Hypothyroidism: What, Why And How To Treat
Commonly called as the disease of underactive thyroid, it is simply a deficiency of insufficient thyroxine (hormone secreted by thyroid) production. One of the most important hormones required for the stabilised working of a human body, it controls the metabolic rate of our body. Also named Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it is physically an inflammation of the gland of thyroid. This immune disorder induces the body to create antibodies that attack to destroy the thyroid gland.
Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism causes negligible or null symptoms in patients affected and can develop an enlarged gland of thyroid or goitre. Following are some of its symptoms.
- Weight loss/ gain in drastic amounts
- Hearing loss
- Hoarse/ coarse voice
- Heavy menstruation
- Swollen limbs
- Hair loss
- Sensitive skin
- Delayed reflex of tendons
- Carpal tunnel Syndrome
- Slow Pulse
Causes of Hypothyroidism
The underactive thyroid gland tends to induce hypothyroidism. There are three types of hypothyroidism, mainly Primary, Central and Congenital. Primary hypothyroidism is termed as the improper functioning of the thyroid gland while central hypothyroidism is the lack of stimulation by the hormone that stimulates thyroid and congenital hypothyroidism is the deficiency in thyroxine since birth, in a person.
- Radiation Therapy
- Iodine treatment (radioactive) and deficiency
- Autoimmune thyroidectomy
- Lesions that compress the pituitary gland
- Vascualr disorders
- Sheehan syndrome
- Pendred’s syndrome
- Neonatal illness
- Pituitary malfunction
- Infiltrative diseases
Treatment Options For Hypothyroidism
A laboratory testing of the amount of thyroxine in the blood will determine the level of working of thyroid gland as well as its functioning. For confirmation, the level of TSH is taken after a few weeks of the initial lab test. This confirmation test is usually not preferred unless the function of thyroid is highly dysfunctional. Some of the management options for hypothyroidism is mentioned below:
- Liothyronine: This is aimed at providing symptom control for patients affected with hypothyroidism. The process is, carried out by adding liothyronine or synthetic T3 to levothyroxine. Generally advised for people who feel miserable or are in abject pain during the dosage of levothyroxine is, provided with this method of treatment. This treatment is usually, carried-out for not more than 90 days.
- Hormone replacement: As hypothyroidism is a hormonal deficiency of thyroxine, patients are usually, treated with the provision of high doses of levothyroxine, which is a synthetic form of thyroxine. Young patients are, subjected to full dosage of this synthetic hormone replacement while elderly patients are, given low doses.
- Desiccated animal thyroid: mostly taken from pigs, this is a combination mode of therapy that extracts the hormones of thyroid from a compatible animal. British and American Professional thyroid associations discourage this.