Hypothyroidism is a condition that affects the thyroid gland, a small organ located in the front of your neck. The thyroid gland helps regulate your body’s metabolism. When it doesn’t work correctly, you can develop symptoms that can be both mild and severe. This article will discuss the symptoms of hypothyroidism, its causes, and the various treatments and medications available. We also discuss how desiccated thyroid help to treat the condition.
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What is Hypothyroidism?
There are many types of thyroiditis, but hypothyroidism is the most common. It is when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. This can cause many symptoms, including feeling tired all the time, being constipated, having difficulty losing weight, and feeling cold all the time.
There are several different causes of hypothyroidism. The most common are problems with the thyroids themselves, problems with your pituitary gland (the body’s master gland that controls thyroid function), or problems with your hypothalamus (a part of the brain that controls many basic functions, including energy production).
If you have hypothyroidism, you’ll need to see a doctor to get diagnosed and treated. Most people require medication to treat it, but some may also require surgery to remove their thyroid glands.
The Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
The symptoms of hypothyroidism vary from person to person, but may include:
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Mood swings
- Dry skin or scalp
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Muscle weakness or fatigue
- Brain fog or depression
Causes of Hypothyroidism
There are many possible causes of hypothyroidism, but the most common is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland. Other causes include:
- Hereditary disorders – Certain inherited mutations can cause problems with the production of thyroid hormones.
- Chemotherapy or radiation therapy – Exposure to these treatments can damage the thyroid gland and lead to hypothyroidism.
- Thyroiditis – This is a thyroid gland inflammation, which many things, including infection, autoimmune disease, or exposure to environmental toxins, can cause.
- Noncancerous tumors of the thyroid – These can be benign (noncancerous) or cancerous. If they are cancerous, they may spread to other parts of the body and cause this disease.
- Acute radiation syndrome – Acute radiation syndrome is a rare condition caused by acute (short-term) exposure to high radiation levels. It can lead to severe hypothyroidism.
- Other diseases – Conditions such as lupus erythematosus (a serious autoimmune disorder), celiac disease (a condition that affects the small intestine), and sarcoidosis (a rare inflammatory disorder) can also lead to hypothyroidism.
Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is a thyroid gland disorder that can cause a variety of symptoms. The most common are fatigue, depression, and weight gain. Treatment typically involves medication and/or surgery.
To diagnose hypothyroidism, your doctor will check your blood thyroid levels. If they’re low, you may also be asked to take tests to rule out other causes of your symptoms, such as celiac disease or an autoimmune disorder. If the cause is unknown, your doctor may prescribe medication to raise your thyroid level.
Treatment usually involves taking supplements if the condition is due to a lack of iodine in the diet. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the malfunctioning thyroid gland.
Blood Tests for Hypothyroidism
There are a few blood tests that can be done to diagnose hypothyroidism. The most common blood test is called a TSH test. This test measures your blood’s stimulating thyroid hormone (TSH) level. The lab may also do a free T4 test or a free T3 test. The FreeT4 and FreeT3 tests measure how much thyroid hormone can work in the body.
If your doctor suspects you have hypothyroidism, they may recommend other tests, such as an antibody test or an ultrasound scan of your neck to check for problems with your thyroid gland. Sometimes people with hypothyroidism don’t have any symptoms until their levels are very high. In these cases, doctors may treat the person with medication before their stories get too high.
Treatment for Hypothyroidism
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating hypothyroidism, as the condition can vary significantly from person to person. However, most hypothyroidism symptoms can be treated with a combination of diet and medication.
You must see your doctor for an evaluation if you think you may have hypothyroidism. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history and will perform a physical examination to determine if you have the condition. If you are diagnosed with the disease, you will likely be prescribed medication to treat your condition.
The type of medication that is prescribed will depend on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying cause of your hypothyroidism. Some common treatments for this disease include levothyroxine (Synthroid), liothyronine (T3) or its replacement therapy (liotinyl), and desiccated thyroid extract preparations. It is important to keep in mind that treatment for hypothyroidism typically requires lifelong adherence to a treatment plan; there is no “cure” for the condition. Instead, sufferers must continue taking medications until their symptoms are under control or transition into a normal thyroid function state.
Suppose you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms. In that case, it might be time to visit your doctor for an evaluation: weight loss despite a healthy diet and exercise program, fatigue, dry skin or hair, constipation or diarrhea, heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, memory problems, depression, trouble sleeping. Many people with this disease don’t even know they have the condition because their symptoms are milder than those of other thyroid disorders.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer when treating hypothyroidism; however, common treatments include medications and surgery. Medications can help lower your hormone levels, while surgery may restore normal thyroid function. If you’re having difficulty finding relief from conventional treatments, talk to your doctor about a natural approach, such as herbs or supplements.