Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough crucial hormones. At the initial stages, it may not cause any noticeable symptoms, but over time if you do not treat it, it can result in different health problems like obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease. It is possible to easily diagnose hypothyroidism. The treatments are simple, safe and effective.
The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism may vary a lot depending on the severity of the deficiency of thyroid hormone in the body. The problems that love slowly often over a number of years.
At the initial stages, you may barely notice the symptoms. Such symptoms may include fatigue and weight gain. It is difficult to notice them because such symptoms are common when you get older. But when the metabolism continues to slow down, you will find more obvious problems.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms may include-
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Elevated blood cholesterol level
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
- Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
- Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
- Thinning hair
- Slowed heart rate
- Impaired memory
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
Hypothyroidism in infants
Hypothyroidism is a problem that is mostly seen in case of middle aged and older women but anyone can develop this condition and it is also seen in case of infants. Babies are that born without a thyroid gland or a gland that doesn't work properly may show few signs and symptoms. In case of infants, the signs and symptoms of the problem may include the following-
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eye. This is a condition that may cover when a baby's liver cannot metabolise a substance called bilirubin.
- A protruding, large tongue
- difficulty breathing
- Hoarse crying
- an umbilical hernia
If the disease progresses, the infant may have trouble feeding and may fail to grow and develop normally. Hypothyroidism in infant may also result in constipation, poor muscle tone and excessive sleepiness.
Hypothyroidism in children and teens
Teens and children would love hypothyroidism have the same signs and symptoms as adults. But they may also experience some other symptoms like-
- Poor growth, resulting in short stature
- Delayed development of permanent teeth
- Delayed puberty
- Poor mental development
So, what causes hypothyroidism?
If your thyroid is not producing enough hormones, the crucial chemical reactions in your body may not happen. There may be different causes of hypothyroidism. It may happen because of an autoimmune disease, hypothyroidism treatments, radiation therapy, thyroid surgery and certain medicines.
Thyroid is a butterfly shaped, small gland situated at the base of the front of your neck, just below your Adam's apple. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland a very crucial for your health and it can affect all aspects of your metabolism. Such hormones also influence the control of vital functions in your body like body temperature and heart rate.
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis. When your immune system produces antibodies that attack your own tissues, autoimmune disorders happen. Sometimes such autoimmune diseases may happen involving your thyroid gland. Even though it is not sure why that happens, it can be a combination of factors like your genes and environmental triggers.
Over response to hyperthyroidism treatment
Sometimes because of over response to hyperthyroidism treatment, you may suffer from hypothyroidism. People who produce too much thyroid hormone are treated with radioactive iodine or antithyroid medications. This can result in hypothyroidism.
These are the most common and crucial causes of hypothyroidism.