Hypothyroidism

(Hashimoto's Thyroiditis; Underactive Thyroid)

Definition

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck. It produces hormones that control metabolism. Hypothyroidism results when the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone. The most common form of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
Thyroid Gland
thyroid gland male
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder. The immune system produces antibodies that attack cells of the thyroid gland.Hypothyroidism may also be caused by:
  • Congenital defects of the gland or how it works
  • Iatrogenic—occurs as the result of surgery or radiation therapy for thyroid cancer treatment
  • Iodine deficiency—rare in the US
  • Pituitary deficiency
  • Unknown reasons

Risk Factors

Hypothyroidism is more common in women, and in those aged 65 years and older. Other factors that may increase your risk of hypothyroidism include:
  • Family history of hypothyroidism
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, celiac disease, type 1 diabetes , or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Certain health conditions, such as infiltrative disorders, cancer , or infections
  • Surgery, radiation therapy, or radioablation in the neck region
  • Certain medications, such as lithium, iodine, or interleukins
  • Pituitary adenoma —benign tumor of the pituitary gland

Symptoms

You may not have symptoms of hypthyroidism. In those that have symptoms, hypothyroidism may cause:
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Coarse, brittle hair, and hair loss
  • Facial puffiness
  • Dry skin
  • Swollen hands or feet
  • Cold intolerance
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Achy feeling all over
  • Depression and irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Blurred vision
  • Menstrual abnormalities or infertility
Symptoms of severe or long-term hypothyroidism causes:
  • Slow heart rate
  • Depressed breathing
  • Hypothermia —low body temperature
  • Coma

leave comments
0
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals


Early Peanut Consumption Associated with Lower Risk of Peanut Allergy in High Risk Children
March 2015

Many medical groups felt that early exposure to certain foods like peanuts increased a child's risk of developing food allergies. However, newer research including this trial suggest that early exposure may actually decrease the risk of developing food allergies.

dot separator
previous editions

Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
February 2015

Tonsillectomy May Reduce Number of Sore Throat Days in Children
February 2015

Research Review Finds Little Support for Nearly Half of Medical Talk Show Recommendations
January 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook