What is Thyroid? The thyroid is an important gland located in the neck. It has many functions, including regulating body metabolism through the production and intake of hormones. When things go wrong with thyroid functionality, it can lead to various negative side effects. This article will help you learn about the most common issues affecting your thyroid function i.e. Hypothyroidism, and what you can do about them.
What is Hypothyroidism? Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland produces insufficient amounts of certain important hormones.
In the early stages of hypothyroidism, there may be no noticeable symptoms. Untreated hypothyroidism can lead to a variety of health issues, including obesity, joint pain, infertility, and heart disease.
Depending on the severity of the hormone deficiency, the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism vary. Problems often emerge gradually, over a period of years.
Symptoms Of Under Active Thyroid: What are the Symptoms of Hypothyroidism?
At first, symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue and weight gain, may go unnoticed. You could also blame them for getting older. However, as your metabolism slows, you may develop more visible problems.
Among the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism are:
- Cold sensitivity has increased.
- Skin that is parched
- gaining weight
- Face puffiness
- Muscle fatigue
- Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness as a result of high blood cholesterol levels
- Joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
- Menstrual periods that are heavier than usual or irregular
- Hair loss slowed heart rate
- Memory impairment
- Thyroid gland enlargement (goitre)
Although anyone can develop hypothyroidism, you are more likely to develop it if you:
- Are you a lady
- Are over the age of 60
- Have a thyroid disease in your family
- Have an autoimmune disease like type 1 diabetes or celiac disease
- Have received radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medication treatment
- You were exposed to radiation in your neck or upper chest.
- Have you undergone thyroid surgery (partial thyroidectomy)
- Have you been pregnant or given birth in the last six months
Complications Due To Hypothyroidism
Untreated hypothyroidism can cause a variety of health issues, including:
Constant stimulation of your thyroid to produce more hormones may cause the gland to enlarge, resulting in a goiter. A large goiter, while not generally painful, can affect your appearance and may interfere with swallowing or breathing.
Hypothyroidism may also be linked to an increased risk of heart disease and heart failure, owing to the fact that people with an underactive thyroid can have high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the “bad” cholesterol.
Neuropathy Of The Periphery
Uncontrolled hypothyroidism can damage your peripheral nerves over time. These are the nerves that send signals from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body, such as your arms and legs. In affected areas, peripheral neuropathy can cause pain, numbness, and tingling.
Long-term, undiagnosed hypothyroidism causes this rare, life-threatening condition. Its symptoms include severe cold intolerance and drowsiness, which is followed by profound lethargy and unconsciousness.
Thyroid hormone deficiency can interfere with ovulation, reducing fertility. Furthermore, some hypothyroidism causes, such as an autoimmune disorder, can impair fertility.
Defects At Birth
Babies born to untreated thyroid disease mothers may have a higher risk of birth defects than babies born to healthy mothers. These children are also more likely to experience serious intellectual and developmental issues.
Diagnosis Of Hypothyroidism
Your symptoms and the results of blood tests that measure the level of TSH and, in some cases, the level of the thyroid hormone thyroxine are used to diagnose hypothyroidism. A low thyroxine level and a high TSH level indicate an underactive thyroid. This is because your pituitary gland produces more TSH to stimulate your thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone.
Treatment Of Hypothyroidism
The synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine is used on a daily basis to treat hypothyroidism (Levo-T, Synthroid, others). This oral medication restores adequate hormone levels, reversing hypothyroidism’s signs and symptoms.
You’ll begin to feel better soon after beginning treatment. The medication gradually lowers the disease’s elevated cholesterol levels and may reverse any weight gain. Levothyroxine treatment will most likely be lifelong, but because the dosage you require may change, your doctor will most likely check your TSH level once a year.
Know that you know what is hypothyroidism and all about under active thyroid, check all our articles on health issues in our exclusive section – Health Problems.