The Many Effects of Hypothyroidism

An under effective Thyroid or Hypothyroidism occurs when the Thyroid Gland does not produce the required amount of a hormone named Thyroxin or T4 as required by the body. The hormone T4 is responsible for regulating many body functions such as heart-rate, physical growth, digestion and mental development. The effects of Hypothyroidism are manifold and have severe impact on our body functions when this hormone’s supply is short of the optimum, it can impact on the life sustaining processes , damages tissues and organs in almost all parts of the body and leads to serious complications which could be life threatening.

Effects of Hypothyroidism may not be immediately apparent

Among human population, Hypothyroidism is one of the most common chronic diseases. Yet, the Effects of Hypothyroidism may not be manifested for even for years after the Thyroid stops functioning. People often mistake the Effects of Hypothyroidism as symptoms of other conditions like menopause or aging. It is seen that two out of three people are ignorant about the Effects of Hypothyroidism.

Types of Hypothyroidism

There are three types of Hypothyroidism. The commonest form is the primary Hypothyroidism. In this type, the Thyroid produces an insufficient amount of T4, the hormone responsible for regulating many of our body functions. The Effects of Hypothyroidism due to inadequacy of T4 is seen in weight, sleep patterns, appetite, body temperature, sex urge and many other mental as well as emotional areas.  The secondary Hypothyroidism occurs when the Pituitary Gland fails to release adequate hormone TSH which stimulates the Thyroid which stimulates the Thyroid to produce T4. The third type of Hypothyroidism develops when Hypothalamus—the portion of the brain controlling the Endocrine system malfunctions. Effect of Hypothyroidism can also be seen in drug induced cases. This occurs in approximately 0’02 percent cases. However, the Effect of Hypothyroidism is rarely severe.

Effects of Hypothyroidism on women

Hypothyroidism is twice as common in women as men. Though Hypothyroidism generally occurs in women in the age group of 35 to 60, it can occur in women at any age. Even new born infants are subjected to tests for congenital Thyroid deficiency or Cretinism by measuring the Thyroxin level in the blood.

Effects of Hypothyroidism in general

Often, Hypothyroidism is referred as a silent disease, because the effects of Hypothyroidism are so mild in the initial stages that it may escape detection. If the Effects of Hypothyroidism are not noticed in the initial stages, they may become progressively severe leading to mental disorder, breathing problems, irregular heart-beat, changes in body temperature. Death also occurs in the most severe cases.

Effects of Hypothyroidism can be seen in the following cases:

  • Decreased heart rate.
  • Undue fatigue.
  • Weight gain.
  • Progressive hearing loss.
  • Difficulty in concentration.
  • Loss of memory.
  • Depression.
  •  Muscle pain.
  • Weakness.
  •  Dry skin.
  • Loss or premature graying of hair
  • Unusual sensitivity to cold.
  • Irregular menstrual cycle.
  • Constipation.
  • Hoarseness of voice.

The effects of Hypothyroidism are seen generally as a gradual process. In case the Effects of Hypothyroidism appears all of a sudden resulting in severe muscle cramps, it could be due to a result of a surgery or some specific treatment for Hyperthyroidism.  In such cases, a physician must be consulted.

The effects of Hypothyroidism are fairly slow to start with. The usual tests namely, TSH evaluation may not indicate whether Hypothyroidism is present or otherwise. It is necessary to go for more sensitive tests to determine whether Hypothyroidism is present or not. An experienced physician can tell from the symptoms if Hypothyroidism is present.

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