What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, is an endocrine disorder in which the thyroid gland fails to produce adequate hormones. In the early stages, hypothyroidism might not manifest significant symptoms. However, if left untreated over time, patients can experience a range of health issues such as obesity, infertility, joint pain, heart disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), skin problems, and hair loss.

What Causes Hypothyroidism?

The main causes of hypothyroidism are quite common. The most prevalent cause is an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s disease. Also called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, this hereditary condition is passed down within families. In Hashimoto’s disease, the body’s immune system targets and damages the thyroid gland, hindering its ability to produce and release sufficient thyroid hormone.

Other primary causes of hypothyroidism can include:

– Thyroiditis, which involves inflammation of the thyroid gland.
– Treatment of hyperthyroidism through methods such as radiation or surgical removal of the thyroid.
– Iodine deficiency, resulting from an insufficient presence of iodine—a mineral crucial for thyroid hormone production—in the body.
– Hereditary conditions, referring to medical disorders inherited through family lines.

Can Hypothyroidism cause weight Gain ?

If hypothyroidism is left untreated, weight gain can occur. Once you begin treating the condition, your weight should gradually decrease. Nevertheless, it remains important to monitor your calorie intake and engage in regular exercise to facilitate weight loss. It is advisable to consult your healthcare provider regarding your weight loss efforts.

What are symptoms of Hypothyroidism?

The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism depend on the severity of the hormone deficiency.

Hypothyroidism signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue, weakness
  • 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  joints
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Thinning hair
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Depression
  • Weak memory
  • Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)

Hypothyroidism In Infants

Infants can also be affected by hypothyroidism. Initially, newborns lacking a thyroid gland or possessing a gland that doesn’t function properly might exhibit few symptoms.

  • Jaundice, indicated by yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. This often arises when a baby’s liver struggles to process bilirubin.
  • A pronounced, protruding tongue.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Crying with a hoarse voice.
  • Presence of an umbilical hernia.

As the condition advances, infants might encounter challenges in feeding, potentially resulting in inadequate growth and normal development. They may also experience:

  • Constipation.
  • Reduced muscle tone.
  • Stunted growth.
  • Excessive sleepiness.     

When hypothyroidism in infants remains untreated, even mild cases can lead to profound physical and cognitive impairment.

Hypothyroidism in children and teens

In general, children and teens who develop hypothyroidism have the same signs and symptoms as adults do, but they may also experience:

  • Poor growth, resulting in short stature
  • Delayed development of permanent teeth
  • Delayed puberty
  • Poor mental development

Diagnosis of Hypothyroidisum

Diagnosis of hypothyroidism is based on your symptoms and the results of blood tests that measure the level of TSH and sometimes the level of the thyroid hormone thyroxine. A low level of thyroxine and a high level of TSH indicate an underactive thyroid.

When to see a doctor?

See your doctor if you’re feeling tired for no reason or have any of the other signs or symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as dry skin, a pale, puffy face, constipation or a hoarse voice.

Side Effects of Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism can become a serious and potentially life-threatening medical condition if left untreated by a healthcare provider. Without proper treatment, symptoms can worsen and may include:

  • Developing mental health issues.
  • Experiencing difficulty breathing.
  • Inability to maintain a normal body temperature.
  • Encountering heart problems.
  • Developing a goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland).

Regarding the question of whether it is possible to lose weight when you have hypothyroidism, the answer is yes. One program that offers a research-based approach to weight loss for individuals with hypothyroidism is “Eat Well Lose Weight” by Kanakaveda. This program focuses on holistic medicines to achieve weight loss and reduce belly fat without resorting to surgery, gym workouts, crash dieting, or experiencing side effects. The program is designed for those who are hypothyroid, overweight (with a BMI of 25 and above), and have not seen results from traditional diet and exercise approaches.

The “Eat Well Lose Weight Program” facilitates significant weight loss while allowing individuals to maintain their regular daily activities. The customized holistic medicines provided as part of the program help control thyroid hormones and address the root causes of the condition, leading to effective weight loss. Just like other weight-loss methods, this program requires a commitment to adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Furthermore, this weight loss program doesn’t only focus on shedding pounds but also offers potential benefits in preventing and even reversing conditions such as Type-2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD), and hypothyroidism.

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