Hypothyroidism is a common cause of consulting the doctor, in this blog we will talk about its causes, symptoms and recommendations for the consumption of the drug.
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is defined as a set of symptoms caused by a decrease in the functional activity of the thyroid gland and ultimately a deficiency of thyroid hormone in the tissues.
How common is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism in the adult population is higher in women (2% of mature women and 0.1 to 0.2% of men suffer from it).
What are the causes of hypothyroidism?
The most frequent cause of hypothyroidism is the loss of tissue in the thyroid gland due to something called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it is more frequent in women and has a high genetic predisposition. The second most common cause is hypothyroidism caused by radiation exposure or thyroid surgical procedures. Other rare causes are related to medications, infections, and autoimmune diseases.
In addition, in some geographical areas it is related to low iodine intake in the diet.
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
The most common symptoms associated with hypothyroidism are dry skin, cold intolerance, mental slowness, weight gain, slowing of the heartbeat (bradycardia), constipation, there may also be weight loss, especially in elderly people. However, there are other symptoms (less frequent and more severe) such as low temperature (hypothermia), cardiac disorders, blood clotting and mood disorders. The most serious of all and that only occurs in an advanced stage of the disease, is coma.
How do you know if you have hypothyroidism?
When you consult with your doctor, he will ask you if you are presenting any of the symptoms mentioned above, after that your doctor will request thyroid function tests and these will define if you have the disease or not.
Are there medications to treat hypothyroidism?
Yes, there are medications to treat hypothyroidism, these medications are usually thyroid hormone in capsules or pills. If you have prescribed a medicine for your hypothyroidism, always remember to take it on an empty stomach, with plenty of water, you should not take or eat food for 30 minutes to 1 hour after taking the medicine, you should not keep the medicine in pillboxes as this reduces the effectiveness and it is not advisable to change brands.
How often should I monitor my thyroid hormone levels if I am taking medication for hypothyroidism?
It depends on each case, your doctor will determine the thyroid hormone control according to the results obtained in each control, but it usually ranges between 4 to 6 weeks.
Hypothyroidism is a disease with multiple causes which must be diagnosed correctly, it is important to see your doctor in case of presenting any symptoms. This disease requires proper monitoring and use of medications.
Gómez Meléndez, G. A., Ruiz Betanzos, R., Sánchez Pedraza, V., Segovia Palomo, A., Mendoza Hernández, C. F., & Arellano Montaño, S. (2010). Hipotiroidismo. Medicina interna de México, 26(5), 462-471.
Romero, C. M., & Almazán, E. M. HIPO E HIPERTIROIDISMO.