Inactive thyroid gland is also known under the name hypothyroidism. It is a condition when the thyroid gland does not produce enough amounts of its two main hormones. Inactive thyroid usually affects men above 50 years of age.
The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland that is located in the neck. It is butterfly-like and the proper functioning of this gland is very important, since it produces hormones that regulate other functions in the body, such as metabolism and body temperature. T4 and T3 are two main hormones of the thyroid gland and these two hormones must be kept at normal levels. Otherwise, in case of low thyroid or hypothyroidism, or high thyroid or hyperthyroidism, certain complications in the body may arise.
Symptoms of inactive thyroid gland in men
The symptoms of this condition appear gradually over time, usually when the levels of the thyroid hormones drop significantly. The most common symptoms of low thyroid in men are fatigue and tiredness, irregular bowel movements or constipation and hair problems, such as brittle hair or pattern baldness. Other symptoms of inactive thyroid gland in men are joint stiffness, muscle pain, and unexplained gain of the body weight.
Causes of inactive thyroid gland in men
Hypothyroidism is low production of the thyroid gland’s hormones. This low production occurs due to several reasons and one of them is Hashimoto's thyroiditis. It is the name for the swelling of the thyroid gland. This disease is an autoimmune disease and therefore, the body’s own immune system attacks the cells of the thyroid gland and the thyroid gland is unable to manufacture hormones in sufficient amounts. When a person has inflamed thyroid gland, the swallowing is very difficult and may cause pain. Hashimoto’s disease is an inherited disease.
Another cause of low thyroid is the injury or trauma to the gland or damage of the thyroid gland, which usually occurs when the person uses medications for a long period of time. For example, hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid is treated with anti-thyroid medications. When these medicines are used for a longer time, the thyroid gland becomes gradually unable to produce its hormones. Thus, the person who was suffering from hyperthyroidism may eventually suffer from hypothyroidism for the rest of life.
Other causes of inactive thyroid in men are exposure to the radiation in the cases when the patient suffers from the cancerous tumors and insufficient iodine intake. Iodine is very important for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, since the thyroid gland uses it for the production of the hormones.