Everything to know about Hypothyroidism its Symptoms and Treatment
These days, the term hypothyroidism can be heard very frequently because an increasing number of men and women are starting to suffer from this medical condition. As a result of this problem, the thyroid gland stops producing certain crucial hormones in sufficient quantity.
One of the most well known Private GP in Harley Street, suggest that this problem is hardly noticeable in the initial stages. As the condition starts to develop further, a number of health issues are likely to start to arise. Some of the most common health complications are joint pain, infertility, obesity and even hearth problems.
Medical technology has improved a lot over the last decade. As a result, thyroid functioning tests that provide accurate results are now available. Moreover, relevant treatments have also been developed which prove effective without creating any adverse side-effect.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
The symptoms vary depending on the severity of the problem. The condition advances slowly, taking several years to mature. Initially, you'll experience fatigue and weight gain. Most patients mistakenly consider these symptoms as a result of getting older.
Apart from fatigue and weight gain, the typical symptoms of hypothyroidism include the following :
- Dry skin.
- Developing a cough and cold more frequently than normal.
- Weakness in the muscles accompanied by tenderness, stiffness and frequent aches.
- Increasing cholesterol level in the blood.
- Puffy face.
- Thinning hairline.
- Decreased heart rate.
- Unusual pain, stiffness and even swelling in the joints.
- Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods in women.
- Goiter or the thyroid gland getting enlarged.
In addition to the ones mentioned above, at acute stages, one may even experience memory loss or impaired memory accompanied by mental depression.
Hypothyroidism among infants:
The problem can affect anyone at any stage. Usually infants born with the problem show the following symptoms:
- Breathing difficulty.
- Hoarse crying.
- Hernia in the umbilical cord.
- An excessively large tongue.
- Jaundice-like symptoms with yellowing skin and whitish eyes.
As the problem develops further, they are likely to develop problems when getting fed and may even stop growing normally. These infants also suffer from excessive sleepiness throughout the day. When the problem of hypothyroidism in infants isn't treated, it often leads to severe mental and physical retardation.
Hypothyroidism among kids and teens:
Hypothyroidism in kids and teens shows the same symptoms as in infants. In addition to that, these patients may also suffer from the following problems as a result:
- Delayed puberty.
- Poor growth and short stature.
- Delayed eruption of permanent teeth.
- Poor mental development.
What causes hypothyroidism?
Thyroid is a tiny gland in the shape of a butterfly that is located at the lower front of the neck, right below the Adam's apple. The gland produces two hormones, namely triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Both of these hormones have a tremendous impact on your health as they play crucial roles in your body's metabolism. In addition to that, they also control your body's temperature and heart rate.
When this gland fails to produce sufficient amount of the hormones, you will be diagnosed with a condition called hypothyroidism. There can be innumerable factors behind the development of this medical condition, which include the following:
- Side-effect of hyperthyroidism treatment: There are people who produce too much thyroid hormones and because of that, they start to suffer from hyperthyroidism. These patients are usually treated with anti-thyroid medicines and radioactive iodine. As a side-effect to the treatment for hyperthyroidism, some patients end up with lowered hormone production in their thyroid gland and suffer from hypothyroidism.
- Autoimmune disease: Autoimmune disorder is a condition in which your body or the immune system produces antibodies that attack your own system. Sometimes, the thyroid gland suffers in this situation. In fact, autoimmune disorder is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. It is also known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
- Undergoing radiation therapy: Radiation is applied on the cancer cells to treat cancer. When one develops cancer around the head and the neck, the radiation may affect the thyroid gland, leading to hypothyroidism.
- Certain medication: There are certain medications that lead to this problem. Lithium is one of the medicines that cause this problem. It is used to treat certain mental disorders.
- Thyroid surgery: Surgical removal of the thyroid gland is also known to lead to this problem.
In rare cases, hypothyroidism may also occur from the conditions mentioned below.
- Pregnancy: Many women develop hypothyroidism during or right after pregnancy. This is called post-partum hypothyroidism. It occurs because these women develop antibodies to their own thyroid gland. If the problem is left untreated, it can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or higher blood pressure in the patient. It also affects the normal growth and development of the fetus.
- Malfunctioning of the Pituitary gland: In some rare cases, it is found that the pituitary gland can fail to produce sufficient amount of TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone. This will affect your thyroid gland and will make it produce enough quantity of the thyroid hormones which will lead you to hypothyroidism.
- Low iodine level: Iodine is a vital mineral for the normal functioning of the body. Seafood's and iodized salt are the best sources of this mineral. Your body suffers if you have too little or too much iodine, leading you to hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism respectively. There are certain ethnic communities that suffer from low level of iodine and develop hypothyroidism. Iodized table salt has practically eliminated the possibility of hypothyroidism among those ethnic communities.
People within the high-risk brackets:
Anyone can develop this problem at any time; however, there are some individuals who are considered to have a higher risk in developing hypothyroidism than others. These include the following individuals:
- Women older than 60.
- People who underwent radioactive therapy around the neck, the head and the upper chest.
- Treated with anti-thyroid medication.
- Thyroid-related diseases run in the family.
- Undergone thyroid surgery.
- Suffering from autoimmune disease like Type 1 diabetes.
In addition to the points mentioned above, if you have been pregnant or have given birth to a baby in the last six months, then you also belong to the high-risk group to develop hypothyroidism.
Complications resulting from hypothyroidism:
Modern medicine has developed sufficiently to provide effective treatment to the problem of hypothyroidism. If it is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications including the following:
- Goiter: When your thyroid gland is producing less quantity of hormones, it undergoes constant stimulation. The stimulation may enlarge its size, leading you to yet another medical complexity called goitre. Goitre not only affects your aesthetic appeal but can also make your breathing and swallowing difficult when it grows considerably in size.
- Mental depression: Hypothyroidism leads to severe depression over time. It also slows down one's mental functioning.
- Cardiac complications: Hypothyroidism patients have a greater risk of heart failures. They are also prone to develop cardiac complications.
- Infertility: The problem also affects one's ovulation and fertility.
- Birth defects: Children born to mothers suffering from hypothyroidism are at higher risk to have birth defects as compared to other children.
Some of the most common complications are mentioned above. Apart from these, there can be some other complications too, therefore, it is important to visit private GP in Central London, as soon as you experience something that doesn't seem normal. To avoid these problems, make sure to get your hypothyroidism symptoms diagnosed by a medical expert as early as possible.