What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a result of deficiency of production and/or function of thyroid hormone. It means that thyroid gland fails to produce as enough thyroxine (T4) as your body needs. The hypothyroidism results from low thyroid (underactive thyroid), which is manifested by a group of symptoms of low metabolism, such as cold intolerance, less sweating, fatigue, loss of appetite but weight normal or gain, inactivity, increased need for sleep.
The degree of severity of hyperthyroidism symptoms ranges from mild low metabolism to a critical state for myxedema. Typical myxedema: indifferent expression, pale, swollen eyelids, thickening of lips and tongue, thickening of skin, dry flaky skin, loss of hair and eyebrow. constipation, dizziness, hair loss, puffy face, rougher voice; myxedema coma.
Other symptoms: swelling of the limbs, muscle weakness and pain, joint pain, bradycardia, constipation, anemia; Loss of libido, impotence, excessive menstruation, prolonged menstrual period, infertility.
Cretinism: a condition due to congenital low thyroid - thyroid hormone deficiency during fetal development. That affects the growth of fetus, newborn and children and results in cretinism.
Low thyroid (underactive thyroid) is the cause directly leading to a hypothyroidism. There are many conditions may directly or indirectly involve the thyroid gland and result in hypothyroidism:
- I131 treatment;
- Thyroidectomy (thyroid resection);
- Iodine deficiency, less due to excessive iodine intake;
- Some salts or foods inhibit thyroid iodide uptake;
- Genetic and gene mutation;
- Transient hyperthyroidism: subacte thyroiditis, silent thyroiditis, postpartum thyroiditis;
- thyroid cancer, tumors;
- Pituitary or hypothalamus problems leading to TSH deficiencies;
Diagnosis: Blood test or amniotic fluid test for TT4, FT4, TT3, TF3, which will be low or normal; Decreased thyroid I-131 uptake rate; elevated TSH in a case of primary hypothyroidism (over 90%); TRH stimulation test; Thyroid ultrasound examination; CT or MR scanning pituitary-hypothalamus.
Low thyroid treatment
- For any hyperthyroidism, alternative treatment is needed for the lack of thyroid hormone: oral L-T4 is the choice.
- Preventing the causes and treating the diseases: Against autoimmune thyroiditis, hypothyroidism related to iodine deficiency, drugs, radiation therapy and surgery.
- For anemia, supplement of iron, vitamin B12, folic acid.
- Treatment of myxedema coma: Supplement of TH, keeping warm, oxygen supply, and maintaining good breathing, Intravenous infusion with hydrocortisone, fluid infusion, infection control, rescue patients when patients being shock and coma.