Hypothyroidism is a disease where the normal amount of thyroid hormones are not produced. This can result in decreased metabolism, stunted growth and always feeling tired.
There are three types:
Primary, Secondary and Tertiary
Primary: This is due to a disease of the thyroid gland which stops it producing thyroid hormones.
One primary type is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis where the thyroid gland is attacked by the immune system and cells are damaged. Damage to the cells can also be caused by radioiodine therapy.
Secondary: This disease is due to a diseased pituitary gland
The function of the pituitary gland is to secrete the hormone which in turn stimulates the thyroid and is essential for the thyroid gland to work properly. If the pituitary gland is diseased, maybe by surgery or a tumor, it will result in poorly formation of thyroid stimulating hormone and thereby a reduced production of thyroid hormones.
Tertiary: This is a result of insufficient synthesis of thyrotropin releasing hormone from the Hypothalamus which controls the pituitary and then also controls the function of the thyroid gland
Causes of Hypothyroidism
There are many factors that can cause this disease.
Insufficient Iodine in Diet: Your diet will contain the number one source of iodine. If your diet has an insufficient amount of iodine you will suffer from this disease due to the fact that thyroid hormones cannot be produced. The swelling of the thyroid gland or goiter is also another type. Swelling causes a lump in the front of the neck.
Hashimoto’s Disease: This disease results in the body’s immune system destroying the thyroid gland. Antibodies are produced destroying the cells.
Radiation Exposure: If you have been exposed to radiation you can get hypothyroidism which cause iodine within your body to also become radioactive. This radioactive iodine will become concentrated in the thyroid gland and destroy its cells.
Pregnancy: It is possible that hypothyroidism can result after pregnancy. The woman can develop thyroiditis after delivery. Hopefully this will only be temporary but in some cases it will be permanent.
High intake of iodine: A low intake of iodine as mentioned earlier can also be a cause, but unfortunately by taking too much decreases the usage of iodine. This feature is called by the name Wolff- Chaikoff
Stress: Stress is another way that causes this disease where hormonal balance in the body is affected. Adrenaline is released by stress and will cause changes in the blood sugar levels which will disrupt the thyroid function.
Cortisol: This is another stress hormone and will reduce the ability of the liver to get rid of estrogen which is a major problem. If you have a high estrogen level it will decrease the levels of active T3 hormone. The thyroid gland secretes hormones which will prevent hypothyroidism so it is important that the correct quantity are produced.
It is vitally important that you take all necessary precautions to prevent this illness.
Diet, drugs and your lifestyle can and will affect the proper function of the thyroid gland.