What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of hormones which are essential for body’s functioning. Thus, all the processes in the body slow down due to lack of enough levels of thyroid hormones.
If not treated in early stages, hypothyroidism can lead to various serious diseases like joint pains, infertility and heart diseases.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
The intensity of the signs and symptoms depend upon the level of hormone deficiency. They are:
- Cold intolerance
- Hard stools or no urge for passing stools for many days
- Increased weight
- Dry skin
- Muscle weakness, tenderness, pain, and stiffness
- Puffy face
- Pain, swelling, and stiffness of joints
- Irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding
- Thinning of hair with hair fall
- Decreased heart rate
- Hoarseness of voice
- Extreme sleepiness
- Persistent jaundice or yellowish discoloration of skin in infants
- Poor feeding habits in infants
- Big head with large swollen protruding tongue in infants
- Bloating of abdomen in infants and children
- Poor mental development and delayed milestones and slow growth in children
If these symptoms of hypothyroidism are not treated in early stages, it can cause a more severe form of hypothyroidism called as “myxedema”. This severe form of hypothyroidism can lead to life threatening symptoms like decreased heart rate, decreased breathing, low BP, and even coma.
Causes of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism can be due to various reasons. They are:
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common autoimmune disease that causes hypothyroidism. In this condition, the immune system attacks the cells of one’s own body.
- Hyperthyroidism is the production of excess thyroid hormones.
- In this condition, the patient is treated with anti-thyroid medications to decrease the production of excess hormones. In some cases, this treatment can lead to hypothyroidism.
- After removing the whole or a part of the thyroid gland surgically, it can lead to decreased production of thyroid hormones leading to hypothyroidism.
- Radiations used for treating cancers of the head or neck can affect the thyroid gland and lead to decrease in the production of hormones.
- Certain medications can lead to hypothyroidism like lithium that is used to treat psychiatric illnesses.
Birth defects of thyroid gland
- In certain cases, the thyroid gland may be defective or absent since birth. This can be a reason for decreased or no production of thyroid hormones leading to hypothyroidism.
Pituitary gland disorders
- In rare cases, the pituitary gland fails to produce enough thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH) which is necessary for the thyroid gland to secrete thyroid hormones.
- This can occur as a result of pituitary gland tumors.
Pregnancy related hypothyroidism
- Some women tend to develop hypothyroidism during or after pregnancy as a result of antibodies produced against their own thyroid gland.
- This can lead to seriously affect the health of both mother and the child.
- It can lead to premature birth, birth defects in the child or even miscarriage.
- Lack of iodine in the food or excess of iodine can lead to hypothyroidism.
Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism
Diagnosis of hypothyroidism can be made by physical examination of the thyroid gland and by blood tests. The blood tests include:
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
- Thyroxin (T4)
Some people have decreased T4 levels in the blood which is a clear indication of hypothyroidism. While others may have increased TSH levels and normal T4 levels which are suggestive of mild hypothyroidism or the early stage of hypothyroidism.
Sometimes thyroid ultrasound or thyroid scan may be necessary to look for any growths or cysts in the thyroid gland.
Homoeopathic Management of Hypothyroidism
Homoeopathic medicines will help to regulate the thyroid functions and also help in treating the symptoms resulting from Hypothyroidism thereby giving relief to the patient.
- Obese individual
- Chilly, oversensitive to cold air
- Fat and flabby individual
- Sluggish, easy fatigue
- Craving for boiled eggs, indigestible things like chalk, lime
- Aversion to fat
- Excessive sweat on forehead
- Constipation- initially hard stool followed by soft stool
- Prolonged, Profuse and early menses with coldness of feet
- Hypothyroidism with gastric complaints
- Excessive Flatulence
- Complaints worse from 4 to 8 pm
- Constipation with Hard difficult stool
- Desire hot drinks and food, sweets
- Irritability < contradiction
- Obese individual with tendency to catch cold
- Chronic constipation with hard stools
- Weeping disposition, timid indecisive
- Hypothyroidism with extreme temperament, easily offended
- Obstinate constipation with ineffectual urging, Unsatisfied stool
- Bloatedness of abdomen
- Desire for stimulants, spicy, fatty food
- Chilly patient
- Prolonged menses with dark blackish bleeding