Tags: Thyroid Disorders | hypothyroidism | underactive | thyroid | hormone

What Is Hypothyroidism?

By    |   Monday, 08 Jun 2015 12:35 PM


The thyroid gland sends out hormones to various parts of the body to keep cells and tissues operating efficiently. It helps regulate metabolism for energy, and is important in maintaining the activity of many areas throughout the body. An underactive thyroid secretes too little amounts of hormones and is called hypothyroidism.

The thyroid gland, which is located in the neck in front of the windpipe, gets clues from the brain on when to release more hormones. The hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to alert the thyroid to increase hormone levels when they become too low.

Hypothyroidism is a common condition, according to EndocrineWeb. When the gland doesn’t secrete enough of the needed hormones, it can create various symptoms, including sluggishness, loss of appetite, and sensitivity to cold. Your muscles and mental abilities can also be affected by an underactive thyroid. The condition might go undiagnosed for a long time while attempts are made at treating the symptoms.

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Doctors now know that newborns and infants can suffer from abnormal bone development and mental retardation from hypothyroidism. Babies are monitored closely during and after birth for thyroid problems, which are dealt with immediately when discovered.

In adults, hypothyroidism can lead to fatigue and exhaustion because the body lacks the necessary hormones. Like other symptoms, tiredness is often attributed to other causes until the thyroid is singled out. Your doctor may recommend hormone tests for your thyroid if you constantly wake up tired even after a good night’s rest.

Emotional reactions also suffer from hypothyroidism. Depression is sometimes a symptom because the lack of thyroid hormone in the body also impacts serotonin, the brain chemical that boosts your emotions. Mood disorders can appear from an underactive thyroid.

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Hypothyroidism may trigger weight gain, even though a person might eat less. Since the metabolism is disrupted, the digestive process doesn’t work properly, and constipation can also be a symptom of an underactive thyroid.

Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include menstrual irregularities, dry skin and hair, inability to concentrate, a loss of interest in sex, pain or numbness in the muscles or extremities, and a continued need to sleep more than usual.

Doctors may treat an underactive thyroid when other conditions are ruled out due to the symptoms. Hashimoto’s disease is often a culprit in low thyroid hormone levels because it causes the immune system to attack the gland. T4 hormone medication treats the condition. The Hormone Health Network recommends patients ask their doctors about thyroid testing if they suspect hypothyroidism.

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The thyroid gland sends out hormones to various parts of the body to keep cells and tissues operating efficiently. It helps regulate metabolism for energy, and is important in maintaining the activity of many areas throughout the body. An underactive thyroid secretes too...
hypothyroidism, underactive, thyroid, hormone
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2015-35-08
Monday, 08 Jun 2015 12:35 PM
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