Hypothyroidism - Symptoms, causes and treatment

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Hypothyroidism - Symptoms, causes and treatment
Hypothyroidism - Symptoms, causes and treatment

Hypothyroidism is a disorder caused by a deficiency of thyroid hormone. This disorder will make the sufferer easily tired and difficult to concentrate

Hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism is more common in elderly women. Generally, this disease causes non-specific symptoms in the early stages, such as weight gain or fatigue, which is considered normal with age. However, as the disease progresses, these symptoms will get worse.

Hypothyroidism - Alodokter

Although it is rare, hypothyroidism can also affect newborns. This condition is called congenital hypothyroidism. Newborns with congenital hypothyroidism will experience symptoms such as jaundice, large tongue, and shortness of breath.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms

The symptoms of hypothyroidism vary, depending on how low the levels of hormones produced by the thyroid gland are. These symptoms include:

  • Easy to get tired and dizzy
  • Constipation or difficulty defecating
  • The muscles feel weak, sore and stiff
  • More sensitive to cold weather
  • Dry, rough, peeling, and wrinkled skin
  • Weight gain for no apparent reason
  • Swollen face and hoarse voice
  • Hair loss and thin
  • Brittle nails
  • Easy to forget and hard to concentrate
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia)

The symptoms above develop quite slowly, even over a matter of years. This makes the symptoms of hypothyroidism not immediately noticed.

Although it is more common in older women, hypothyroidism can affect anyone, including newborns (congenital hypothyroidism). Even so, the symptoms of hypothyroidism in infants are slightly different from adults, namely:

  • Frequently farting or burping (flatulence)
  • Don't want to eat and rarely defecate (constipation)
  • Sleeping too long
  • Hands and feet feel cold
  • More fussy and his crying voice is hoarse
  • Tongue is swollen and sticking out
  • Jaundice
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Slowed growth, low weight, and walking late

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism mentioned above to determine the cause. Medical treatment is needed to prevent hypothyroidism from getting worse and complications.

If you have or are currently undergoing treatment for thyroid disease, have regular checkups as recommended by your doctor. Thyroid disease, including hypothyroidism, can be a chronic disease. Therefore, his condition needs to be monitored from time to time.

People who suffer from depression or autoimmune diseases are more likely to develop hypothyroidism. Therefore, it is necessary to have regular check-ups with the doctor so that his condition can be monitored.

Go to the ER immediately if you experience symptoms of hypothyroidism accompanied by swelling of the entire face, difficulty breathing, shock, or seizures. Handling needs to be done immediately because it can be fatal.

If you are pregnant, make regular visits to the obstetrician at least once a month or as recommended by the doctor. Provide detailed information about any complaints you feel to help your doctor give the right advice. This is because pregnant women are also at risk of developing hypothyroidism.

Causes of Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located on the front side of the neck, just below the Adam's apple. This gland is responsible for producing thyroid hormones that help the body use energy, including regulating metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland cannot produce enough of this hormone. Hormonal disorders are usually caused by the following:

  • Autoimmune diseases

    Autoimmune diseases, especially Hashimoto's disease, are the most common cause of hypothyroidism. In this disease, the body produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland so that its function is disrupted.

  • Treatment of the thyroid gland

    Radiotherapy in the neck area can damage the cells of the thyroid gland, making it difficult for the gland to produce hormones. In addition, thyroid surgery can also be a cause of hypothyroidism.

  • Certain drugs

    Using certain types of drugs, such as lithium, amiodarone, and interferon, can cause hyperthyroidism. These drugs are used for mental disorders, heart rhythm disorders, and cancer.

In addition to the three causes above, the following conditions can also cause hypothyroidism, although they are less likely to occur:

  • A low-iodine diet

    Iodine is an essential mineral needed by the thyroid gland to produce hormones. Iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism.

  • Congenital disorders

    Some babies are born with an underdeveloped thyroid gland, even without a thyroid gland.This condition, called congenital hypothyroidism, occurs due to a variety of things, from a pregnant woman's diet low in iodine to genetic factors.

  • TSH hormone disorders

    TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland to assist the thyroid gland in producing and releasing hormones. Disorders of the TSH hormone will affect the production of thyroid hormone.

    Diseases that can cause low TSH include Sheehan's syndrome and pituitary gland tumors.

There are also a number of factors that can make a person more at risk of suffering from hyperthyroidism, including:

  • Female and over 60 years old.
  • Have a family member with a history of thyroid disease.
  • Are pregnant or have just given birth in the last 6 months.
  • Suffer from other autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, or multiple sclerosis.
  • Suffering from bipolar disorder, Down syndrome, or Turner syndrome.

Hypothyroidism Diagnosis

To diagnose hyperthyroidism, the doctor will ask the patient's complaints, the medications he is taking, and the medical procedures he has undergone. The doctor will also ask about the medical history of the patient and his family members.

Furthermore, a physical examination is carried out to observe the patient's skin condition, muscle ability, reflexes, and heart rate. If the patient is suspected of having hypothyroidism, a blood test will be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

Blood test can measure thyroid hormone and TSH levels in the body. Low thyroid levels or high levels of TSH in the blood can signal hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism Treatment

Treatment of hypothyroidism aims to reduce or relieve the symptoms experienced by the patient. This is done by taking oral medication containing synthetic thyroid hormone, namely levothyroxine.

Most hypothyroidism is chronic, so taking levothyroxine can last a lifetime to keep the disease under control. In undergoing treatment, hypothyroid patients must regularly check with an endocrinologist regularly, because the dose of the drug needs to always be adjusted to the patient's condition.

Patients are also not advised to stop taking the drug suddenly, unless recommended by a doctor. During the treatment period, patients need to have blood tests every 6-12 months to monitor the effect of treatment.

Hypothyroidism Complications

If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to various complications, such as:

  • Joint pain
  • Obesity
  • Mumps
  • Infertility or fertility disorders
  • nerve damage
  • Heart disease
  • Myxedema coma

While hypothyroidism that occurs in pregnant women can cause complications such as:

  • Anemia
  • Preeclampsia
  • Miscarriage
  • Babies born prematurely or have low birth weight
  • Baby born with defects
  • Babies have impaired physical or mental development.

Hypothyroidism Prevention

Hypothyroidism can be prevented by avoiding the causes and risk factors. The trick is to:

  • Implementing a he althy and balanced diet.
  • Consuming iodized foods, including iodized s alt, seaweed, eggs, shrimp, and dairy products.
  • Undergo treatment and regular check-ups if you have an autoimmune disease or have had thyroid disease.
  • Undergoing regular check-ups with the obstetrician during pregnancy.

If you are on treatment for hypothyroidism, avoid taking other medications or supplements without telling your doctor because they can interfere with the effectiveness of the medication.

In addition, avoid consuming soybeans close to the time of taking medication, because it can inhibit the absorption of thyroid hormones. However, it is still being researched.

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