Hypothyroidism


HypothyroidismHypothyroidism refers to the condition resulting from deficiency of thyroid hormones.

Symptoms

Tiredness, depression, mental showing, excess sleep, laziness, body ache, tingling, cramps, swelling, thickening and drying of skin, hair loss, weight gain, decreased appetite, feeling of cold, constipation, hoarseness of voice, impotence, changes in menstrual flow, failure to conceive and goiter may result from hypothyroidism in adults, in children, in addition, growth and sexual development as well as school performance are affected. In new born, hoarse cry, large tongue, distended abdomen, hernia through the umbilicus, prolonged jaundice, loose muscle tone may be seen. All complaints need not be present in a given patient. In fact, quite often, the patient has no complaint.

Causes Hypothyroidism can result from several causes:

  • In adults, the commonest cause of hypothyroidism is thyroid shrinkage and failure resulting from production in the body of certain substances called antibodies against the thyroid. This tendency of the body to produce antibodies, against its own tissues may run in families. In such an individual, antibodies against other body tissues may be produced leading to other disorder like white skin patches, childhood diabetes, certain types of anemia, arthritis etc.
  • In some situations where antibodies are produced, the thyroid may not shrink but actually increase in size (goiter) to compensate for its failing function.
  • As iodine is necessary for production of thyroid hormones, iodine deficiency due to poor dietary iodine intake leads to hypothyroidism.
  • If Inflammation of the thyroid glands as after infection or delivery can deplete the thyroid glands of its hormones over a period of time leading to hypothyroidism.
  • Certain drugs and radiation can lead to hypothyroidism. It is important to tell us details of all drugs (allopathic, ayurvedic etc.) that the patient is taking.
  • Deficiency of certain enzymes essential for thyroid hormone production can lead to hypothyroidism. This deficiency can run in families.
  • Absence of thyroid gland at birth leads to hypothyroidism since birth.
  • Disorders leading to decreased TSH secretion from the pituitary gland in the brain lead to hypothyroidism.
  • Certain drugs and radiation can lead to hypothyroidism. It is important to tell us details of all drugs (Allopathic, ayurvedic etc.) that the patient is taking.
  • Deficiency of certain enzymes essential for thyroid hormone production can lead to hypothyroidism. This deficiency can run in families.
  • Absence of thyroid gland at birth leads to hypothyroidism since birth.
  • Disorders leading to decreased TSH secretion from the pituitary gland in the brain lead to hypothyroidism.