What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a malfunction of the thyroid gland butterfly-shaped at the base of the neck that secretes thyroid hormones. Unlike hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, is the result of low production of hormones by the thyroid gland. The women, especially after 50 years, have two to three times more likely to be affected by hypothyroidism than men.
The causes of hypothyroidism
Iodine deficiency remains the leading cause of hypothyroidism worldwide. However, there are other causes of hypothyroidism such as:
-A Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: it is an autoimmune disease that leads the body to produce abnormally immune cells which destroy the thyroid gland. To date, it still fails to understand what causes this disease.
-The iatrogenic hypothyroidism: sometimes, wanting to treat hyperthyroidism, it inhibits the synthesis of thyroid hormones, it creates hypothyroidism. It is reversible in most cases.
-A radioactive iodine treatment to treat hyperthyroidism can appear hypothyroidism after a few years.
However, there are some rare causes of hypothyroidism. It is :
-The drug induced hypothyroidism: There are drugs such as lithium, amiodarone (a medicine containing iodine used in cardiology), cytokines, and interferon alpha which may result in hypothyroidism. In most cases, these are reversible hypothyroidism.
-The congenital hypothyroidism: that is to say, present since birth. They are rare. Congenital hypothyroidism is characterized by insufficient activity of the thyroid. This hormonal imbalance can cause serious complications such as mental retardation and stunted growth. Congenital hypothyroidism is usually detected a few days after the birth of the child through systematic blood test.
-A iodine deficiency: It no longer exists in Europe, but it is present in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. When the cause of hypothyroidism is iodine deficiency, goiter is visible.
-An excess iodine: This case is extremely rare. In countries where the consumption of algae is high (Asian countries), the excess iodine is a common cause of hypothyroidism.
Who are the people at risk?
People who are more likely to have hypothyroidism are:
-Women over 60: 10% of them suffer from hypothyroidism
-Women who gave birth during the year: about 7% of them are transiently affected by an inflammation of the thyroid that can lead to a hypothyroidism lasting in 1 in 5 cases.
-People with a personal or family history of hypothyroidism or autoimmune disease (rheumatoid, type 1 diabetes, psoriasis, etc …)
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
It must be said that in some people hypothyroidism is asymptomatic (no symptoms). In others, hypothyroidism manifests itself in several symptoms. However, the symptoms of hypothyroidism are often nonspecific. That is, they are common to many diseases. Only the blood test can formally establish a diagnosis. The characteristic symptoms of hypothyroidism are:
-A significant fatigue and lack of energy
-Increased weight despite a normal diet.
-The hair often becomes dry, brittle, difficult to comb.
– Loss of memory
-A drop in sex drive, especially among women
-Troubles of erection in men
– A dry and pale skin pulling towards the yellow.
-An irregular menstrual cycle, longer, shorter, or completely absent
-More abundant menstruation.
– A goiter
– Immune weakness, recurrent infections.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism are not specific to the disease and diverse, the diagnosis is not always easy to ask. To detect hypothyroidism, the doctor will perform tests that assess the function of the thyroid gland. When a doctor receives a patient he suspects hypothyroidism, it first palpate her neck, to detect an abnormality of the thyroid (goiter, thyroid too small, etc.). Then, it performs a TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone which stimulates the secretion of thyroid hormones. Because hormone levels vary constantly, it is necessary to do several blood tests, to several days apart. Once the diagnosis is established rigorously,
Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy
Many pregnant women suffer from hypothyroidism. Although hypothyroidism in pregnant women requires special medical supervision, as it is well treated, it poses no particular problems for the mother and the unborn baby. But if it is not properly treated, hypothyroidism poses great risks to the mother (increased risk of miscarriage, high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia) and for the unborn child (developmental delay psychomotor newborn). When a pregnant woman suffers from hypothyroidism, its blood levels of TSH and thyroid hormone levels should be monitored regularly (at least every two months).
If you are pregnant and you have hypothyroidism, tell us, we will consider your natural treatment.