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What is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Suppression? Symptoms and Treatment

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not make enough hormones. It may not cause noticeable symptoms in the early stages, but if left untreated, it may trigger other health problems such as heart disease and high cholesterol.

What are its Symptoms?

  • Tiredness
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin and constipation
  • Hoarse voice 
  • Coarse hair and skin
  • Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Puffy face
  • Memory problem
  • Depression 
  • Muscle weakness
  • Hair thinning
  • Irregular menstrual cycle for women

Symptoms in infants include:

  • Poor growth and feeding problems
  • Poor weight gain 
  • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin 
  • Hoarse crying 
  • Enlarges tongue
  • A soft bulge or swelling near the belly button 

Symptoms in children and teens

  • Stature caused by poor growth
  • Delayed development of permanent teeth
  • Delayed puberty
  • Poor mental development

What Causes Hypothyroidism?

It happens when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormones. Conditions or problems that can lead to this condition include:

  1. Autoimmune disease. Hashimoto’s disease is a common autoimmune condition that triggers hypothyroidism. It happens when the immune system makes antibodies that attack healthy tissues. Sometimes that process involves the thyroid gland and affects its ability to make hormones.
  2. Problems at birth. Some babies are born with a thyroid gland that doesn’t work correctly. Often, infants born with hypothyroidism don’t have noticeable symptoms at first. That’s one reason why most states require newborn thyroid screening.
  3. Pituitary disorder. A relatively rare cause of hypothyroidism is the failure of the pituitary gland to make enough thyroid-stimulating hormone. This is usually because of a noncancerous tumor of the pituitary gland.
  4. Thyroid surgery. This medical procedure lowers the gland’s ability to make thyroid hormones or stop it completely.
  5. Radiation therapy. Using radiation to treat cancers of the head and neck can affect the thyroid gland and lead to hypothyroidism.
  6. Thyroiditis. It is an inflammation of the thyroid caused by an infection, or it can also result from an autoimmune disorder or another medical condition affecting the thyroid. It can trigger the thyroid to release all of its stored thyroid hormones at once. 
  7. Medicine. A number of medicines may lead to hypothyroidism. One such medicine is lithium, which is used to treat some psychiatric disorders. 
  8. Pregnancy. Some people develop hypothyroidism during or after pregnancy. If hypothyroidism happens during pregnancy and isn’t treated, it raises the risk of pregnancy loss, premature delivery, and preeclampsia. Preeclampsia causes a significant rise in blood pressure during the last three months of pregnancy. 

How Diagnose Hypothyroidism?

The diagnosis of hypothyroidism doesn’t rely on symptoms alone. It’s usually based on the results of blood tests. The first blood test is typically done to diagnose hypothyroidism and measures the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone in the blood. If the second test shows high TSH, but T-4 and T-3 are in the standard range, then the diagnosis is a condition called a subclinical condition. It usually doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms.

Medication Used for Hypothyroidism

Thyroxine sodium. It is used for the treatment of hypothyroidism and pituitary TSH suppression. It binds to the thyroid hormone response element and results in gene transcription. This results in the expression of a predetermined genetically coded pattern of protein synthesis.

Most healthcare providers recommend taking the medicine levothyroxine to treat hypothyroidism. But an extract containing thyroid hormone derived from the thyroid glands of pigs is available. It is sometimes called desiccated thyroid extract. This medicine is taken by mouth. It returns hormone levels to a healthy range, eliminating symptoms of hypothyroidism.

You’ll likely start to feel better one or two weeks after you begin treatment. Treatment with this medication can be lifelong because the dosage you need may change. Visit your doctor from time to time for a regular check-up.

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