Characteristics of hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism medicinal plant treatment

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a metabolic disorder characterized in that the thyroid produces too little thyroid hormone.

drawing of thyroid

Drawing of thyroid gland

What is and what functions does the thyroid gland have?

The thyroid gland is located in the lower front part of the larynx, at the base of the neck, and weighs between 15 and 30 gr in adults. It consists of two lateral lobes that join together connected by a kind of bridge, called isthmus, located in the cricoid cartilage.

The formation of thyroid hormones occurs inside the thyroid follicles, where thyroglobulin, a protein with numerous tyrosine residues, is found. Enzymes called deiodinases (constituted by selenium) add iodine atoms to tyrosines, forming iodothyronines, which are the basic structure of thyroid hormones.

What are thyroid hormones?

Thyroid hormones are mainly thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are vital, and their effect occurs throughout the body, stimulating the entire metabolism.

They consist mainly of iodine atoms. Selenium is also needed to produce them and to be used.

The production of these hormones is regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid gland, through the release of hormones TRH, TSH and thyroid hormones, respectively.

Among its functions we have:

  • Fat metabolism
  • Heat production
  • Emotional states
  • Growth and development

Consequences of hypothyroidism

The deficient production of these hormones triggers a whole series of metabolic disorders that can produce more or less severe health.

  • Goiter: 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.

  • Cretinism: If hypothyroidism is not treated early, it 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.).
  • Myxedema coma: 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.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism

Among the most characteristic symptoms we have:

Causes of hypothyroidism


A diet with little iodine promotes the appearance of hypothyroidism

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.

Can hypothyroidism be prevented?

There is no prevention on this disease, although it is important to be aware of the possible symptoms if there is a relative who has it. An early and adequate treatment is essential to avoid aggravation

Diagnostics 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
  • Blood tests.
  • It can take other, more specific tests like Xrays of the heart.

Ordinary treatment of hypothyroidism

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.

Natural treatment of hypertyroidism

The natural treatment of hyperthyroidism involves using a series of natural resources that can be helpful to the conventional treatment. It implies the following:

  • Medicinal plant treatment
  • Suitable plant-based diet

punto rojo More information on the natural treatment of hypothyroidism.

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

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Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.