. Exercising daily has an importance in all hypothyroidism patients to keep metabolism active.

 

Resources: Very Well Health, Healthline, Mayo Clinic

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