Hypothyroidism is a condition in which thyroid gland is underactive. The thyroid gland produces insufficient amount of thyroid hormones. Autoimmune reaction is the most common cause for this condition.
The immune system in the body identifies thyroid cell as an invader and produces antibodies to attack the thyroid gland. This disorder is called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
There are other causes of hypothyroidism such as treatments for hyperthyroidism such as radioactive iodine treatment and surgery.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism are slow to develop and some times they can be mistaken as symptoms of depression. The most common symptoms are given below.
- Dull facial expressions
- Hoarse voice
- Slow speech
- Droopy eyelids
- Puffy and swollen face
- Weight gain
- Coarse and dry hair
- Slow pulse
- Muscle cramps
- Sides of eyebrows thin out or fallout
- Increased menstrual flow
If hypothyroidism is left untreated, it can lead to anemia, low body temperature and heart failure. The diagnosis is carried out by physical examination and blood test to measure thyroid hormones and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) produced by the pituitary gland. Pituitary gland having sensed the low level of thyroid hormones would have increased the level of TSH in the blood stream to increase the stimulation of the thyroid gland. Increased level of TSH is a sure indicator that thyroid hormone levels must be insufficient. The measured levels of T4 and T3 hormones from thyroid gland should correlate this assumption.
One of the common complains that many people have before being diagnosed with hypothyroidism is having strong urine odor. The odor occurs due to build up of certain chemicals because of low metabolism.
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