Hypothyroidism is a metabolic disorder characterized in that the thyroid produces too little thyroid hormone.
The thyroid is a very important gland for the metabolism that is located at the bottom front of the larynx. This is responsible for the production of thyroid hormones (Thyroxine and triiodothyronine), which play an important role in such vital functions as fat metabolism, heat production, emotional states or growth and development. The deficient production of these hormones triggers a whole series of metabolic disorders that can produce more or less severe health.
Hypothyroidism is the most important cause of the appearance of goiter. Goiter occurs when the thyroid increases in size and this change is perceived by the appearance of a prominent bulge in the front of the neck. While a normal thyroid gland weighs 20 to 30 grams. An enlarged thyroid can weigh up to one kilogram, which, in addition to being aesthetically unpleasant, leads to many difficulties in breathing and swallowing of the sufferer.
If hypothyroidism is not treated early can cause cretinism, a physical condition characterized by a lack of both physical and mental development as well as other physical symptoms characteristic (waxy skin, speech problems, pot belly, etc.).
The most serious consequence of having very low levels of thyroid hormones is myxedema coma that is preceded by characteristic symptoms such as hypersensitivity to cold, extremely dry skin, hypotension, slow breathing, lower body temperature than normal and mental problems.
Types of hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism can be of two types:
- Primary hypothyroidism: occurs as a result of the underdevelopment of the thyroid.
- Secondary hypothyroidism: Produced because the hypothalamus does not produce enough thyroid stimulating hormone releasing factor (TRH) - thyrotropin release hormone - or the pituitary gland does not produce enough thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) - Thyroid Stimulant Hormone.
The main reasons that can cause hyperthyroidism are:
- Primary Hypothyroidism, the main causes that produce this type of hypothyroidism are:
- Thyroid disease: mainly caused by tumors or because of thyroid removal through surgery or radioactive iodine.
- Problems of autoimmunity: The body attacks the thyroid itself like it was a foreign object. This condition is known as Hashimoto's disease. In this disease, there is an accumulation of white blood cells that causes swelling of the thyroid with the consequent destruction of it. It is a cause that produces the most prominent goiter.
- Problems of body recognition of thyroid hormones: the body's cells do not stop to recognize the hormones produced by the thyroid.
- Lack of iodine: Caused by an iodine-deficient diet or an excess of foods that inhibit absorption.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as those prescribed for epilepsy or certain tranquilizers can cause primary hypothyroidism.
- Secondary Hypothyroidism: produced by diseases in other organs that influence the production of thyroid hormones: The hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
The hypothalamus, a part of the brain detects the lack of hormones and produces thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH). This, in turn, stimulates the pituitary gland at the base of the brain to release stimulating hormone (TSH). The release of this hormone induces the thyroid to produce more hormones that restores the appropriate levels.
Prevention of hypothyroidism
There is no prevention of this disease, although it is important to be aware of possible symptoms if there is a family that owns it. Early appropriate treatment is essential to prevent it from worsening.
Diagnostics and treatment of hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is a condition that requires appropriate treatment to prevent serious health problems. Possible symptoms of hypothyroidism require to see a doctor who will perform a proper diagnosis. This is done through an exploration of the patient, a review of family history and blood tests. It can take other, more specific tests like X-rays of the heart.
The treatment involves the use of an appropriate medication for the thyroid hormone reaches appropriate levels. This type of treatment is chronic and has not to be left although levels have normalized.
The natural treatment of hypothyroidism involves using a series of natural resources that can be helpful to conventional treatment.
More information on the natural treatment of the hypothyroidism in the listing above.
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