Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid disease, is a common disorder. With hypothyroidism, thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland is located in the front lower part of neck. Hormones released by the gland travel through bloodstream and affect nearly every part of body, from heart and brain, to muscles and skin. The thyroid controls how body’s cells use energy from food, a process called metabolism. Among other things, metabolism affects body’s temperature, heartbeat, and burn calories. If don’t have enough thyroid hormone, body processes slow down. That means body makes less energy, and metabolism becomes sluggish.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Symptoms of hypothyroidism may be vague and can often mimic other conditions. They may include:
Changes in the menstrual cycle, Constipation, Depression
Dry hair and hair loss, Dry skin, Fatigue
Greater sensitivity to cold, slow heart rate
Swelling of the thyroid gland (goiter), unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
Babies with hypothyroidism may have no symptoms.
If symptoms do occur, they can include:
Cold hands and feet, Constipation, Extreme sleepiness
Little or no growth, Low muscle tone (floppy infant)
Persistent jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
Poor feeding habits, Puffy face, Stomach bloating, swollen tongue
Causes of Hypothyroidism
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. “Thyroiditis” is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder. With Hashimoto’s, body produces antibodies that attack and destroy the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis may also be caused by a viral infection.
If have hypothyroidism, doctor will prescribe a synthetic (man-made) thyroid hormone T4. Certain other medications can interfere with body absorbs synthetic thyroid hormone. Make sure doctor knows about all the medicines, herbs, and supplements you take, including over-the-counter products. , Need regular blood tests to check thyroid hormone levels. Doctor may need to adjust medication dose from time to time.
Complications of Hypothyroidism, Untreated, and hypothyroidism may cause:
Heart problems, Infertility, Joint pain, Obesity