Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thyroid - Hypothyroid - Meaning - Causes - Symptoms - Treatment

What is Hypothyroid?

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormone. Since the main purpose of thyroid hormone is to "run the body's metabolism," it is understandable that people with this condition will have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism.


About three percent of the general population is hypothyroidic. Factors such as iodine deficiency or exposure to Iodine can increase that risk. There are a number of causes for hypothyroidism. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism worldwide. In iodine-replete individuals hypothyroidism is generally caused by Hashimoto's thyroiditis, or otherwise as a result of either an absent thyroid gland or a deficiency in stimulating hormones from the hypothalamus or pituitary.

Hypothyroidism can result from postpartum thyroiditis, a condition which affects about 5% of all women within a year after giving birth. The first phase is typically hyperthyroidism; the thyroid then either returns to normal, or a woman develops hypothyroidism. Of those women who experience hypothyroidism associated with postpartum thyroiditis, one in five will develop permanent hypothyroidism requiring life-long treatment.
Hypothyroidism can also result from sporadic inheritance, sometimes autosomal recessive.

Hypothyroidism is often classified by the organ of origin:

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
Coarse, dry hair
Dry, rough pale skin
Hair loss
Cold intolerance (you can't tolerate cold temperatures like those around you)
Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
Memory loss
Abnormal menstrual cycles
Decreased libido

Each individual patient may have any number of these symptoms, and they will vary with the severity of the thyroid hormone deficiency and the length of time the body has been deprived of the proper amount of hormone.
You may have one of these symptoms as your main complaint, while another will not have that problem at all and will be suffering from an entirely different symptom. Most people will have a combination of these symptoms. Occasionally, some patients with hypothyroidism have no symptoms at all, or they are just so subtle that they go unnoticed.
If you have these symptoms, you need to discuss them with your doctor. Additionally, you may need to seek the skills of an endocrinologist. If you have already been diagnosed and treated for hypothyroidism and continue to have any or all of these symptoms, you need to discuss it with your physician.


Hypothyroidism is treated with the levorotatory forms of thyroxine (L-T4) and triiodothyronine (L-T3). Both synthetic and animal-derived thyroid tablets are available and can be prescribed for patients in need of additional thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone is taken daily, and doctors can monitor blood levels to help assure proper dosing. There are several different treatment protocols in thyroid replacement therapy.

Iodine is unique among minerals as it is an essential ingredient in hormones. It acts on the hormones of the thyroid gland, which control the body's activity rate, growth and development and the healthiness of skin and hair.

Iodine's role is confined to producing the hormone thyroxine. About two-thirds of the body's iodine is in the thyroid gland, while the remainder is in the hormone itself. If there is too much thyroxine the body's activity rate - its basal metabolism - speeds up; if there is too little, the body's activity rate slows down. If we do not get enough iodine in our diet, the thyroid gland becomes swollen and the swelling appears just below the jaw. The enlargement of the gland is called goitre, and is common in areas where the soil is iodine-deficient.

Taking Iodine Rich Foods are very important for these patients. Try to take any of the following food in you diet daily.

Condensed milk
Jaffa cakes
Cheddar cheese
Malt bread
Naan Bread
Yorkshire pudding
Cheese cake
Sea kelp
Sea foods
Most Fresh fish
Fish oils
Sea salt
Iodized salt

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