What Is Hypothyroidism? You Might Think You Know, But Do You Really?

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What is Hypothyroidism? You Might Think You Know, But Do You Really?

Hypothyroidism is a condition that occursTotal Thyroidwhen the thyroid gland is unable to produce sufficient levels of thyroid hormones. These hormones are responsible for regulating the rate of the metabolism. If the levels of thyroid hormones are too low then the metabolism will be slower than it should be. This can result is a wide range of different symptoms. If the condition is not treated, it can lead to serious and even life-threatening complications.

There are a number of different causes of hypothyroidism. In some cases, hypothyroidism is a congenital condition. In others, it can occur after the thyroid gland is damaged by inflammation caused by an infection. This is known as Hashimoto's hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can also occur when the thyroid gland is damaged or removed by radioactive iodine or surgery that is used to treat hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, sensitivity to cold, weight gain, constipation and depression. The severity of the condition can vary a lot between individuals, as can the symptoms that are experienced. Hypothyroidism is not diagnosed on the basis of symptoms alone, but through blood tests that measure the levels of thyroid hormones in the body.

Hypothyroidism can be treated with daily doses of synthetic thyroid hormones. These synthetic versions of the thyroid hormones replace the hormones that the thyroid gland is unable to produce. Treatment for hypothyroidism is usually very successful, although it can take some time to determine the correct dosage of the medication. The dosage will need to be monitored to ensure that the correct amount of medication continues to be administered since the requirements can change over time. Treatment is usually lifelong.

Untreated hypothyroidism can lead to complications such as heart disease and myxedema coma. Serious complications can also arise if a woman who has untreated hypothyroidism becomes pregnant. As long as the condition is being properly treated, these complications can be avoided.

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