Hypothyroidism: What You Need To Know

 Hypothyroidism: What you need to know

  • Thyroid diseases occur about five times more frequently in women than in men. As many as 20% of women over 60 years old have subclinical hypothyroidism.
  • If untreated, chronic hypothyroidism can result in myxedema coma, a rare, life-threatening condition. Mental dysfunction, stupor, cardiovascular collapse, and coma can develop after the worsening of chronic hypothyroidism as well.
  • An autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of low thyroid function in the US. The body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid tissue impairing the ability to make hormones. Hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto’s disease is treated with thyroid hormone replacement agents.
  • Hashimoto’s disease usually causes hypothyroidism, but may also trigger hyperthyroid symptoms.
  • Hyperthyroidism is usually caused by Graves’ disease, in which antibodies are produced that bind to TSH receptors in the thyroid gland, stimulating excess thyroid hormone production.
  • The distinction between Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease may not be as important as once thought. In 2009 researchers wrote that, “Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease are different expressions of a basically similar autoimmune process, and the clinical appearance reflects the spectrum of the immune response in a particular patient.” The two diseases can overlap causing both thyroid gland stimulation and destruction simultaneously or in sequence. Some clinicians consider the two conditions different presentations of the same disease. About 4% of patients with Graves’ disease displayed some symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis during childhood.
  • Pregnant women are especially at risk for hypothyroidism. During pregnancy, the thyroid gland produces more thyroid hormone than when a woman is not pregnant, and the gland may increase in size slightly.
  • Uncontrolled thyroid dysfunction during pregnancy can lead to preterm birth, mental retardation, and hemorrhage in the postpartum period.  It is important to work closely with a physician to monitor thyroid function during pregnancy.
  • Tests to diagnose and monitor hypothyroidism include: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Total T4, Total T3, Free T4 (fT4), Free T3 (fT3), Reverse T3 (rT3), Thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb), Thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb)

Click here to read the entire article over at Life Extension!

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One Response to Hypothyroidism: What You Need To Know

  1. See your doctor for regular check ups and annual physicals. It can only help!

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