How do you know if you’re at risk for hypothyroidism?

Health Tips

Not everyone knows that the functioning of the heart and nervous system, intelligence, growth and mental health, as well as the ability to become pregnant, bear a child and breastfeed, are largely dependent on the state of the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormones regulate the metabolism in the body, and therefore control weight, help you be energetic, have good skin and hair.

There are several groups of causes that can lead to a decrease in thyroid function – hypothyroidism. This is a lesion of the thyroid gland itself, a violation of the coordinated activity of regulatory centers, and the intake of certain medications. Up to 50% of patients undergoing thyroid surgery suffer from hypothyroidism.

In a large number of people, hypothyroidism develops due to insufficient intake of iodine from food and water. This is especially true for residents of geographical areas, the soil and water of which are poor in this microelement. In this case, there is a compensatory increase in the size of the thyroid gland, which is called endemic goiter.

Iodine is a vital trace element. It is necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones: T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). For the normal synthesis of these hormones a daily intake of 200-300 mcg of iodine with food is necessary.

With iodine deficiency in the human body, the thyroid gland cannot synthesize hormones in sufficient quantities, all metabolic processes are disrupted. Especially dangerous is the lack of iodine for children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women.

However, it should be borne in mind that iodine in large doses suppresses thyroid function and causes temporary hypothyroidism. Therefore, the “golden” mean is important.

Hypothyroidism develops slowly, for a long time, it can be very hidden, indistinct.

Activity: if your working capacity is reduced, you constantly want to sleep, you quickly get tired of a small amount of work.

Leather: if the skin has become dry, the nails are brittle, the hair simply remains on the comb in bunches, and the outer part of the eyebrows has fallen out completely. You often freeze in a warm room, almost never sweat, the skin on your elbows, knees and feet is rough and flaky. If you are already tired of rubbing a nourishing cream into your skin again and again, and the success of a pedicure does not last long.

Face: if there is constant puffiness around the eyes, pale icteric skin color, blush on the cheeks.

Weight increases, and you do not overeat. Appetite is reduced.

Speech became slow, indistinct, voice – hoarse.

If you have decreased heart rate (norm 60-80 beats per minute), frequent bloating and constipation bother you, you note memory loss and bad mood, lethargy, depression, you have anemia (even if you are taking iron supplements), there is tightness and soreness in the muscles.

In severe advanced cases of hypothyroidism, there may be accumulation of fluid in the lungs, abdominal cavity, very pronounced peeling of the skin – it crumbles like dandruff.

often leads to infertility, and if pregnancy occurs, then in half of the cases it is interrupted. Maternal thyroid hormones pass through the placenta into the blood of the fetus and protect it from hypothyroidism until childbirth.

If the expectant mother has hypothyroidism, taking medications (thyroid hormones) during pregnancy is mandatory! This allows not only to endure the long-awaited baby, but also to prevent a possible mental retardation.

In areas with a lack of iodine in water and food, maternal iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in newborns. If, after birth, the child does not receive iodine in sufficient quantities with mother’s milk or food, hypothyroidism persists and can lead to cretinism – irreversible disorders of mental and physical development, dementia.

Need to know: all children in the maternity hospital are examined for congenital hypothyroidism. However, mild forms of hypothyroidism may be missed.

Such children seem calm, rarely cry, crying can be hoarse, they sleep a lot, and when they wake up, they play reluctantly, it is difficult and long to learn new things. There are neurological symptoms that make you turn to a neurologist. the skin is usually dry, the child practically does not sweat.

Mothers try to dress the baby warmer, because the arms and legs are constantly cold. Vessels are visible on pale skin, resembling spots – marbled skin. And if the child does not eat well, does not gain enough weight, growth, be sure to contact an endocrinologist!

It is better to refute fears than to miss the initial manifestations of the disease.

Of course, many manifestations of hypothyroidism can occur in other diseases, such as hypovitaminosis. But, if you have found a number of symptoms in yourself, be sure to contact an endocrinologist!

The study of blood hormones will help confirm or refute the diagnosis. Enough to get started determine the level of TSH and free T4.

As soon as the level of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) in the body decreases, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced in the pituitary gland. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (meaning a directed action on the thyroid gland) is a signal to the thyroid gland to increase the synthesis of its hormones.

If the thyroid gland for some reason (iodine deficiency, thyroid damage) cannot synthesize hormones in sufficient quantities, then TSH in the blood increases significantly, and T3 and T4 decrease. This is indicative of hypothyroidism. It is also good to conduct an ultrasound examination of the thyroid gland.

Treatment consists in the appointment of drugs containing thyroid hormones. With timely diagnosis and proper treatment, the unpleasant manifestations of this disease quickly disappear, a good mood and a desire to work appear. In most cases, drugs must be taken continuously throughout life.

If we talk about newborns, then if treatment is started on time (up to 4-6 months) and correctly carried out before the age of three, then the intelligence of the children is not disturbed, and the growth and development of the skeleton occurs according to age norms.

general practitioner

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