Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is the condition where the thyroid gland functions less actively than usual. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune response known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis. An autoimmune response is where the body’s immune system fails to identify the body cells as “self” cells and begin attacking them.

 

In this disease, the immune system starts identifying thyroid cells as foreign cells and attacks them. This results in the killing of many thyroid cells. As a consequence, decreased volume of the thyroxine hormone is secreted. This causes hyperthyroidism.

 

In hypothyroidism, glucose utilization is decreased as metabolic processes are lowered (as thyroxine regulates Basal Metabolic Rate). Due to this, more glucose is stored in the body in the form of glycogen and results in weight gain.

 

Moreover, in this condition, patients experience fatigue, chills and convulsions. These are all due to the lowered metabolic rate. Lowering of the metabolic rate caused less release of energy and hence fatigue and a lowered body temperature.

 

Peristalsis also decreases due to the lowered metabolic rate as the peristaltic muscles in the alimentary canal and other body regions do not get sufficient energy to execute proper contractions and expansions. This results in constipation.

 

Other common symptoms of hypothyroidism are hair loss, dry skin, increased blood pressure, increased cholesterol and more prolonged and painful menstruation.While hypothyroidism cannot be prevented, an easy way to minimize its consequences are by watching out for the symptoms and getting instantaneous consultation when one appears. Immediate treatment can help keep this condition under control and allow the person to lead a normal, healthy life.

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