Health and MedicineDiseasesHypothyroidism: what is it, symptoms, causes and treatment?

Hypothyroidism: what is it, symptoms, causes and treatment?

Hypothyroidism is a decrease in thyroid hormones, which in turn causes certain symptoms, with common causes. Find out how it is treated.

Hypothyroidism is a much better known health disorder than hyperthyroidism, equally common as the previous one, but less popularly known by many people.

Basically, hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is not capable of producing enough thyroid hormones, thus resulting in decreased levels of these hormones both in the blood plasma and in the body.

What is hypothyroidism?

As we have indicated before, hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is not able to produce enough thyroid hormones.

This translates, therefore, into a decrease in the levels of thyroid hormones in the blood plasma, and in turn finally in our body.

Causes of hypothyroidism

In reference to the causes of hypothyroidism, it is worth bearing in mind that one of the most common causes is inflammation of the thyroid gland, a condition that causes damage to its cells.

Bearing this in mind, it is also convenient to keep in mind other common causes of hypothyroidism:

  • Congenital defects at birth
  • Radioactive iodine used in the treatment of an overactive thyroid
  • Radiation therapies to the neck
  • Surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid gland
  • Viral thyroiditis
  • Consumption of drugs such as those used for hyperthyroidism, lithium, radiation to the brain or amiodarone.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism

  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Weak and brittle hair or nails
  • Soft spot
  • Unintentional weight gain
  • Hoarseness
  • Swelling of face, hands and feet
  • Slow thickening
  • Fatigue or feeling sluggish
  • Dry or pale skin

Treatment of hypothyroidism

The main goal of treatment is to replace the lack of thyroid hormone.

For this reason, one of the most used medications is levothyroxine, prescribing it in a low way to relieve symptoms effectively so that hormone levels in turn have a normal range.

Keep in mind that therapy is required for life, unless the person has a condition called transient viral thyroiditis.

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