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July 23, 2022

What is hypothyroidism and its treatment?

What is Hypothyroidism?

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland is unable to produce the proper quantity of thyroid hormone. Your thyroid is not functioning properly. The lower front of the neck is where the thyroid gland is situated.

Your thyroid gland cannot create the proper quantity of thyroid hormone if you have hypothyroidism. Your thyroid gland is not active enough. The lower front of the neck is where the thyroid gland is situated.

Women experience hypothyroidism more frequently than men. Babies can be born with hypothyroidism.


Symptoms

Adults with hypothyroidism may exhibit the following signs and symptoms:
Not enough energy
a persistent sense of fatigue
constipation
abnormal sensitivity to cold, which may gradually manifest
cramping and stiffness in the muscles
gaining weight (often in spite of a poor appetite)
Dry hair and skin
hair loss
husky or hoarse voice
diminished heart rate
Depression

Myxedema is a cluster of symptoms that may develop if severe hypothyroidism is not treated. These symptoms include a face devoid of expression, thin hair, puffiness around the eyes, an enlarged tongue, and thick, doughy-feeling skin.

Hypothyroidism can cause a hoarse cry, low growth, unexplained drowsiness, constipation, and feeding difficulties in newborns. If hypothyroidism is not addressed, the child may be abnormally short, have dry skin, thin hair, an unusual facial look, a bulging tummy, delayed tooth eruption, and have mental development issues. In older children, hypothyroidism can delay puberty and cause additional symptoms similar to those found in adults.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will conduct a physical examination and evaluate your thyroid gland, which may be enlarged. In addition, your doctor will search for indicators of hypothyroidism, such as dry skin, thinning hair, and a slow heart rate. Your doctor will examine your knee and ankle reflexes to determine if they are slower than normal.

Your physician will diagnose hypothyroidism based on blood tests for thyroid hormone levels and serum TSH. The TSH test is the most sensitive diagnostic for hypothyroidism resulting from thyroid gland dysfunction. Your physician may also prescribe blood tests for cholesterol and other blood components, which are frequently abnormal in hypothyroidism patients.

In individuals with short-term hypothyroidism caused by some types of thyroid inflammation or viral thyroid infections, thyroid hormone levels typically recover to normal after a few months. In some individuals with hypothyroidism, the illness is an issue for life.



Prevention

Tiny amounts of iodine are required for the thyroid to produce thyroid hormone. Today, iodine is present in so many foods that hypothyroidism due to iodine shortage is exceedingly uncommon. However, increased iodine consumption does not prevent hypothyroidism. Therefore, there is actually no way to prevent hypothyroidism.


Treatment

Hypothyroidism is treated with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Synthetic versions of these hormones, such as levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl, and other brand names), liothyronine (Cytomel), and liotrix, are utilised (Thyrolar).

Periodically, anyone taking thyroid medication must undergo a blood test to ensure that the dose is maintaining the proper amounts of thyroid hormones in the body. During pregnancy, it is especially important for individuals with hypothyroidism to be watched, as their requirement for thyroid hormone may increase. In addition, certain foods and drugs might reduce the number of active thyroid hormones available to the cells of the body. Iron, for instance, can interfere with the absorption of thyroid medication in the intestine, and oral estrogen causes more circulating thyroid to bind to proteins in the blood, so reducing the amount of free thyroid hormone available to the body's cells.

Hypothyroidism
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When to see a doctor

Call your doctor if you have hypothyroidism symptoms, especially if you experience chronic fatigue, notice hair loss, and develop an extraordinary sensitivity to cold. If your infant or toddler exhibits hypothyroidism signs, contact your paediatrician immediately.

Prognosis

Treatment with thyroid hormones typically alleviates the symptoms of hypothyroidism in adults within weeks, although it can take months. In some older patients, dosages may need to be increased very gradually over a period of six to eight weeks to reduce cardiac strain. Immediately and consistently administering thyroid hormones to newborns and children with hypothyroidism can typically avert growth or intellectual development issues.

Additional Info

American Thyroid Association
www.thyroid.org

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