What causes Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism may be caused by several reasons. The causes are broadly divided into primary and secondary causes.
Primary causes of hypothyroidism: They refer to the conditions directly affecting the thyroid gland and causing it to make low levels of thyroid hormones. Primary causes of hypothyroidism are far more common than secondary causes. They include:
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: It is the most common of the primary causes. It is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks and damages the thyroid. The damage prevents the gland from making and releasing adequate thyroid hormones.
- Thyroiditis: It is the inflammation of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis is commonly caused by an autoimmune attack or by a viral infection. This may cause the thyroid to release its entire supply of stored thyroid hormone into the blood at once, causing transient hyperthyroidism (excessive amounts of thyroid hormones in the blood) followed by hypothyroidism.
- Congenital hypothyroidism: This type of hypothyroidism is present at birth. The baby may be born without a thyroid, a partly formed thyroid, non-functional thyroid hormones, or a thyroid in the wrong place (ectopic thyroid)
- Surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid: It may be done due to cancer or non-cancer swellings of the thyroid and other conditions.
- Radiation treatment of the thyroid: radiation due to conditions such as certain diseases of the thyroid or cancers of the head and neck region may damage the thyroid gland.
- Certain medicines: Some medications such as amiodarone, lithium, interferon-alpha, and interleukin-2 can prevent adequate thyroid hormone production.
- Excess or deficiency of iodine: Iodine is needed for making thyroid hormones. Too much or too little iodine in the diet can cause hypothyroidism.
Secondary causes: This refers to the conditions that cause the pituitary gland to fail. This means that the pituitary gland cannot send the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to the thyroid gland to make and release the thyroid hormones normally. The pituitary gland may be damaged by tumor, radiation, or surgery.
What is hypothyroidism?
The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped endocrine gland (a gland that secretes a substance called a hormone into the bloodstream). It is normally located in the lower part of the front of the neck. It makes the thyroid hormones, which are released into the blood and then carried to various body parts. Thyroid hormones are needed for the body to use energy, maintain body temperature, and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working properly. Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland becomes underactive. The gland is not able to make enough thyroid hormone to keep the body functioning normally. Lab investigations show that people with hypothyroidism have low thyroid hormone levels in their blood. Some of the common causes of this condition are autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, surgical removal of the thyroid, and radiation treatment. Hypothyroidism is a common condition affecting around 4.6% of the U.S. population ages 12 and older.
Does menopause put you at risk of hypothyroidism?
Women are more likely to get hypothyroidism after menopause than earlier in life. Hypothyroidism is a common condition affecting around 4.6% of the U.S. population ages 12 and older. It is particularly common in women over 60 years of age. Hypothyroidism, however, can affect people of all genders, ages and ethnic backgrounds.
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Can Low Thyroid Cause Other Health Problems?Low thyroid can cause health problems such as erectile dysfunction, lack of ovulation, pregnancy complications, goiters, heart disease, depression, and myxedema. Thyroid cancer is the abnormal growth and uninhibited multiplication of cells of the thyroid gland.
Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:
- ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
- ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
- cap: Capsule.
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
- DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
- DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- HA: Headache
- IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- JT: Joint
- N/V: Nausea or vomiting.
- p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
- q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
- RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
- SOB: Shortness of breath.
- T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
Complications Of Hypothyroidism: Fertility, Weight And MoreThe thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland becomes underactive.
glandular productsGlandular products are nutritional supplements used to enhance the function or mimic the effect of an organ. Glandular products can be used to treat hypothyroidism, low adrenal function, autoimmune disorders, adrenocortical insufficiency, hyperkalemia, ulcerative colitis, liver disorders, vascular insufficiencies, pancreatic disorders, and others. Common side effects of glandular products include allergic reactions, hyperthyroidism symptoms, iron overload, infection, and others.
HypothyroidismHypothyroidism is any state in which thyroid hormone production is below normal. Normally, the rate of thyroid hormone production is controlled by the brain by the pituitary gland. Hypothyroidism is a very common condition and the symptoms of hypothyroidism are often subtle but may include constipation, memory loss, hair loss, and depression. There are a variety of causes of hypothyroidism, and treatment depends on the cause.
Hypothyroidism During PregnancyHypothyroidism during pregnancy can be treated with synthetic thyroid hormones to maintain the proper thyroid hormone balance. Hypothyroidism symptoms and signs include fatigue, weight gain, lethargy, and constipation. Check out the center below for more medical references on pregnancy and hypothyroidism, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
potassium iodidePotassium iodide is an oral medication that has been used for a long time as an expectorant to break up mucus and make it easier to cough up and eliminate phlegm. Potassium iodide is also used to inhibit thyroid hormone production in patients with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) and thyrotoxicosis. Common side effects of potassium iodide include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, gastrointestinal irritation or bleeding, metallic taste, iodide poisoning syndrome (iodism), and others. Use of potassium iodide during pregnancy can cause fetal harm.
Propylthiouracil (PTU)Propylthiouracil (PTU) is a medication prescribed to manage hyperthyroidism and Graves' disease. The most common side effects are related to the skin, such as rash, itching, hives, abnormal hair loss, and skin pigmentation. Since methimazole is associated with fetal abnormalities, PTU is used during the first trimester if an antithyroid drug is needed. PTU is excreted in breast milk in small amounts.
thyroid desiccatedThyroid desiccated is a dried form of thyroid, a naturally occurring hormone, used for replacement or supplemental therapy in people deficient in thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism). Common side effects of thyroid desiccated include chest pain, palpitations, irregular heart rhythm (cardiac arrhythmia), high heart rate (tachycardia), shortness of breath (dyspnea), abdominal cramps, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, weight loss, increased appetite, excessive sweating (diaphoresis), hair loss (alopecia), fever, headache, heat intolerance, muscle pain (myalgia), cramps, impaired balance/coordination/speech (ataxia), tremor, and others. Consult your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Your Thyroid: Common Thyroid Problems and Diseases ExplainedLearn about thyroid problems such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid cancer, and more. Discover symptoms and treatments for various thyroid problems.
Thyroid QuizYour unexplained change in weight could indicate a thyroid condition. Take the Thyroid Quiz to learn about common symptoms and treatments of overactive and underactive thyroid disorders.
What Causes Hypothyroidism?Hypothyroidism results when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones. Hypothyroidism may be due to a number of factors.
What Does it Mean When Your TSH is High?The thyroid needs TSH to regulate certain organ functions within the body. Learn what happens if TSH is high, how it is diagnosed, and how doctors treat it.
What Does it Mean When Your TSH is Low?Low TSH levels indicate a condition with your pituitary or thyroid glands. Learn what happens when TSH is low, how it is diagnosed, and how doctors treat it. High thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels are associated with hypothyroidism, and one of the signs of hypothyroidism is weight gain.
What Effect Does Hypothyroidism Have On You?What is hypothyroidism? Learn the signs of hypothyroidism, what causes hypothyroidism, and how hypothyroidism affects the body.
What Happens If Hypothyroidism Is Left Untreated?If hypothyroidism is not treated, it can lead to various complications.
What Is the Best Treatment for Hypothyroidism?Learn more about hypothyroidism, ways to manage this condition, and the best medical treatment to help ease your symptoms.