"" Hypothyroidism/Underactive Thyroid Symptoms, Causes, Treatment - Health and Fitness Informatics


Hypothyroidism/Underactive Thyroid Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Hypothyroidism/Underactive thyroid


Hypothyroidism also know as underactive thyroid is a common disease in which the thyroid gland doesn't make and produce normal thyroid hormones into the bloodstream as a result body metabolism get slows down. It is an endocrine system disorder.

Overt hypothyroidism is a progressed form of subclinical hypothyroidism (happens when elevated TSH concentration is in the presence of standard T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) values.

There are two possible reasons for hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid

1.     Abnormality in the thyroid itself (primary reason)

2.     As a result pituitary or hypothalamic diseases (secondary or central)

General symptoms of hypothyroidism are depression, weight gain, and fatigue (tiredness).

Diagnosis can be confirmed with blood test Thyroid function test measures TSH, T3, and T4 levels.

Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is successfully treated by hormone replacement therapy in which daily hormone (which is thyroid is not making) is taken orally. 

There are no preventive measures against hypothyroidism but the majority of cases are reasoned either by damage of the thyroid mostly occurs during some treatment for thyroid cancer or overactive thyroid, or by the immune system hitting the thyroid gland and damaging it.

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Difference between Hypothyroidism 
(Underactive thyroid) and Overt 

Hypothyroidism is a frequent disease among older people, in which the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough amount of hormone to meet body requirements conversely overt hypothyroidism is a progressed form of subclinical hypothyroidism that happens when blood tests show elevated TSH and normal T3 and T4 hormones.

Difference between Hypothyroidism and 

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are opposite medical conditions. Amount of the thyroid hormones is the common dissimilarity between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism is the amount of hormones (T3 and T4) produced by the thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism engages a higher amount of thyroid hormones which makes the body's metabolism speedy. Conversely, in hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland produces very little amount of hormones as a result body metabolism turns out to be slow.

Many things are different in both conditions if a person has hypothyroidism he may feel difficulty dealing with colds, in hyperthyroidism may feel trouble dealing with heat. Both are extremes of thyroid functions, ideally, it should be in middle.

Causes of hypothyroidism:

Internationally, too little iodine intake is the most common reason for hypothyroidism other reason is Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

Less common reasons include injury to the hypothalamus or previous anterior pituitary gland or maybe previous treatment with radioactive iodine, previous thyroid surgery, certain medications, or lack of proper functions of the thyroid gland at birth.    

Who affects the most?

People over the age of 60 are easily affected. Both women and men may have an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism, even though it's more familiar in women. Kids may also develop hypothyroidism and some babies are born with it.

Babies who are born in the UK are generally screened for congenital hypothyroidism by practicing a blood test called the blood spot test, at the age of five days. 

When you need to visit a Health Care Provider

The symptoms of hypothyroidism are mostly similar to those of other medical conditions, and they progress slowly, so there is a possibility of noticing them for years.

The major reason for the late noticing of symptoms of hypothyroidism in women is at the age of 40 plus they may think they have started menopause rather than having hypothyroidism due to irregular or absence of menstruation period.

You should visit your healthcare provider and ask to be tested for hypothyroidism if you have the symptoms mentioned below


  • Depression
  • Poor ability to tolerate cold
  • Weight gain
  • Brain fog (feeling more forgetful)
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Constipation
  • Slow heart rate
  • Dry hair and skin
  • Decrease sexual desires
  • Drooping eyelids and puffiness in the face and eyelids
  • High blood cholesterol levels
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands
  • The voice becomes lower or hoarser
  • Sometimes there may be swelling of the front part of the neck called goiter.

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The actual diagnosis of hypothyroidism based on symptoms is difficult because symptoms may confuse with other clinical disorders. If you have any symptoms mentioned above, please visit your healthcare provider. The major way of diagnosis is a thyroid function test called Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test. If your neck area swelled due to thyroiditis your healthcare provider can easily check it.  


Mostly Hypothyroidism is treated by hormone replacement therapy in which synthetic hormone is given orally that the thyroid gland is no longer making. A common use of that hormone medication is levothyroxine which elevates the thyroid hormone level in the body.

It is a curable disease. Nonetheless, you need to take continuous medication to maintain normal thyroid levels in the blood. It all can be done by careful management and follow-up appointments with your doctor to make sure the weather treatment is working or not to lead a normal healthy life.

What happens if hypothyroidism/underactive 
thyroid is not treated?

If hypothyroidism is not treated it may turn into a serious and life-threatening medical condition and your symptoms may develop into more severe and may include

  • Trouble in breathing
  • Developing mental health problems
  • Difficult to maintain a normal body temperature
  • Developing heart problems
  • Developing goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • And the most dangerous medical condition called myxedema coma may cause serious symptoms such as low body temperature, confusion, coma, anemia, and heart failure.  

How does the thyroid gland work?

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped small gland situated in the neck, just under the voice box called the larynx. The middle part of the thyroid is centered on the neck, with the wings holding close around the windpipe called the trachea.

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The thyroid gland produces the hormones T3 and T4 work throughout the body to inform the body cells how much energy to utilize.

These hormones control the heart rate and body temperature.

Mode of action:

When the thyroid works normally, it's frequently making and releasing hormones and after that makes new hormones to replace previous been used. This process keeps metabolism functioning and all of the body systems get in check. The concentration of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream is managed by the pituitary gland, which is situated in the center of the skull beneath the brain. When the pituitary gland senses either too much hormones or lack few, it amends its hormone called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and sends it to the thyroid to redress the balance amount.

If the concentration of thyroid hormones is too low (called hypothyroidism), or too high (called hyperthyroidism) the whole body is affected.

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