This blog on hypothyroidism includes 33-days of my hard-work that I have done for you. I have experienced each site and video available on the web related to Hypothyroidism.
I had gone through various books & visited many patients and finally, after Squeezing all those data, I’m uploading this article with love, it includes everything about hypothyroidism in a very easy manner.
I have explained Every medical term too so you can pursue it effortlessly.
IN THIS BLOG
- What Is hypothyroidism
- Over view of thyroid gland
- hypothyroidism symptoms
- hypothyroidism causes
- hypothyroidism symptoms
- hypothyroidism treatment
- hypothyroidism diagnosis
- hypothyroidism diet
- complication of hypothyroidism
- thyroid blood tests
- When to visit a doctor
Looks like a huge article, RIGHT? don’t worry, this article is very reader-friendly. This will not allow you to bore.
What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypo means less and Thyroidism is anything related to your thyroid gland (we will discuss thyroid in a while).
Hypothyroidism is the medical term used for those people who don’t make enough thyroid hormone, people sometimes confuse this condition with hyperthyroidism which is when an individual makes an excessive amount of thyroid hormone.
In most cases, hypothyroidism is for a problem in the thyroid gland itself and we normally call this condition primary hypothyroidism.
Thyroid Hormone & Metabolism:
Thyroid hormones: They are of two types, T3 &T4 produced by the thyroid gland. Their key role in our body is to regulate the metabolism of the body.
Metabolism: Activities like, Digestion, Bowel movement, Energy production, glucose usage, Heartbeat, mental activity, and so on.
Collectively all these activities are called metabolism.
Thyroid Hormones are directly proportional to Metabolism
Lesser Thyroid Hormone = slower Metabolism.
Higher Thyroid Hormone = faster Metabolism.
LET’s understand this with an example: Suppose If bowel movement or intestinal activity gets slow because of low thyroid hormones so It is understood that feces will stay for more time in the intestine, and the Patient will feel one of the most common symptoms of Hypothyroidism called constipation.
In simple words, Slowing metabolism means slower will be your heart activity, respiration, mental activity, energy consumption, your Whole body function will become slow & It leads to laziness, another symptom of hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is because of low t3 & t4 that’s why we also call it underactive thyroid or low thyroid.
I hope things are looking easy if not then don’t be confused everything will clear in the next few lines.
Overview of the thyroid gland
Before jumping to the thyroid, we will explore the following definitions first:
What is a gland?
Glands are the structure present in our body that produces and secrete specific chemicals in our body called hormones.
What is a hormone?
A substance or chemical that works as a messenger which carries info from both organs to organ and organ to other parts of the body, so they can carry out certain activities.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped structure present in the middle of the neck, below the larynx (voice box).
Image source – Google | Image by – Terese Winslow
This gland produces two key hormones triiodothyronine or t3 and thyroxine or t4. Interestingly is that they have an excess on every single cell of the body & involved in our metabolism as I mentioned above.
The thyroid is the gland that controls almost every activity of the body but the thyroid itself is in control of another gland called the pituitary gland.
The pituitary gland controls the thyroid by producing another hormone TSH (Thyroid-stimulating hormone).
TSH further acts on the thyroid gland and causes it to secrete t3 and t4 when they are in need.
Causes of Hypothyroidism
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is a defect in the thyroid gland itself and we call it primarily hypothyroidism as I mentioned above.
Apart from this, Certain medications, diseases, and medical treatment like thyroidectomy (surgery of thyroid gland) or Radioactive iodine therapy can also decrease thyroid function.
The above 50 years is the most favorable age for hypothyroidism and it is more often in women.
- Iodine Deficiency
Iodine is an essential part of thyroid hormones, the numbers 3 & 4 in t3 and t4 shows the number of iodine atoms they contain.
Hypothyroidism, especially when caused by Iodine deficiency, may cause swelling of the thyroid gland referred to as Goiter.
- Autoimmune disease
It is related to the immune system, normally when any foreign body like virus or bacteria enters in the body, our immune system become activated to kill them by producing antibodies in the blood, but sometimes because of various reasons it make antibodies against our body cells like thyroid cell and gradually destroy the thyroid gland and we call it Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
- Cold viruses
Common flu and cold viruses can also infect the thyroid gland.
There are many reasons, but an Iodine-deficient diet can be the primary reason for getting hypothyroidism in pregnancy.
Some medicines can damage your thyroid gland or are goitrogenic ( a substance that cuts down or decreases the iodine uptake of the thyroid and eventually reduces the hormone production).
- Thyroid injury
It can because of infection, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, Iodine radiation therapy, and thyroidectomy.
- Pituitary tumor
The pituitary gland is a small structure in your brain, it controls all the glands of our body by secreting various stimulating hormones like TSH, FSH, etc.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone(TSH), whenever the body needs t3 & t4 it will stimulate the thyroid gland to synthesize & release these hormones when the body doesn’t need them it will inhibit their secretion.
The tumor destroys the pituitary and makes TSH unavailable.
- Health & fitness
Hypothyroidism has a one-to-one relationship with your overall fitness levels. The lack of thyroid hormones will lead to your metabolism slow, which in the long term leads to weight gain and once you gain weight, it further gets down your metabolism and makes your body more prone to diseases.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
hypothyroidism symptoms vary from person to person. Some people with hypothyroidism have no symptoms, and some feel like they’re becoming more lethargic and gaining weight suddenly.
Most people’s symptoms for the condition progress bit by bit over many years. As the hormone concentration decreases more and more Signs and symptoms will become obvious with time.
It is a little hard to diagnose it early because a lot of conditions can make you feel tired and lazy.
That’s why we will briefly discuss and list every sign and symptom of hypothyroidism so you can know everything about it and can go to your doctor armed with the complete knowledge and information.
Common hypothyroidism symptoms:
- Unexplained weight gain
- Constant fatigue & tiredness
- Intolerance to cold
- Dry & flaky skin
- Mood swings
- Poor appetite
- Muscle weakness
- Bradycardia (slow heartbeat)Goiter or a swollen thyroid gland
- Goiter or a swollen thyroid gland
- Thick hairs
- Less sweating
note: Slow metabolism is the root cause.
Uncommon hypothyroidism symptoms:
- fibrocystic breast disease
- Infertility (No pregnancy)
- Mental retardation
- High cholesterol level
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
- blurred vision
- Sleep apnea and snoring
- Repetitive bladder infections
- Poor memory and trouble concentrating
- Shortness of breath
- Hoarseness of voice
- Changes in the menstrual cycle
- Itching on feet, toes, legs, arms, and hands.
- Slow pulse rate or a heart rate
- Unexplained swelling or edema
- Joint pain
- low libido ( lack of sex drive)
- swelling around eyes
- Thin eyebrow
Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism
Normally doctors have the authority to do this but if you have read and understood this blog completely, you’re no less than a doctor.
What doctors do normally? he/she will take thorough history first and then palpate the thyroid gland for examining enlargement and also check a few of your lab tests and other symptoms like
thin hairs, coarse features on your face, dry skin, reflexes swelling around the body.
There are two common tests for checking thyroid hormone:
1.Thyroid function test
- Total T4 / Free T4
- Total T3 / Free T3
Almost all thyroid disorders end up having only 2 functional states.
- State of excess hormones – Hypothyroidism (Eg: graves-disease)
- Deficient hormone state – Hypothyroidism (Eg: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)
hypothyroidism labs values
TSH: 35 to.55 mm IU/ml
T3: 60 to 180 ng/dl
T4: 4.5 to 12.5 micro gm/dl
Note: normal value varies in pregnancy according to trimester.
Hypothyroidism = T4 needs to be low and TSH should always be high.
Hyperthyroidism = T3 and T4 needs to be high and TSH should always be, low.
The single best test to assess the status of the thyroid gland.
Low TSH has seen in hyperthyroidism
High TSH saw in hypothyroidism
blood tests are the mandatory and best way to assess symptoms, the doctor will also check for cholesterol levels, complete blood counts, liver enzymes, sodium, and cortisol, to confirm other reasons that can contribute to hypothyroidism’s symptoms, Purpose of doing all these things is to diagnose you properly.
Treatment for hypothyroidism
It’s universally accepted that any kind of disease can be cured by fixing your diet and fixing your exercise regime, but the point we noted here is that hypothyroidism is one of those rare lifestyle diseases of two types.
Type 1: This can be fixed by fixing your fitness and diet.
Type 2: This cannot be fixed only by fixing diet and exercise. You will need medicine and a doctor in this case.
There are so many dietitians and fitness influences that will tell you, I’ll cure your hypothyroidism through your diet that may not be the case every time.
Levothyroxine or Man-made thyroid hormone is the most commonly used medicine in Hypothyroidism.
It will adjust hormone levels in the blood and help your metabolism back to normal and suppress your other symptoms too.
Note: Thyroid medicine works best if we take it on an empty stomach. Take At Least, one-hour before any other medication and four hours before taking any fiber product taken.
Always concern your doctor before doing anything that your doctor hasn’t prescribed because it can be dangerous and cause life-threatening diseases like miscarriage, heart failure, and Myxedema coma.
Diet for hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism can easily diagnose and treated by a simple blood test and a small pill in a day, so many of us have doubts, what to eat and what not to eat,
TRUTH & FACT: food alone can’t cure or treat hypothyroidism, but taking proper nutrition along with medication can help to relieve hypothyroid symptoms and also improve our health.
what to eat?
1.iodine: Iodine is important for thyroid hormone production abundant in table salt, iodized salt, and seafood like fish.
2.Zinc: It is an important mineral for thyroid hormone activation, Abundant in fruits and vegetables, and also in eggs.
3.Selenium: It also has antioxidant properties that prevent thyroid gland destruction. Selenium-rich foods are legumes, dry fruits like almonds, Brazil nuts, it’s also abundant in egg and meat,
Eat foods rich in iodine, zinc, and selenium like iodized table salt, seafood, egg, dry fruits, legumes, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
what not to eat?
Don’t use Goitrogens o like cabbage, cauliflower, soy products, and Millets (whole grains) regularly they further cause swelling of the thyroid and impair hormone production too.
To boost metabolism, eat a protein-rich diet like pulses, meat, dairy products, etc.
Decrease your caloric intake and avoid cakes, junk food, sweets, because they cause your metabolism to slow.
Calcium enhances your bone health and relieves many symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Complications of Hypothyroidism
It is an Enlargement of the thyroid gland, and it is for iron deficiency. Another cause is a grave disease, a goiter can occur when your thyroid produces too much hormone.
A rare and life-threatening condition develops because of severe and untreated Hypothyroidism. It occurs only if Hypothyroidism remains untreated. Symptoms of Acute loss of consciousness, altered mental status, coma, low BP, bradycardia, and pleural and pericardial effusion, etc
Here we must admit this case patient in an emergency for supportive care.
Depression, anxiety, and mood swings are the most common complications of hypothyroidism and they get worse with time.
If the patient is only having deficiency usually the patient doesn’t suffer any problem during the conception but if the patient is having autoimmune problems and because of that the patient is having thyroid disorders then definitely they suffer infertility. Thyroid hormones impair your ability to ovulate.
WHEN TO VISIT DOCTOR:
When you feel sudden weight gain, unexplained laziness, constipation, hard stool, and mood swings then you may consult your doctor or you can also go for TSH test for confirmation.
Questions: Comment section is seeking for your answer
1. Does this article was helpful for you?
- Are you suffering from Hypothyroidism?
- Do you know anyone who is suffering from Hypothyroidism?