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What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism - not the disease itself, and the condition of the body with a low level of thyroid hormones, which points to a functional impairment of the endocrine organ or pathological processes that affect hormone metabolism. Hypothyroidism is one of the most common diseases of the endocrine system. An extreme form of hypothyroidism in adults the disease myxedema, cretinism in children.

Causes of hypothyroidism

There are primary and secondary hypothyroidism.
In primary hypothyroidism decrease in thyroid hormone is associated with a pathological process in the most iron.
Secondary hypothyroidism is caused by a pathological process in the hypothalamic-pituitary system, which manages the work of the thyroid gland.
In some cases, the genesis of hypothyroidism remains unclear (idiopathic hypothyroidism).
There are several ways of developing primary hypothyroidism:

Alteratsionny (damaging) - direct damage to the thyroid gland by the immune system, the risk of injury, radiation, medication, temperature, parasitic and other harmful effects on the body.

Iodine deficiency - insufficient intake of iodine in the body does not allow the normal functioning of the thyroid gland to produce the necessary amount of hormones, as in the chemical formula of thyroid hormones is iodine.

Primary hypothyroidism may include:

- Birth;
- Acquired.

Congenital hypothyroidism occurs in the absence or hypoplasia of the thyroid gland in this case, the thyroid hormone is not at all, or the underdeveloped gland produces sufficient. Found a hereditary defect in enzymes involved in the synthesis of thyroid hormones, and the uptake of iodine breaks down the thyroid gland.

Acquired primary hypothyroidism occurs after surgery to remove the thyroid gland, when exposed to radiation from the environment or the beam irradiation of the neck, the treatment of radioactive iodine therapy, after the inflammatory diseases of the thyroid gland under the influence of certain drugs (lithium, adrenal hormones, iodides, beta-blockers, an overdose of vitamin A), in the event of neoplastic diseases of the thyroid gland. They also include endemic goiter forms associated with decreased thyroid function.
The cause of secondary hypothyroidism - pituitary or hypothalamic disease.

Damage or functional failure of controlling the activity of the thyroid gland structures (the pituitary and hypothalamus) can change its state - to reduce the functional activity.

The main manifestations of hypothyroidism

As the severity of primary hypothyroidism is divided into:

Latent (subclinical), with no visible manifestations of elevated levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH pituitary hormone) at a normal level of thyroxine (T4 thyroid hormone).

Symptomatic - increased production of TSH with reduced levels of T4, vivid clinical manifestations:

A. Compensated.
B. Decompensated.

Severe (complicated). There are serious complications such as cretinism, heart failure, serous effusion in the cavity, secondary pituitary adenoma. True hypothyroidism is manifest form.

The earlier the age of manifest hypothyroidism, in order to more serious complications can result. With inadequate treatment of congenital hypothyroidism develops cretinism, a developmental disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) and skeletal system. Developed into childhood and adolescence, hypothyroidism leads to disruption of central nervous system and stunted growth. In young adulthood, and hypothyroidism progresses slowly until myxedema. In elderly and senile age hypothyroidism usually occurs virtually asymptomatic and is often regarded as the actual age-related changes.

Congenital hypothyroidism is manifested after birth: prolonged jaundice infants, constipation, poor sucking, decreased motor activity. In the future, there is a significant growth retardation, impaired speech development, hearing loss, mental retardation (cretinism).

The manifestations of hypothyroidism in many guises, taken separately are non-specific symptoms:

- obesity, reduced body temperature, chill - a constant feeling of cold, because of the slowing of metabolism, jaundice of the skin, high cholesterol, early atherosclerosis;
- Myxedema edema: swelling around the eyes, teeth imprints on the tongue, difficulty in nasal breathing and hearing loss (swelling of the mucous membranes of the nose and ear tubes), hoarseness of voice;
- Drowsiness, slowness of mental processes (thinking, language, emotional responses), memory loss, neuropathy;
- Shortness of breath, especially when walking, sudden movements, pain in the heart and the sternum, miksedematoznoe heart (slowing of heart rate, increase the size of the heart), heart failure, hypotension;
- A tendency to constipation, nausea, bloating, enlarged liver, biliary dyskinesia, cholelithiasis;
- Anemia;
- Dry, brittle, and hair loss, brittle nails with transverse and longitudinal grooves;
- Menstrual irregularities in women.

Complication of hypothyroidism

Severe, life-threatening, but rare complication of hypothyroidism is hypothyroid or miksedematoznaya, coma, usually develops in elderly patients with poor treatment or lack of it. Hypothyroid coma may be triggered by cooling, acute infectious and other diseases, intoxication, trauma.

What can a doctor do?

Treatment of hypothyroidism is conducting an endocrinologist.

The goal of treatment of hypothyroidism is persistent in the body to maintain the level of thyroid hormone at a level that satisfies the physiological needs.

Treatment of thyroid hormones is carried out carefully, the dose chosen individually for each patient under the control of heart rate, ECG, complaints of pain in the heart and blood cholesterol levels.

Depending on the reasons that contributed to the hypothyroidism and the condition of the body, the patient is prescribed medication, or a few myasyatsev, or a few years or for life.
Proper and timely treatment of primary hypothyroidism leads to the elimination of the main symptoms and restores the ability to work. The outcome of secondary hypothyroidism, even when adequate hormonal treatment success depends on the underlying disease.

In the case of iodine deficiency, it is prescribed in adequate doses and appropriate dosage form. It should be cautious about self-treatment with iodine due to the possibility of harm to himself. This is due to the fact that the activity of iodine may affect thyroid function voltage, and cause a deterioration in her condition.

What can you do?

Treatment of hypothyroidism should be started as early as possible in order to avoid serious complications. Especially when it comes to children. Therefore, as soon as my mother says symptoms listed above should immediately consult a doctor-endocrinologist.