Jul 15, 2016 , 6 min read
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of certain important hormones. The thyroid gland is located in the front lower part of your neck. Hormones released by the gland travel through your bloodstream and affect nearly every part of your body, from your heart and brain, to your muscles and skin. Hypothyroidism upsets the normal balance of chemical reactions in your body. It seldom causes symptoms in the early stages, but over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.
Hypothyroidism symptoms may include fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, puffy face, hoarseness, muscle weakness, elevated blood cholesterol level, muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints, heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods, thinning hair, slowed heart rate, depression and impaired memory etc. One of the reasons which cause hypothyroidism is autoimmune disease. People who develop a particular inflammatory disorder known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis are the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Autoimmune disorders occur when your immune system produces antibodies that attack your own tissues. In some of the cases, the treatment of hypothyroidism results in permanent hypothyroidism. Radiation used to treat cancer of head and neck can affect the thyroid gland and can also leads to hypothyroidism. A number of medications also contribute to hypothyroidism. If hypothyroidism remains untreated it can lead to goiter, heart problems, mental health issue, peripheral neuropathy, myxedema, infertility and birth defects etc.
Hypothyroidism is completely treatable in many patients simply by taking a small pill once a day. However, this is a simplified statement, and it's not always so easy. There are several types of thyroid hormone preparations and one type of medicine will not be the best therapy for all patients.