What are the complications of hypothyroidism?
The thyroid hormones are needed for the body to function normally. The hormones regulate growth and metabolism, thus, influencing every function of the body. The complications of hypothyroidism include:
- Goiter: This refers to the swelling in the front of the neck due to an enlarged thyroid gland. When the thyroid gland does not secrete enough thyroid hormones, the pituitary gland stimulates it constantly to release more hormones. Goiter can cause problems with breathing and swallowing besides affecting the person’s appearance.
- Slowing of metabolism: this may make the person get tired easily and cause weight gain. It can also cause constipation.
- Heart problems: There may be an increased risk of heart disease and heart failure. This mainly occurs due to the high levels of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein or LDL).
- Skin and hair problems: the skin may become rough and dry. There may be hair fall or thinning of the hair.
- Mental health issues: Slowed mental function and depression may occur.
- Nerve damage: Hypothyroidism can cause nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy). This may cause numbness, pain, and tingling in the affected areas.
- Sexual and reproductive issues: hypothyroidism can cause lowered fertility and sex drive in both men and women. Women may experience longer and heavier periods. In some, the periods may stop occurring. In pregnant women, it can cause high blood pressure, high chances of miscarriage, premature delivery, and hamper mental and physical development of the baby.
- Myxedema coma: It is a rare and life-threatening condition. It occurs when severe hypothyroidism is left untreated for long. It manifests as severe cold intolerance, confusion, drowsiness, lethargy, and unconsciousness.
What is hypothyroidism?
The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. It makes the thyroid hormones, which are released into the blood and then carried to various tissues in the body. 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 (an autoimmune disease causing the body’s immune system to attack and damage the thyroid), 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.
Can having hypothyroidism affect getting pregnant?
Women with untreated or under-treated hypothyroidism may find it difficult to conceive. Hypothyroidism may retard or prevent the release of the egg from the ovary. Ovulation is the process occurring in menstruating women in which the ovary releases an egg each month. In women with hypothyroidism, however, the process of ovulation may occur less frequently or not at all. Hypothyroidism may cause longer or heavier periods leading to anemia. The periods may also stop completely.
If fertilization occurs, hypothyroidism can interfere with the development of the fertilized egg or embryo. It can further increase the risk of miscarriage. In pregnant women with untreated hypothyroidism, the baby may be born prematurely (delivery before the 37 weeks of pregnancy). The baby may have other complications such as low birth weight or a lowered mental capacity.
If you have hypothyroidism and are planning to get pregnant, you must consult your doctor to get your thyroid hormones checked and receive appropriate treatment for the condition.
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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."
garciniaGarcinia is an herbal supplement used for weight loss, to treat joint pain, bloody diarrhea, worm and parasite infections, to increase bowel movements, and to enhance athletic performance. Garcinia may be toxic to the liver; avoid use if you have impaired liver function. Common side effects of garcinia include stomach discomfort, diarrhea, nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, headache, liver injury, liver failure, and exacerbation of mania in bipolar disorder. There isn’t enough information on the safety of garcinia use during pregnancy and breastfeeding; avoid use.
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.
What Is the Oldest Age a Woman Can Get Pregnant Naturally?Fertility declines with age. Most women are not able to get pregnant between 5 and 10 years before menopause. Find out more about the many tests you can take to learn about your own fertility. Learn about what they are and how they are tested.
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.
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.
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.
Which Hormones Help You Lose Weight?Some major hormones in the body like thyroid, estrogen, and testosterone are associated with weight gain or loss. If you are able to correct hormonal imbalances, you may see a significant reduction in your body weight.