Hypothyroidism is a disease in which the normal amount of thyroid hormones is not produced. This can result in a slowed metabolism, stunted growth, and always feeling tired.
There are three types:
Primary, secondary and tertiary
Primary: It is due to a disease of the thyroid gland that prevents it from producing thyroid hormones.
A primary type is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, where the thyroid gland is attacked by the immune system and cells are damaged. Damage to cells can also be caused by radioactive iodine 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 function properly. If the pituitary gland is diseased, perhaps due to surgery or a tumor, it will result in poor thyroid stimulating hormone formation and therefore reduced thyroid hormone production.
Tertiary – is the 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.
Diet Iodine Deficiency: Your diet will contain the main source of iodine. If your diet is insufficient in iodine, you will suffer from this disease because thyroid hormones cannot be produced. Thyroid gland swelling or goiter is also another type. The swelling causes a lump in the front of the neck.
Hashimoto’s disease: This disease causes the body’s immune system to destroy the thyroid gland. Antibodies are produced by destroying cells.
Exposure to radiation: If you have been exposed to radiation, you can get hypothyroidism, which causes the iodine inside your body to also become radioactive. This radioactive iodine will concentrate in the thyroid gland and destroy its cells.
Pregnancy: Hypothyroidism may occur after pregnancy. The woman can develop thyroiditis after childbirth. Hopefully this will only be temporary, but in some cases it will be permanent.
High Iodine Intake: Low Iodine Intake as mentioned above can also be a cause, but unfortunately taking too much decreases iodine use. This feature is called the Wolff-Chaikoff.
Stress: Stress is another form that causes this disease where the hormonal balance in the body is affected. Adrenaline is released by stress and will cause changes in blood sugar levels that alter thyroid function.
Cortisol – This is another stress hormone and will reduce the liver’s ability to eliminate estrogen, which is a major problem. If you have a high level of estrogen, it will decrease the levels of the active hormone T3. The thyroid gland secretes hormones that will prevent hypothyroidism, so it is important that the correct amount is produced.
It is vitally important that you take all necessary precautions to prevent this disease.
Diet, medications, and your lifestyle can and will affect the proper functioning of the thyroid gland.