Health and MedicineDiseasesPrimary hypothyroidism: symptoms, causes and diagnosis

Primary hypothyroidism: symptoms, causes and diagnosis

What is primary hyporitoidism and why does it appear? We also reveal what symptoms it produces and what medical tests are commonly used for its diagnosis.

Among the different types of hypothyroidism that can occur when there are thyroid problemsprimary hypothyroidism is a disease caused by an alteration in the functioning of the thyroid gland and that can affect all bodily functions. Due to this alteration, the thyroid does not secrete the necessary hormones that influence metabolism, so the metabolism is altered and becomes slower.

Unlike secondary hypothyroidism, which occurs when it comes from a malfunction of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, primary hypothyroidism is a condition caused by a problem with the thyroid gland itself.

The thyroid is the gland responsible for secreting the thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine T3 and thyroxin T4, which influence the proper functioning of metabolism. This gland is located in the neck more specifically below the larynx.

Primary hypothyroidism is a condition considered very common and that usually affects mainly the female population, women who are already going through menopause or who are already in that stage and also the elderly.

There are even times when some women can develop hypothyroidism after pregnancy, affecting a percentage of women between 5 and 20%. This hypothyroidism is known as  postpartum thyroiditis.

The main causes of primary hypothyroidism

Among the causes that could cause primary hypothyroidism, the congenital factor stands out, although it can also develop during the course of life.

Other causes that could cause its appearance are:

  • Iodine deficiency.
  • Have received radioactive iodine treatment.
  • Radiotherapy or radiation sessions.
  • The intake of some medications.
  • Suffer from an autoimmune disease.
  • Diabetes.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Lupus.
  • After having undergone a thyroid operation.
  • The intake of some drugs such as iodine, interferon, lithium.

Know what are the symptoms associated with this condition

The symptoms associated with primary hypothyroidism are those that we describe below, as you will be able to verify with a medical check-up or physical examination, it is easy to suspect that we could be suffering from this disease.

For this reason, we recommend that if you have any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to see your doctor for a good check-up.

And what are those symptoms? We reveal them below:

  • The metabolism slows down.
  • Weight gain.
  • Physical and mental exhaustion.
  • Bradycardia (heart rate slows down, becomes slower).
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Low body temperature.
  • loss of appetite
  • Constipation.
  • Discouragement.
  • Joint pains.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Swelling of arms and legs.
  • Lack of reflexes while performing the test to check reflexes.
  • hair loss

Medical tests to detect primary hypothyroidism

As we have said before, before any suspicion, go to your doctor and tell him the symptoms you are suffering from.

Among the possible tests that could be done to detect primary hypothyroidism are laboratory tests in which an analysis is performed to measure the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormones TSH and free thyroxin T4-L.

The treatment that is usually applied to treat primary hypothyroidism are medications indicated to make up for the deficiency of the thyroid hormone, once the treatment is started, it is usually for life, reaching relapses if the treatment is interrupted.

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