Hypothyroidism is one of the most common endocrine disorders which is occurs due to decreased synthesis of thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone is responsible for regulating various metabolic processes in your body. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of an underactive thyroid. In India, hypothyroidism is known to affect one out of every 10 adults.
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms of hypothyroidism are not specific and vary in every patient. Decreased production of thyroid hormone may result in symptoms such as:
- Weight gain
- Muscle weakness
- Decreased libido
- Unusual weakness
- Hair loss
- Cold intolerance
- Memory problems
- Heavy bleeding during periods and irregular menstrual cycles
How to find out whether I have Hypothyroidism?
If you experience any symptoms of Hypothyroidism, consult your doctor. The doctor would examine you and prescribe certain tests to assess thyroid function.
If you have hypothyroidism, your doctor may find the following on physical examination:
- Swelling around the thyroid gland
- Slow reflexes
- Skin dryness
The blood levels of thyroid hormones are determined to confirm the diagnosis of hypothyroidism. It is important to have the thyroid hormone levels tested once in every three months. During this test, a sample of your blood is collected and is tested for:
Levels of thyroid hormones: Levels of T4- thyroxine, and T3- triiodothyronine hormones are tested for an under-active thyroid. In hypothyroidism, the levels of T4 are lower than the normal.
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH): The pituitary gland produces the thyroid stimulating hormone, which stimulates the thyroid gland to produce T3 and T4 hormones.
Understand your own test results
It is important to know about the reference values of thyroid hormones. Refer the following tables and interpret your results.
|Thyroid test||Normal range|
Check the table below and find out what the deviation in the values mean.
|T3, T4- normal; TSH -high||Mild hypothyroidism|
|T3, T4- low; TSH- high||Hypothyroidism|
How to treat Hypothyroidism?
- Healthy diet: High-fiber diet helps in overcoming the problems with elimination, which is common in people with hypothyroidism.
- Contrast Hydrotherapy: Placing warm and cold towels alternately around the thyroid region can stimulate the thyroid function.
- Cut the sugars: Avoid sugary rich foods as they can contribute to hormonal disturbance and result in changes in your metabolism.
- Probiotic-rich foods: Fermented dairy products like milk yogurt, helps in improving the gut environment and thereby improves the overall metabolism in your body.
- Yoga: Certain yoga poses enhance the blood flow to your neck region.
An under-active thyroid can be treated by using synthetic levothyroxine medication. Taking levothyroxine medication regularly helps in improving the symptoms of hypothyroidism and stimulates the production of thyroid hormones.
Avoid taking calcium or iron supplements at the same time while taking thyroid medicine. This reduces the absorption of thyroid medication. Iron or calcium medications should be taken before or after a gap of at least 4 hours of taking thyroid medication. Drinking coffee can also cause deceased absorption of thyroid medication.
Iodine supplements can be prescribed to normalize your iodine levels.
Why choose Apollo Diagnostics?
We have the expertise of 34 + years in healthcare. Our labs are equipped with EQUAS (External Quality Assurance System) and loaded with full automated machines to ensure error free reports, with a quick turnaround time, and at an affordable price. For your convenience, we offer free home collection of samples.
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- Prevalence of Hypothyroidism in adults. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3743364/. Accessed on 10-10-2017
- Hypothyroidism: Overview, causes, and symptoms. https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/thyroid/hypothyroidism-too-little-thyroid-hormone . Accessed on 10-10-2017
- Understanding your thyroid blood tests and results. https://www.verywell.com/interpret-your-thyroid-test-results-3231840 Accessed on 11-10-2017
- Hypothyroidism TSH levels. https://www.dietvsdisease.org/normal-tsh-levels/ Accessed on 11-10-2017
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) – Treatment. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Thyroid-under-active/Pages/Treatment.aspx. Accessed on 11-10-2017
- Hypothyroidism – Medications. https://www.webmd.com/women/tc/hypothyroidism-medications. Accessed on 11-10-2017