Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Remedies

Hypothyroidism Treatment Remedies


The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

More about Hypothyroidism

Women, especially those older than age 60, are more likely to have hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism upsets the normal balance of chemical reactions in your body.

Hypothyroidism seldom causes symptoms in the early stages, but, over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.

The severity of hypothalamus could be subclinical where patients remain asymptomatic or full blown clinical where patients show different laboratory abnormalities.

Other notable causes of hypothyroidism include Hashimoto's thyroiditis, treatment for hyperthyroidism, infiltrative thyroid diseases, surgical thyroidectomy, and certain iodine-rich drugs.

Individuals with untreated or undiagnosed hypothyroidism usually develop a severe form of the disease known as Myxedema coma after long exposure to an external stress.

Iodine is a fundamental constituent of the thyroid hormone that can only be obtained through the diet.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms



Intolerance to cold.

Muscle aching and cramps.


Weight gain or difficulty losing weight.

Poor appetite.

Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)

Dry, rough skin.

Hair loss.

Coarse, dry hair.

Eye and face swelling.

Deeper and/or hoarse voice.

Enlarged tongue.

Irregular or heavy menstrual periods.


Memory loss.

Slowed thinking and mental activity.

Increased blood cholesterol levels.


Decreased libido.

Babies with hypothyroidism may have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they can include:.

Cold hands and feet.


Extreme sleepiness.

Hoarse cry.

Little or no growth.

Low muscle tone (floppy infant)

Persistent jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)

Poor feeding habits.

Puffy face.

Stomach bloating.

Swollen tongue.

The disease generally manifests as a slackening physical and mental ability in individuals although in some patients, the disease may be asymptomatic.

Clinical manifestations of this condition are qualified by slowing of the patient’s body functions.

In later stages of the condition, pericardial effusion occurs, a condition where fluid accumulates around the patient’s heart.

Hypothyroidism leads to growth retardation and intellectual disability in young children.

The common physical symptoms include swelling especially in joints, weight gain, pallor, straw-like hair, weight gain, periorbital puffiness, macroglossia, and dry skin.

Advanced conditions of the disease such as myxedema may be life threatening; signs include reduced blood pressure, reduced body temperature, and unresponsiveness.

Newborns suffer from frequent choking, enlarged and protruding tongue, and jaundice.

Children with hypothyroidism may also experience puffy faces.

In infants, hypothyroidism may lead to growth retardation which may culminate in dwarfism.

Hypothyroidism Causes

Radioactive iodine treatment. This treatment is commonly prescribed to people who have an overactive thyroid gland, a condition known as hyperthyroidism. However, radiation destroys the cells in the thyroid gland. This usually leads to hypothyroidism.

Thyroid surgery. Surgery to remove the thyroid will lead to hypothyroidism. If only part of the thyroid is removed, the remaining gland may still be able to produce enough hormone for the body's needs.

Too little iodine in the diet. The thyroid needs iodine to produce thyroid hormone. Your body doesn't make iodine, so you need to get it through your diet. Iodized table salt is rich in iodine. Other food sources of iodine include shellfish, saltwater fish, eggs, dairy products, and seaweed. Iodine deficiency is rare in the U.S.

Pituitary gland damage or disorder. Rarely, a problem with the pituitary gland can interfere with the production of thyroid hormone. The pituitary gland makes a hormone, called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which tells your thyroid how much hormone it should make and release.

Disorder of the hypothalamus. An extremely rare form of hypothyroidism can occur if the hypothalamus in the brain does not produce enough of a hormone called TRH. TRH affects the release of TSH from the pituitary gland.

Autoimmune Diseases. These diseases cause the production of antibodies that attack your thyroid gland. Autoimmune thyroiditis, which can appear suddenly or develop over several years, is more common in women. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and atrophic thyroiditis are the most common types.

Infiltration. Diseases like amyloidosis can cause the thyroid to become overwhelmed by abnormal proteins where the cells cannot function normally.

Viral or Autoimmune Thyroiditis. When antibodies or viruses attack your thyroid, thyroid hormones can leak out. Sometimes all of the thyroid’s hormones are released into your blood at one time. When this happens, symptoms of thyroid excess or hyperthyroidism occur.

Primary hypothyroidism is caused by a problem with the thyroid gland itself.

Secondary hypothyroidism occurs when another problem interferes with the thyroid's ability to produce hormones. For example, the pituitary gland and hypothalamus produce hormones that trigger the release of thyroid hormone. A problem with one of these glands can make your thyroid underactive.

Sometimes, an underactive thyroid that results from a problem with the hypothalamus is called tertiary hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism disease occurs due to the inability or failure of the thyroid gland to produce or secrete sufficient hormones.

When the body’s immune system develops antibodies which attack an individual’s own tissues, the thyroid's hormone production ability is affected. This occurs when triggered by some bacterium or virus or due to an individual’s genetic flaw.

If an individual suffers from hyperthyroidism, a condition that results in production of too much thyroid hormone, he or she is subjected to anti-thyroid medications or treated using radioactive iodine. Such treatments may lead to permanent hypothyroidism.

When an individual undergoes thyroid surgery, where a large portion of his thyroid gland is removed, his hormone production may diminish or halt for life. In such a case, the patient has to be treated with thyroid hormone for the rest of his life.

Radiation therapy often administered to treat neck and head cancers can affect the general functioning of the thyroid gland and consequently result in hypothyroidism.

Some medications such as lithium, often used to treat psychiatric disorders may also cause hypothyroidism.

Iodine is essential in production of the thyroid hormones and its deficiency can result in hypothyroidism; However, it is also important to note that too much of iodine can also lead to hypothyroidism.

To some extent, failure of the pituitary gland to produce sufficient amounts of thyroid-stimulating hormone could also lead to this disease.

During and after pregnancy, some women tend to develop antibodies against their own thyroid gland, a condition which may lead to postpartum hypothyroidism.

A number of obstetric complications are witnessed during pregnancy; these include anaemia, postpartum haemorrhage, cardiac ventricular dysfunction, increased risk of abortion, low birth weight, and foetal mortality.

Hypothyroidism Diagnosis

Diagnosis of the hypothyroidism disease relies on the measurement of the TSH levels and thyroxine (thyroid hormone) levels which is done through blood tests.

A high level of the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and a low level of thyroxine is an indication of an underactive thyroid. This is because the pituitary gland secretes more thyroid-stimulating hormone to trigger the thyroid gland to increase production of thyroid hormone.

With the Sensitive TSH test, doctors are able to diagnose and detect thyroid disorders at an earlier point in time, way before the patient experiences symptoms of the condition.

Doctors first perform a TSH check on the patient before carrying out a thyroid hormone test if necessary.

One other advantage of the TSH test is that it helps your doctor to determine the accurate dosage of medication.

With the TSH tests, doctors can also diagnose subclinical hypothyroidism as well as its symptoms.

Normal limits of TSH should be between 0.4 and 4.0 mU/l. TSH levels above the normal limits indicate mild hypothyroidism, which is likely to progress toward hypothyroidism with increase in the number of antibodies.

Your doctor may also inspect your thyroid gland for any enlargement if any. He may also look out for characteristic signs such as slow heart rate, thinning hair, ankle reflexes, or for dry skin.

Blood tests for levels of a patient’s cholesterol may also be performed.

Individuals with hypothyroidism are treated with thyroxin with the objective of raising serum thyroxine concentration and lowering serum thyrotropin concentration. This helps to normalize thyrotropin and serum thyroxine concentrations and at the same time recversing the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Closer attention and check-up is advised for pregnant women and women with more than 60 years of age.

Patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and with a history of neck irradiation also require close attention.

In case of any signs or symptoms of hypothyroidism such as intolerance to cold, you are advised to seek immediate medical attention.

Hypothyroidism Treatment

Although levothyroxine medication is a lifelong medication, your doctor may still find it appropriate to check your TSH levels every year to determine proper dosage.

With this medication, it takes 3 to 5 days for a patient to report clinical benefits.

It is also important to note that excessive levothyroxine medication may result in increased appetite, insomnia, heart palpitations, and shakiness.

For patients with a history of severe hypothyroidism or coronary artery disease, smaller dosages are recommended but your doctor may gradually increase the dosage over time.

Patients on levothyroxine medication are advised against skipping doses.

The oral medication lowers the blood cholesterol levels and helps fight fatigue levels.

In most cases, symptoms of hypothyroidism start to improve within the first week after you start treatment. All symptoms usually disappear within a few months.

Infants and children with hypothyroidism should always be treated. Older adults and people who are in poor health may take longer to respond to the medicine.

If you take too little medicine, you may have symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as constipation, feeling cold or sluggish, and gaining weight.

Too much medicine can cause nervousness, problems sleeping, and shaking (tremors).

If you have heart disease, too much medicine can cause irregular heartbeats and chest pain. People who also have heart disease often start on a low dose of levothyroxine, which is increased gradually.

If you have severe hypothyroidism by the time you are diagnosed, you will need immediate treatment. Severe, untreated hypothyroidism can cause myxedema coma, a rare, life-threatening condition.

Treatment during pregnancy is especially important, because hypothyroidism can harm the developing fetus.

If you develop hypothyroidism during pregnancy, treatment should be started immediately. If you have hypothyroidism before you become pregnant, your thyroid hormone levels need to be checked to make sure that you have the right dose of thyroid medicine. During pregnancy, your dose of medicine may need to be increased by 25% to 50%.5

If you develop hypothyroidism after pregnancy (postpartum hypothyroidism), you also may need treatment. You will be retested for hypothyroidism if you become pregnant again. In some cases hypothyroidism will go away on its own. In other cases it is permanent and requires lifelong treatment.

Alternative medicine to the synthetic thyroxine includes natural extracts rich in thyroid hormone. Such extracts can be obtained from pigs’ thyroid glands. Such extracts contain triiodothyronine in addition to the thyroxine.

Patients suffering from hypothyroidism rarely undergo surgery; surgery is only performed in cases of hyperthyroidism and large goitres which interfere with tracheoesophageal function.

Patients with myxedema, a severe condition of hypothyroidism, require hospitalization and aggressive management.

After TSH normalization, patients should be monitored for symptoms of overtreatment which include headaches, tiredness, nervousness, possible angina, sleeplessness, palpitations, and Tachycardia.

If you have had radiation therapy and have hypothyroidism, or if your thyroid gland has been removed, you will most likely need treatment from now on. If your hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimoto's thyroiditis, you might also need treatment from now on. Sometimes, thyroid gland function returns on its own in Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

If a serious illness or infection triggered your hypothyroidism, your thyroid function most likely will return to normal when you recover.

Some medicines may cause hypothyroidism. Your thyroid function may return to normal when you stop the medicines.

If you have mild (subclinical) hypothyroidism, you may not need treatment but should be watched for signs of hypothyroidism getting worse. You and your doctor will talk about the pros and cons of taking medicine to treat your mild hypothyroidism. The dose of thyroid medicine must be watched carefully in people who also have heart disease, because too much medicine increases the risk of chest pain (angina) and irregular heartbeats (atrial fibrillation).

Most people treated with thyroid hormone develop symptoms again if their medicine is stopped. If this occurs, medicine needs to be restarted.

If a serious illness or infection triggers your hypothyroidism, your thyroid function most likely will return to normal when you recover.

Some health food stores in the United States sell "natural" forms of thyroid hormone. The quality and effectiveness of these natural agents are unregulated. Some may not work at all. Others may have an active ingredient that does work but that may be dangerous to certain people.

Hypothyroidism Prevention

Most cases of hypothyroidism in the United States are caused by Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which cannot be prevented.

Although you can't prevent hypothyroidism, you can watch for signs of the disease so it can be treated promptly. Some people who are at high risk for having hypothyroidism but do not have symptoms can be tested to see whether they have mild, or subclinical, hypothyroidism.

The American Thyroid Association recommends that all adults be tested beginning at age 35 and continuing every 5 years. Older adults, especially women older than 60, those with a family history of hypothyroidism, and those who have Addison's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, pernicious anemia, or type 1 diabetes should also be tested, according to these recommendations.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force makes no recommendation for or against thyroid screening for people who do not have symptoms of hypothyroidism. The USPSTF states there is not enough evidence to support screening.

Another panel of experts from several medical specialties recommends against widespread screening. But these health professionals say that if you are high risk, you may want to be screened. Those at high risk include women older than age 60 and people who have type 1 diabetes or other autoimmune diseases. Talk to your doctor about whether you should be screened.

To make thyroid hormone, thyroid requires tiny amounts of iodine; unfortunately, most foods today contain iodine which makes it practically difficult to prevent hypothyroidism since ingestion of large amounts of iodine worsens the condition.

Testing for the hypothyroidism disease at the age of 35 years and repeating the tests after every 5 years helps discover the signs of the disease at an earlier point in time allowing for prompt treatment.

Women with more than 60 years of age and individuals with a family history of rheumatoid arthritis, Addison's disease, type 1 diabetes, or pernicious anaemia should also be tested after every 5 years.

Prevention of the disease is therefore limited to early diagnosis and prompt treatment and screening is important.

Hypothyroidism Statistics & Facts

Hypothyroidism refers to the underactive production of the thyroid hormone.

Treatment of hypothyroidism involves a thyroid hormone replacement therapy while diagnosis involves blood testing.

It is important to note that 50 percent of hypothyroidism cases occur as a result of autoimmune aetiology while the remaining 50 percent is attributed to drugs and other causes.

The prevalence of the hypothyroidism disease varies from 4.6 percent to 9.5 percent of the United States population, an equivalent of 14 to 30 million people as at July 2012.

About 40 percent of the people on thyroid medication have recorded abnormal TSH readings as per the Colorado Thyroid Disease Prevalence Study.

According to the NHANES III study, females are more likely to suffer from Hyperthyroidism than their male counterparts.

The Studies have also confirmed that the prevalence levels of hypothyroidism grow with increasing age.

In the United States alone, 1 out of every 4000 babies is born with hypothyroidism.

Studies have also confirmed that older adults (older than 60 years) are more likely to suffer from hypothyroidism compared to children, teens, or young adults.

Some studies have also shown that 3 to 5 of every 1,000 pregnancies suffers from Hypothyroidism.

Women have a likelihood of 2 to 10 times more than men to suffer from hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

One major cause of hypothyroidism is thyroiditis, which manifests as a swelling in the thyroid gland.

A problem with the patient’s pituitary gland or hypothalamus accounts for less than 5 percent cases of hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism Treatment Remedies plus

The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a common disorder that arises from hormone deficiency, a disorder of the thyroid gland. It occurs when a patient’s thyroid gland fails to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland is then said to be under active.

The body relies on thyroid hormones to regulate its energy; abnormally low levels of thyroid hormones translate to slowing down of vital body functions including temperature regulation and the heartbeat.

This decreased production or secretion of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland results to diminished systemic metabolism, a recipe for multiple organ dysfunctions. This is heavily linked to iodine deficiency.

Primary hypothyroidism is caused by impaired hormone release by the thyroid gland while secondary hypothyroidism occurs as a result of inadequate secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) by the pituitary gland.

Tertiary hypothyroidism on the other hand occurs when the hypothalamus is unable to stimulate the release of the thyroid hormone.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms

Neuromuscular symptoms include sleepiness, fatigue, weakness, muscle aches, slackened speech, reduced action, and slow reflexes also occur.

Other patients also experience elevated blood cholesterol level, decreased perspiration, voice deepening, loss of appetite, reduced heart rate, impaired memory, depression, and constipation.

In some cases, the disease may also lead to irregular menstrual cycles and abnormal menstrual blood flow in women.

Patients suffer increased disposition and intolerance to cold weather.

Patients with the disease may also be unable to concentrate.

Hypothyroidism Causes

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's thyroiditis. "Thyroiditis" is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder. With Hashimoto’s, your body produces antibodies that attack and destroy the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis may also be caused by a viral infection.

Radiation therapy to the neck area. Treating certain cancers, such as lymphoma, requires radiation to the neck. Radiation damages the cells in the thyroid. This makes it more difficult for the gland to produce hormone.

Use of certain medications. Certain medicines to treat heart problems, psychiatric conditions, and cancer can sometimes affect the production of thyroid hormone. These include amiodarone (Cordarone), lithium, interferon alpha, and interleukin-2.

Pregnancy . The reason isn’t clear, but sometimes, inflammation of the thyroid occurs after pregnancy. This is called postpartum thyroiditis. Women with this condition usually have a severe increase in thyroid hormone levels followed by a sharp drop in thyroid hormone production. Most women with postpartum thyroiditis will regain their normal thyroid function.

Problems with the thyroid at birth. Some babies may be born with a thyroid gland that did not develop correctly or does not work properly. This type of hypothyroidism is called congenital hypothyroidism. Most hospitals in the U.S. screen babies at birth for this disease.

Hypothyroidism Treatment

Treatment for hypothyroidism involves reversing clinical progression and at the same time correcting metabolic derangements.

Hypothyroidism can be easily treated using thyroid hormone medicine. The most effective and reliable thyroid replacement hormone is man-made (synthetic).

The thyroid hormone is administered to replace or supplement endogenous production.

The conventional treatment for the hypothyroidism disease remains the use of the synthetic thyroid hormone, levothyroxine, which is administered orally on a daily basis. This medication helps to restore thyroid hormone levels, and to reverse the symptoms and signs of the disease.

Other medications such as iron supplements, cholestyramine, aluminium hydroxide, or aluminium supplements may affect proper absorption of levothyroxine. Always seek your doctor’s advice before using such drugs.

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