Hypothyroid

Hypothyroid is a situation illustrated by a decrease in thyroid hormone production abnormally. There are several factors that contribute to hypothyroidism or Underactive thyroid which may directly or indirectly affect the thyroid gland. Since the thyroid hormone influences process like growth, development and other processes; insufficient production of thyroid hormone has many side-effects on the body.

Causes

The following causes are known for hypothyroid:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Treatment for hypothyroidism
  • Radiation therapy
  • Medications
  • Congenital disease
  • Pituitary disorder
  • Pregnancy
  • Iodine deficiency

Symptoms

Hypothyroid has the following symptoms:

  1. Weakness
  2. Tiredness
  3. Increased weight
  4. Dry hair
  5. Hair loss
  6. Less cold tolerance
  7. Muscle cramps
  8. Constipation
  9. Depression
  10. Irritability
  11. Memory loss
  12. Abnormal menstrual cycles
  13. Decrease libido

Tests

The following tests are done to confirm hypothyroidism:

  • Blood tests
  • Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Thyroxine (T4) measurement
  • Thyroid ultrasound
  • RAIU test

Treatment

Basic treatment for hypothyroid consist of checking the levels of synthetic thyroid and others. Oral drugs are prescribed to restore the needed hormone levels, and repealing the symptoms of this disease. Once the treatment is started, the patient may notice an increase in energy levels through a decrease in cholesterol levels and may undo weight gain. Treatment for hypothyroid runs life-long, but the intake of dosage may vary because of the fluctuations in hormonal levels. The TSH test is likely to be done on regular intervals.

Prognosis

With proper treatment, hypothyroid hormone levels come back to normal and one can lead a normal life. In rare cases, Myxedema coma occurs as a result of extremely low hormone levels, infections, illness, or cold. This medical emergency requires treatment in the hospital.

Prevention

The cause for Hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis that cannot be kept at bay. However, one can always look for signs and symptoms of the disease to detect it without delay.

The American Thyroid Association suggests people to get thyroid tests done at the age of 35 and regularly at the interval of 5 years. Women older than 60, especially with an inheritance risk of hypothyroid and who suffer from Addison’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or type 1 diabetes should get the tests done as recommended by the doctor.

Treatment cost

Treatment cost of Hypothyroid typically comes around $180-$1,200 per year.