Hypothyroidism represents abnormally low production of thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone is vital for metabolism which production must be balanced for general well being. Hypothyroidism reflects on the metabolism making it gradually weakened.
When this condition is diagnosed in advanced stage or left untreated, results can be severe problems of different body organs and various other conditions.
Additionally, hypothyroidism can be caused by iodine deficiency or missing thyroid gland.
Hypothyroidism Side Effects
Side effects of hypothyroidism can be many and they are listed bellow.
Goiter is the most common condition caused by hypothyroidism. Goiter is an enlargement of thyroid gland due to thyroid stimulating hormone increase. Goiter represents a swollen gland that can be easily seen on the neck and it can lead to problems with breathing and swallowing.
Hypothyroidism disturbs the brain function and induces lack of energy in a patient. This condition can lead to depression which in time becomes worse. Depression is a mood disorder and it is one of the early signs of hypothyroidism
Heart problems can also be result of reduced production of thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism leads to higher risk of heart failure since inactive thyroid gland increases the level of bad cholesterol (LDL). Consequently, this can result in heart attack because increased cholesterol level obstructs arteries that deliver blood to the heart.
Myxadema is a rare condition that can occur in patients with untreated hypothyroidism. This is very dangerous disease which can have fatal outcome. Symptoms of myxadema include extreme cold intolerance and dizziness that are followed by intense lethargy which in the end results in unconsciousness known as myxedema coma. Myxadema coma means that the thyroid hormone level in the body became extremely low. Signs and symptoms of myxadema coma involve low blood sugar, decreased blood pressure and breathing difficulties. This demands urgent help which involves thyroid IV injections and hospitalization.
Women with untreated hypothyroidism have higher risk of birth defects. Their fetuses are prone to severe mental and developmental problems.
Thyroid gland has to function normally in order to avoid problems during pregnancy. Pregnant women with hypothyroidism have increased risk of miscarriage if their condition isn’t properly treated. Also, hypothyroidism may cause infertility due to disturbed ovulation.
In general, hypothyroidism symptoms include fatigue, weakness, libido loss, memory loss, constipation, and hair loss. The disorder can be diagnosed with blood test where amount of thyroid hormone will be measured. Treatment consists of thyroid hormone pills.