Almost five out of 100 people in the U.S. suffer from mild to severe hypothyroidism. Also known as underactive thyroid, it affects more women than men. The thyroid gland is responsible for the body’s metabolism, and its proper functioning is absolutely vital. The gland produces two hormones TS3 and TS4, and their levels are measured through a simple blood test.
Hypothyroidism can be managed either by home remedies or through high quality brands like Professional Formulas supplements. Seeking timely medical attention is highly recommended to avoid the adverse effects of the disease. A better understanding of the causes and symptoms of the ailment will help you ensure that you take appropriate measures to keep it at bay.
When under attack by your immune system, the thyroid gland gets inflamed. It results in tissue decay of the gland and hampers its ability to produce hormones. This lack of hormones leads to hypothyroidism. Healthy tissue under attack by the immune system can be due to an autoimmune disorder.
If you have type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis along with hypothyroidism, you should consult your doctor about Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Problems with the Gland
The thyroid gland can have problems due to radioactive iodine or congenital thyroid agenesis, or even a surgically removed gland. This can result in an underactive thyroid. These conditions are treatable through medication when you consult a thyroid specialist.
Abnormal Thyroid Growth
Sarcoidosis, among other autoimmune disorders, causes inflamed tissue throughout the body, including the thyroid gland. It replaces the healthy tissue of the gland, and this causes lower production of hormones.
Pituitary Gland Problems
The pituitary gland is considered responsible for the thyroid gland. Therefore, problems in this gland can cause issues by producing thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). The problem could be a tumor that can lead to a lack of TSH. TSH is what signals the thyroid gland to produce hormones, and the lack of signals can result in an underactive thyroid.
Although rare, the genes that stimulate the thyroid hormones may be impaired. It results in a direct impact on the proper functioning of the gland. This can happen when the thyroid gland is not formed correctly, is too small, or is in the wrong place at birth.
If not treated, it can result in retarded growth and intellectual disabilities. This is diagnosed immediately after birth by collecting a blood sample from the infant’s heel and tested for TSH and other hormones.
Common symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, puffy face, constipation, muscle weakness, high blood cholesterol, increased sensitivity to cold, muscle ache, and joint pains. The symptoms vary, and only one or two may show up in each individual. At times they are so mild that they may go unnoticed.
One symptom can occur as the main problem. Other symptoms may cause minor discomfort. Regardless, if untreated, they can lead to heart problems, mental health issues, peripheral neuropathy, and myxedema.
Some symptoms don’t show up in every individual but may be a result of hypothyroidism. They are depression, frequent memory loss, changes in menstrual cycles, and infertility.
Hypothyroidism causes the brain to function slower than its usual rate; it can result in delayed responses. It can cause depression as people feel that their reactions are slowed. In a study published by the JAMA Neurology journal, memory loss is another symptom. Due to the slowed brain activity, patients can experience frequent episodes of memory loss.
Infants, too, can suffer from this condition. It can be because infants were born without the gland or one that does not work as it should. The infants’ symptoms include jaundice, a big protruding tongue, breathing difficulty, hoarse crying, and umbilical hernia. As the infant grows, the symptoms may advance to constipation, lack of muscle development, and excessive sleepiness.
Children and Teens
Children can develop hypothyroidism with age. The signs to look out for are stunted growth, delay in the appearance of permanent teeth, delayed puberty and hampered mental development. When you notice any one or more signs, you need to consult a specialist immediately.
About 4.6% of the U.S. population suffers from hypothyroidism. Though the symptoms are usually mild, they can develop into something severe if not treated in time.
Treatment and prevention can be in the form of supplements or DIY remedies at home. It is best to consult a specialist before you begin any treatment. Timely intervention goes a long way in leading a healthy life.