Hypothyroidism – medical information in daily life
Hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism is a deficiency in the production of thyroid hormones and usually affects women after the age of sixty, and hypothyroidism leads to an imbalance of chemical reactions in the body, and symptoms rarely appear in the early stages. The passage of time without treatment for hypothyroidism leads to many health problems such as obesity, joint pain, infertility, and heart problems.
The good news is that there are accurate thyroid function tests that are used to diagnose hypothyroidism. Treatment for this deficiency with synthetic thyroid hormone is usually simple and safe and can be done after your doctor determines the appropriate dose for your condition.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
The onset of symptoms of an underactive thyroid depends largely on the severity of the hormone deficiency, but in general, problems develop slowly over the years. Symptoms of an underactive thyroid, such as fatigue and weight gain, are difficult to identify or attributable to age at first, and although metabolism slows, symptoms progress significantly
Untreated hypothyroidism can worsen symptoms. Continuous stimulation of the thyroid gland to increase its secretion leads to an enlarged thyroid gland and can make you forget, think less, and feel depressed.
Hypothyroidism in infants
Although laziness usually affects middle-aged and older women, it can also affect children. Babies born without a thyroid gland or with an underactive thyroid usually show some signs and symptoms of the disease and may have some of these problems:
- Yellowing of the skin and whitening of the eyes (jaundice): This most often occurs when the liver is unable to produce bilirubin, which is formed naturally when the body circulates old or damaged red blood cells.
- Lots of suffocation.
- A large, prominent tongue.
- Swollen face
As the disease progresses, babies may have difficulty feeding and may not grow and develop normally. They may also experience:
- muscle weakness
- Excessive sleep.
And if infant laziness is left untreated, even mild cases can lead to severe physical and mental disabilities.
Hypothyroidism in children and adolescents
Children and teens with hypothyroidism have the same symptoms as adults, but they also develop:
- Poor growth that leads to short stature.
- Delayed growth of permanent teeth.
- delayed puberty
- Impaired mental development.
Causes of an underactive thyroid
When the thyroid gland secretes fewer hormones, an imbalance occurs in chemical reactions in the body. There are several reasons for this, including autoimmune diseases, treatment of hyperthyroidism, radiation therapy, thyroid surgery, and some medications.
The thyroid gland is small, butterfly-shaped, and located in the front of the neck below the Adam’s apple, and thyroid hormones like triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) have a huge impact on health and all aspects of your metabolism.
The thyroid hormones T3 and T4 help maintain the body’s absorption of fats and carbohydrates, regulate body temperature, influence the heartbeat and regulate protein production.
Complications of hypothyroidism
Left untreated, sluggish thyroid disease can lead to a number of health problems, including:
Constant stimulation of the thyroid gland to secrete more hormones causes the gland to enlarge, a condition known as goiter. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is one of the most common causes of an enlarged thyroid gland. The thyroid gland becomes large and can affect your appearance, swallowing, or breathing.
Hypothyroidism is associated with an increased risk of heart disease due to high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, and can occur in people with hypothyroidism, even subclinical hypothyroidism, a mild form, or hypothyroidism. Early hypothyroidism that is not however, the described symptoms occur.
This can lead to an increase in total cholesterol and affect the heart’s pumping ability. Ultimately, an underactive thyroid can lead to enlargement and heart failure.
Depression can occur early in hypothyroidism, become more severe over time, and lead to decreased mental performance.
Long-term, uncontrolled hypothyroidism can damage the peripheral nerves that carry information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body, such as your arms and legs. Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include pain, numbness, and tingling in the area with nerve damage; It can also lead to muscle weakness or loss of muscle control.
Myxedema and hypothyroidism
Myxedema is a life-threatening condition that occurs as a result of undiagnosed and untreated persistent hypothyroidism. Signs and symptoms include extreme sensitivity to cold and drowsiness, followed by severe lethargy and loss of consciousness. Myxedema coma can be caused by sedatives, infection, or other stresses on your body, and if you have any signs or symptoms of myxedema, you need immediate medical attention.
Low levels of thyroid hormone can affect ovulation and affect fertility. In addition, some causes of hypothyroidism, such as autoimmune diseases, can also affect fertility.
defect from birth
Babies of women with untreated thyroid disease are more likely to have birth defects than children of healthy mothers, and these children are more likely to have serious intellectual and developmental problems.
Babies with untreated hypothyroidism at birth are at risk of developing serious problems with physical and mental development, but if the disease is diagnosed within the first few months of life, the chances of normal development are excellent.
Diagnosis of hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is more common in older women, so some doctors prefer to screen older women for the disease during their regular annual checkup, and some doctors also recommend testing for hypothyroidism in pregnant women or women who will soon become pregnant.
Your doctor will do a thyroid test if you have increased tiredness, dry skin, constipation, weight gain, previous thyroid problems, or an enlarged thyroid gland.
The diagnosis of hypothyroidism is based on symptoms and results of blood tests that measure TSH levels and sometimes thyroid hormone levels, low thyroid hormone levels, and high TSH levels, which is an indicator of hypothyroidism. This is because the pituitary gland secretes more TSH to stimulate the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone.
In the past, it was difficult for doctors to detect hypothyroidism until symptoms cleared up, but now with a TSH test, it’s easier for doctors to diagnose hypothyroidism early before symptoms appear because the TSH test is the best screening test.
Your doctor will check your TSH first, then do a thyroid test if needed. TSH tests also play an important role in controlling an underactive thyroid, and these tests will help your doctor determine the correct dose of medication initially and over time.
In addition, TSH tests are used to diagnose a condition called subclinical hypothyroidism that usually has no symptoms or signs. If so, you will notice normal levels of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) and an increase in TSH levels than normal.
The ideal treatment for hypothyroidism is based on daily use of levothyroxine , an orally administered synthetic thyroid hormone that restores the hormone to normal levels in the body and reverses the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism.
One to two weeks after starting treatment, you will notice that you feel less tired. The medication will also gradually lower the cholesterol level caused by the disease, and you may notice a decrease in weight. Levothyroxine treatment is usually lifelong, but your doctor will likely check your TSH levels every year.
Select the appropriate dose
To determine the appropriate dose of levothyroxine first, your doctor will need to check your TSH levels usually after two to three months, because excessive amounts of TSH can cause side effects such as:
- increased appetite;
- body shaking
If you have coronary artery disease or severe hypothyroidism, your doctor may start treatment with a smaller amount of the drug and gradually increase the dose, gradually replacing the hormone to allow the heart to adjust to an increased metabolism.
Levothyroxine causes almost no side effects at the correct dose and is relatively inexpensive, so if you change medication, it is best to ask your doctor to make sure you are taking the correct dose. Do not miss doses or stop taking the medication because you will feel better and when you do, your hypothyroid symptoms will gradually return.
Proper intake of levothyroxine
Certain medications, supplements, and even certain foods can affect your ability to absorb levothyroxine. Therefore, talk to your doctor if you eat large amounts of soy products, are high in fiber, or take other medications, such as:
- Iron supplements or vitamins that contain iron.
- Aluminum hydroxide, which is found in some antacids.
- Calcium supplement.
If you have subclinical hypothyroidism, discuss treatment with your doctor because thyroid hormone therapy may not work for you or, in some cases, can be harmful if the situation calls for a slight increase in TSH but when needed great for TSH, it can be harmful. Thyroid hormones can help improve cholesterol, heart pumping, and energy levels.
Living with hypothyroidism
There is no way to prevent this disease because its causes cannot be controlled from the beginning, but the symptoms resulting from hypothyroidism can be controlled by following the doctor’s instructions and advice on living with hypothyroidism and ways to get rid of the symptoms.
Here is a video of how to distinguish between hypothyroidism and its activity