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THYROID

An Important Guide to Hypothyroidism: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and More!

Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are common thyroid problems

Fatigue, insomnia, and weakness are some hypothyroidism symptoms

Women and men above 60 years are more at risk of hypothyroidism

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
February 7th, 2022
8 mins read

The thyroid is an endocrine gland that produces hormones [1]. Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are common problems involving it. Hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid occurs when your thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of the hormone thyroxine. Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is a condition where your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones.

It is alarming that around 42 million people in India have thyroid problems. Out of these, hypothyroidism is the most common condition with 1 in 10 people getting affected [2]. Read on to know more about hypothyroidism, its causes, complications, and treatments.

What is Thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland in your neck. It produces thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) hormones. Your body needs these for normal functioning [3]. Thyroid hormones support many activities including how fast your heart beats and the rate at which you burn calories.

Additional Read: Signs of Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism: A Guide to the Two Thyroid Conditions

Hypothyrodism

What are Hypothyroidism Symptoms?

Here are some hypothyroidism symptoms you should watch out for:

  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Puffy face
  • Goiter
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Hoarseness
  • Thinning hair
  • Depression
  • Weak muscles
  • Constipation
  • Menorrhagia
  • Constipation
  • Weakness
  • Loss of libido
  • Change in voice
  • Pins and needles
  • Slow heart rate
  • Impaired memory
  • Memory problems
  • Decrease in sweating
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Muscle aches and stiffness
  • Irregular periods
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • High blood cholesterol levels
  • Sleeping difficulties or insomnia
  • Urinary and respiratory tract infections
  • Increased sensitivity to cold temperatures

Hypothyroidism complications

What are Hypothyroidism Causes?

Here are the common causes of hypothyroidism.

  • Autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, inflammation of the thyroid gland
  • Radiation therapy to the neck for treating cancers like lymphoma 
  • Radioactive iodine treatment to treat overactive thyroid 
  • Certain medications used to treat cancer, heart problems, and psychiatric conditions
  • Thyroid surgery 
  • Iodine deficiency 
  • Pregnancy, which can lead to inflammation of the thyroid
  • Congenital hypothyroidism, when the thyroid gland does not work or develop properly at birth
  • Issues with the pituitary gland 
  • Hypothalamus disorder

Other hypothyroidism risk factors include the following. 

  • People older than 60 years of age are more at risk of hypothyroidism
  • Being white or Asian increases the risk of the condition
  • Women are at more risk than men
  • Those with a family history of thyroid disease are at increased risk 
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and multiple sclerosis
  • Other diseases like Bipolar disorder, Down syndrome, and Turner syndrome

Additional Read: 10 Natural Remedies for Thyroid You Can Try Today!

What are the Recommended Hypothyroidism Treatment Options?

Usually, your physician will prescribe a synthetic thyroid hormone such as levothyroxine, an oral medicine. It is man-made thyroxine that you need to take every day. It replaces thyroxine and helps reverse your hypothyroidism symptoms. Several medications can interfere with this course. Let doctors know about any medicines you take before they create a treatment plan for you.  

Hypothyroidism treatment focuses on controlling the condition by supplementing the thyroid hormone. Your doctor may adjust your medication dose over time. To do this right, you will need to go for regular blood tests to check the levels of the thyroid hormone. Your doctor may also advise you to have an adequate amount of iodine as its deficiency can affect thyroid function.

What are the Types of Thyroid Tests?

Here are the blood tests that your doctor may order for measuring the levels of thyroid hormones.

  • T3 test – It is used in diagnosing hyperthyroidism or to determine its severity
  • T4 test – It helps know how the thyroid gland is functioning
  • TSI test – It helps measure thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin
  • TSH test – This accurate test measures the TSH level in your blood
  • Antithyroid antibody test – The test measures antibodies in the blood

You can manage hypothyroidism by taking medications and making lifestyle changes. An easy way to do this is to book an online medical consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health. Consult with the best doctors near you and enjoy the deals and discounts. You can also book health check-ups including a TSH test on the platform.

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