Basil Wellness Resources

HypothyroidismRead more wellness Resources

What are the causes of hypothyroidism?

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is a condition known as Hashimoto's Disease in which the body's defense mechanism slowly kills the cells of the thyroid gland. Another common cause is due to the problems in the pituitary gland found in the brain. The pituitary gland secretes a hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland to secrete its hormone. Improper secretion from the pituitary gland can cause hypothyroidism. Excessive treatment of hypothyroidism can also cause hypothyroidism. Other relatively rarer causes are post partum hypothyroidism which occurs within 1 year of pregnancy, treatment of thyroid cancers and interference from drugs used to treat psychiatric illnesses and cardiac illnesses. Recent research has revealed that consumption of certain types of fish like tuna and kingfish can lead to hypothyroidism due to the high mercury content in such fish.

Am I prone to hypothyroidism?

Women are three times more prone to Hashimoto's Disease. Hypothyroidism can also run in families so children of hypothyroid parents or grandparents need to look out for the disease. Patients with Type 1 Diabetes (usually diabetic from childhood) are more prone to hypothyroidism. Patients with Rheumatic Arthritis are also more to hypothyroidism. Old age and premature graying of hair are also symptoms to look out for to be at risk for hypothyroidism.

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Most symptoms of hypothyroidism are very subtle and can be easily missed or attributed to old age/stress related etc. The most common initial symptoms are tiredness, poor memory or difficulty in thinking, even constipation, weight gain, irregular periods, depression, drowsiness, muscle cramps inability to tolerate cold environments. In the later stages, dry and flaky skin , hair loss, deep voice, impaired memory and difficulty in thinking, puffiness of the face, swelling in the neck and loss of sensation in the feet and hands are other symptoms.

Can hypothyroidism be treated?

Treatment is relatively simple. One tablet taken on an empty stomach every morning is usually sufficient to treat hypothyroidism. Since this is a replacement therapy, not much of lifestyle changes or diet changes are required.

Living with hypothyroidism

It is important to take your tablet in an empty stomach and not take any food or drugs for at least half an hour after your tablet enable complete absorption of the tablet. Recent research has revealed that certain nutrients in diet like omega 3 fatty acids (that usually supplemented for a healthy heart), Vitamin D, micro nutrients like selenium and zinc help in production of thyroid hormone where as smoking can reduce its production. It is important to recognize the improvement of symptoms and look out for symptoms of hyperthyroidism and communicate to your doctor so that the dose of your medications can be adjusted accordingly.

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