Hypothyroidism is a medical condition that occurs when your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland is located in lower front portions of your neck. The thyroid hormones can affect every organ including heart, brain and skin tissues. The main purpose of the thyroid gland is to maintain the metabolism, growth and development of the body.
It regulates the body functions by releasing the thyroid hormones in the bloodstream. Also, metabolism affects your body temperature and even changes your heart beat. Needless to say, the thyroid glands are essential for the human body. The treatment of thyroid disorder aims to reconstruct the thyroid mechanism so that the hormones are released once again. There are many types of treatment available to control the disorder.
In hypothyroidism, the thyroid glands are not able to produce enough hormones thus it does not function in the proper way. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism occurs when there is too much production of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). In hyperthyroidism, there is a fast heartbeat, anxiety, weight loss, etc.
In the early stages of hypothyroidism, there may not be noticeable symptoms but overtime many health problems like joint pain, infertility, obesity, and heart diseases are caused due to this.
The signs and symptoms are different among people depending upon the hormonal deficiency. The problem is not detected immediately but it develops slowly over the years. At first, the symptoms are slowly detected such as fatigue, weight gain. But as the time passes and the metabolism of the body continues to slow down, more problems occur in the body.
Hypothyroidism symptoms include:
The main cause of hypothyroid is when enough hormones are not produced by the thyroid gland and there is a chemical imbalance in the body. There can be enormous causes including hyperthyroidism treatments, thyroid surgery, autoimmune disease, radiation therapy and certain medications.
Hypothyroidism can be caused by factors like:
It is the most common cause of hypothyroidism also known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This autoimmune disorder tends to occur when there is a production of antibiotics that attacks the tissues of the body. However, with the use of these antibiotics, the ability of the thyroid to produce hormones is affected.
Over-response to hypothyroidism:
When there is too much production of thyroid hormone, then the treatment is often done with radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medications. This treatment is done to bring back the proper function of thyroid back to normal. But sometimes it can go totally opposite and ends up the production of hormone too much which results in permanent hypothyroidism.
Removal of the thyroid gland or a larger portion of it can stop or diminish the production of hormones. But in that case, the intake of thyroid hormones has to be done for life.
This therapy is used for the cancer treatments, which can affect your thyroid gland.
There are many medications that also tend to the growth of hypothyroidism. Medication used to treat certain psychiatric disorders like lithium can be another cause.
Generally, it can be diagnosed when a person is feeling very tired, dry skin, constipation, and weight gain. Sometimes, if a person is also had thyroid or goitre earlier then it can be diagnosed.
Blood Test: A blood test is the most important factor in the diagnosis. The levels of TSH and sometimes the level of thyroid hormone thyroxine is tested. It is because there is more production of TSH by your pituitary gland which has to make more efforts to stimulate your thyroid gland so that it can produce more thyroid hormone.
If you have a high TSH level and a low level of thyroxine in your body then it indicates an underactive thyroid. The TSH level tests are very important in managing hypothyroidism. Because TSH level is the best screening tests that are checked by the doctors initially and after that thyroid hormone tests are done if needed. With the help of these tests, doctors can determine the correct dosage of medication.
Hypothyroidism is commonly treated by medications and pills to re-inculcate the hormone levels. You also must have regular health checkups with your doctor to know your thyroid levels. Thyroid disorders, if untreated can lead to heart problems, joint pain, and obesity. In some cases, it can even lead to infertility. In pregnant women, it can affect the fetus. The symptoms should never be ignored, and you have to consult your physician immediately when you notice them. The treatment would also focus on giving you essential iodine levels to your body.
Too little iodine in the diet can also sometimes lead to the Hypothyroidism condition. The basic and foremost treatment involves the daily medication of synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine (Levothroid, Synthroid, others). This is an oral medication and is used to restore hormone levels and reverses the signs and symptoms. The treatment would start to take effect within weeks and you can notice visible changes within his period. It is an ongoing condition and treatment– meaning that you have to check frequently with your doctor for your thyroid levels. Accordingly, you doctor can reduce the dose or increase the dosages of the thyroid medications.
Any individual who is affected by the hypothyroidism can qualify for the treatment. The treatment can work best when diagnosed in the initial stages. Hence, if you feel you have the symptoms make sure you have a checkup with your doctor for the thyroid disorders. Before undertaking the pills ensure that your doctor knows about your physical condition and your allergic levels. If you are under medications for certain other conditions, do let your know doctor know about it.
The treatment can be eligible and undergone by any individual. Before you take the treatment, however, do let your doctor know about the medicines, you are undertaking currently. The thyroid medications can cause some reaction to the pills you are taking.
The important part of the treatment depends on the post treatment guidelines. You might be asked to intake certain foods especially your salt intake to increase your iodine levels. You might be asked to avoid certain foods, and you must make some lifestyle changes. Also, you must check your thyroid levels periodically with your doctor. In the case of surgery, you have to take rest for a few weeks before you get back to your regular duties.
The recovery depends on how well your body responds to the treatment. Since your thyroid levels can increase gradually, it takes some time before you are fully recovered. The dosages of the pills and the medications have to be increased or decreased as per your thyroid needs. Do consult with your doctor regularly and have periodic checkups. As for surgery, most of the treatments are done using precision laser and your recovery period can also be very minimal.
There is no permanent cure and you might have a chance that the problems can occur again.The treatment depends on increasing your thyroid levels and based on your lifestyle and medical conditions they can reappear again. Check with your doctor periodically for the ways in which you can avoid such situations. Do follow the hypothyroidism diet plan laid down and never miss the medications that have to be followed.
A person gets hypothyroidism when the two thyroid hormones that are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), the level is very low. Although only food is not a matter to help change the levels, it can surely help improving the absorption level of the body to absorb these hormones. Changing your diet can always help to do that.
Natural remedies and alternative medicines are used to remove the root cause of thyroid. Most of the times it is caused due to bad eating habits, stress or missing food.
Risk factors including hypothyroidism:
Relative Risk: Low
Side Effects: Low
Recovery Time: Medium
Price Range: RS. 2,00,000 and above