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Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a disorder in which the thyroid produces and releases insufficient thyroid hormone into the bloodstream. Your metabolism will slow as a result of this. Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, causes fatigue, weight gain, and an inability to tolerate cold temperatures.
Hypothyroidism is a disorder in which the thyroid produces and releases insufficient thyroid hormone into the bloodstream. Your metabolism will slow as a result of this. Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, causes fatigue, weight gain, and an inability to tolerate cold temperatures.

What is Hypothyroidism?

When your body does not create enough thyroid hormones, hypothyroidism develops. The thyroid gland is a tiny butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck. It secretes hormones that assist your body in regulating and utilising energy.

Your thyroid is in charge of supplying energy to nearly all of your body’s organs. It regulates things like how fast your heart beats and how well your digestive system works. Your body’s natural functions begin to slow down if you don’t have enough thyroid hormones.

Hypothyroidism, often known as an underactive thyroid, is more common in women than in men. It is more frequent in adults over the age of 60, but it can start at any age. It can be detected with a normal blood test or after the onset of symptoms.

An early, mild form of hypothyroidism is known as subclinical hypothyroidism.

It’s crucial to note that if you’ve recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, therapy is regarded as straightforward, safe, and successful.

The majority of treatments rely on artificial hormones to replenish your low hormone levels. These hormones will assist your body’s functioning back to normal by replacing what it doesn’t produce on its own.

How common is
hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism Statistics

How common is hypothyroidism?

An underactive thyroid can affect both men and women, but it is more frequent in women. It affects 15 out of 1,000 women and 1 out of 1,000 men in the United Kingdom. Children can also develop an underactive thyroid. An underactive thyroid affects about one in every 3,500-4,000 infants (congenital hypothyroidism) 1.  Overall, approximately 1.35 million people in the United Kingdom live with the condition.

With age, the sickness becomes more common. It affects people over the age of 60 more commonly.

An underactive thyroid is more common in women. In fact, women are 5 to 10 times more likely to be affected than men.

What are the signs and
symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Different types of heart disease can cause a wide range of symptoms.

Hypothyroidism symptoms and indicators differ from person to person. The severity of the ailment influences which signs and symptoms appear when, as well as when they appear. The symptoms can often be difficult to recognise.

Weight gain and weariness are common early signs. Both become more prevalent as you get older, regardless of how healthy your thyroid is. It’s possible that you won’t know these changes are related to your thyroid until you notice more symptoms.

The following are the most prevalent indications and symptoms of hypothyroidism:

  • Fatigue (feeling tired)
  • Experiencing numbness and tingling in your hands
  • Weight gain
  • Puffy, sensitive face
  • Depression
  • Having constipation
  • Feeling cold
  • Decreased sweating
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Elevated blood cholesterol
  • Dry skin
  • Dry, thinning hair
  • Impaired memory (brain fog)
  • Fertility difficulties or menstrual changes
  • Seeing physical changes in your face (including drooping eyelids, as well as puffiness in the eyes and face)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle stiffness, aches, and tenderness
  • Pain and stiffness in your joints
  • Hoarseness

The majority of patients experience symptoms of the illness over a long period of time. The symptoms may become more easily noticed as the thyroid slows down. As people become older, many of these symptoms grow more common.

Consult your doctor if you feel your symptoms are caused by a thyroid condition. A blood test can be ordered to see if you have hypothyroidism. Learn more about hypothyroidism’s signs and symptoms.

If you don’t currently have a GP, then Pure Medicals GP service can help.

What Causes
hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism Causes

What Causes hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism can have a primary cause or a secondary cause. A primary cause is a condition that literally impacts the thyroid and causes it to produce low levels of thyroid hormones. A secondary cause is something that causes the pituitary gland to fail, which means it can’t send thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to the thyroid to balance out the thyroid hormones.

Hypothyroidism is more commonly caused by primary reasons. The most prevalent of these fundamental causes is Hashimoto’s disease, which is an autoimmune disorder. This inherited illness is also known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (passed down through a family). The immune system attacks and damages the thyroid in Hashimoto’s disease. The thyroid is unable to produce and release enough thyroid hormone as a result of this.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

Your immune system was created to defend your body’s cells from bacteria and viruses. Your immune system responds to unknown germs or viruses by distributing fighter cells to eliminate the alien cells.

Your body may mistake normal, healthy cells for invading cells at times. This is referred to as an autoimmune reaction. Your immune system can assault healthy tissues if the autoimmune reaction isn’t controlled or managed. This can result in major medical complications, such as hypothyroidism.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease that is the leading cause of thyroid dysfunction. The thyroid gland is attacked by this condition, which results in persistent thyroid inflammation. Thyroid function can be harmed by inflammation.

Hypothyroidism can be caused by a variety of additional factors, including:

  • Thyroiditis (thyroid inflammation).
  • Treatment of hyperthyroidism (surgical and/or radiation removal of the thyroid).
  • Iodine deficiency (iodine deprived, a mineral required by your thyroid to make hormones in your body).
  • Hereditary conditions (a medical condition passed down through your family).

Thyroiditis can occur after pregnancy (postpartum thyroiditis) or as a result of a viral infection in some situations.

What causes hypothyroidism in pregnancy?

Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in pregnant women. The immune system of the body attacks and damages the thyroid in this autoimmune disorder. When this happens, the thyroid is unable to generate and release adequate thyroid hormones, which has an effect on the entire body. Hypothyroidism can make pregnant women feel exhausted, make it difficult to cope with cold temperatures, and cause muscular cramps.

Thyroid hormones play a critical role in your baby’s development while in the womb. These hormones aid brain and nervous system development. It’s critical to keep your thyroid levels under control throughout pregnancy if you have hypothyroidism. If your baby does not receive enough thyroid hormone during development, the brain may not grow properly, resulting in problems later. Hypothyroidism left untreated or inadequately treated during pregnancy might result in miscarriage or premature labour.

Does Contraception affect my thyroid?

The oestrogen and progesterone found in birth control pills can interfere with your thyroid-binding proteins. This raises your energy levels. If you have hypothyroidism, you’ll need to raise the dose of your meds while taking birth control tablets. When you quit using birth control pills, you’ll need to reduce your dosage.

Can hypothyroidism induce erectile dysfunction?

There may be a link between untreated hypothyroidism and erectile dysfunction in rare circumstances. Low testosterone levels can occur when hypothyroidism is caused by a problem with the pituitary gland. If erectile dysfunction was caused directly by the hormone imbalance, treating hypothyroidism will typically help.

How is
hypothyroidism
diagnosed?

Hypothyroidism Diagnosis

How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?

A medical evaluation and blood testing are the two basic procedures used to identify if you have hypothyroidism.

Medical evaluation

Your GP will perform a comprehensive physical examination and review your medical history. They’ll look for symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as:

  • Dry skin
  • Sluggish reflexes
  • Inflammation of the neck
  • A decreased heart rate

Your doctor will also ask you to mention any symptoms you’ve been having, such as fatigue, depression, constipation, or feeling cold all the time.

Tell your doctor if you have a family history of thyroid problems during this evaluation.

Blood tests

Blood tests are the only way to confirm a hypothyroidism diagnosis with certainty.

TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) testing determines how much TSH your pituitary gland produces:

  • The pituitary gland will elevate TSH to increase thyroid hormone production if your thyroid isn’t producing enough.
  • TSH levels will be high if you have hypothyroidism since your body is attempting to induce increased thyroid hormone action.
  • TSH levels will be lower if you have hyperthyroidism since your body is attempting to limit excessive thyroid hormone production.

Hypothyroidism can also be diagnosed with thyroxine (T4) level test. T4 is one of the hormones that your thyroid produces directly. T4 and TSH tests are used combined to assess thyroid function.

Hypothyroidism is diagnosed when a low level of T4 is combined with a high level of TSH. Thyroid disease, on the other hand, comes in a variety of forms. Other thyroid function tests may be required to diagnose your issue adequately.

What are the risk factors
for hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism Risk Factors

What are the risk factors for hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Being a woman
  • Having reached the age of 60
  • Having a hypothyroidism family history
  • Having certain autoimmune conditions, such as Sjögren syndrome and type 1 diabetes

What is the treatment
options for hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism Treatment

What is the treatment options for hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a chronic illness. Medication lowers or eliminates symptoms for many people.

Levothyroxine is the most effective treatment for hypothyroidism (Levoxyl, Synthroid). This synthetic T4 hormone mimics the function of the thyroid hormone produced naturally by your body.

The drug is intended to restore normal thyroid hormone levels in your blood. Symptoms of the illness are likely to vanish or become much more bearable after hormone levels are restored.

It takes several weeks after you start treatment to start feeling better. Follow-up blood tests will be required to track your improvement. You and your doctor will collaborate to determine the optimum dose and treatment strategy for your symptoms. This could take a long time.

In most situations, hypothyroidism patients must take medication for the rest of their lives. However, if you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it’s unlikely that you’ll stick to the same dosage. Your doctor should test your TSH levels once a year to ensure that your medication is still working appropriately.

If your doctor notices that the medicine isn’t functioning as effectively as it should, he or she will adjust the dose until the right balance is found. Other hypothyroidism treatment alternatives can be found here.

Alternative Medication

Thyroid hormone-containing animal extracts are available. These extracts are derived from pig thyroid glands. T4 and (T3) triiodothyronine are both present.

Only T4 is delivered when you take levothyroxine. However, because your body can produce T3 from synthetic T4, that’s all you’ll need.

Alternative animal extracts frequently have varying quantities of each hormone, and studies have shown that they are no better than levothyroxine. As a result, they aren’t commonly suggested.

Glands extracts are also available at several health food stores. Food supplements are regulated under food law in the UK, which is based on the principle that products must be safe for consumption and not misleadingly labelled. Food law does not permit any food to make any claim or imply that it can treat, prevent or cure any disease or adverse medical condition. As a result, their efficacy, validity, and purity cannot be guaranteed.

Use either of these products at your own risk. However, if you decide to use these products, inform your doctor so that your therapy can be adjusted accordingly. Other alternative remedies, such as selenium and vitamin B, can be found.

Alternative and Complementary therapies used
when treating Heart Disease patients

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can reduce inflammation, balance the immune system, increase energy levels and improve brain function 2, 3.

Cryotherapy

Whole-body Cryotherapy is a good way to alleviate hypothyroidism symptoms and maybe improve thyroid function: TNF-a and IL-2 pro-inflammatory cytokines have been demonstrated to be reduced by whole-body cryotherapy. 4.

Ozone therapy

Studies suggest that the depression of the pituitary-thyroid axis may be an adaptive mechanism during  Ozone therapy by reducing hypothalamic stimulation via thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and at the same time lifting the hypothalamic catecholamine inhibition on PRL release. Both may be necessary alterations in order to develop tolerance during ozone exposure 5.

Red Light Therapy

Studies found that Red light therapy improved thyroid hormone levels enough that they required, on average, roughly half as much thyroid hormone medication. 6, 7.

Infrared Sauna therapy

Infrared sauna therapy offers so many benefits for people in general and those dealing with chronic illnesses such as Hypothyroidism these include: Detoxification, Relaxation, Better Sleep, Stimulates your Immune System, Joint Pain Relief, Improved Circulation, Weight Loss, Relief Sore Muscles, Helps people with Chronic Fatigue, Improves Chronic Heart Failure. 8.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy outside the chamber

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can reduce inflammation, balance the immune system, increase energy levels and improve brain function 2, 3.

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy

Whole-body Cryotherapy is a good way to alleviate hypothyroidism symptoms and maybe improve thyroid function: TNF-a and IL-2 pro-inflammatory cytokines have been demonstrated to be reduced by whole-body cryotherapy. 4.

Ozone Therapy

Ozone therapy

Studies suggest that the depression of the pituitary-thyroid axis may be an adaptive mechanism during  Ozone therapy by reducing hypothalamic stimulation via thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and at the same time lifting the hypothalamic catecholamine inhibition on PRL release. Both may be necessary alterations in order to develop tolerance during ozone exposure 5.

Red Light Therapy

Red Light Therapy

Studies found that Red light therapy improved thyroid hormone levels enough that they required, on average, roughly half as much thyroid hormone medication. 6, 7.

Infrared Sauna Therapy Mobile

Infrared Sauna therapy

Infrared sauna therapy offers so many benefits for people in general and those dealing with chronic illnesses such as Hypothyroidism these include: Detoxification, Relaxation, Better Sleep, Stimulates your Immune System, Joint Pain Relief, Improved Circulation, Weight Loss, Relief Sore Muscles, Helps people with Chronic Fatigue, Improves Chronic Heart Failure. 8.

What are the complications
of hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism Complications

What are the complications of hypothyroidism?

If you don’t treat your underactive thyroid, it can lead to a variety of problems.

Problems with the heart

If you have an underactive thyroid that isn’t addressed, you’re more likely to get cardiovascular disease.

This is due to the fact that low levels of the hormone thyroxine can lead to a rise in blood cholesterol levels. Fatty deposits can form in your arteries as a result of high cholesterol, blocking blood flow.

If you’re being treated for an underactive thyroid and you get chest pain, call your doctor right away so that any abnormalities can be identified and treated if necessary.

Goitre

Goitre is a lump in the throat caused by an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. When the body tries to stimulate the thyroid to create more thyroid hormones, goitres can form in persons with an underactive thyroid.

Complications during pregnancy

There is a danger of complications if an underactive thyroid is not treated during pregnancy. These are some of them:

  • Pre-eclampsia. A condition that causes high blood pressure and fluid retention in the mother, as well as growth issues in the baby.
  • Anaemia. In the Mother.
  • An underactive thyroid. In the baby.
  • Birth defects
  • Bleeding.  After Birth.
  • Development Issues. Physical and mental development of the baby
  • Lower birth weight or preterm birth.
  • Miscarriage or stillbirth

Treatment under the supervision of a hormone disorder specialist (an endocrinologist) can typically prevent these issues. If you’re pregnant or attempting to get pregnant and have an underactive thyroid, see your doctor.

Myxoedema coma

A severe underactive thyroid can cause a life-threatening disease called myxoedema coma in very rare situations. Thyroid hormone levels drop to dangerously low levels, causing symptoms like disorientation, cold, and drowsiness.

Myxoedema coma necessitates immediate hospitalisation. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is frequently injected straight into a vein to treat it. Other therapies, such as breathing support, antibiotics, and steroid therapy (corticosteroids), may be required in some circumstances.

Hypothyroidism can also cause the following complications:

  • Harm to the nerves
  • Neuropathy of the peripheral nerves
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
  • In severe cases, kidney function is diminished.
  • Myxedema coma, in cases of severe disease
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a type of obstructive sleep apnea

Infertility and pregnancy-related issues such as preeclampsia can also be caused by hypothyroidism. Learn more about hypothyroidism’s complications.

Is there any dietary advice
for hypothyroidism patients?

Hypothyroidism Dietary

Is there any dietary advice for hypothyroidism patients?

People with hypothyroidism, on the whole, do not need to follow a special diet. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Maintain a healthy diet

Your thyroid requires enough levels of iodine to function properly, but you don’t need to take an iodine supplement to do this.

Iodine should be obtained via a well-balanced diet that includes whole grains, legumes, lean meats, and colourful fruits and vegetables. Other iodine-rich foods can be found here.

 

Keep a close eye on your soy consumption

Thyroid hormone absorption may be hampered by soy. You may not be able to digest your medication effectively if you consume too many soy products.

Caregivers should keep a close eye on the soy consumption of infants who are being treated for hypothyroidism and who also drink soy formula.

Soy can be found in the following foods:

  • Tofu
  • Cheese and meat alternatives for vegans
  • Milk made from soy
  • Soybeans
  • Soy sauce

To achieve consistent levels of thyroid hormone in your blood, you must take the medication at regular intervals. For at least four hours before and after taking your prescription, avoid eating or drinking soy-based foods.

Eat fibre wisely

Fibre, like soy, can obstruct hormone absorption. An excessive amount of dietary fibre may prevent your body from receiving the hormones it needs.

Fibre is essential, so don’t cut it out completely. Instead, take your prescription at least a few hours after eating high-fibre foods.

Thyroid medicine should not be combined with other Supplements.

If you’re taking supplements or drugs in addition to your thyroid medication, attempt to space them apart. Because other prescriptions can interfere with thyroid medication absorption, it’s best to take it on an empty stomach and without any other medications or foods.

If you’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, you won’t have to stick to a rigorous diet, but you may need to make some changes. Use these guidelines to create a hypothyroidism eating plan.

What are some tips
for living with
hypothyroidism?

Living With Hypothyroidism

What are some tips for living with hypothyroidism?

Even if you’re receiving therapy, you may experience long-term effects or difficulties as a result of your condition. There are, however, measures to reduce hypothyroidism’s impact on your quality of life.

Keep an eye out for any other health issues.

There’s a correlation between hypothyroidism and other autoimmune illnesses. Hypothyroidism is frequently associated with other illnesses, such as:

  • Celiac disease
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Lupus
  • Disorders affecting the adrenal gland
  • Pituitary problems

 

Develop coping mechanisms for weariness.

Even if you’re on medicine, you may still feel tired from time to time. It’s critical to do the following to assist you to deal with low energy levels:

  • Every night a good night’s sleep
  • Consume fruit and vegetable-rich diet
  • Consider stress-relieving techniques such as yoga and meditation.

Let’s talk about it

It’s challenging to live with a chronic medical illness, especially if it’s accompanied by other health issues. Find someone with whom you can honestly share your thoughts and feelings. This could be a therapist, a close friend, a family member, or a support group of other individuals who have the same problem.

Many hospitals host gatherings for persons suffering from thyroid disorders including hypothyroidism. Request a recommendation from the education department at your hospital, and attend a meeting. You might be able to connect with others who understand exactly what you’re going through and can help. Learn more about the effects of hypothyroidism on your relationships.

What’s the connection
between hypothyroidism,
anxiety and depression?

Hypothyroidism Anxiety and Depression

What’s the connection between hypothyroidism, anxiety and depression?

The connection between hypothyroidism and anxiety?

While hypothyroidism has long been linked to depression, a new study from 2016 suggests it may also be linked to anxiety.

Researchers looked at 100 patients between the ages of 18 and 45 who had previously been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. They discovered that 63 percent of them satisfied the criteria for anxiety using an anxiety questionnaire.

To yet, just a few short studies have been conducted. Larger, more focused anxiety studies could help clarify if there is a true link between hypothyroidism and anxiety.

When being tested for thyroid issues, it’s critical that you and your doctor discuss all of your symptoms.

The connection between hypothyroidism and depression?

Your body’s normal activities slow down and lag when thyroid hormone levels are low. This might result in a number of symptoms, such as weariness, weight gain, and depression. According to a 2016 study, 60 percent of hypothyroidism patients showed signs of despair.

Some persons who have hypothyroidism just have mood problems. Hypothyroidism might be difficult to diagnose because of this. Doctors should consider testing for and treating an underactive thyroid in addition to treating the brain.

Several symptoms of depression and hypothyroidism are similar. These are some of them:

  • Fatigue
  • Gaining weight
  • A depressed state of mind
  • Decreased desire and contentment
  • Concentration problems
  • Sleep disturbances

Both conditions have symptoms that can be used to differentiate them. Dry skin, constipation, high cholesterol, and hair loss are all common symptoms of hypothyroidism. These symptoms would not be predicted in the absence of depression.

The diagnosis of depression is frequently made based on symptoms and medical history. A physical exam and blood tests are used to diagnose low thyroid function. Your doctor can request these tests for a solid diagnosis to check if there’s a link between your depression and thyroid function.

If hypothyroidism is the sole cause of your depression, treating hypothyroidism should alleviate the symptoms. If it doesn’t, your doctor may prescribe medicine to treat both problems.

Your doses will be gradually increased until your depression and hypothyroidism are under control. Here’s where you can learn more about the connection between thyroid problems and depression.

SUMMARY

Hypothyroidism Summary

SUMMARY

As you become older, your body goes through natural changes. Whether you see a substantial change in how you feel or how your body reacts, consult your doctor to check if you have a thyroid condition. Examine how hypothyroidism affects the body.