Thyroid Problems That Cause Hair Loss Weight Gain And Fatigue Symptoms & Causes of Hypothyroidism Explained!

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Symptoms & Causes of Hypothyroidism Explained!

Hypothyroidism is a condition caused by the underproduction of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism is sometimes also referred to as an underactive thyroid and can cause many health complications if left untreated.

While there are specific tests that can accurately diagnose hypothyroidism and this condition can be effectively treated if properly diagnosed, it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose in the earlier stages because it tends to be a produce little or no symptoms. Hypothyroidism is mostly seen in women – especially those over the age of fifty.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism can cause a wide range of symptoms that often develop slowly over a long period of time and the severity of these symptoms depends on how low the level of thyroid hormones is within the body.

Typically, and individual will not notice signs or symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland, it is the earliest stages and even if they later experience fatigue or lack of energy, may believe that these symptoms are simply caused by their age. In the later stages of hypothyroidism as the body’s metabolism begins to slow down, there may be more noticeable signs and symptoms that include:

• Weakness, lack of energy, or lethargy.

• A significant gain in weight that cannot be explained.

• A puffiness that occurs in the face area.

• Aching, tenderness, weakness or stiffness of the muscles.

• The joints may be painful, swollen or stiff.

• Constipation

• A higher intolerance to cold or cold sensitivity.

• Women may experience menstrual periods that are heavier than they would normally be.

• Depression

• Brittle hair or fingernails.

• Pale or dry skin.

• A high level of cholesterol in the blood.

• The voice may become hoarse due to the enlargement of the thyroid gland which may press against the esophagus or trachea.

The causes of hypothyroidism

There are several underlying conditions that can cause the thyroid gland to become underactive, with the most common cause of hypothyroidism being the autoimmune disease “Hashimoto thyroiditis”. This condition causes the immune system to produce antibodies that attack and slowly destroy the thyroid gland.

While some medical experts believe that this condition can be triggered by a bacteria or virus, others believe that it can be caused by a genetic abnormality. Hypothyroidism can also be caused by the drugs used to treat hyperthyroidism, which is the overproduction of thyroid hormones.

To control the excess thyroid hormones, these drugs work in such a way as to reduce or regulate the functioning of the thyroid gland, however this sometimes causes the underproduction of hormones and causes hypothyroidism.

Numerous other drugs or medical treatments can also cause hypothyroidism including the drug lithium, radiation treatments for cancer of the neck or head, and thyroid surgery or a thyroidectomy that removes part or all of the thyroid gland. Other less common causes of hypothyroidism include pregnancy, an iodine deficiency, a congenital disease, or a disorder of the pituitary gland.

Hypothyroidism is a very treatable condition if properly diagnosed, but can lead to other complications if left untreated; therefore, if you experience any of the symptoms associated with this condition you should make an appointment with your doctor for a medical evaluation.

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