Different Types Of Hypothyroidism And Its Symptoms
Thyroid gland problems are among the most common problems faced today. I frequently hear people asking “Why are thyroid conditions on the rise?” The question is unanswerable most of the times even by the thyroid specialists. However, it is estimated that some million people are suffering from thyroid problem every year across the world and the reason to the question is unknown. Among these, the major part of the people have hypothyroidism – a condition which is characterized by the low thyroid hormone production.
What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism usually referred to as a condition where body’s thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of thyroid hormone as per the body’s need/requirement. This hormone is essential in order to regulate the body’s metabolic behavior and also has many profound effects on many physiological processes.
There are many health disorders that result in hypothyroidism and the thyroid gland is directly or indirectly involved in this. This is because thyroid gland is responsible for producing thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone deficit also has a great impact on growth and development of the body and other cellular processes that has a widespread of consequences on the human health.
Thyroid gland, one of the largest endocrine glands, found in lower part of the neck is the master gland of metabolism. The thyroid gland uses iodine as the main compound to produce thyroid hormone which is available mainly from the diet you usually follow. Seafood, bread and salt are some of the rich sources of iodine.
Less commonly hypothyroidism is also caused with excess amounts or sometimes with too little iodine in the diet. The principal hormones are the triiodothyronine and thyroxin and the hormonal output is regulated by TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).
Different Types of Hypothyroidism
As hypothyroidism is because of a variety of causes, there are 4 different types of hypothyroidism. They are usually referred as follows:
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, also referred to as autoimmune thyroid disorder or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, which is one of the most common type of hypothyroidism. This is usually caused by the chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland. Our immune system is known to protect our body from foreign invaders, like bacterial and viral disease causing infections.
But in the case of such autoimmune diseases this is quite different. Here the immune system attacks the body’s own cells and organs where thyroid gland being the vital part in this, is now affected. It now interferes with the natural ability of thyroid gland in producing thyroid hormones which affects the entire human body.
In general terms, inflammation of thyroid gland is referred to as thyroiditis. There are several types of thyroiditis:
- Subacute Granulomatous Thyroiditis: Subacute granulomatous thyroiditis or subacute thyroiditis is a viral and bacterial infection, which results in the painful inflammation and enlargement of thyroid gland leading to this condition. Experts don’t actually know what exactly causes this condition and it is usually fades away within few months.
- Subacute Lymphocytic Thyroiditis: Subacute lymphocytic thyroiditis or silent thyroiditis features a small goiter without causing any pain or tenderness. It falls under the category of autoimmune disease and the chances are that it may develop into permanent hypothyroidism and may occur in any age.
- Drug Induced Hypothyroidism: Drug induced hypothyroidism may be caused in people infected with predisposed reactions caused by treatment with iodides and lithium. Drugs used for treating hyperthyroidism such as radioactive iodine, potassium iodide, propylthiouracil, and methimazole may cause this type of hypothyroidism. The severe form of hypothyroidism is called myxedema coma, which is seldom, a drug related emergency.
Postpartum hypothyroidism, a form of thyroiditis occurs in women after pregnancy. This usually causes thyrotoxicosis – a condition where there is too much thyroid in blood and later hypothyroidism – a condition where too little hormone is found in blood and is usually referred as an autoimmune disease. As many new mothers are generally fatigued this disease in them often misdiagnosed. Infants born to these mothers must be taken extra care as it may affect even their health and development.
Congenital hypothyroidism is a condition found in infants where the thyroid is neither fully developed nor does function properly. If untreated for several months it may lead to permanent mental retardation and growth failure. Early treatments for such complications can be prevented with the screening of newborns for hypothyroidism.
Though both men and women are likely to suffer from these types of hypothyroidism, the risk factors are high in woman between the age of 20- 50. Once occurred hypothyroidism can be cured and people need to undertake thyroid hormone replacement for the rest of their lives. This medication is only able to relieve you from symptoms and other affects caused by hypothyroidism but not completely from this disorder.
About the Author
As a women who has hypothyroidism, I would like to share all of my knowledge to all of you about hypothyroidism and how can you make change of your life.