Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce the required amounts of thyroid hormones any longer. Approximately 4.6% of the American population age 12 and older have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism Disease
The symptoms of hypothyroidism develop slowly and variate depending on the severity of the thyroid hormone deficiency itself. Early symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain and fatigue. As the condition progresses, other symptoms develop as well:
- Dry skin;
- Muscle weakness;
- Impaired memory;
- Elevated blood cholesterol levels;
- Reduced heart rate;
- Puffy face;
- Thinning hair, etc.
Causes Of Hypothyroidism Disease
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The incidence of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is estimated to be 3.5 per 1000 per year in women, and 0.8 per 1000 per year in men. Producing antibodies against the thyroid gland, the immune system is causing inflammation within the thyroid gland cells, which leads to hypothyroidism. Surgical removal of the thyroid gland, radiation therapy, and the use of certain medications can also result in hypothyroidism.
Untreated hypothyroidism increases the risk of goiter, heart issues, infertility, mental health issues, etc. hypothyroidism is a lifelong condition that requires continuous use of medications to control the symptoms. The best treatment option for hypothyroidism is the use of levothyroxine, which is a synthetic version of the thyroxine hormone that is normally produced by the healthy thyroid gland. Certain dietary changes can help improve the patient’s life efficiently.