The symptoms of hypothyroidism

November 12, 2012

The symptoms of hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is caused by a lack of production of the hormone associated with the rate of metabolism. The symptoms of hypothyroidism very from person to person, and depends on the extent of the deficiency. Most people experience very few symptoms to being with but they tend to develop slowly over many years. The initial symptoms of hypothyroidism are usually subtle things such as a feeling or fatigue and general sluggishness. As you get older and your metabolism continues to slow you may notice more symptoms occurring. Common signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include constipation, sensitivity to the cold particularly in hands and feet, dry skin, hoarse voice, weight gain, heavier menstrual periods and brittle finger nails and hair. If untreated, the symptoms of hypothyroidism will become increasingly severe. It is possible to become forgetful, thought processes can become slow and depression may occur. In very extreme cases of untreated, advanced hypothyroidism symptoms can become life threatening. Low blood pressure; dropped body temperature and decreased breathing can cause people to become unresponsive and even to slip into a coma. In these cases it can be fatal.

Although people of all ages can develop the condition, hypothyroidism most commonly affects women who are middle aged and older. Newborns with hypothyroidism may have jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin and eyes. They may also frequently choke, have a large, protruding tongue and have a puffy face. As they get older and the disease progresses, they may fail to grow and develop normally and will probably experience constipation and excessive sleepiness. Infants should be treated as early as possible to prevent serious physical and mental retardation. As the children get older, symptoms will be appear to be similar to the symptoms of hypothyroidism that occur in adults. Additional symptoms may include poor growth, late development of adult teeth, late puberty and poor mental development.

As soon as you notice any of the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism you should make an appointment to see the doctor. Even if your symptoms are subtle such as feeling tired for no reason, as the sooner treatment is started the better. Periodic testing of the thyroid is recommended for anyone who has previously undergone any thyroid surgery or radiation therapy to the neck, head or upper chest as these kinds of therapies can lead to hypothyroidism years or sometimes even decades after receiving the therapy.

People with high cholesterol should consider whether or not it is possible that hypothyroidism is the cause and discuss this with a doctor. Once treatment has begun, it is important to continue to attend regular follow up sessions with the doctor. The dosage that is initially advised may need to be altered or increased as you get older or as the condition develops.

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