Do you tire more easily? If your skin feels dry and you are more forgetful than usual, it could be more than fatigue. Are you suddenly gaining weight for no reason? There’s a chance that your thyroid hormone levels are too low.
Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which a person’s thyroid gland doesn’t produce the usual amount of hormones. Its symptoms are barely noticeable at first, but if left untreated, it may lead to several health problems, including obesity and even heart disease. Unless you see your family doctor, you may not even notice it.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism may also vary depending on the severity. The symptoms can also develop slowly over the years. At first, you’ll only experience minor symptoms such as weight gain and fatigue. However, there’s a chance that you may develop other health problems as your metabolism continues to slow down.
Causes of Hypothyroidism
There can be several causes for developing hypothyroidism. It can also be a result of a certain number of factors, too. To help you understand it better, here are a few of the most common factors that can lead to hypothyroidism.
● Autoimmune disease – The Mayo Clinic says that Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism for most people. Autoimmune diseases happen when the immune system produces antibodies to attack its tissues. Although scientists aren’t yet sure about its origin, it likely involves a person’s genes and even the environment.
● Radiation treatment – A few people who suffer from Graves’ disease or thyroid cancer undergo radioactive iodine treatment to destroy their thyroid gland. Meanwhile, those with lymphoma or Hodgkin’s disease undergo radiation to get rid of their thyroid glands. Once the procedure is successful, these patients will lose a portion of their entire thyroid function.
● Congenital hypothyroidism – Even babies are also prone to this type of thyroid disease. Some babies have a congenital condition where they are born without a thyroid or have a partially formed one. Meanwhile, some babies have thyroid cells that don’t function normally.
● Thyroiditis – This is a medical condition that causes the thyroid glands to get inflamed. Thyroid.org says that this medical condition can make the thyroid release its entire supply of thyroid hormones in one go, thus causing the person to suffer from brief hyperthyroidism.
● Medications – There are specific medications that may also cause a person to develop thyroid disease. Drugs such as lithium and amiodarone can hinder the thyroid gland from producing hormones. These medications can trigger a patient to develop hypothyroidism, especially if he or she is genetically prone to it.
● Injury to the pituitary gland – The pituitary gland is an important part of the body. It responds to the production of hormones. If it gets damaged due to radiation, tumor, or surgery, the thyroid gland will stop the production of hormones.
These are only a few facts about hyperthyroidism that you need to remember. If you ever experience any of these symptoms, get in touch with your family doctor in Salem about it. The best way to combat diseases like this is through an immediate diagnosis.