Hypothyroidsm is a medical condition caused by underactive thyroid gland leading to decrease production of a hormone called thyroxine. Refer to post on hypothyroidsm for more information and thyroid gland and its many wonderful function
In a case of hypothyroidsm, the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormone. This caused the brain to increase TSH hormone to try to stimulate the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidsm can be insidious as the symptoms is non- specific especially in the early stage.
The symptoms of hypothyroidsm may vary depending on the severity of the hormone deficiency and may develop slowly over years. Among the many symptoms of hypothyroidsm are:
- Weight gain despite normal/decrease appetite, difficulty losing weight
- Lethargy, easily fatigue and weakness
- Cold intolerance (disliking cold weather), cold fingers and feet
- Puffy face
- Hair loss and loss of outer part of the eyebrow
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goitre)
- Hoarseness or deepening of voice
- Dry and coarse skin
- Menses issues — heavy, irregular menses, fertility issue
- Pain and stiffness of the joint
- Poor memory and concentration, easily forgetful
- Osteoporosis or declined in bone mineral density with risk of fracture
- Mood disorders such as depression, irritability
- Slower heart rate
- Tingling and numbness of the hand from condition called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Increase blood pressure, poor cholesterol level
- Swelling of the legs
The most common cause of hypothyroidsm is a condition called Hashimoto thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition that cause chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland. Over time, the ability of the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones often becomes impaired and leads to a gradual decline in function and eventually an underactive thyroid. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis occurs most commonly in middle aged women, but can be seen at any age, and can also affect men and children.
Other causes of hypothyroidsm includes 'thyroiditis' which is an inflammation of the thyroid gland caused by various factors such as after delivery, certain infections such as virus (called subacute thyroiditis often very painful thyroid gland) and medications. Hypothyroidsm can also be caused by genetic (congenital hypothyroidsm with onset since delivery), removal of thyroid gland (thyroidectomy), iodine deficiency or previous cancer treatment to the neck area. You can also become hypothyroid if you are overtreated with anti-thyroid medication or underwent radioactive iodine treatment.
After comprehensive assessment, hypothyroidsm can be diagnose by doing blood test called thyroid function test (TFT). Your doctor may also order other test such antibodies level and ultrasound of the thyroid gland.
Treatment usually by replacement of the hormone similar to the one produced by the body called Levothyroxine. This will help to replace the thyroxine that is deficient in your body and restore back the function.
If you have any of the above symptoms and concern about having hormone issue such as hypothyroidsm, seek your doctor advise for thyroid hormone check early.