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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism

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Hypothyroidism is a condition which occurs due to less production of thyroid hormones by thyroid glands. The thyroid glands are allocated in front of the neck secretes the hormones which control the metabolism. The hormones are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine. It is also known as Myxedema.

 

The secretions of the thyroid hormones are controlled by pituitary gland and hypothalamus which are parts of the brain. The common cause of hypothyroidism is thyroid disease. Certain medications also causes hypothyroidism like Amiodarone, drugs used for hyperthyroidism like propylthiouracil, methimazole, Litium.

The hypothyroidism occurring in infants and children is called Cretinism.

Myxedema coma is an acute medical emergency in which the thyroid hormones become extremely low and it is treated with intravenous thyroid hormone replacement and steroid medications.

Types of Hypothyroidism

Type

Origin

Explanation

Primary

Thyroid gland

The most common types are Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, radioiodine therapy used for hyperthyroidism.

Secondary

Pituitary gland

This type of hypothyroidism occurs if the pituitary gland does not produce enough of thyroid stimulating hormone which induces the thyroid gland to produce the thyroid hormones. It occurs in pituitary tumors, radiation and surgery

Tertiary

Hypothalamus

It occurs if the hypothalamus fails to secret thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) which stimulates the pituitary gland to produce TSH.

 

Signs and symptoms of Hypothyroidism

  • Excess sensitive to cold
  • Depression.
  • Tiredness.
  • Excessive bleeding during menstruation.
  • Joint pain.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Pale skin, dryness of skin
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain with loss of appetite.
  • Decreased taste and smell.
  • Puffiness of face, hands and feet
  • Brittle nails
  • Swelling of arms and legs
  • Thin and brittle hair.
  • Skin thickening

Diagnosis:

  • Physical examaintion
  • Thyroid function tests: Shows decreased thyroid hormones T3, T4 and increased TSH levels.
  • Cholesterol levels will be increased
  • Serum prolactin will be increased.
  • Liver enzymes will be increased.

Complications of Hypothyroidism:

  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Anemia
  • Hypotension
  • Hypothermia
  • Hypoglycemia

Treatment:

The Hypothyroidism is treated with Thyroid hormones. Levothyroxine is the most common medication used. It has to be taken lifelong and in the early morning.