Hypothyroidism is a common disorder that is also known as an underactive thyroid. This condition causes your thyroid gland to produce less hormone. The role of the thyroid is to control how your body’s cells use energy from food or also known as metabolism. With an underproduction of thyroid hormone, your body’s processes slow down.
Although it most often affects middle-aged and older women, anyone can develop the condition, including infants. When newborns do have problems with this condition, the signs and symptoms may include:
Children and teens who develop this condition generally experience the same symptoms as adults, but they may also experience:
It is caused by insufficient production of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism may be due to several factors, including:
An underactive thyroid can be diagnosed if you feel increasingly tired, have dry skin, constipation, and weight gain, or if you have previously experienced thyroid problems or goiter. It is diagnosed based on your symptoms and the results of blood tests that measure the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and sometimes thyroxine.
A low level of thyroxine and a high level indicates an underactive thyroid. The TSH test can also be used to diagnose a condition called subclinical hypothyroidism, which usually causes no outward symptoms. In this condition, you have normal blood levels of triiodothyronine and thyroxine, but higher than normal levels of TSH.
Treatment involves the daily use of synthetic thyroid hormone to restore adequate hormone levels, reversing the signs and symptoms of underactive thyroid. The medication gradually lowers cholesterol levels elevated by the disease and may reverse any weight gain.
If you have subclinical hypothyroidism, discuss treatment with your doctor. If your TSH is relatively mild, thyroid hormone therapy is unlikely to be helpful, and treatment may even be harmful. Conversely, thyroid hormones may improve your cholesterol levels, heart pumping ability, and energy level if you have a higher TSH level.
Thyroxine Sodium is a synthetic thyroid hormone that is prescribed for the treatment of this condition. Thyroxine is an important hormone released by the thyroid gland into the bloodstream. It plays an important role in the functioning of the heart, digestion, muscles, and brain development.