Hypothyroidism, or decreased thyroid gland activity is now more common than ever. In 1990 Dr Hertoghe estimated a prevalence of 80%. This includes a sub clinical type which is difficult to diagnose. Hypothyroidism finds its causes on many levels from the pituitary gland failure and hypothalamic loss of control in the brain to thyroid failure itself, failure of conversion of T4 to T3 ( thyroid hormones), thyroid resistance and even adrenal gland failure.
Most common symptoms are cold intolerance with cold hands and feet, fatigue, dry skin, constipation, difficulty losing weight,depression, memory loss, anxiety and insomnia, thinning hair and hoarseness. The diagnosis is made by measuring levels of TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone, clinical symptoms and actual levels of the two major thyroid hormones, T3 and T4.
Hypothyroidism is a result of the interaction of genetic factors with environmental factors such as lack of iodine and selenium, drugs, infections, stress and pollution; and with endogenous factors such as puberty, rapid growth, pregnancy, menopause, aging and female sex. The data points to the facts that hypothyroidism predisposes to premature atherosclerosis and cardiac disease if untreated. There is a correlation of increasing blood pressure with hypothyroid disease.
Hypothyroid individuals are shown to be more prone to adverse lipid profiles. So if you experience the symptoms listed or do have a family history, please see your physician and get checked. Treatment is easy and results in dramatic relief of symptoms. The patient is able to enjoy a healthy and robust lifestyle!