What Causes Hypothyroidism? Symptoms and Treatment

The thyroid gland is located in your neck, near Adam’s apple. It produces some essential hormones called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones regulate body temperature, heart rate, and many other bodily functions. Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is a condition in which your thyroid gland produces too little hormones. Due to this, other processes of the body are affected. Hypothyroidism, if left untreated, can cause serious health problems. It can lead to infertility, obesity, heart diseases, and much more. Do not delay the visit to a healthcare provider if you have a complaint of hypothyroidism. Moreover, if you have any health problems, you must visit a general physician in Lahore as soon as possible.

Symptoms

The symptoms of hypothyroidism may differ from person to person. At times they develop gradually. You may not recognize them at first, or you may think it is because of aging because it causes weight gain and lethargy. After some time, when symptoms start to show up more, you may recognize them. The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism are;

  • Sensitivity to cold, you may feel colder as compared to others.
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Increased blood cholesterol levels
  • Hoarseness
  • Muscle aches
  • Muscle weakness, stiffness, or tenderness
  • Thinning of hair
  • Irregular menstrual period
  • Lighter menstrual flow
  • Slow heart rate
  • Inflammation or enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory impairment

Causes

Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland does not function well and produces too little hormones. It can occur due to a variety of reasons that cause damage to the thyroid gland. The causes of hypothyroidism are;

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which your body produces antibodies that damage the thyroid gland. When damage occurs, the production of hormones is affected, leading to hypothyroidism.

Treatment of hyperthyroidism

People having hyperthyroidism are given radioactive radiation or radioactive iodine to lower the production of thyroid hormones. The goal of the healthcare providers is to lower the production of the thyroid gland back to normal. Due to this, sometimes it is lowered up to the extent that it starts producing too little hormones, resulting in hypothyroidism.

Thyroid gland surgery

Getting the thyroid gland removed, or a part of it can result in diminished production of thyroid hormones, which eventually lead to hypothyroidism. For which, you may need to take synthetic hormones in the form of medicine.

Radiation therapy

Undergoing radiation therapy due to cancers can destroy the thyroid gland and result in diminished hormone production, causing hypothyroidism.

Medications

Certain medications can cause hypothyroidism. One of them is lithium, which is given to treat psychiatric disorders.

Other causes of hypothyroidism are;

  • Congenital disease-some infants are born with hypothyroidism or with no thyroid gland.
  • Pituitary disorder- a tumor or failure of the pituitary gland can also cause hypothyroidism.
  • Pregnancy
  • Iodine deficiency

Treatment

The healthcare provider will prescribe you synthetic thyroid hormone. Also, they will prescribe medications for symptomatic treatment.

Conclusion

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland produces too little hormone. Due to which many bodily functions are affected. It may cause intolerance to cold, slowed heart rate, lethargy, and weight gain. If you have any of these symptoms, you must visit a general physician in Karachi soon.