Hypothyroidism is the condition of having an underactive thyroid gland. It is reasonably common across the world and can lead to a number of debilitating symptoms if not treated. Here, we provide an overview of hypothyroidism including symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment. If you find that you may have some of the symptoms listed here, seek out a medical professional.
The thyroid gland
Hypothyroidism is the inability of the thyroid gland to produce enough hormones. The hormones that the thyroid gland produces are involved in the regulation of metabolism – the body’s ability to turn food into energy. For hypothyroidism, a lack of the hormone thyroxine is chief in causing the condition. Lower levels than normal of thyroxine leads to a slowing of bodily functions as energy cannot be produced fast enough.
Damage to the thyroid gland causes most of the cases of hypothyroidism. This is chiefly due to the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking the gland when fighting an infection. It can also come about from damage to the gland that arises from treatment for an overactive thyroid gland or cancer. The condition can also be caused by an iodine deficiency in a person’s diet or improper development in the womb. Hypothyroidism from these causes is less common however. Some medications can cause hypothyroidism in some cases, speak to your doctor if you are concerned about a medication you are taking.
- Sensitivity to cold
- Weight gain
- Depressive thoughts
- Tiredness and lethargy
- Muscle and joint pain
- Brittle hair and/or nails
There are other symptoms to consider, look for comprehensive lists if you are suffering from some of the symptoms here. It is difficult to spot hypothyroidism due to the fact that the symptoms develop over a number of years and are also found in many other conditions.
A medical professional will conduct a thyroid function test. This is a simple procedure where a blood sample will be taken and then analysed for levels of the hormone thyroxine. Sufferers of hypothyroidism will show reduced levels of thyroxine in the blood. There is no other way of accurately diagnosing hypothyroidism.
There is no cure for hypothyroidism, however daily hormone tablets can enable patients to lead a full and healthy life. The hormone tablets contain thyroxine that will bring your hormone levels to the correct balance in the body. If you need thyroxine pills from the U.S but live overseas, check out https://internationalpharmacy.com/. As every patient is different, there may be some consultation in the first weeks of treatment to get the correct amount of thyroxine for you in each tablet. Unfortunately, as there is no cure the pills must be taken for life.
Hypothyroidism can be easily kept in check once diagnosed and treated effectively. However, difficult spotting the symptoms can lead people to suffer in silence. If you feel you have some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, seek out a medical professional.