Hypothyroidism is a condition that features with low levels of thyroid hormones in blood. Thyroid hormones are produced in thyroid gland which is located in front part of the neck. T3 and T4 are hormones of major importance. Additionally this gland produces calcitonin. Calcitonin does not play any role is hypothyroidism. Only levels T3 and T4 are changed. These two hormones produce significant effects on all the organs and are rather important for metabolism. Logically if there are not enough hormones produced the metabolism will be slow.
There are basically two causes of hypothyroidism. The first one includes previous or current inflammation of the gland and the second one includes autoimmune diseases of the gland such as Hashimoto's thyreoidism. Still in some cases if a patient has been conducted to certain medical procedures such as surgery or radiation the size and the function of the gland may be reduces and result in lower production of hormones. Even treatment with radioactive iodine that is applied in patients suffering from goiter or hyperthyroidism may affect the normal functioning of the gland and leads to hypothyroidism. In extreme rare cases the reduced production of the hormones is connected with the reduced production of TSH. TSH is a hormone of pituitary gland. It is responsible for inducing the production of thyroid hormones within thyroid gland. If there is not enough TSH even anatomically normal thyroid gland is not capable of producing sufficient amounts of hormones.
No matter what causes the disease the symptoms are rather typical and every well-experienced doctor may recognize them instantly. The symptoms reflect changes in different organs. These patients feel chronic tiredness. They are also weak. The skin pallor and dryness are regularly present. These patients cannot tolerate cold weather and low temperatures. The hair recedes and is dry and dull. Due to improper metabolism people suffering from hypothyroidism are overweight and no matter what they eat it is almost impossible for them to lose extra weight. The cramps in muscles while doing some activities and while resting are present as well. They may even feel pain in muscles. Reduced metabolism leads to constipation. In women there are irregularities concerning menstrual cycle and reduced libido is mutual to both genders. As for mental changes these people are rather irritable and prone to depression more than general population. In rare cases loss of memory may occur.
Not all the patients present all the symptoms. Some symptoms are enhanced while others may not be present at all. Still the majority of previously mentioned symptoms do occur and this is guideline to doctors to set the diagnosis on time and to start treating the patients as soon as possible.