The hypothyroid gland is the biggest endocrine gland in the human body. This gland is butterfly-shaped and is responsible for the regulation of the metabolic processes and cellular respiration. The thyroid produces two types of hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).
The excretion of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream enables normal function of the metabolic processes on cellular level. Increased thyroid function with excess excretion of these hormones is known as hyperthyroidism, while the reduced function of this gland is referred as hypothyroidism.
WHICH ARE THE SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF HYPOTHYROIDISM?
Reduced function of the thyroid gland can produce the following symptoms and signs:
-lack of energy;
-weak and dry hair;
-weight increase despite reduced appetite;
-Difficulty in losing excess weight;
-Intolerance on cold weather;
– Aches in muscles and joints;
-Swellings on arms and legs;
-Difficulty in concentrating;
-Swelling around the eyes;
-Disruption of menstrual cycle in women and male impotence;
-Loss of sexual function;
At the reduced function of the thyroid glands, the situation is different for everyone and can be manifested with a different combination of the abovementioned symptoms and signs. The intensity of the symptoms varies depending on the severeness illness. (the deficit of thyroid hormones, the time period of the hormonal deficit etc)
Part of the people with this condition can have no symptoms or be very weak, so the condition goes on for years. So if you have any of the abovementioned symptoms, consult your doctor or endocrine specialist.
1.Suffocation. Because the body need thyroid hormones, which lack in hypothyroidism, the body produces another hormone known as TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone). This has the purpose to stimulate the thyroid gland to produce more of its own hormones. The constant bombardment of the gland with TSH can lead to increase of the gland and later suffocation.
2.Cardio problems. Decreased function of the thyroid gland can cause heart problems. The level of the bad LDL cholesterol can be increased due to the lack of thyroid hormones.
3.Hypothyroidism can also cause pericardial effusion (liquid around the heart) making it for the heart more difficult to work.
Infertility. If the level of thyroid hormones is extremely low, it can lead to ovulation and subsequently the woman can have problems with getting pregnant.
4.Peripheral neuropathy. Pain, tingling, reduced sensitivity on touch are just part of the symptoms, which can suggest that untreated hypothyroidism caused damage on the peripheral nerves. Symptoms are most common on hands and legs.
5.Health problems with newborns. If the woman is pregnant, and has some kind of thyroid disorder with being treated for that, it is highly likely that the baby will have intellectual and other problems while growing. Newborns who have deficit of thyroid hormones have serious risk in the physical and brain developments. By detecting the condition at the right time and giving appropriate therapy, the risk is practically annulled.
6.Myxedema. It’s a condition in people with severe, untreated hypothyroidism. Apart from the generalized edemas, a heart weakness also occurs, pericardial effusion, hyponatremia, decrease in motility of the gi trackt and coma.
HOW TO DIAGNOSE HYPOTHYROIDISM?
Because of the different clinical condition of the illness, diagnosing hypothyroidism can be a great medical challenge. In order to diagnose it well, a good medical history needs to be taken and a detailed physical examination to be made. For the final diagnosis there should be made blood tests for the level of T3, T4 and TSH.
Treatment for hypothyroidism consist of taking synthetic thyroid hormones on a daily basis. It need to pass some period of time before determining the right dose for the patient. The oral therapy for hypothyroidism is taken during the whole life.